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Military Crisis Management

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress made by the EU in setting up consultation and co-operation links between the EU and (a) NATO's non-EU members, (b) other countries which are candidates for accession to the EU and (c) other prospective partners in EU-led crisis management. [149796]

Mr. Vaz: The Nice European Council agreed arrangements to enable non-EU European Allies and other accession candidates to be involved in all phases of EU military crisis management. There will be regular consultation and dialogue at ministerial, Military Committee and official level, building on the interim agreements reached in June 2000. These arrangements are being implemented under the Swedish presidency. Nice also agreed initial proposals for the involvement of Canada, Ukraine, Russia and other potential partners. The elaboration of these arrangements is also being taken forward under the Swedish presidency.

EU/NATO Co-operation

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of progress made in setting up modalities for full consultation, co-operation and transparency between the EU and NATO. [149795]

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Mr. Vaz: The Nice European Council made wide-ranging proposals for a strategic partnership between the EU and NATO to ensure co-operation, consultation and transparency. NATO Foreign Ministers, meeting on 14-15 December, welcomed the Nice proposals. NATO proposed that EU and NATO Ministers should meet at least once every six months and that the EU's Political and Security Committee (PSC) and NATO's North Atlantic Council (NAC) should hold joint meetings at least three times every six months. NATO agreed that additional meetings would be held in times of crisis. At the 22 January General Affairs Council, the EU welcomed NATO's positive reaction to Nice and agreed NATO's proposals on joint EU/NATO meetings. The EU presidency and NATO Secretary-General have thus concluded that the EU and NATO are in agreement on the elements for the permanent arrangements for consultation and co-operation between the EU and NATO. The first PSC/NAC meeting took place in Brussels on 5 February.

National Missile Defence

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with other Government Departments on (a) the missile threat to Europe and (b) the US Government's preparations to pursue national missile defence. [149794]

Mr. Vaz: The Department has regular discussions with other interested Government Departments, in particular the Ministry of Defence, across the range of issues related to missile defence, including the missile threat to Europe and US national missile defence.

Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to hold discussions with the new Israeli Government; and if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. [149656]

Mr. Wilson: The Prime Minister has already spoken to the new Israeli Prime Minister and we will seek to maintain our excellent relations with Israel.

Peace in the middle east will be achieved only through a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as between Israel and Lebanon and Syria. The UK will remain actively engaged, doing all it can to bring about a just and lasting peace based on United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and the principle of land for peace.

Barcelona Process

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the aims of the European Union in the Barcelona process for economic development in the countries involved. [147694]

Mr. Vaz: The EU's aims for the economic development of the Southern Mediterranean countries involved in the Barcelona process were reaffirmed at the Conference of Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers at Marseilles last November. The Foreign Secretary informed the Foreign Affairs Committee of the presidency conclusions from Marseilles in November, which outlined

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the EU's economic aims for the Barcelona process. I also informed the European Scrutiny Committees in late November last year.

The aim of the economic chapter of Barcelona is to establish an area of shared prosperity in the Mediterranean. At Marseilles, Ministers (both from the EU and the Mediterranean partners) reaffirmed their continuing objective to create a Euro-Mediterranean free-trade area by 2010. Ministers at Marseilles also agreed to take new measures for greater liberalisation of agricultural trade. Ministers placed emphasis on accelerating the outstanding negotiations under way with Algeria, Syria, and Lebanon, and signing of the Association Agreement with Egypt. Partner countries which already have Association Agreements in place were encouraged to open up further to one another economically in order to foster their integration into the global economy.

In support of these aims, the EU recently agreed the MEDA II regulation, which provides financial assistance to Mediterranean Partners. At Marseilles, EU Ministers confirmed that the indicative figure for the MEDA regulation over the period 2000-06 would be euro 5.35 billion.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

School Expenditure (Wandsworth)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what has been the total spending on schools in the London borough of Wandsworth in each of the last five years. [147838]

Ms Estelle Morris: The following table shows spending on schools in Wandsworth for the financial years 1994-95 to 1998-99, the latest year for which this information is currently available. These figures are based on net institutional expenditure on schools maintained by the local education authority in cash terms.

£ million
1994-9555
1995-9655
1996-9749
1997-9850
1998-9953

The following table sets out the overall resources made available to Wandsworth local education authority in both cash and real terms. These funding figures are not directly comparable with net institutional expenditure set out in the previous table.

Standard Spending Assessment and special/specific grants
£ million

CashReal terms
1997-989299
1998-999599
1999-2000101103
2000-01111111

The following table expresses this funding on a per pupil basis. This reflects a real terms increase in funding per pupil in Wandsworth over the last three years of £400.


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Standard Spending Assessment and special/specific grants
£ per pupil

CashReal terms
1997-983,5203,780
1998-993,6103,770
1999-20003,8503,930
2000-014,1804,180

Under this Government, funding per pupil has already increased by over £300 nationally in real terms, and it will increase by a further £150 per pupil for 2001-02. Under the last Government, funding per pupil fell by £60 in real terms between 1994-95 and 1997-98. There will be further increases in funding following the year 2000 spending review, a further £370 per pupil over the three year period, taking the total increase to nearly £700 between 1997-98 and 2003-04.

Student Loans

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the net present value is of loans to students in financial year 1999-2000 under the current loan system; what rate of interest would be required to increase the net present value of student loan debt by £0.7 billion; and if he will make a statement. [148138]

Mr. Wicks: The net present value of the estimated £982 million income contingent loans issued in 1999-2000 to students domiciled in England and Wales is estimated to be £590 million. The nominal rate of interest required to increase this by £0.7 billion is estimated to be around 13 per cent. These figures are based on new estimates of the resource cost of income-contingent loans, which is now estimated to be 40 per cent. of the face value of the loans.

The net present value given here is different from that quoted in the Department for Education and Employment's annual accounts for 1999-2000 because the latter includes mortgage-style as well as income contingent-style loans. Loans issued to students domiciled in Scotland and Northern Ireland are a matter for the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly respectively.

Pupil Numbers

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many (a) primary school and (b) secondary school pupils were in classes of 30 or more in (i) West Sussex and (ii) Mid Sussex constituency in each of the years from 1994-95 to 2000-01. [148353]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 2 February 2001]: The Government have pledged to reduce the size of infant classes to a maximum of 30 by the end of this Parliament. We have already achieved this in the vast majority of schools.

The information requested is set out in the following table. This shows that the number of primary classes in

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West Sussex with 31 or more has fallen by over 2,500 since 1998. By September 2,000, there were only 472 (2 per cent.) infant pupils in classes over 30 compared

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with over 4,000 (18 per cent.) in January 1998. This confirms that the Government are meeting the pledge in West Sussex.

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West Sussex LEA

Primary Secondary
YearNumber of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 1-29Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 30Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 31+Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 1-29Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 30Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 31+
200035,34110,68013,15832,2283,3903,506
199935,9097,53015,84932,2273,0903,475
199835,3467.56015,79131,0313,2103,410
199734,5246,18015,33731,6103,1203,306
199634,1515,55014,44732,0032,8203,119
199534,9055,34012,87931,6272,6702,954

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Mid Sussex parliamentary constituency

Primary Secondary
YearNumber of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 1-29Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 30Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 31+Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 1-29Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 30Number of pupils in 1 teacher classes of size 31+
20005,0071,2601,3855,848500540
19994,8727502,1405,900780511
19984,5169302,1465,727720441
19974,2713,0842,1845,784570572
1996--(37)--(37)----(37)--(37)--
1995--(37)--(37)----(37)--(37)--

(37) Not available


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