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New Deal (Disabled People)

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much has been allocated in the current financial year on developing the New Deal for Disabled People; how many people will benefit from

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the scheme (a) nationally, (b) on Teesside and (c) in the constituency of Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East; and if he will make a statement. [128637]

Ms Hodge: For 2000-01, £640,000 has been allocated to my Department to develop the New Deal for Disabled People. To date the pilot phase has consisted of 24 Innovative Schemes and a Personal Adviser Service in 12 areas, covering around a quarter of a million people on Incapacity Benefit, and including South Tyneside in the North-East. Since autumn 1998 (when the pilots began) to the end of March 2000, the latest figures available, nearly £3 million had been spent on the Innovative Schemes and over £10 million on the 12 Personal Adviser pilot areas. During the same period 2,755 people had found jobs as a result of the pilots (3,454 to the end of May 2000). Together with colleagues at the Department of Social Security we are currently considering lessons learned from the pilot and hope to make an announcement in the near future about our plans for national extension.

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many people with more than one disability have joined the New Deal for the Disabled scheme. [131519]

Ms Hodge: The information is not available in the precise form requested. We have been piloting the New Deal for Disabled People (NDDP) since autumn 1998. People coming forward to date have a wide range of disabilities: many have more than one disability. The extra help and support provided takes account of the individual needs of each person who volunteers to take part in the NDDP pilots. The latest figures, to the end of May, show that 12,199 disabled people on Incapacity Benefits have joined the programme so far by participating in the 24 innovative schemes or by drawing up an agreed work-focused action plan with a personal adviser in 12 NDDP pilot areas. I am pleased to say that 3,454 people have found jobs as a result.

After-school Clubs

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what funding is available to support the training of play workers in after-school clubs. [128745]

Ms Hodge: It is not possible to identify funding which is specifically available for the training of play workers. However, we have allocated £18 million in England to Training and Enterprise Councils between 1998-99 and 2000-01 to support the training needs of the child care workforce, including playworkers. Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships also spend a proportion of their budget on training. Further Education Colleges also spent £93.32 million on child care related training in 1998-99. This is in addition to the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) budget for the UK of £220 million from 1999-2003 to fund a significant expansion in out of school provision. Training is an acceptable element in bids made to NOF for support under the programme.

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Nursery Nurses

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many nursery nurses are employed in schools in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement on their future role. [129508]

Ms Hodge: The information is not available in the form requested. Figures are not collected for schools--other than nursery and primary schools--or private and voluntary providers. Information on the overall numbers of full-time equivalent nursery nurses employed in maintained nursery and primary schools is shown in the table, which shows that the number of full-time equivalent nursery nurses has increased by more than 3,000, or 16 per cent., since January 1997.

Number of full-time equivalent Nursery Nurses(1) in Maintained Nursery and Primary Schools in England: 1997 to 2000(1)

Position as at JanuaryNumber

(1) Figures relate to staff who hold NNEB certificate or equivalent but exclude persons who are employed as unqualified teachers. Excludes unqualified persons.

(1) Provisional


Annual Schools' Census

We fully recognise the tremendous contribution that well-managed and well-trained support staff, such as qualified nursery nurses, can make. That is why we are implementing a range of measures to increase the availability of such support. Our programme includes:

For information on teaching assistants in Wales, I refer the hon. Member to the Secretary of State for Wales.

Sex Education

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what action the Government have taken to encourage sexual education for young people outside secondary schools. [130288]

Jacqui Smith: Across Whitehall there are a number of programmes which address health education for young people outside secondary schools. My Department, for instance, supports the work of some 80 national voluntary youth organisations through a scheme of grants worth

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£12 million over the three years 1999-2002. These grants promote the provision of planned programmes of informal personal and social education for young people through a diverse range of projects, many of which address health education issues.

