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Litigation (Offshore Companies)

38. Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what steps he is taking to ensure that litigants in civil disputes with companies are not denied redress as a result of company registrations in the Channel Islands. [45609]

Mr. Hoon: If a company is registered in the Channel Islands enforcement action can still be taken against assets held by it in England and Wales.

Women Judges

40. Jackie Ballard: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many women judges have been appointed since 2 May 1997; and what percentage this is of the total number of appointments. [45611]

Mr. Hoon: Since 2 May 1997, six women Circuit Judges have been appointed out of a total of 34 (18 per cent.); seven women District Judges out of a total of 26 (27 per cent.); and one woman Stipendiary Magistrate out of a total of four (25 per cent.). During the same period nine High Court Judges, five Lord Justices of Appeal and one Lord of Appeal in Ordinary were also appointed. None of those was a woman.

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Personal Injury Claims

41. Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to regulate the activities of unqualified claims assessors in personal injury claims. [45612]

Mr. Hoon: I am considering representations made to me by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers when I met them recently to discuss their concerns about claims assessors.

Magistrates Courts

42. Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will (a) meet a deputation from the Association of Essex Councils over the closure of magistrates courts in Essex and (b) halt the closures pending a policy review involving the association. [45613]

Mr. Hoon: (a) During the course of this appeal I have already met with both parties and three local MPs. Essex County Council and Braintree and Uttlesford District Councils have been fully involved throughout. (b) Closures cannot be halted for any reason other than a successful appeal in accordance with section 56 of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997 from a magistrates' courts committee's determination or by the rescinding of such a determination by the magistrates' courts committee. The Lord Chancellor has no plans to conduct a policy review.

Legal Aid (Divorce Proceedings)

43. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to review the availability of legal aid for divorce proceedings. [45614]

Mr. Hoon: The Government have announced their plans for modernising the delivery of publicly funded legal services for all types of proceedings including divorce.

Family Law

Yvette Cooper: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the Advisory Board on Family Law intends to publish its first annual report. [47388]

Mr. Hoon: The Advisory Board on Family Law has today published its first annual report and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Teacher Training

Mr. Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many places were available for teacher training in each year since 1990; and how many were filled in each year. [46844]

23 Jun 1998 : Column: 463

Ms Estelle Morris: The table shows the target and actual intake to initial teacher training for the years 1990-91 to 1997-98.

Target and actual recruitment to initial teacher training (ITT) courses(5) in England, 1990-91 to 1997-98

Primary Secondary Total
TargetActualTargetActualTargetActual
1990-9112,25013,15510,9958,91923,24522,074
1991-9212,66014,77711,27511,83023,93526,607
1992-9313,07016,65811,30012,84924,37029,507
1993-9413,93715,77513,96813,68927,90529,464
1994-9512,99013,74316,60015,50929,59029,252
1995-9612,11513,60317,00015,22629,11528,829
1996-9711,50012,46518,90015,96530,40028,430
1997-98(6)11,05011,74919,50015,96630,55027,715

(5) Includes School Centred ITT and Open University

(6) Actual intake for 1997-98 is provisional

Sources:

Actual intake:

1990-91 to 1993-94: DFE ITT Annual Recruitment Survey

1994-95: Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE) Early Statistics Survey

1995-96 to 1997-98: TTA ITT recruitment survey

Target intake:

DfEE


Teacher Vacancies (Greater London)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the current number of teacher vacancies in each of the education departments of local authorities covering the Greater London area. [46973]

Ms Estelle Morris: The total number of teacher vacancies in maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools in the Greater London area at January 1998 (the latest available information) was as follows:

LEAVacancies
City of London0
Camden19
Greenwich58
Hackney63
Hammersmith and Fulham53
Islington44
Kensington and Chelsea20
Lambeth12
Lewisham52
Southwark60
Tower Hamlets66
Wandsworth49
Westminster21
Barking and Dagenham19
Barnet22
Bexley8
Brent35
Bromley15
Croydon20
Ealing52
Enfield20
Haringey30
Harrow12
Havering15
Hillingdon29
Hounslow23
Kingston-upon-Thames6
Merton8
Newham83
Redbridge22
Richmond-upon-Thames4
Sutton10
Waltham Forest48
Total999


