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Departmental Research Contracts

Dr. Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many research contracts have been let by his Department since May 1997; what is the value of each contract; and in each case whether the contract included (a) a departmental veto over publication of the research results, (b) departmental control over the date of publication of the research results and (c) a requirement that the final research results incorporate departmental amendments. [100145]

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Mr. Wills [holding answer 6 December 1999]: Full details of the Department's research contracts and their value are presented in the Department's Annual Report on Research. The 1997 and 1998 Annual Reports are lodged with the House of Commons' Library. The 1999 report will be published shortly. In the absence of this, a list of research contracted since May 1997 is attached.

The results of research are routinely published in line with the requirements of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. The Department aims to publish or release for publication at least 80 per cent. of research reports within 16 weeks of receiving a final draft from its contractors.

There is no veto over publication of the findings and Ministers are informed of intentions to publish. Contractors are not required to incorporate Departmental amendments. The wording of DfEE research contracts was revised in October 1998 to make this point clearer to contractors.

Quigley Report

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when the Quigley report on student finance will be published. [104151]

Mr. Wicks: The Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 requires that report to be laid before each House of Parliament not later than 1 April 2000.

Voluntary Aided Schools (Hendon)

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment which voluntary aided schools in Hendon have received additional capital allocations; for what purpose; and how much, in each case, since 1 May 1997. [103030]

Jacqui Smith: On 1 May 1997, there were 12 Voluntary Aided (VA) schools in the constituency of Hendon and the following table lists the schools that have received approval for new capital work since that date.

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School nameProject descriptionDate approvedTotal (4)
The Annunciation RC InfantNew windowsJuly 199711,999
New entranceJuly 199712,997
Window and door replacementMay 199813,141
Work to entranceMay 199813,159
The Blessed Dominic RC PrimaryLibrary accommodationOctober 199921,963
Work to covered linkMay 19971,703
Hasmonean PrimaryReplace dilapidated buildingsJanuary 1999480,000
Independent Jewish DayClassroom extensionJune 1999162,282
Replacement fire escapeMarch 19982,761
Work to covered linkJuly 199812,923
St. John's CE InfantExternal workJune 199912,220
St. Joseph's RC InfantNew windowsMay 199917,068
St. Joseph's RC JuniorToilets (NDS)October 199716,441
New windowsMay 199973,379
Office improvementsNovember 19974,879
St. Mary's CE JuniorRoof renewalApril 1999121,645
Work to cavity traysAugust 19972,181
St. Paul's CE PrimaryExternal handrailJuly 19988,272
Infants WC and cloakroomApril 199813,269
Security fencingAugust 199713,511
New windowsJune 19978,258
St. Vincent's RC PrimaryInfants toiletsAugust 199813,000
Single site consolidationJanuary 19991,819,035

(4) Figures represent 100 per cent. of governor's costs. Actual grant paid will be at 85 per cent. of the sums shown

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Formula capital grant for all schools will be introduced on 1 April 2000. VA schools in Hendon, including the five former GM schools which joined the VA sector on 1 September 1999, will receive formula capital allocations totalling £134,839 for 2000-01.

Personal and Social Education

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is his policy on the teaching of (a) six to 11-year-olds and (b) 11 to 16-year-olds about homosexuality as part of personal and social education. [103338]

Jacqui Smith: The Government have now published a new framework for PSHE designed to help pupils develop into confident, healthy and responsible individuals and help them to deal with difficult moral and social questions that arise in their lives and in society, including addressing issues such as homophobic bullying. The Government support teaching through this framework.

Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he has taken to raise awareness of the dangers of gamma hydroxy butyrate in schools. [103378]

Jacqui Smith: Drug education is a statutory requirement at all key stages of National Curriculum science. The detailed content and organisation of drug education programmes is a matter for individual schools, geared to the specific local needs and circumstances of their pupils, and should include all drugs and substances open to misuse, including gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB).

To support the Anti-Drugs Strategy, our national framework for PSHE will set drug education within a broader context of personal and social development, which will help to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to resist pressure to misuse drugs.

Age Diversity

Ms Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to publish the initial survey of employers and older people carried out prior to the publication of the Code of Practice on Age Diversity in Employment. [103905]

Ms Hodge: The initial survey was carried out to provide a baseline against which findings from the subsequent surveys could be measured. We intend, therefore, to publish the baseline information in the Spring alongside the findings from the second wave survey.

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Disability Discrimination Act

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement concerning the operation of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in relation to the responsibilities of financial institutions when providing services. [102939]

Ms Hodge: The Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people by treating them less favourably than people who are not disabled, or by failing to make reasonable adjustments when services are impossible or unreasonably difficult to use. Financial institutions have the same responsibilities under the Act as other providers of services to the public. The Code of Practice which we published on 29 June 1999 explains these duties and gives practical guidance on how to prevent discrimination against disabled people. The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has also published its own guidance--"implementing Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act: BBA guidance on banks' responsibilities to their customers from October 1999"--with examples specific to the banking sector. It has also published a leaflet for customers entitled "The New Disability Legislation: What You Can Expect from Your Bank".

Child Care

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many net child care places have been created in the first two quarters of the financial year 1999-2000 by the early years development and childcare partnerships in (i) the parliamentary constituency of Birkenhead, (ii) the four parliamentary constituencies of the Wirral, (iii) the parliamentary constituencies of the City of Liverpool and (iv) the parliamentary constituencies of Merseyside. [104227]

Ms Hodge: The number of net child care places created are as follows:

ConstituenciesNumber of net places
City of Liverpool278

(5) The figure for Birkenhead does not include childminder places as these are not broken down to constituency level, but a proportion of the 138 childminder places created in the Wirral area will be in the constituency of Birkenhead.

School Building

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many school building projects in

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England are currently being funded through public private sector partnerships; and what is his forecast for the number of new projects to be started in 2000-01. [104172]

Jacqui Smith: Contracts have been awarded on eight schools' projects in England under the Private Finance Initiative, six of which are for building projects covering new or replacement single schools and two of which are Local Education Authority (LEA) wide service contracts. A further 34 projects, covering both single schools and groups of schools, have been approved by the Treasury's Project Review Group (PRG), 13 of which will receive support in 2000-01. In addition, 15 LEAs have been invited to submit business cases for projects, covering both single schools and groups of schools, to be considered for support at future PRG meetings.

A total of £1.3 billion of PFI Credits has been provided for schools' projects in England up to 31 March 2002, including the £100 million announced in the pre-Budget statement.

A further 16 Public Private Partnerships (PPP) are currently being supported by £10 million of New Deal for Schools (NDS) grant. PPPs to be supported through NDS grant in 2000-01 and 2001-02 will be announced in the Spring.

In total, over 700 schools will have benefited from different forms of PPPs by 31 March 2002.

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