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Correspondence

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the hon. Member for Walsall, North will receive a reply to his letter of 31 January regarding a constituent Ref. POH(6)5608/39. [114351]

Ms Stuart: My noble Friend Lord Hunt of Kings Heath announced on 9 February that insulin pen needles would be available on general practitioner prescription from 1 March, and a reply will be sent to my hon. Friend very shortly.

Controlled Drug Stocks

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to seek an amendment of the law to permit hospital operating department practitioners lawfully to possess a stock of such controlled drugs as they may lawfully administer. [113558]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I have been asked to reply.

We have no plans to amend the misuse of drugs legislation to authorise operating department practitioners (ODPs) to possess a stock of controlled drugs.

The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1985 authorise certain health professionals to order, supply, possess or prescribe controlled drugs in the practice of their professions. They include doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and midwives, all of whom are subject to statutory regulation. ODPs--which are not a statutorily regulated profession--are not authorised to supply or possess controlled drugs. The 1985 Regulations also authorise any person other than a doctor to administer to a patient, in accordance with the directions of a doctor, any drug specified in schedule 2, 3 or 4 of the regulations.

Where a doctor, nurse or midwife supplies or possesses a controlled drug other than in the practice of their professions, the regulatory bodies are able to investigate and take appropriate action. Statutory regulatory bodies can also, if necessary, remove individuals from the professional register. This helps to ensure that health professionals employed within the NHS or private health care sector do not represent a risk to patients, colleagues or themselves.

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We do not consider that the 1985 Regulations should be amended to authorise ODPs to supply and possess controlled drugs unless that group becomes subject to statutory regulation.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

University Funding

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what percentage increase in spending on universities he has provided for in the forthcoming financial year; and if he will make a statement. [113887]

Mr. Wicks: In the 2000-01 financial year, the Government have made an extra £253 million available to the higher education sector. This is a 4.9 per cent. increase in cash terms. Over the period 1998-99 to 2001-02, funding for the higher education sector will increase by 11 per cent. in real terms.

Class Sizes

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many children in (a) secondary, (b) junior and (c) nursery schools are in classes of over 30; and what the totals were in each of the previous five years. [113888]

Ms Estelle Morris: The available information on class sizes in maintained primary and secondary schools in England for January and September is shown in the following table. The latest class size count was carried out in September 1999 for infant classes and found a further reduction in the numbers of infant pupils in classes of over 30. Information about classes in maintained nursery schools is not collected by the Department.

Provisional national estimates of class sizes in maintained primary and secondary schools in England for January 2000 are expected to be published in a Statistical First Release in April.

Numbers of pupils in classes with 31 or more pupils in maintained primary and secondary schools in England: 1995-1999

Primary schools(11) Secondary schools(11)
1 Teacher2 or more teachersTotal1 Teacher2 or more teachersTotal
Position as at January:
19991,277,250119,2491,396,499312,97436,114349,088
19981,410,762122,9791,533,741282,63333,156315,789
19971,344,231121,5591,465,790245,42038,749284,169
19961,260,551128,5811,389,132234,53648,640283,176
19951,155,715129,8851,285,600201,21057,435258,645

(11) Includes middle schools


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Numbers of pupils in infant classes with 31 or more pupils in maintained primary schools in England: 1998-99

Number
Position as at September
1999165,557
1998346,288

New Deal

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will state the number and percentage of participants in the New Deal for 25 years and over in (a) Great Britain, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales who have returned to (i) Jobseeker's Allowance, (ii) other benefits and (iii) unsubsidised employment through the New Deal; and if he will list the areas in Scotland where a larger percentage then the (A) Great Britain and (B) Scottish average figure have moved on to one of the categories in (i) to (iii) including the number and percentage in each area and for each category. [111281]

Ms Jowell [holding answer 22 February 2000]: The information requested is as follows:

(i) Percentage of participants in the New Deal 25+ returning to Jobseeker's Allowance

Percentage
Scotland32
Wales28
Great Britain29

Scottish Units of Delivery with a larger percentage of participants in the New Deal 25+ who have returned to JSA, than the GB average

Left New Deal for JSAAs a percentage of New Deal starts
Tayside70736
Ayrshire95238
Borders6830
Dumfries and Galloway31136
Dumbarton46637
Fife49337
Grampian25338
Moray, Strathspay and Badenoch8232
Renfrewshire51934
West Lothian7930
Caithness and Sutherland11631
Inverness and Nairn9733
Orkney3435


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Scottish Units of Delivery with a larger percentage of participants in the New Deal 25+ who have returned to JSA, than the Scotland average

Left New Deal for JSAAs a percentage of New Deal starts
Tayside70736
Ayrshire95238
Dumfries and Galloway31136
Dumbarton46637
Fife49337
Grampian25338
Renfrewshire51934
Inverness and Nairn9733
Orkney3435

