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Iraq (Exports)

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what goods subject to strategic export controls have recently been approved for export to Iraq. [137357]

Mr. Hain: Following consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade and Industry recently approved a licence to export four diaphragm vacuum pumps, controlled under the Dual-Use and Related Goods (Export Control) Regulations, to the World Health Organisation in Iraq under the United Nations Oil for Food Programme. The export of these goods to Iraq has been approved by the UN Sanctions Committee.

Mordechai Vanunu

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the representations he has made recently to the Israeli Government on behalf of Mordechai Vanunu. [137243]

Mr. Hain: We have raised our serious concerns about Mordechai Vanunu's detention regularly with the Israeli authorities, and will continue to do so.

Foreign Affairs

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a report to the House on significant events in foreign affairs between 1 August and 23 October. [135178]

Mr. Robin Cook: We welcome the major steps towards democracy taken by the Serb people first on 24 September by voting in massive numbers for change, and then on 5 October as their determination brought on the collapse of the Milosevic regime. We and our EU partners promised in September that we would respond rapidly with a rapid revision of our policy, if they took such a step. Now we are keeping our promise: lifting sanctions, supporting the re-integration of the FRY into international organisations, and providing European and bilateral assistance.

We have all been shocked by the recent upsurge of violence in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The most important task now is to end the violence and bring the parties back to the negotiating table. We have been working closely with all sides to get the Peace Process back on track and our engagement has been warmly welcomed. In the last month the Prime Minister has been in regular contact with regional leaders, and I have had a very constructive visit to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

On 6 October in Warsaw the Prime Minister affirmed our strong commitment to a swift and successful enlargement of the EU. Enlargement will help make our continent more stable by integrating more countries into a Union that promotes the principles of democracy, good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights. The Government are determined that there should be a breakthrough on enlargement under the Swedish Presidency. We are working with EU member states to commit themselves to a specific framework leading to an early end of the negotiations and accession.

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On 19 October I announced in Seoul that the UK intended to respond positively to a proposal in a letter from the North Korean Foreign Minister that North Korea and the UK establish diplomatic relations. The decision was taken in the light of a number of positive developments since the Inter-Korean Summit in June, including further progress in North/South contacts, Marshal Cho's visit to Washington, the US/DPRK joint communique and Mrs. Albright's visit to Pyongyang to prepare for a possible visit by President Clinton.

Between 6 and 8 September, at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in New York, the Prime Minister underlined the significance the UK puts on the UN and its changing role in the 21st century. We hope the Summit will constitute a turning point in strengthening the UN system and in directing its overall efforts towards specific goals on development, security and the environment. The UK was instrumental in helping guarantee the Declaration included a paragraph on keeping track of the progress of those commitments.

The UK warmly welcomed the Brahimi Panel report on UN Peace Operations as a key part of an overall agenda for UN reform. It identified key areas for action, most particularly the need for a more co-ordinated capacity for a rapid response to crises and a more integrated ability to plan and support UN missions. We look forward to working with the Secretary General and other member states on swift implementation of Brahimi recommendations.

We have provided substantial practical support for the efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations to secure lasting peace and stability. Our objective remains to ensure that the people of Sierra Leone are offered a realistic prospect of stability and peace; and a future free from the violence of a brutal rebel minority.

We remain very concerned about the situation in Fiji and we will continue, with our partners in the Commonwealth and the EU, to keep up the pressure on Fiji's Interim Administration for a speedy restoration of constitutional democracy.


Pupil-teacher Ratio

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the teacher-to-pupil ratio was in East Sussex (a) for children aged between five and seven years, (b) for children aged eight to 11 years, (c) for all primary schools in the county and (d) for all secondary schools in the county in (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99 and (iii) 1999-2000. [135736]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 31 October 2000]: The information is not available in the form requested. The available information requested on pupil-teacher ratios and class sizes for the East Sussex region is shown in the following tables.

The latest infant class size data for September 2000 were published in a Statistical First Release "Infant Class sizes in England 2000" on 1 November, copies of which

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are available from the Library, or alternatively can be accessed from the Department's statistical website Figures from this release showed that since September 1998 6,065 five, six and seven-year-olds in East Sussex have benefited from the Government's infant class size initiative. As few as 2.3 per cent. of the relevant age group remained in infant classes of 31 or over. Some £620 million is available to support the pledge, and allocations so far to East Sussex LEA amount to over £4 million. This has helped to reduce the size of the average infant class in East Sussex LEA to 25.6 in September 2000 from 27.1 in September 1998.

The Government are delivering their pledge to limit infant classes for five, six and seven-year-olds to 30 or below early. When the Government came to power, there were nearly half a million children in large infant classes. By September 2000, this has been reduced to some 30,000 children.

January 2000 saw a fall in the size of the average junior class in England; and a continuing fall in the size of the average primary class, after rising for a decade. The size of the average secondary class in England, at 22, is still five below the average primary class. Secondary headteachers are receiving an average of £50,000 this year (£60,000 from April 2001) in direct grant to spend as they choose. If this were spent on recruiting teachers, the average secondary class size could be reduced by up to 0.8.

Pupil-teacher ratios (PTRs) in maintained primary and secondary schools in the local education authority area of East Sussex, 1997-2000
Position as at January


Average size of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes taught by one teacher in the local education authority of East Sussex, 1997-2000
Position as at January

KS 1KS 2

Average size of infant classes (5, 6 and 7-year-olds) taught by one teacher in the local education authority area of East Sussex,
1998-2000 Position as at September

Average class sizeNumber of pupils in classes of over 30 childrenPercentage of pupils in classes of over 30 childrenTotal number of pupils

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New Deal (Sutton)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many people have had their benefits stopped for failing properly to take up a New Deal option at each benefit office within the Sutton and Cheam constituency and at the Sutton office; and if he will make a statement. [134893]

Ms Jowell [holding answer 6 November 2000]: Sutton Jobcentre is the only office in the Sutton and Cheam constituency. At this office no benefit sanctions have been imposed in this financial year, up to the end of September. That is the only period for which figures are immediately available.

The great majority of young people taking part in the New Deal do so to improve their employability and find a job without the necessity to impose any benefit sanctions.

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