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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list by UK diplomatic mission the sums disbursed on (a) British and (b) Commonwealth war memorials in (i) 1998 and (ii) 1999. 
Mr. Hain: No funds were disbursed by UK diplomatic missions on British and Commonwealth war memorials during 1998 and 1999.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what (a) ministerial and (b) official representation is planned at the 14 Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers to be held at Halifax, Nova Scotia for 27 to 30 November. 
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 26 October 2000]: The delegation is currently being finalised. It will include myself and Education Ministers from four overseas territories. The devolved Administrations will make their own decisions on possible representation. The Department for International Development also hopes to be represented at ministerial level. The Ministers will be accompanied by officials from the relevant Departments; by Sir Tim Lankester, Deputy Chair of the British Council; and by Dr. Geoffrey Caston, Chairman of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom. A number of other UK bodies and Commonwealth bodies based in the UK will also be attending, either as observers to the ministerial conference or as delegates to the parallel symposium and trade fair.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to provide funding for pre-school playgroup places for three-year- olds in Buckinghamshire. 
Ms Hodge: Details of the funding we will be making available to Buckinghamshire local education authority to fund places in 2001-02 will be announced shortly. Figures are not available for the number of places specifically funded in pre-school playgroups.
From April 2000, Buckinghamshire local education authority were allocated £144,000 to create a total of 124 new, free, part-time early education places in
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2000-01 for three-year-olds in all settings. This was increased in September 2000 by £193,000 to fund a further 250 places.
The allocation of places at a local level is the responsibility of the Buckinghamshire early years development and child care partnership. At a national level, approximately 80 per cent. of the new places made available for three-year-olds are in the private, voluntary and independent sectors.
Since May 1997, we have increased the number of early education places for three and four-year-olds nationally by 120,000. Already, all four-year-olds in Buckinghamshire have access to an early education place. By September 2004, all three-year-olds will also have that.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many letters he has received in support of Mrs. Marjorie Evans. 
Ms Estelle Morris: My Department has received 85 letters in support of Marjorie Evans.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what evidence his Department has obtained of homophobic bullying resulting from the retention of section 28. 
Jacqui Smith: Section 28 does not apply to schools, only to the activities of local education authorities.
The 1998 report "Playing it Safe", commissioned by Stonewall and the Terence Higgins Trust, and produced by the University of London Institute of Education, for the first time detailed the extent of homophobic bullying in schools.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the work of the University of Buckingham. 
Mr. Wicks: The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) carries out reviews of the effectiveness of institutional arrangements for the management of the quality and standards of academic provision in all higher education institutions that receive public funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and therefore subscribe to the Agency. The University of Buckingham is an independent university which does not receive any public funding from the HEFCE. There are, therefore, no requirements for any assessments of the work of the University of Buckingham to be undertaken by the QAA. However, the University of Buckingham is a voluntary subscriber to the QAA for academic quality audit.
An academic quality audit of the University of Buckingham was carried out by the former Higher Education Quality Council in the 1992-93 academic year, with the report being published in March 1993. The audit scheduled by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) for the autumn term 2000 has had to be
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postponed. The next academic quality audit of the University of Buckingham is not now expected to take place until 2002.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to offer teachers a stakeholder pension. 
Mr. Wicks: All teachers have access to the good quality range of benefits provided by the teachers pension scheme. Employers will not, therefore, need to offer teachers a stakeholder pension. All employers should, however, be considering whether they need to offer access to a stakeholder scheme to any of their staff to ensure that no employee is denied the opportunity to make adequate pension provision.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will offer financial support to those studying for the British Bee Keepers Association's basic exam as a vocational qualification. 
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 30 October 2000]: Vocational qualifications eligible for funding by the Further Education Funding Council are approved by the Secretary of State on the basis of advice received from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Bodies seeking recognition of their awards for such purposes should make application to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 83 Piccadilly, London W1J 8QA.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many middle schools in England have fewer than 100 pupils on roll. 
Ms Estelle Morris: Figures from the January 2000 schools census show that there were no middle schools, primary deemed or secondary deemed with less than 100 pupils. Information on middle schools by size has recently been published in the statistical volume "Statistics of Education Schools in England 2000". This is available from the Library or alternatively can be accessed on the Department's statistical website www.dfee.gov.uk/statistics.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much it has cost so far to administer the backdated winter fuel payments scheme, including the cost of the telephone helpline; and what the estimate is for the final cost of the scheme. 
Angela Eagle: The administration of winter fuel payments is a matter for Alexis Cleveland, the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. She will write to the hon. Member.
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Letter from Alexis Cleveland to Mr. David Willetts, dated 1 November 2000:
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many households in the Lewes constituency benefit from (a) the winter heating allowance, (b) the Christmas bonus to the basic state pension and (c) the free TV licence for those aged 75 years or over for the last year for which figures are available; and what was the combined value of these to older people in the constituency. 
Mr. Rooker: The administration of Social Security is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency, Alexis Cleveland. She will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Alexis Cleveland to Mr. Norman Baker, dated 1 November 2000:
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