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Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will meet representatives of the Lancashire Cricket Board to discuss the regulations relating to the employment of overseas professionals in league cricket. 
Ms Hodge: Due to diary commitments, I am unable to meet representatives from the Board. I have arranged for representatives from the Department's Overseas Labour Service to contact the Board to discuss their concerns.
Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what representations he has received on the employment of overseas professionals in league cricket; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Hodge: I have received a number of letters from Members of Parliament whose constituencies are in Lancashire. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for work permit matters and I have given detailed replies explaining the current criteria for the employment of overseas cricketers which were agreed after consultation with the cricketing governing bodies who are responsible for the development of the game in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what regulations have been introduced in the past five years which change the existing arrangements whereby overseas professionals can be employed in league cricket; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Hodge: In 1993 criteria were introduced which required an overseas cricketer to have played in at least one first class match, as defined by the International Cricket Council (ICC), to qualify for issue of a work permit to play in league cricket.
This requirement remained until August 1998 when, after consultations with the English and Wales Cricket Board, the Scottish Cricket Union, and representatives of the League Cricket Conference, the criteria were changed. In order to qualify for a permit a player must have played
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in a minimum of one test match for his country, or at least three one-day internationals, or at least five first class matches, as defined by the ICC. It was also decided that discretion would be exercised when considering applications for former test match players who did not meet this criteria.
Ms Estelle Morris: The National Primary Trust is developing Advanced Maths Centres to enable gifted pupils to take GCSE Mathematics in Year 6, following an out of school hours learning programme. The Trust is currently negotiating with 23 Excellence in Cities partnerships with a view to establishing 10 to 15 centres. Each would cater initially for up to 40 pupils from schools within Excellence in Cities areas. This initial cohort would take GCSE examinations in Summer 2001.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what additional resources, following the recent Budget, he has allocated to local education authorities to support peripatetic teachers of the deaf and blind who support children in mainstream classes. 
Ms Estelle Morris: All schools will be free to use the £290 million extra funding announced in the budget as they see fit. It will therefore be open to them to allocate some of the extra funding to employ peripatetic teachers of the deaf and blind, where they have children who would benefit from such support. Funding is also available under Standards Fund grant 18 to support the training and development of teachers of deaf and blind pupils.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the cost of (a) preparation, publication and printing and (b) postage and distribution of "News Update" from his Department; how many copies have been printed; and to whom they have been distributed, in each year since it commenced publication. 
Mr. Wicks: "News Update" is produced five times a year. Production costs on average £1,300 per issue, including printing. The print run is 3,500 per issue. Since the first issue in November 1998, the total production costs have been £11,700.
"News Update" is distributed to MPs, opposition front-bench spokespersons in the House of Lords, Local Education Authority Chairs and Chief Executives, Trade Union General Secretaries, TEC Chief Executives and internally to senior staff at the DfEE and the Employment Service. Much of the distribution is through the DfEE's internal mail network without quantifiable cost. External postage amounts to about £80 per issue.
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Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what institutions are currently designated under section 28 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992; and which of these have (a) been designated and (b) have had their designation withdrawn during the last three years. 
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 8 May 2000]: There are currently 32 designated colleges under section 28 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. Of these, 19 are designated under subsection 28(2)(a) as former voluntary aided schools and the remaining 13 colleges were designated under subsections 28(2)(b) and 28(2)(c) and are generally referred to as "specialist designated".
There have been no new designations since the establishment of the FE sector on 1 April 1993. Three designated colleges have merged since then with other colleges: St. Phillip's Roman Catholic Sixth Form College (now part of South Birmingham College) on 31 August 1995; National Sea Training College (now part of North West Kent College of Technology) on 25 October 1996; and De La Salle College (now part of Pendleton College) on 7 February 1997.
Cardinal Newman College, Preston
Carmel College, St. Helens
Christ the King Sixth Form College, Lewisham
College of Richard Collyer in Horsham, Horsham
King Edward VI College, Nuneaton
King Edward VI College, Stourbridge
Loreto College, Manchester
Ludlow College, Ludlow
Notre Dame Sixth Form College, Leeds
St. Brendan's Sixth Form College, Bristol
St. Charles Catholic Sixth Form College, London
St. Dominic's Sixth Form College, Harrow-on-the-Hill
St. Francis Xavier Sixth Form College, London
St. John Rigby Roman Catholic Sixth Form College, Wigan
St. Mary's College, Blackburn
St. Mary's RC Sixth Form College, Middlesbrough
Xaverian College, Manchester
City Literary Institute, London
Cooperative College, Loughborough
Cordwainers College, Hackney
Fircroft College of Adult Education, Selly Oak
Hillcroft College, Surbiton
Marine Society College of the Sea, London
Mary Ward Centre, London
Morley College, London
Northern College for Residential Adult Education, Barnsley
Plater College, Oxford
Ruskin College, Oxford
Worker's Educational Association, London
9 May 2000 : Column: 352W
|Financial year||Planned places||Extra funded places (or reduction)|
(10) Includes full and part-time, undergraduate and postgraduate students on the basis of full-time equivalents (FTEs). Places shown are those funded through the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) or the Teacher Training Agency (TTA), and exclude those in further education colleges funded by the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC).
(11) 1996 plans included an additional 28,000 mainstreamed continuing education places, which had previously not been funded.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the cost of (a) free school meals and (b) clothing grants and other subsidies for children attending maintained schools in (i) 1970, (ii) 1980 and (iii) 1999; and if he will estimate how many children in receipt of such benefits came from broken homes. 
Jacqui Smith: The Department does not collect this information. However, using data on school meals take-up, we estimate that the cost of providing free school meals in England in the 1999-2000 financial year was over £300 million. The Department did not collect statistics on the take-up of free school meals before 1989, so we cannot estimate their cost in 1970 and 1980. Under education legislation, local education authorities and schools must offer free school meals to those pupils whose parents receive income support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance. We do not collect data on the numbers of eligible pupils from broken homes.
Local education authorities have discretionary powers to offer clothing grants and other miscellaneous subsidies to children in cases of hardship. It is for each authority to set its own eligibility criteria for grant, in the light of local needs and circumstances. The Department does not collect data on these grants.
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