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Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he plans to adopt the Better Regulation Task Force recommendation of a minimum of three months consultation before regulations are laid before Parliament. [121338]

Mr. Byers: We are presently considering the Task Force's recommendations.

Part-time Work Directive

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will publish guidance on the part-time work directive. [121331]

9 May 2000 : Column: 342W

Mr. Byers: Guidance on the part-time work directive has already been published.

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to widen the scope of the part-time work directive. [121330]

Mr. Byers: Our proposals were laid before Parliament on 3 May and we have no plans to widen their scope.

Fixed-term Contracts

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he plans to consult on fixed-term contracts. [121332]

Mr. Byers: The fixed-term work directive was agreed on 28 June 1999 and is due to be implemented in the UK by 10 July 2001. The Government plan to consult on their proposals in order to meet this deadline.

Small Business Council

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he will list the business qualifications and experience required for the post of Chairman of the Small Business Council; [121334]

Mr. Byers: I refer to the DTI news release of 7 March in which my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Small Business and E-Commerce announced the appointment of William Sargent as the first Chair of the Small Business Council and made clear that his experience makes him well suited for the post.


Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what communications he received about the BNFL Safety Action Plan between 18 February and 18 April from British Nuclear Fuels. [120042]

Mrs. Liddell: I did not receive communications from BNFL on their proposed responses to the HSE reports between 18 February and 18 April.

Dr. Jack Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what appointments of non- executive directors to the Board of British Nuclear Fuels Limited have not been made under the terms of the Code and Guidance of the Commissioner for Public Appointments; and if he will make a statement. [115995]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 27 March 2000]: I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer I gave to him on 20 March 2000, Official Report, column 412W. I am advised that there is one matter concerning the change of status from executive to non-executive director of one director, currently on a short-term appointment, about which my officials are in contact with the Office of the Commissioner of Public Appointments. Unrelated to that matter, however, the company has announced that the director concerned will be leaving the Board at the end of August upon expiry of the term of his appointment.

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Magistrates Courts

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the costs of administering the magistrates courts in England and Wales in each year from 1995 to 1999. [R] [121024]

Jane Kennedy: The gross revenue costs of administering the magistrates courts are as follows:

Year£ million

(4) Projected



Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has to assess the effectiveness of provision of long-term development aid channelled through non-governmental organisations to countries in conflict. [120764]

Mr. Foulkes: None.


"Ingredients for Success"

Mr. Robert Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list those who responded to the consultation exercise, "Ingredients for Success". [119464]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 20 April 2000]: We received and took into account 181 representations in response to "Ingredients for Success". About a quarter of the responses came from nutritionists, about a fifth from local education authorities, and about a further fifth from representative and professional bodies. The remainder came from caterers, school staff, food manufacturers and suppliers, and others (charities and individuals). I will write to the hon. Member with a summary of responses, together with a list of those who responded.


Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when the hon. Member for West Derbyshire can expect to receive a reply to the letter he sent on 21 February about Meadows Primary School. [120679]

Ms Hodge: A reply was sent to the hon. Member on 27 March 2000.

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Specialist Staff

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the provision of specialist staff through Ethnic Minority and Travellers Educational Achievement Grant funding. [121253]

Jacqui Smith: The Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Grant (EMTAG) is designed to raise standards for those ethnic minority and traveller pupils at risk of under-achieving and to meet the particular needs of pupils for whom English is an additional language.

We are making available more money than ever before as part of our drive to raise the academic achievements of those ethnic minority groups at risk of under-achieving. For 2000-01, £162.5 million will be available to local education authorities and schools to improve the attainment of ethnic minority, traveller and refugee pupils--an increase of 7 per cent. on the amount available for these purposes in 1999-2000.

A key element of the grant programme is that the funding should largely go direct to schools, so that head teachers can use it where it is most needed--to employ more teachers and teaching assistants and to work with their local communities. Specialist teachers, bilingual assistants and other classroom assistants supported through the grant have a vital role to play in raising standards for ethnic minority pupils. We expect that, depending on local needs, a large proportion of the grant will be spent on teachers and classroom assistants. As a requirement of the grant, local education authorities are required to provide information about their plans for spending the grant and details of actual expenditure. We will also monitor the numbers of specialist staff employed by EMTAG through an independent evaluation of the grant.

Computers for Teachers Initiative

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many teachers have received computers as a result of his Computers for Teachers initiative. [121252]

Mr. Wills: The deadline for teachers' purchase of computers under this scheme was 30 April 2000. To date, some 15,000 applications for subsidy have been received following purchase of computers by teachers. These are being processed, and more are expected. A final figure will be published later this year.

Grant-maintained Schools

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 2 May 2000, Official Report, column 92W, what was the pupil:teacher ratio in (a) former grant-maintained primary schools and (b) former grant-maintained secondary schools in each of the last five years. [121270]

Ms Estelle Morris: The available information on pupil:teacher ratios in maintained primary and secondary schools is shown in the following table.

The Department is currently collecting information on pupil:teacher ratios in all schools for January 2000. Provisional national estimates for maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools were published in

9 May 2000 : Column: 345W

Statistical First Release "Pupil: Teacher ratios in maintained schools in England (14/2000)" on 12 April 2000, a copy of which is available from the Library. Final data will be published in a statistical volume in September.

Pupil:teacher ratios in maintained primary and secondary schools:
1995-99--Position as at January England

YearNumber of schoolsFull-time equivalent pupils (6)Full-time equivalent qualified teachers (7) Pupil Teacher ratio (8)
All maintained primary schools (5)
All maintained secondary schools (5)
Grant-maintained primary schools
Grant maintained secondary schools

(5) Includes local education authority (LEA) maintained and grant-maintained schools.

(6) Includes all full-time pupils and full-time equivalent of part time pupils (each part-time pupil is treated as 0.5 full-time equivalents).

(7) Includes all full-time qualified teachers and full-time equivalent of part time qualified teachers (the directed hours of part-time teachers are converted to full-time equivalent teacher numbers by dividing by 32.5)

(8) The Pupil: Teacher ratio relates the full-time equivalent number of pupils to the full-time equivalent number of qualified teachers.

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