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Data Storage

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice his Department gives to hospitals and others to (a) back up their data frequently and regularly and (b) install circuit breakers. [120699]

Yvette Cooper: National Health Service organisations have already received best practice guidance on a wide range of information security matters including data back-up and power supplies and these are contained within the NHS Information Authority publication "Ensuring Security and Confidentiality in NHS Organisations". Copies of this guidance will be placed in the Library.

AIDS Care Education Funding

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to reach a decision on section 64 funding for AIDS care education training. [120372]

Yvette Cooper: I will be making an announcement shortly.

Fostered Children

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the cost of providing foster homes and their equivalent in (a) 1970, (b) 1980 and (c) 1999. [120664]

Mr. Hutton: Information on the unit cost of providing foster homes and their equivalent is not available for 1970 and 1980. Provisional data taken from "Social Services Performance in 1998-99--The Personal Social Services Performance Assessment Framework" indicate that the unit cost of foster care for 1998-99 was £199 per child per week.

Toxicology Teaching

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the teaching of toxicology to medical students. [120499]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 2 May 2000]: Individual university medical schools determine their own undergraduate medical curricula in the light of the recommendations from the General Medical Council's (GMC) Education Committee, which has the statutory responsibility to determine the extent of knowledge and skill required for the granting of primary medical qualifications in the UK. The Committee's most recent recommendations were published in the 1993 report "Tomorrow's Doctors".

University medical schools are in the process of implementing the recommendations contained in the report and the GMC is monitoring progress.

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EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Sure Start

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when the Sure Start Plus scheme will start; and if he will make a statement. [120120]

Yvette Cooper: I announced the 20 Sure Start Plus pilot areas on 1 March 2000. Further guidance on Sure Start Plus will be issued in early summer inviting programmes to draw up plans for implementation in the autumn.

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when the next round of applications for Sure Start schemes will be announced. [120121]

Yvette Cooper: Sure Start is committed to establishing at least 250 local Sure Start programmes in areas of greatest need by the end of 2001-02. Of these, 121 have already been announced. A further round will be announced in the summer.

Teachers (Early Retirement)

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many teachers took early retirement in (a) 1970, (b) 1980 and (c) 1999; if he will list the most frequently cited reasons for taking early retirement; and what was the cost to public funds of granting such early retirement. [119770]

Ms Estelle Morris: Early retirement falls into two categories: ill-health and premature retirement. Full-time teachers taking early retirement from the maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special sector in England in 1980, 1990, 1997 and 1999 are as follows:

Calendar yearIll-healthPrematureTotal
19801,0003,7004,700
19904,0008,10012,100
19974,40014,10018,500
19992,1002,7004,700

Note:

Totals may not add to component parts because of rounding


Retirement data are not available for 1970; premature retirement was not introduced until 1977. The number of teachers taking ill-health and premature retirement was much higher during the 1990s than in previous years. The conditions for awarding an ill-health or premature retirement were changed during 1997 and as a result the numbers of early retirements had fallen by 1999.

Premature retirement can be awarded because of redundancy or employer efficiency gains; ill-health retirement includes reasons of injury or illness (physical and mental).

The capitalised additional cost of an ill-health retirement was recently estimated to be on average in the order of £50,000-£60,000 when compared with preserved benefits if the individual had simply resigned. The figure for premature retirements is estimated to be in the order of £30,000-£40,000.

School Leavers

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many pupils who left

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school in (a) 1970, (b) 1980 and (c) 1999 with no educational qualifications came from (i) intact and (ii) broken families. [120659]

Ms Estelle Morris: The numbers of pupils in England with no educational qualifications, either by the end of their final year of compulsory schooling or when they left school, are shown in the table. Data on pupils' family background are not collected.

Numbers and proportion of pupils(24) with no educational qualifications in England

Total pupils (24)Total with no qualificationsProportion with no qualification
(Thousand)(Thousand)(Percentage)
1970614.2275.945
1980750.791.412
1999581.035.06

(24) The figures for 1970 and 1980 are based on the numbers of school leavers of any age and the numbers of those leavers that had no qualifications. The figures for 1999 are based on pupils in their final year of compulsory schooling, whether they left school or not.


New Deal

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what (i) amount and (ii) percentage of the proceeds of the windfall tax allocated in the 1999 Budget to (a) the New Deal for 18 to 24-year-olds, (b) the New Deal for the long-term unemployed, (c) the New Deal for lone parents and (d) the New Deal for the

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sick and disabled, for expenditure during the 1999-2000 financial year were (1) spent during that year and (2) carried forward for future years, indicating the reasons for any underspend. [120411]

Mr. Blunkett: The information requested will not be available until June when outturn expenditure is confirmed and agreement reached with the Treasury on amounts to be carried forward. Table 4.1 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report March 2000 sets out the latest published allocations for 1999-2000.

Racial Discrimination

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment on how many occasions in the past 10 years the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has used his powers to give directions under sections (a) 496 and (b) 497 of the Education Act 1996 (i) in relation to individual complaints of racial discrimination in education referred under section 57(5) of the Race Relations Act 1976, (ii) following findings of unlawful discrimination in a formal investigation by the Commission for Racial Equality and (iii) to enforce the general duty under section 19(1) of the Race Relations Act 1976. [120640]

Jacqui Smith: In 1999-2000, 33 complaints of racial discrimination in education were received by the Department. None of these were referred to the Secretary of State. Information for previous years is not held centrally and could not be obtained except at disproportionate cost.