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Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many armed robberies were committed with (a) licensed pistols, (b) unlicensed pistols, (c) other licensed firearms and (d) other unlicensed firearms, in each of the years 1998, 1999 and 2000 to date. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Details of the legal status of firearms used in offences are not generally available, but it is thought that most, if not all, will be illegally held. The numbers of handguns and other firearms used in robberies are as follows, for the most recently available information:
|Financial year||Number of handguns||Number of other firearms(7)|
(7) Including supposed and imitation firearms, and air weapons.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Security Service will release files from the inter-war period relating to Sapurui Sakalatuala; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Straw: The Security Service is still reviewing and releasing records covering the Second World War and has just made public a fourth tranche of files from this period. The Security Service will, in due course in light of resources, be reviewing its inter-war records in preparation for further releases. Under current plans, I do not expect the Security Service to begin reviewing its inter-war records before the year 2001.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the Cleveland Police Authority regarding expenditure on Operation Lancet; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the cost was in each of the past three years of petrol for his Department's fleet of ministerial cars; and how many vehicles there are in that fleet. 
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the operation to date of the Adult and Community Learning Fund, with particular reference to (a) total expenditure, (b) the criteria for scheme selection and (c) the monitoring and accountability of schemes funded from the ACLF. 
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 6 November 2000]: The total expenditure on the Adult and Community Learning Fund (ACLF) to date is £11.4 million. A further £8.6 million will be spent between now and March 2002.
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supported to date. The criteria are set out in a Prospectus which provides guidance to applicants. Projects must be innovative, of good quality and sustainable. They must also involve learners in managing project activities and building partnerships. Funding must not duplicate or extend existing provision or organisational support. At least one community or voluntary group must lead on, or be an equal partner in, bids for funding.
ACLF projects are managed on my Department's behalf by the Basic Skills Agency (BSA) and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), which are accountable to the Department and its auditors. Progress on each project is monitored by BSA or NIACE as part of their contracted role as joint managers of the Fund.
In his recent Remit Letter to the Learning and Skills Council, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State draws the Council's attention to the need to secure, at local level, imaginative and attractive learning opportunities which will draw in people unused to learning, or who see learning in institutions as not for them.
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 8 November 2000]: No. The current assessment system is working well and ensures that currently about a third of dependent students from lower income families do not make any contribution to tuition fees, and I expect this to rise to some two fifths from September 2001 as a result of a change to the contribution threshold. This is in the context of over 40 per cent. of all students making no contribution to tuition fees under the present system, rising to about 50 per cent. from September 2001. The new student finance arrangements that we introduced share the cost of higher education fairly between students, their families and taxpayers generally, and provide essential resources for investment in universities and colleges.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the budget was for research and consultancy for his Department for (a) 1997-98, (b) 1998-99, (c) 1999-2000 and (d) 2000-01. 
Mr. Wills [holding answer 8 November 2000]: Research and consultancy is not generally budgeted for as a discrete item within the Department. Most expenditure of this type is met from wider programme or administrative budgets.
Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 10 November 2000]: The table shows temporarily filled vacant full-time head teacher posts in maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools in England and Norfolk in January 2000.
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|Nursery/ primary||Secondary||Nursery, primary and secondary|
|Temporarily filled as a percentage of head teachers in post||2.1||2.3||2.1|
|Number of posts||390||90||480|
|Temporarily filled as a percentage of head teachers in post||3.4||0.0||2.9|
|Number of posts||13||0||13|
Head teachers have a key role in boosting standards in schools. We are establishing a National College for School Leadership to give a focus to school leadership development, and are designing a coherent package of training and development programmes for aspiring, new and serving head teachers.
Jacqui Smith: Resources are distributed to local education authorities through Standard Spending Assessments. These are calculated using information about the demographic, economic and social characteristics of an area. This includes a sparsity factor, which would take account of additional transport costs in areas such as Cornwall with dispersed populations, and consequently higher costs of transporting pupils with special educational needs.
Ms Hodge [holding answer 13 November 2000]: I fully support the aims of the International Year of Volunteers. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and all the Ministers in this Department intend to take part in voluntary activity during 2001. My Department also encourages staff to participate in a wide range of voluntary activities, often during working hours, and will continue to do so.
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