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Spiritual and Moral Training

Sir Timothy Sainsbury: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment she has made of the extent to which the requirements relating to spiritual and moral training laid out in the Education Act 1944 and the Education Act 1988 are currently met in (i) initial teacher training and (ii) in-service teacher training; and if she will make a statement. [14229]

Mr. Forth: All maintained schools are required to provide a curriculum which promotes pupils' spiritual and moral development. Newly qualified teachers must have acquired the foundation to develop a readiness to promote such development. Schools in-service training budgets can be used to fund necessary training for serving teachers. Additionally, the Teacher Training Agency is currently consulting on standards, for subject leaders and head teachers, which require the ability to establish and gain commitment to a vision for successful learning, including pupils' moral and spiritual development. Standards for expert teachers will follow later this year.

Training and Enterprise Councils

Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to her answer of 6 December, Official Report, columns 819-20, what is the total budgeted spending by training and enterprise councils on out-of-school childcare in 1996-97 and planned spending for 1997-98 and 1998-99, indicating for each year the percentage change on the previous year. [13949]

Mr. Paice [holding answer 4 February 1997]: The information requested is contained in the table.

1996-97 Expected spend1997-98 plans1998-99 plans
Expenditure (£ million)9.634.104.10
Percentage change---57nil

The out of school childcare initiative was originally a fixed-term programme due to finish in 1996-97. In the light of its success, the Secretary of State decided that the programme should continue.

School Merger (Cheltenham)

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when she expects to issue her decision regarding the merger of Westlands primary special school and Brookfield secondary special school in Cheltenham. [14345]

Mrs. Gillan: A decision will be reached on this proposal as soon as is compatible with the need to take into account all the relevant factors. My right hon. Friend aims to decide such proposals no later than seven months form the date the notice was served, in this case 7 October 1996. She fully appreciates that, given the proposed implementation date of 31 August 1997, an early decision will be in the best interests of all those involved.

5 Feb 1997 : Column: 619

Eltec Training and Enterprise Council

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the secretary of State for Education and Employment what progress Eltec Training and Enterprise Council is making in meeting the criteria for the award of a licence. [14767]

Mr. Paice: I am pleased to announce the award of a licence to Eltec to start from April 1997. This means that all TECs have now met the rigorous licensing standards.


Water Cannon

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library the results of research conducted at Porton Down research establishment into the medical effects of high-pressure water cannon jets. [14242]

Mr. Arbuthnot: This is a matter for the chief executive of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mrs. Ann Clwyd, dated 5 February 1997:


Dr. David Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 14 November 1996, Official Report, columns 290-91, if he will list the causes of aircraft crashes which were previously under investigation. [14251]

Mr. Soames: The information requested is given in the table:

DateAircraft typeCause
1 August Tornado GR1Aircrew error
21 June Jaguar GR1AAircrew error
2 SeptemberNimrod MR2Aircrew error
30 October2 x Tornado F3Aircrew error
11 JanuaryTornado GR1Aircrew error
13 FebruarySea Harrier FA2Technical fault
13 MayTucano T1Technical fault

The remaining accidents are still under investigation.

5 Feb 1997 : Column: 620

The total number of accidents in 1996 has increased from 13 to 14 reflecting the recategorisation of an aircraft incident at RAF Bruggen in February.

Nuclear Tests

Mr. Colvin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the referral by the European Commission on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights of the three test cases brought by the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association against the British Government for redress for human radiation exposure. [14228]

Mr. Soames: Two cases have been referred to the European Court of Human Rights. In the case of McGinley and EE v. UK, the Government are disappointed that the European Commission of Human Rights concluded that there had been a violation of article 6(1) of the European convention on human rights. The Commission concluded that the applicants did not enjoy a right of effective access to the pensions appeal tribunal because of a lack of access to relevant records. The Government dispute this and will contest this case. In the other case, of LCB v. UK, which has been referred to the Court, the Government are pleased that the Commission found no violation of the convention. The Government recall that reports of an epidemiological study by the National Radiological Protection Board published in 1988 and 1993 concluded that participation in the nuclear weapon testing programmes has not had a detectable effect on the participants' expectation of life, or on their risk of developing cancer or other fatal diseases.

HMS Cromwell

Sir Julian Critchley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will consider naming a Royal Navy warship HMS Cromwell. [14319]

Mr. Soames: The naming of all Royal Navy ships and submarines is a matter for the Admiralty ships naming and badges committee which regularly considers suggestions for the naming of all craft. I am very grateful for my hon. Friend's suggestion and will ensure that it is forwarded to the committee for consideration.

United Arab Emirates (Visit)

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the organisations which he visited in his visit to the United Arab Emirates during the Christmas recess in 1996-97. [14255]

Mr. Soames: My right hon. Friend last visited the United Arab Emirates on 28 November 1996. During that visit he met a number of senior UAE figures to discuss matters of mutual interest and signed a defence co-operation accord between the UK and the UAE.

Royal Flight

Mr. Corbett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many days in each of the past five years aircraft of the royal flight have been used by members of the royal family. [13679]

5 Feb 1997 : Column: 621

Mr. Soames [holding answer 31 January 1997]: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. As an illustrative example, however, 228 days in the year 1 January 1996 to 31 December 1996 saw at least one royal task.

Colchester Garrison

Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what materials were contained in the drums unearthed on Abbey field in the Colchester garrison in November 1995; and what inquiries have been undertaken as to how they came to be buried there. [13796]

Mr. Soames: The containers excavated from Abbey field, Colchester, held residues of paint, varnish, creosote and grease which, following analysis, were not found to be toxic. Inquiries showed that the containers were between 40 and 50 years old. No records exist to explain how or why the containers were disposed of in this matter.

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