(ii) Percentage of New Deal 25+ participants who leave and claim other benefits

Percentage
Scotland8
Wales8
Great Britain7

Scottish Units of Delivery with a larger percentage of participants in the New Deal 25+ who have returned to other benefits, than the GB average

Left New Deal for other benefitsAs a percentage of New Deal starts
Tayside158 8
Dumbarton1089
Forth Valley3115
Grampian619
Lanarkshire17410
Renfrewshire1298
Argyll and The Islands399
Caithness and Sutherland288
Inverness and Nairn289
Lochaber913
Western Isles916
Orkney99
Ross and Cromarty189
Shetland512
Skye and Lochalsh1211

Scottish Units of Delivery with a larger percentage of participants
in the New Deal 25+ who have returned to other benefits, than the Scotland average

Left New Deal for other benefitsAs a percentage of New Deal starts
Dumbarton1089
Forth Valley3115
Grampian619
Lanarkshire17410
Argyll and The Islands399
Inverness and Nairn289
Lochaber913
Western Isles916
Orkney99
Ross and Cromarty189
Shetland512
Skye and Lochalsh1211


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(iii) Percentage of New Deal participants who leave for unsubsidised jobs

Percentage
Scotland10
Wales13
Great Britain13

Scottish Units of Delivery with a larger percentage of participants in the New Deal 25+ who have returned to unsubsidised jobs, than the GB average

Left New Deal for unsubsidised jobsAs a percentage of New Deal starts
Forth Valley4220
West Lothian3614
Inverness and Nairn4014
Western Isles814
Orkney1515
Ross and Cromarty3418
Shetland717
Skye and Lochalsh1615


Scottish Units of Delivery with a larger percentage of participants in the New Deal 25+ who have returned to other benefits, than the Scotland average

Left New Deal for unsubsidised jobsAs a percentage of New Deal starts
Edinburgh, East and Mid Lothian23913
Forth Valley4220
Grampian7011
Lanarkshire19411
West Lothian3614
Argyll and The Islands5312
Caithness and Sutherland4211
Inverness and Nairn4014
Western Isles814
Orkney1515
Ross and Cromarty3418
Shetland717
Skye and Lochalsh1615


Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will state the percentage of participants in the New Deal for 18 to 24 year olds in (a) Great Britain (b) Scotland and (c) Wales

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who have received (i) subsidised employment and (ii) education and training through the New Deal; and if he will list the areas in Scotland where a smaller percentage than the (1) Great Britain and (2) Scottish average figures have these options, including the number and percentage of participants for each of these areas. [111278]

Ms Jowell [holding answer 22 February 2000]: The information requested is shown in the tables. For subsidised employment and education and training we have used the numbers for the Employment and Full Time Education and Training Options respectively.


Percentage of New Deal starts who join the Employment option

Percentage
Scotland9
Wales11
Great Britain7

Scottish units of delivery with a smaller percentage of participants
in the New Deal (18-24 year olds) who have received subsidised Employment than the Great Britain average

Employment option startsPercentage of New Deal starts joining the Employment option
Glasgow5086
Grampian885
Renfrewshire1455
Lochaber56

Scottish units of delivery with a smaller percentage of participants in the New Deal (18-24 year olds) who have received subsidised Employment than the Scotland average

Employment option startsPercentage of New Deal starts joining the Employment option
Dumbarton1287
Fife2698
Forth Valley1988
Glasgow5086
Grampian885
Renfrewshire1455
West Lothian787
Caithness and Sutherland187
Lochaber56


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Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will state the percentage of participants in the New Deal for 18 to 24-year-olds in (a) Great Britain, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales who have gone through to the follow-through stage of the New Deal; and if he will list the areas in Scotland where a larger percentage than the (i) Great Britain and (ii) Scottish average figures have gone on to the follow-through stage. [111277]

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Ms Jowell [holding answer 22 February 2000]: The information requested is as follows:

Percentage of New Deal participants who join Follow-Through

Percentage
Scotland20
Wales20
Great Britain17


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the impact of the New Deal scheme in reducing youth unemployment in (a) Shrewsbury and Atcham and (b) Shropshire. [111069]

Ms Jowell: To the end of December 1999, 155 young people in Shrewsbury and Atcham and 1,037 in Shropshire had found jobs through the New Deal. Over the year to the end of January 2000, the numbers of young people who had been unemployed for six months or more fell by 59 per cent. in Shrewsbury and Atcham and 33 per cent. in Shropshire. This confirms that the New Deal is equipping young people with the skills and attributes that they need to compete successfully in the labour market. Indeed 146 young people in Shrewsbury and Atcham and 592 people in Shropshire have benefited from training and work experience opportunities on the other options.


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