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Jacqui Smith: The Government are already supporting a range of counselling services for pupils in schools. We are proposing to develop these further, for example, through our funding of a national mentoring network. The planned youth support service, to be introduced in 2001, will ensure that young people aged 13 to 19 have access to the specialist support they need. Provision in Wales is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.
Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment which local education authorities provide school transport (a) free of charge to all school pupils travelling a distance of over (i) three miles, for secondary pupils, and (ii) two miles, for primary pupils, and (b) free of charge as in (a) to pupils below the age of 16 years, but charge pupils when they become 16 years; and what savings on such travel costs those local education authorities that charge post-16 year olds to travel make. 
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list for each education action zone the total amount of private sector resource included in the original bids broken down by (a) cash support, (b) equipment, (c) consultancy and (d) other. 
Ms Estelle Morris: The original bids did not contain the requested degree of detail. Figures for the private sector contributions to the 25 round 1 Education Action Zones will be available as part of the annual audited accounts. The National Audit Office will lay the 25 sets of accounts before Parliament. The NAO expects to lay the first of these in December.
Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what guidance he has given to local authorities regarding the provision of time for swimming within the national curriculum. 
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to swim unaided, competently and safely, for at least 25 metres;
to develop confidence in water, and how to rest, float and adopt support positions;
a variety of means of propulsion using either arms or legs or both, and how to develop effective and efficient swimming strokes on the front and the back;
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Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proportion of school funding by local education authorities came through the (a) standard spending assessment and (b) the Standards Fund for (i) 1997-98, and (ii) 1998-99; and what are the projected figures for (A) 1999-2000, and (B) 2000-01. 
Ms Estelle Morris: The following table sets out the proportions of Education Total Standard Spending provided through central government grant to the Standards Fund, LEA contributions to the Standards Fund, and through SSAs (minus LEAs' matching contributions). Over this period grant from the DfEE will increase from £211 million to £1,077 million. Funding devolved to schools from the Standards Fund was £563 million in 1999-2000.
|Year||Standards Fund grant||LEA contributions||SSA minus LEA contributions|
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if the proposed disability rights commission will have power to review the performance of social security appeals tribunals. 
The functions of social security appeal tribunals will be transferred to the new unified appeal tribunals from 29 November 1999. The Disability Rights Commission will have the power to review the performance of these appeal tribunals in so far as it is carrying out its functions and duties under the Disability Rights Commission Act 1999, in particular, its duty to take such steps as it considers appropriate to encourage good practice in the treatment of disabled persons. For example, the Commission may, for a purpose connected with the performance of its functions, carry out research or provide advice or information, or make proposals or give other advice to any Government agency or other public authority as to the practical application of any law. The Commission may also decide to conduct a general formal investigation into the activities of the appeal tribunals for any purpose connected with the performance of its duties.
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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he takes to ensure children in primary schools are not subject to commercial pressure by pop music bands performing in those schools. 
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Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he takes to ensure children in primary schools are not subject to commercial pressure by pop music bands performing in those schools. 
Angela Eagle: The Appeals Service currently hold 2,410 appeals relating to Reduced Earnings Allowance. Of these appeals 1,609 cases are held pending a decision of the European Court of Justice on lead cases.
20. Mr. Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what measures he intends to take to allow information about income presently in the possession of the Inland Revenue to be shared with the Child Support Agency. 
Angela Eagle: It is not right that some self-employed non-resident parents avoid their obligations to their children by refusing to provide details of their income to the Child Support Agency. That is why the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 gives the Child Support Agency access to information held by the Inland Revenue about the earnings of self-employed non-resident parents.
21. Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the Government's proposals for reducing the numbers of pensioners reliant on means-tested benefits. 
We are pressing on with our pensions reforms. Reforming the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme through the introduction of the State Second Pension is the final stage of our pensions strategy, following stakeholder pension schemes and the Minimum Income Guarantee. This will give more help in retirement to low and moderate earners, carers and some long-term disabled people with broken work records. By 2038, everyone who has a working life of employment or caring will retire with a State Pension above the means-tested threshold.
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24. Mr. Kirkwood:
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the results available from the pilot schemes to increase the rate of take-up of means-tested benefits for those past state retirement age. 
reformed the anti-fraud financial incentive scheme for local authorities to ensure that they are rewarded for detecting cases of fraud;
made an additional £100 million available over the next three years to encourage local authorities to adopt the Verification Framework, which, through a series of checks throughout the period of a benefit claim, will help make Housing Benefit administration more secure;
invited all local authorities to participate in the Royal Mail "do not redirect" initiative which prevents benefit claimants from using Royal Mail's postal redirection arrangements to make false claims to benefit from multiple addresses. Already, over 200 local authorities are operating this scheme and many more are preparing to implement it;
made over £4 million available to install computer terminals in local authorities which provide access to the Department's benefit systems. We are now looking to extend this initiative to include exchanging information electronically between local authorities and the Department, providing further scope to prevent fraud and error occurring.
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24. Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the results available from the pilot schemes to increase the rate of take-up of means-tested benefits for those past state retirement age. 
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