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Mr. Woolas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to seek an amendment of the law to allow appeals against tariff lengths by victims or their next of kin. [102182]

Mr. Boateng: We have no such plans at present. But we are considering other measures to bring victims of crime closer to the heart of the criminal justice system. They include the possibility of allowing victims, or their next of kin, to make statements about the effect a crime has had on them. Such statements would travel with the case papers and be considered at every stage of proceedings.

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The Probation Service now routinely makes contact with the victims or their immediate family when those responsible for a serious sexual or violent offence are sentenced to four years or more imprisonment.

Within two months of sentence, the Probation Service contacts the victim, or their immediate family, to ask if they would like to be informed in due course about any plans for the eventual release of the prisoner. If so, the Probation Service explains the custodial process and, in particular, how any decision to release such an offender will be made. Victims or their families are also asked whether they have any particular concerns about proposals for a prisoner's temporary or final release. These views will not affect whether a prisoner is released, but they can affect the conditions attached to the release.

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Police Officer Numbers

Mr. Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the number of police officers in each police authority in Wales for 1999. [102617]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Information on police numbers is collected twice a year (March and September). The figures for September 1999 are not yet available. Information for 31 March 1999 is set out in the table.

Welsh police forces Police numbers as at 31 March 1999
Dyfed Powys1,026
North Wales1,391
South Wales2,981


Disability Rights

Mrs. Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proposals he has to make regulations under the Disability Rights Commission Act 1999. [102848]

Ms Hodge: The Government have today launched a public consultation on draft Regulations. The Regulations would provide for a statutory time limit for the completion

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of formal investigations undertaken by the Disability Rights Commission. They would also specify the time in which the DRC must consider, and reach a decision on, the adequacy of an action plan proposed to it by an organisation in receipt of a non-discrimination notice.

A consultation pack is being sent to 150 organisations in England, Scotland and Wales. The pack will also be available on the DfEE Internet site and in a number of alternative formats.

The consultation ends on 18 February 2000.

Performance Targets

Mrs. Butler: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what progress the Employment Service has made towards its Annual Performance Agreement targets over the period April to September. [102902]

Ms Jowell: I am pleased to announce that for the period from April to September 1999 the Employment Service has exceeded planned performance levels for seven of the eight Annual Performance Agreement targets. I set out in the following table the performance of the Agency for Quarters one and two and cumulative performance to September.

As part of our commitment to modern and accessible public services, I have asked the Chief Executive of the Agency to publish the Employment Service's quarterly results on the Employment Service Internet website which can be found at The results will normally be made available within four weeks of the end of the statistical period.

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Employment service annual performance agreement targets 1999-2000April-June 1999July-September 1999CumulativeEnd year target
Total placings of unemployed jobseekers326,714374,469701,1831,250,000
Variance against profiled target (%)
Placings of Jobseeker Allowance (JSA) Claimants unemployed for 6 months or more51,10864,576115,684190,000
Variance against profiled target (%)4.623.514.3--
Placings of JSA Claimants unemployed for two years or more10,10613,39623,50238,000
Variance against profiled target (%)4.626.215.9--
Placings of Jobseekers on the New Deal for 18-24 year olds(21)25,54131,81357,354100,000
Variance against profiled target (%)4.115.710.3--
New Deal for Lone Parent Placings(21)4,0025,2479,24915,000
Variance against profiled target (%)5.547.825.9--
Placings of Unemployed People with Disabilities24,71926,44951,16885,000
Variance against profiled target (%)
To ensure the correct application of JSA processes by ES staff(22) (%)81838296
Customer Service for jobseekers (%)86.38887.287

(21) Based on Employment Service (ES) performance information, which records New Deal for Young People and New Deal for Lone Parents job placings achieved directly by, or in partnership with the ES. This will vary from Government Statistical Services (GSS) statistics for New Deal which record the total number of New Deal participants who have found work through the New Deal.

(22) The ES aim to achieve 90 per cent., 92 per cent. and 94 per cent. in the first three Quarters of the year.

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Higher Education

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proportion of the final costs of higher education delivery was accounted for by staffing costs in the most recent year for which information is available. [102462]

Mr. Wicks: The latest figures, covering the 1997-98, academic year, show that staffing costs in UK higher education institutions represented 57 per cent. of total institutional expenditure.

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Standards and Effectiveness Unit

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the employment status of the Head of the Standards and Effectiveness Unit at the Department for Education and Employment. [102195]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 13 December 1999]: I am replying on behalf of my right hon. Friend. The Secretary of State appointed Professor Michael Barber as his Schools Standards and Effectiveness Adviser. He is employed on Special Adviser terms.

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Head Teachers

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many applications have been received from head teachers for early retirement under the Government's proposals; and if he will list the criteria under which these applications will be determined. [102613]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 13 December 1999]: Just under 300 applications have been received from Local Education Authorities for those Headteachers who they believe meet the criteria set down in the Standards Fund circular. The scheme's criteria are:

    has served continuously as a Headteacher in one or more posts for at least five years and has provided satisfactory service;

    unlikely to adapt well to carrying forward the major changes envisaged in improving education.

LEAs were asked to provide Ofsted reports and other evidence to confirm that the application met the criteria.

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"The Rights of Teachers"

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when he will publish the responses to the consultation paper, "The General Teaching Council for England: The Rights of Teachers" and the Government's conclusions. [102772]

Jacqui Smith: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State expects to publish the results of the consultation on the register of teachers and the Government's response by the end of January 2000.

Higher Education Students

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list for students enrolling in higher education institutions in England in each year since 1990, the number of (a) full-time, (b) part-time, (c) mature, (d) male (e) female and (f) ethnic minority students; and what was the total enrolment. [101948]

Mr. Wicks [holding answer 13 December 1999]: The information is shown in the following table.

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UK domiciled entrants to undergraduate courses in England

Of which, those who were:
Year of entry (23)Total entrantsFull-timePart-timeMature (24)MaleFemale

(23) Figures for 1994 and later years were collected on a different basis to those in earlier years.

(24) Aged 21 and over.

(25) Provisional.

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Year of entry (26)Total undergraduate entrants with known ethnicityOf which: from ethnic minorities (27)

(26) Figures for 1994 and later years were collected on a different basis to those in earlier years.

(27) Covers the following ethnic groups: Black Caribbean, Black African, Black other, Asian Indian, Asian Pakistani, Asian Bangladeshi, Asian Chinese, Asian other, Other (non-white) ethnic origin.

(28) Provisional

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment for the 1998-99 academic year, what (i) number and (ii) percentage of full-time students enrolled in higher education institutions in England were assessed as being required to pay (a) the full tuition fee, (b) no tuition fee and (c) some tuition fee. [101947]

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Mr. Wicks [holding answer 13 December 1999]: The first data on Local Education Authority financial support for the student tuition fees introduced in 1998-99 will be available in April 2000 from returns collected retrospectively from Local Education Authorities in England and Wales.

These data will show the number of locally-domiciled students who, after income assessment, paid their own tuition fees in full; have had their fees paid (i) in full; and (ii) in part by their Local Education Authority.

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