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Further Education (Hampshire)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many further education colleges in Hampshire had a budget deficit in (a) 1995-96, (b) 1996-97 and (c) 1997-98. [46005]

Dr. Howells: The following table shows the number of colleges in Hampshire which had operating deficits for the academic years ended 31 July 1996 and 1997 and forecast an operating deficit for the academic year ended 31 July 1998.

Colleges in Hampshire with operating deficits

Year endedNumber of colleges with budgeted deficits
1995-9614
1996-9711
1997-98 (forecast)13

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what were the average efficiency savings made by further education colleges in Hampshire in 1997-98. [46002]

Dr. Howells: The Department calculates efficiency gains for the FE sector on a national basis only. The expected efficiency gain for the financial year 1997-98 is 3.0 per cent.

National Vocational Qualifications

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on progress in the transfer of responsibilities for setting NVQ standards from his Department to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. [47287]

Dr. Howells: From 1 April 1998, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, acting jointly with the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and in consultation with the Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales, and the Training and Education Agency for Northern Ireland, became responsible for the procurement and approval of the national occupational standards which form the basis of National Vocational Qualifications and Scottish Vocational Qualifications.

Universities

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to provide funding for the updating of facilities in universities. [46595]

Dr. Howells: For 1998-99 my right hon. Friend has provided a funding package which will allow an extra £165 million to be spent on higher education. This includes an additional £125 million for universities and colleges in England to maintain and improve quality and standards, and to make a start on the backlog of maintenance and equipment replacement.

Decisions on funding for higher education for 1999-2000 and beyond will depend on the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review, due to be announced next month.

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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what statistics his Department collects on the staff to student ratio in universities. [46596]

Dr. Howells: The Department uses data on staff and students collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency in order to calculate a sector level student to staff ratio in higher education institutions in England.

The latest available student to staff ratios, as published in the 1998 Departmental Report, are 16.5 in 1994-95 and 16.6 in 1995-96.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to review the curricula taught in universities (a) nationally and (b) the West Midlands. [46598]

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Dr. Howells: The Secretary of State has no plans to review the curricula taught in universities either nationally or in the West Midlands.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what statistics his Department collects on the ratio of students to faculty in universities (a) nationally and (b) in the West Midlands. [46597]

Dr. Howells: The available statistics on enrolments as at 1 December 1997 are analysed by subject of course rather than faculty.

In 1997-98, the latest year for which information is available, the number and proportion of full-time and part-time students by course subject in higher education institutions in the UK and in the West Midlands were as given in the following table:

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Higher education enrolments in UK higher education institutions and those in the West Midlands analysed by subject, 1997-98

SubjectUKPercentage of totalWest MidlandsPercentage of total
Medicine and dentistry41,5792.41,7241.3
Subjects allied to medicine156,8639.012,8259.5
Biological sciences86,5595.06,1384.6
Veterinary science3,3110.2140.0
Agriculture and related subjects15,3930.91,9021.4
Physical sciences72,1904.14,8353.6
Mathematical sciences20,2301.21,5141.1
Computer science78,0194.57,1985.4
Engineering and technology129,1867.413,0449.7
Architecture/building and planning43,6862.52,5091.9
Social, Economic and political studies128,5727.410,2297.6
Law54,3413.15,1773.8
Business and administrative studies216,75212.419,34614.4
Librarianship and information science20,1751.21,3091.0
Languages89,7085.27,8625.8
Humanities59,9703.44,5983.4
Creative Arts and Design92,8895.37,4555.5
Education128,2087.49,1836.8
Combined304,00217.517,67713.1
Total1,741,633100.0134,539100.0

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