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Pig Industry

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on average incomes in the pig industry in each of the past three years. [134788]

Ms Quin: The table shows the average Net Farm Income of full-time specialist pig farm businesses in England for each of the past three years. Farm income estimates for 1999-2000 will be available early in 2001.

Average income of full time specialist pig farms in England
Average £/farm

YearNet Farm Income


Farm Business Survey

A rise in the price of pig meat since June 2000 will improve the situation of the pig sector in 2000-01.

Animal Husbandry

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what progress his Department has made on animal husbandry issues following the report of the Working Party into the role of cattle husbandry in the development of a sustainable policy to control M bovine infection in cattle; [133588]

Ms Quin [holding answer 23 October 2000]: The Husbandry Panel report was published on 16 May this year. The Government welcomed the report and are considering its recommendations. We have sought the views of both the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB chaired by John Bourne and the TB Forum. The ISG's terms of reference provide for advising the Government, as required, on any aspect of its strategy to control TB in cattle. The TB Forum established a sub-group of its members to look at husbandry and bio-security issues

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with regard to cattle TB. This sub-group reported to the Forum's October meeting. The Government expect to publish its response to the Husbandry Panel report within the next few weeks.


Employment Zones

15. Ms Rosie Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the employment zone initiative. [132600]

Ms Jowell: The 15 Employment Zones have made a very good start. We have paid contractors for 1,061 long-term unemployed people having started in jobs up to the end of August. Latest information from our contractors suggests that over 2,000 long-term unemployed people have now been placed into work.

Labour Market Access

16. Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the measures required to tackle labour market access for the most disadvantaged groups; and what policies are in place to address this situation. [132601]

Ms Hodge: Our Welfare to Work and Lifelong Learning strategies are about helping people, including those at greatest disadvantage, get and keep jobs. In designing and evaluating these policies, we take careful account of their impact on different groups in society. Our New Deals already target young people, the long-term unemployed, older workers, lone parents and disabled people. Extra help is available for those with additional disadvantages. In addition, Employment Zones and Action Teams for Jobs target those in disadvantaged communities.

Islington Arts and Media School

17. Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much fresh start finance has been provided to Islington Arts and Media school. [132603]

Ms Estelle Morris: To date, approximately £3.15 million has been spent or committed on building work at the school since its Fresh Start in September 1999. The Department is currently considering a bid for the next phase of this improvement work. The school will also benefit from the extra revenue funding available to all Fresh Start schools, to support the progress the school is now making in raising standards.

Dance and Drama Scholarships

18. Mr. Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the total number is of dance and drama scholarships to be made available this year. [132604]

Mr. Wicks: The number of Dance and Drama Awards available from September 2000 is 1,624. Of these 951 students have awards that are funded through the further education route. The awards for the remaining 673 students are funded through the higher education route.

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These awards did not exist under the previous administration. We have successfully replaced the lottery which existed in the past, putting talent before postcodes.

Instead of paying fees of up to £8,000, award-winners only pay at most £1,050, in line with university students. Students with awards are also eligible for means tested help with their living and learning costs.

Direct Grants

19. Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what direct grants are available from central Government for consolidating schools with a number of sites by rebuilding them on a single site; what the procedures are for applying for such funding; and what the time scale is for each type of grant. [132605]

Jacqui Smith: A number of funding routes will be available from 2001-02, which could be used for this purpose. Two routes may be best suited. For Voluntary Aided schools, proposals for such grant could have formed part of their capital funding applications to the Department, made via local authorities, by 30 September. Local authorities may also want to put in proposals for such projects, probably funded by borrowing approvals, under the Targeted Capital Fund, by 15 January. Overall capital expenditure plans for 2001-02 are £2.1 billion, compared with the £683 million a year spent under the previous administration in 1996-97.

Kingsbridge Community College is to receive £2.2 million for 2001-02, by means of an advance allocation of likely formula funding for condition for 2001-02.

Direct Grants (Schools)

20. Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much money will be paid in direct grants to schools over the next three years. [132606]

Ms Estelle Morris: It is estimated that schools will be paid almost £1.7 billion in direct grants over the next three years. £545 million in 2001-02, with year-on-year increases of 2.75 per cent. in each of the following two years. Since 1997, funding per pupil has increased by over £300 per pupil (to some £3,100 per pupil this year). Under the last Government, funding per pupil fell by £60 in real terms between 1994-95 and 1997-98. There will be further increases in funding following the year 2000 spending review: a further £370 per pupil over the three-year period, taking the total increase to nearly £700 between 1997-98 and 2003-04.

Work-life Balance

21. Ms Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what help is being offered to employers to develop policies which encourage a balance between work and life. [132608]

Ms Hodge: The work-life balance campaign aims to increase employers' awareness and take-up of work-life balance policies.

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With an additional boost of nearly £1 million, we have increased the Challenge Fund to £3.2 million over three years. This is providing free advice to employers to bring benefits to their business and allow their employees to enjoy a better work-life balance.

We are working in partnership with Employers for Work-Life Balance (an independent group of 22 employers) to promote best practice. We are publishing a series of good practice guides giving employers practical advice.

Physical Education

22. Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will take steps to ensure that all schools comply with the minimum requirement of two hours physical education each week for all pupils. [132610]

Jacqui Smith: We have set a clear aspiration that all schools should provide two hours of physical activity a week. We are promoting this through a number of developments supported by a massive investment in sport in schools. The Prime Minister announced in September that £750 million would be invested in schools sport facilities as part of a £1 billion investment. We are working to inspire schools and partners in the sports sector to deliver the two hours aspiration through the Sports Strategy. Recent research confirms that the most popular out-of-school hours learning activity was participating in sport. This is particularly encouraging. Additionally, the Teacher Training Agency has allocated an indicative target of 399 primary PE Initial Teacher Training places to providers for the academic year 2000-01. This represents 3 per cent. of the overall primary target of 13,100 and shows a commitment to the recruitment of specialist PE teachers in primary schools.

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