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Dudley Schools

Mr. Pearson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many schools in (a) Dudley, South and (b) Dudley Metropolitan borough have extra teachers as a result of the Government's class size initiative. [135863]

Ms Estelle Morris: The Government are well on track to deliver their infant class size pledge. £620 million is available to support the pledge, and allocations to Dudley

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LEA so far amount to some £1.75 million. This has enabled the authority to provide additional infant teachers in 24 schools in the borough, of which 10 are to schools in the Dudley, South constituency. It has also enabled the authority to reduce the number of pupils in infant classes of over 30 pupils in September 2000 to 96 (1.1 per cent.), from 739 (7.7 per cent.) in September 1999. The figure in January 1998 was 2,873 (27 per cent.).

Mr. Pearson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many classroom assistants there are in (a) Dudley, South and (b) Dudley Metropolitan borough; and what the figure was in May 1997. [135864]

Ms Estelle Morris: The available information is shown in the following table.

The number of full-time educational support staff in maintained schools in Dudley, South parliamentary constituency has increased by 27 per cent. since January 1997. In Dudley local education authority area the equivalent percentage increase is 42 per cent. The Government will increase by 20,000 the number of full-time equivalent support staff working in primary and secondary schools in England by 2002.

Information on educational support staff has recently been published in a statistical volume "Statistics of Education--Schools in England 2000" a copy of which is available from the Library, or alternatively can be accessed on the Department's statistical website

Full-time equivalent numbers of educational support staff(9) in maintained schools in the parliamentary constituency area of Dudley, South: 1997-2000 Position as at January

Pupil Referral units4445

(9) Includes both full-time and the full-time equivalent of part-time non-teaching staff

Full-time equivalent numbers of educational support staff(10) in maintained schools in the local education authority area of Dudley Metropolitan borough: 1997-2000
Position as at January

Pupil Referral units4445

(10) Includes both full-time and the full-time equivalent of part-time non-teaching staff

Specialist Schools

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the moratorium on specialist schools in cases where local education authorities are projected to have reached

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a level of 30 per cent. of pupils in such schools, with particular reference to its duration and conditions attached. [135924]

Ms Estelle Morris: We want as many pupils as possible to benefit from the network of technology, language, sports and arts colleges around the country and that is why we are expanding the programme to 1,000 schools by 2004. To ensure that all parts of the country, particularly where there are few specialist schools, get a fair distribution of specialist school resources, we do not at present want to receive further applications from schools in local education authorities where 30 per cent. or more of their pupils attend specialist schools. This is not a permanent measure. It will apply only until we achieve a fairer spread of specialist schools in other parts of the country and shall be reviewed after the spring 2001 specialist school competition. We have also said that we shall look sympathetically at exceptional circumstances where a school's application plans are already well advanced and where it has raised the required sponsorship. In two such cases, we have agreed to receive applications from Chenderit and Kingsbrook Schools in Northamptonshire. We will consider these applications in the same way as all other applications received against the published criteria, which include location factors such as distance to the nearest existing specialist school.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many specialist schools have been designated in each year since the inception of the scheme; and what has been the cost to public funds in each of those years. [135936]

Ms Estelle Morris: The number of schools designated from each September since the specialist schools programme was introduced and the related cost in each of those years is given in the table:

YearNumber of designations Financial yearProgramme cost (£ million)
1994 491994-958

(11) Estimated outturn


Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what procedures exist in his Department for a civil servant to report actions which (a) are illegal, improper, or unethical, (b) are in breach of constitutional convention or a professional code, (c) may involve possible maladministration and (d) are otherwise inconsistent with the Civil Service Code. [136016]

Mr. Wills: DfEE whistleblowing procedures were launched in March 2000. Under these procedures staff are able to report suspected malpractice which breaches the Civil Service Code, legal or ethical standards, and threatens the interests or safety of others (such as staff and the public) and the DFEE itself. They provide a confidential internal channel for raising and dealing with malpractice and offer protection to staff who raise concerns in good faith.

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Single Currency

Q12. Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister what the wording of the question in any future referendum on the United Kingdom joining the single European currency will be. [133678]

The Prime Minister: The determining factor underpinning any Government decision on membership of the single currency is whether the economic case for the UK joining is clear and unambiguous. Because of the magnitude of the decision, the Government believe that, whenever a decision is taken by Government, it should be put to a referendum of the British people. The question asked in any referendum will need to be considered as part of the legislation providing for the referendum to be held.

Mr. Bradshaw: To ask the Prime Minister which part of Government is responsible for assessing whether membership of the single European currency would be in Britain's overall economic interest. [135858]

The Prime Minister: The Treasury will make another assessment of the five economic tests early in the next Parliament.


Q15. Mr. Casale: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to visit Wimbledon. [133681]

The Prime Minister: I have no immediate plans to do so.

Definition of Superpower and Superstate

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister what his definition is of (a) a superpower and (b) a superstate, including the (i) differences between them and (ii) their common features. [135009]

The Prime Minister: I said in my speech in Warsaw on 6 October:

I also said:

That is what I mean by creating a superpower not a superstate.

Kyoto Mechanisms Office

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the planned level of funding and personnel for the Kyoto Mechanisms Office. [135446]

The Prime Minister: The Government have not yet decided exactly what resources will be needed. This will depend, in part, on how quickly international projects get under way. This will be influenced by the meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (in

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The Hague in November), which will develop the rules for the Kyoto mechanisms. A final decision will be taken after this meeting.

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