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School Transport

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of the cost of implementing a school bus transport service applicable to all children living more than one mile from their school. [143140]

Jacqui Smith: My Department has made no estimate of the cost of providing transport for all children who live more than one mile from their school.

Official Publications

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the cost per issue is of the magazines (a) "Catalyst", (b) "Voices", (c) "Teachers" and (d) "Parents and Schools"; how many issues there have been; how many civil servants are employed full-time or part-time in work on each of them; what the circulation of each is; and what is total cost to date of each. [141430]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 11 December 2000]: Details of cost per issue, number of issues, number of civil servants employed full-time, circulation, and total cost to date of each of the four magazines are as follows:

(a) "Catalyst"

A magazine for employers who have shown interest in or signed up to New Deal.

A magazine for women giving details of the support available to them from Government, commissioned by the Women's Unit at the Cabinet Office, not by DfEE.

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A magazine for teachers containing examples of good practice from schools across the country.

A magazine for parents, to enable them to have a clearer understanding of what is being taught in schools and how to deal with every day problems. It is distributed on request, and through schools, supermarkets and other retailers.


Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what funding has been provided by his Department to the London Borough of Wandsworth in each of the last three years. [143147]

Ms Estelle Morris: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I sent on 18 December.

Class Sizes (Secondary Schools)

Paddy Ashdown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of average secondary school class sizes in Yeovil constituency for each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [143314]

Ms Estelle Morris: The available information for the parliamentary constituency of Yeovil on average class sizes collected in January is shown in the table. Information on average class sizes by parliamentary constituency is not available prior to 1997.

Average class sizes(6) in maintained secondary schools in Yeovil parliamentary constituency

January each year Maintained secondary
2000 24.8

(6) Classes taught by one teacher

The size of the average secondary class nationally, at 22, is still five below the average primary class. Secondary headteachers are receiving on average £50,000 this year 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.

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In the meantime, we have secured early delivery of our infant class size pledge in Yeovil. The most recent figures show that in September this year there were no infant classes in the constituency with more than 30 pupils.

Tuition Fees

Paddy Ashdown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what his policy is on the level of tuition fees over the next five years; and if he will make a statement. [143315]

Mr. Wicks: Tuition fees for students at publicly funded institutions are uprated each year to take account of inflation.


Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) when the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a reply to his letter of 20 September on behalf of his constituent, Reverend Matthews; [143576]

Mr. Wills: The Department has no record of receiving the original correspondence from the right hon. Member, but has now been made aware of the outstanding reply and the content requested and will be supplying a substantive response by the end of the week.


Departmental Policies (Blackpool, South)

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on the Blackpool, South constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [142227]

The Solicitor-General: My hon. Friend's constituency falls within the geographical area covered by Fylde and Lancaster Branch of the Crown Prosecution Service. At the beginning of November 1999, in line with national policy, and in liaison with the police and Lancashire Magistrates' Court Service, the Crown Prosecution Service implemented the Narey recommendations. All defendants charged with a criminal offence now make their first appearance before Blackpool Magistrates' Court within 48 hours.

In the coming year 2001, the structure of the Crown Prosecution Service in Lancashire will be altered in line with the recommendations in the Glidewell Review. This will include the establishment of a Trials Unit for the Crown Court currently dealt with by Fylde and Lancaster casework. It will enable the Crown Prosecution Service to place greater emphasis on the conduct of more serious cases.

The Crown Prosecution Service, together with other agencies, has also helped to draw up an action plan and associated procedures to speed up youth justice, particularly in relation to persistent young offenders. The latest published figure for Lancashire as a whole shows

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an average of 74 days from arrest to charge for persistent young offenders. This compares with 91 at the same time in 1999 and the national target of 71 days. The most recent indications are that the figure is further improving.

Neither the Treasury Solicitor's Department nor the Serious Fraud Office has policies which directly affect the hon. Member's constituency.

Crown Prosecution Service

Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Solicitor-General what plans he has to review the working of the Crown Prosecution Service. [141602]

The Solicitor-General: I meet regularly with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the CPS's chief executive to discuss current issues, the working of the CPS and its performance.

The Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate conducts regular inspections of CPS areas. The CPS Inspectorate works on a two-year cycle so that each area will be inspected once every two years. Additionally, there will be thematic reviews of aspects of area performance such as advocacy and case presentation.


St. Helena

Mr. Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions she has had regarding the provision of an airport on St Helena; and if she will make a statement. [142472]

Clare Short: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Wrexham (Dr. Marek) on 13 December 2000, Official Report, column 135W.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial help has been given during the last 12 months to assist towards helping young people from St. Helena to study in the United Kingdom. [143149]

Clare Short: In 1999-2000 (the last financial year for which complete figures are available) £65,000 was provided to support the Student Scholarship Programme. This provides support for St. Helenian students who have completed their A-level studies to undertake higher education in the UK.

In addition, £267,000 was provided in 1999-2000 through (i) the Technical Co-operation Training Scheme, (ii) a teacher training programme and (iii) a nurse education programme to support St. Helenians studying in the UK. These schemes are not disaggregated by age.

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