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Thalassaemia

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to raise awareness in schools of the problems facing sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia sufferers. [106197]

Jacqui Smith: Schools will have their own health policies reflecting the needs of their pupils. Clearly where pupils suffer from particular conditions schools should include these in their policy where it is appropriate, taking advice from the local medical service and specialist organisations as necessary.

We have made available to schools advice and information on sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia via the Government's Wired for Health website which has links to the Sickle Cell Society and UK Thalassaemia Society. The Wired for Health site is part of the Healthy Schools Programme, run jointly by the Department for Education and Employment and Department of Health (www.wiredforhealth.gov.uk).

25 Jan 2000 : Column: 159W

Teachers' Pay

Mr. Gill: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will require teachers in receipt of salaries in excess of point 9 on the Standard Pay Scale to submit themselves for assessment for threshold payments as a requirement of maintaining their existing salary levels. [106154]

Ms Estelle Morris: We have no plans to compel teachers to apply for the threshold--teachers will be able to choose to apply on a voluntary basis. We said in the Technical Consultation Document on teachers' pay reform that no serving teacher would lose out on existing salary entitlements as a result of our proposals. We have proposed to the School Teachers' Review Body that teachers who are successful at the threshold should receive a salary increase of up to £2,000.

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many teachers are in the salary bands (a) less than £10,000, (b) £10,000 to £12,500, (c) £12,500 to £15,000, (d) £15,000 to £17,500, (e) £17,500 to £20,000, (f) £20,000 to £22,500, (g) £22,500 to £25,000, (h) £25,000 to £30,000, (i) £30,000 to £35,000, (j) £35,000 to £40,000, (k) £40,000 to £45,000, (l) £45,000 to £50,000, (m) £50,000 to £55,000, (n) £55,000 to £60,000 and (o) more than £60,000. [106048]

Ms Estelle Morris: The table shows full and part-time teachers in the maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special sector in England and Wales for whom data have been provided to the Teachers' Pension Scheme, by salary bands at 31 March 1998 1 .

Salary bandsFull-timePart-time (4)
£12,500-14,99915,1001,000
£15,000-17,49940,6002,500
£17,500-19,99924,1002,700
£20,000-22,49968,30030,800
£22,500-24,99995,10011,300
£25,000-29,99985,1002,400
£30,000-34,99925,300100
£35,000-39,9995,400(5)--
£40,000-44,9992,0000
£45,000-49,9991,0000
£50,000-54,9996000
£55,000-59,9992000
£60,000 and over(5)--0
Total362,70050,800

(3) All figures are rounded to the nearest 100

(4) Salaries for part-time teachers are shown as the full-time equivalent

(5) = less than 50 teachers


Post Offices

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proposals are being considered by his Department to help sustain and develop the viability of rural and urban sub-post offices. [105852]

Mr. Wills: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Northavon (Mr. Webb) on 20 December 1999, Official Report, column 387W.

Disability Discrimination (Employment)

Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to improve

25 Jan 2000 : Column: 160W

the services available to help people with disabilities to obtain employment and retain jobs; and if he will make a statement. [104582]

Ms Hodge: Better employment services for people with disabilities are an important element of our commitment to comprehensive civil rights and an intrinsic part of our Welfare to Work policy. That is why we have devoted an additional £30 million for the Employment Service's specialist disability programmes over the three years 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02, with more resources for Access to Work, Supported Employment and the Job Introduction Scheme. Significant improvements to services to support disabled people have been a feature of all New Deals. Through New Deal for Disabled People we are testing new ways of helping people on incapacity benefits to return to work. We are considering how the main lessons from the pilots should be built into the next stage of this New Deal. We hope to make an announcement in the near future.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Nursery

45. Mr. Corbyn: To ask the President of the Council to ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, when he expects a review to take place of the provision of child care facilities in the Palace of Westminster. [104972]

Mr. Kirkwood: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 14 December 1999, Official Report, column 122W. We have no plans for any further review.

Written Questions

50. Mr. Barnes: To ask the President of the Council if it is her policy that hon. Members should be able (a) to have written questions answered and (b) to table and have published early-day motions during parliamentary adjournments; and if she will make a statement. [104980]

Mrs. Beckett: The Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons is currently examining whether written questions might be tabled and answered during adjournments of the House. No proposal has been put to the Committee for the publication of early-day motions.

Millennium Bug

51. Dr. George Turner: To ask the President of the Council what assessment she has made of the benefits resulting from the preventive measures in respect of the millennium bug. [104981]

Mr. Tipping: The huge effort the UK's public and private sectors invested in tackling the Millennium Bug will yield real benefits. There are also many useful lessons to be learned. We are currently undertaking a cross- governmental review to ensure these lessons and benefits are captured. I will submit a report to Parliament on this issue later in the year.

25 Jan 2000 : Column: 161W

House of Lords (Reform)

52. Mr. Dismore: To ask the President of the Council what progress has been made in reforming the House of Lords; and when that reform is expected to be completed. [104982]

Mr. Tipping: The House of Lords Act 1999 has removed the right of anyone to be a member of the House of Lords solely by virtue of a hereditary peerage. The Royal Commission under Lord Wakeham published its recommendations for further reform last week. The Government are now considering those recommendations and encouraging others to do the same. It is too early to estimate when the whole process might be completed.

Modernisation

53. Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the President of the Council if she will make a statement on progress in modernising the House since May 1997. [104983]

Mrs. Beckett: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Gillingham (Mr. Clark), Official Report columns 143-44.

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the President of the Council what progress there has been in the modernising of the House since May 1997. [104977]

Mrs. Beckett: Since the Modernisation Committee began its work, the House has had greater opportunities for scrutiny of the Government through the provision of extra time for debate in Westminster Hall; Thursday sittings have been introduced on an experimental basis to help Members balance constituency and Parliamentary duties; legislation has increasingly been published in draft and given Select Committee scrutiny; and better explanatory material has been provided with Bills.

Electronic Voting

54. Mr. Bercow: To ask the President of the Council what proposals she intends to put forward for electronic voting in the House. [104984]

Mrs. Beckett: The Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons examined this matter in Session 1997-98. It is for the Committee to decide whether or not to come forward with proposals for change in future.


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