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Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many of the written parliamentary questions tabled to his Department between 19 October 1999 and 20 April have not received substantive answers, excluding those not answered citing disproportionate cost, stating that the information is (a) not available, (b) not held centrally, (c) not held in the form requested and (d) citing commercial or other confidentiality. 
Mr. Wills [holding answer 20 July 2000]: Of replies to parliamentary questions tabled to the Department during the period citing commercial or other confidentiality, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 29 June 2000, Official Report, column 575W.
In addition, five replies stated that the information was not available, 27 replies stated that information was not held centrally and 20 replies stated that the information was not held in the form requested.
Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what discussions he has had with travel companies about the differential costs of holidays that encourage holiday absences in schools. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 20 July 2000]: We are engaged in on-going discussions with the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) to see what we can do together to reduce the number of family holidays taken during term time.
As a result of earlier discussions, ABTA wrote to all its members on 15 December 1999, asking them to remind parents of the implications of taking holidays in term time. ABTA members were also requested to remind parents of the importance of discussing their plans with the school before making any firm commitment.
Our recent guidance to all schools, "Social Inclusion: Pupil Support" underlines this approach. The guidance makes clear that while parents should not normally take children out of school for holidays, each request for absence should be considered individually, taking into account factors such as the time of the year proposed for the holiday and the overall attendance pattern of the pupil.
We will continue to talk to ABTA about the issue of family holidays during school term time, and to get the message across to parents that they must consider the impact of absence from school during term time on children's education.
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Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what money has been provided for Public-Private Partnership initiatives to all South West local education authorities in each of the last two years. 
Jacqui Smith: In 1998-99, local education authorities in the South West bid successfully for a total of £4.12 million New Deal for Schools funding to support Public-Private Partnerships. In 1999-2000, South West local education authorities received £3.28 million from the same source for Public-Private Partnerships, plus £14.2 million in PFI credits for a schools Private Finance Initiative scheme.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list those schools that have received money for Public-Private Partnership initiatives in each of the last two years. 
Jacqui Smith: 120 and twenty schools in 1998-99, and 230 schools in 1999-2000, are benefiting from projects supported by the Private Finance Initiative. In addition, we are supporting a number of Public-Private Partnership schemes through the New Deal for Schools, in which the following schools are benefiting:
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out the terms of contract for external assessors under the teachers' performance- related pay scheme, with particular reference to the length of term of such contracts; and what additional costs will be incurred as a result of the High Court judgment of 14 July. 
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Ms Estelle Morris: Cambridge Education Associates (CEA) have been contracted by DfEE to recruit, deploy and quality assure external assessors. In turn CEA contract with individuals to work as threshold assessors. The terms of this contract are a matter between the individual and CEA. The length of the contract depends on the individual assessor's availability to work for CEA. It is not yet clear what, if any, additional costs will be incurred as a result of the High Court Judgment of the 14 July.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of the costs which will be incurred if the School Teachers' Pay Review Body recommends changes to the standards set for teachers to meet the threshold requirements under performance-related pay and all applications have to be re-submitted. 
Ms Estelle Morris: The Department has asked the School Teacher Review Body to start the process of consulting formally on the threshold standards. At this time it is not possible to say whether the Review Body will recommend any changes. Therefore the Department cannot estimate the costs that will be incurred at this stage.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what advice he received prior to the recent court ruling on teachers' performance-related pay concerning how the (a) determination and (b) imposition of threshold standards under the teachers' performance- related pay scheme should be dealt with, with particular reference to his statutory powers. 
Ms Estelle Morris: Ofsted intends to publish reports on those Education Action Zones which are formally inspected. A report on the Education Action Zones in Sheffield will be published if these zones are selected for inspection.
Mr. Blunkett: In a first for executive agencies, I have set the Employment Service a customer service target for employers. ES is committed to working closely with employers to help them to fill their vacancies and in doing so encourage them to open up more opportunities to disadvantaged jobseekers. The setting of such a target reinforces the ES's commitment to achieving the highest standards of customer service. In addition to the challenging goals that I have already announced, the setting of a stretching but realistic target level for employer service will help the ES to achieve the high level of performance that I expect of it in 2000-01.
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21 Jul 2000 : Column: 335W
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