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Special Educational Needs

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what guidance has been issued to adjudicators and school organisation committees on the policy of inclusion for children statemented with special educational needs. [137229]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 7 November 2000]: In March 2000 the Department issued guidance on statutory proposals for changes in schools. This included guidance for adjudicators and school organisation committees on the factors to be considered when determining proposals for the reorganisation of special schools and special educational needs provision in mainstream schools.

The following extract highlights factors to be considered in relation to standards of provision:

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what research his Department has undertaken into the loss of SEN teachers due to increased delegation of spending by LEAs. [138029]

Jacqui Smith: The Department has not commissioned research specifically into the effect of increased delegation of funding to schools on teachers employed in LEA central services. We have, however, jointly funded with NASEN research to look at the ways in which SEN Support Services are developing. The early findings from this work suggests that posts are increasing or remaining stable in the vast majority of LEAs. A final report on this research will be published early in 2001.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what representations he has received on the questions of whether statements of special needs should in future (a) specify or (b) otherwise set out assistance from a local authority in the proposed code and regulations on special needs. [138323]

Jacqui Smith: We have received representations from a range of individuals, parents' groups, voluntary organisations, and some hon. Members.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Mr. Opik: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what measures his Department is taking to publicise the Holocaust Memorial Day Education Pack; and if he will make a statement; [137631]

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Jacqui Smith: The Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) Education Pack was launched on 9 November as part of the build up to the Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January. The Pack has been publicised through the Department's Spectrum publication which goes to all schools, and through the HMD website run by the Home Office.

The Pack has been produced by a working group of experts from non-government organisations who have a vast range of experience and knowledge in the area of holocaust education, including the Holocaust Education Trust who, on behalf of the working group, are making the Pack available to all schools. I am very grateful to all those organisations who have been involved in its production. Members of the national and community press, a number of survivors and representatives from those organisations involved in the Pack were present at the launch.

The Pack is a valuable cross-curricular resource and includes a number of suggestions for activities and assemblies to support the commemoration of the Memorial Day.

Carlisle Jobcentre

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what progress has been made in the relocation of the jobcentre in Carlisle; and if he will make a statement. [137709]

Ms Jowell: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Richard Foster to Mr. Eric Martlew, dated 13 November 2000:

As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has asked Leigh Lewis to reply to your question concerning the progress of plans to relocate Carlisle Jobcentre. This is something which falls within responsibilities delegated to Mr Lewis as Chief Executive of the Agency. I am replying in his absence.
We have been asked to vacate the premises we now occupy in Lowther House. Our estates team are involved in commercial negotiations to lease alternative premises which will meet the needs of all our customers. We are exploring a number of options in the city centre.
I will provide you with details of premises once negotiations have been concluded.
I hope this is helpful.

Teachers' PRP

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he is taking to open up teachers' performance-related pay threshold training and external assessment procedures to special service establishments which wish to mirror the threshold system in payments to their staff. [137851]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 13 November 2000]: We are currently considering what support we might give to educational establishments who are interested in mirroring the threshold assessment

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procedures for their teaching staff. We are consulting on a new provision for the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document to allow such assessments, if carried out in accordance with the system explained in the document, to count in maintained schools.

Value for Money Unit

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement about the work of the Value for Money Unit in his Department. [137912]

Ms Estelle Morris: The Value for Money Unit was set up last year to give advice on various aspects of value for money in schools. The Unit works on enabling schools to benchmark their expenditure against similar schools; conducts and sponsors research on the effect of resources on educational outcomes; provides good practice guidance for schools; and advises schools and LEAs about best value in education.

Out-of-hours School Activities

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what support his Department is offering for out-of-hours school activities. [138063]

Jacqui Smith: Out of school hours learning activities are high on this Government's education agenda. We believe that all young people can benefit from these additional opportunities to learn and succeed. In addition to the £205 million of lottery money available through the New Opportunities Fund for these activities, my Department has made available, through the Standards Fund, £20 million this financial year and £60 million for 2001-02.

My Department is also running a two-year, £2.5 million programme of partnership projects between schools and a wide range of partner organisations, such as businesses and youth, community and voluntary organisations. The 138 projects in the programme will focus on engendering partnership and on evaluating the benefits for both schools and partners.

In addition, the Department has published a wide range of practical guidance and good practice example for providers of out of school hours learning activities; most recently the "Study Support Toolkit", a suite of good practice and training materials, and "Safe Keeping", a good practice guide for health and safety in out of school hours learning activities.

European Institutions

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the (a) purpose and (b) running cost of (i) the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, (ii) the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions and (iii) the European Training Foundation. [138079]

Mr. Wicks: The three organisations referred to are agencies of the European Union.

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European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.

The purpose of the Centre is to provide information on member states' vocational education and training systems. It promotes and supports research on specific education and training themes, produces descriptive reports and identifies developmental trends of interest to member states and the European Commission.

In 2000 the running costs of the organisation are 12.9 million Euros.

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

The Foundation was established to provide policy makers with research-based information on the improvement of living and working conditions. This includes comparative cross-European research on employment and unemployment, equal opportunities, social inclusion, health in the workplace and employee relations. As well as commissioning research through open tender the Foundation is active in disseminating research- based information through publications, conferences and seminars throughout the member states.

In 2000 the running costs of the Foundation are 15 million Euros.

European Training Foundation.

The purpose of the Foundation is to act as a centre of expertise in human resource development to assist the countries of central and eastern Europe, the new independent states and non EU Mediterranean countries. It provides analysis and advice to these countries on vocational education and training, disseminates information on EU best practice, assists in the design and development of vocational education and training projects and in monitoring and evaluation of initiatives in these countries. The Foundation is playing a particularly active role in assisting those countries seeking accession to the European Union to develop their vocational education and training expertise.

In 2000 the running costs of the Foundation are 16.2 million Euros.

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