For those young people in secondary schools, we recently published our Sex and Relationship Education guidance which sets out how schools can work in partnership with members of the wider community when planning and delivering sex and relationship education. The Department of Health will be issuing guidance to health authorities to make it clear that any materials they develop for use in schools must be in line with the DfEE guidance.

Computers for Teachers

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many and what proportion of the teachers who applied for the Computers for Teachers scheme (a) received repayments within one month of the application, (b) are awaiting partial repayments and (c) are awaiting full repayments. [130775]

Mr. Wills: Owing to the popularity of the scheme, a backlog in making payments developed. This meant that 1,232 teachers received their computer subsidies within one month of the application. All but 217 valid claims have now been settled in full, and a further 346 incomplete applications have been received. Those involved have been contacted for further details.

In recognition of inconvenience that may have been caused, a payment of £15 will be made to individual teachers where more than 30 days has elapsed between receipt of a valid application and payment or investigation of the claim.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what preparations his Department has made to ensure that data protection regulations are adhered to in the administration of the Computers for Teachers scheme; and if he will make a statement. [130776]

Mr. Wills: Teachers' information is stored on a secure database designed solely for the purpose of recording eligibility information and calculating Computers for Teachers subsidies and associated audit activities. All personal information relating to teachers' applications will be removed from the database, when the administration of the scheme is concluded.

Economic Activity Rates

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will estimate, on the basis of the Labour Force Survey, the economic activity rates for (a) men and (b) women in each region and nation with (i) no long-term health problems, (ii) long-term health problems, (iii) long-term musculo-skeletal problems, (iv) chest problems, (v) heart problems, (vi) mental illnesses and (vii) learning difficulties. [130801]

Ms Jowell [holding answer 17 July 2000]: The economic activity rates for men and women with and without long-term health problems, in each region and nation in the UK are presented in Table 1.

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Table 1: Economic activity rates by gender, region and presence or absence of long-term health problems

No long-term health problem Long-term health problem(1)
North East90.576.554.648.5
North West92.278.862.551.2
Yorkshire and Humberside90.479.165.954.9
East Midlands92.379.668.061.2
West Midlands90.777.464.957.9
South East93.
South West92.281.072.763.9
Northern Ireland87.067.950.140.5
Total UK91.

(1) Long-term health problem refers to a problem lasting more than 12 months

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Table 2 presents a breakdown of the figures given in Table 1, by the following types of long-term health problem: musculo-skeletal, chest problems, and heart problems.

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Table 2: Economic activity rates by gender, region and types of long-term health problem

Problems connected with arms, hands, legs, feet, back or neck(1) Chest or breathing problems, asthma, bronchitis Heart, blood pressure or blood circulation problems
North East 43.242.385.559.945.265.8
North West61.846.479.566.857.556.9
Yorkshire and Humberside67.250.778.663.564.255.2
East Midlands68.456.381.774.169.672.7
West Midlands63.553.876.571.663.360.0
South East72.166.787.677.072.069.9
South West71.461.684.871.668.564.2
Northern Ireland54.128.061.7(1)--(1)--(1)--
Total UK62.550.880.069.162.862.0

(1) The labour force survey does not have a classification for musculo-skeletal problems. This category presented covers problems or disabilities connected with arms or hands, legs or feet, back or neck (including arthritis and rheumatism).

(1) Number of cases is too few to be reliable so the estimate is not shown.

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Figures for the incidence of mental illness and learning difficulties, when broken down by region are mainly less than 10,000 cases, which is below the publication threshold for data from the Labour Force Survey. Figures below this level are unreliable; therefore, only national estimates can be given, and these are presented in Table 3.

Table 3: Economic activity rates by gender and mental illness and learning difficulties in the UK

Total UK
Mental illness(1)
Learning difficulties(1)

(1) Mental illness, phobias, panics or other nervous disorders, depression, bad nerves or anxiety.

(1) Severe or specific learning difficulties.


All figures taken from the Labour Force Survey (Spring 2000, UK).

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