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Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (a) how many and (b) what percentage of those schools which have chosen for the current year to select up to 10 per cent. of pupils by aptitude, have selected by the means of (i) standardised tests, (ii) reports from primary school, (iii) interview with pupil, (iv) interview with parents and (v) a combination of the above. [20736]

Mr. Timms: This information is not collected centrally. School admissions are dealt with at local level by the relevant admission authority for each school. It is the responsibility of admission authorities to set their own admission arrangements, after consultation with other admission authorities in their area, and they are expected to have regard to the guidance in the School Admissions Code of Practice. Where a school has a specialism and gives priority to pupils on the grounds of aptitude for that specialism, it is up to the school's admission authority to

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decide how to assess pupils' aptitude, though the school must publish its admission arrangements, including details of any aptitude testing.

Scottish Students

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the number of students resident in Scotland who attend further education in England and Wales. [21542]

John Healey [holding answer 10 December 2001]: The number of students studying in further education sector colleges in England in 1999–2000 was 3.7 million, of which 5,600 were resident in Scotland.

For information on students attending further education colleges in Wales I refer the hon. Member to the National Assembly for Wales.

Teachers' Work Load

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations she has received about the work load in pre-school nurseries and playgroups. [21955]

Mr. Timms: I am not aware of any recent representations on this issue.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what is her latest assessment of the number of hours being worked by teachers each week; and if she will make a statement. [21956]

Mr. Timms: The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) teacher work load study indicates that, during term time, teachers work around 52 hours per week. PwC's final report will in due course be referred to the School Teachers Review Body.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will publish the findings of the PricewaterhouseCoopers report into teachers' work load before 24 January 2002. [21958]

Mr. Timms: The final report from PricewaterhouseCoopers is available on the DfES website at the following address: workloadstudy.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the terms of reference were for the PricewaterhouseCoopers report into teachers' work load. [21959]

Mr. Timms: The aim of the work load study was to identify the main factors that determine teachers' and head teachers' work load, and to develop a programme of practical action to eliminate excessive work load and promote the most effective use of all resources in schools.


Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will introduce boxing into schools as a specialist part of the sports curriculum. [22078]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The new National Curriculum for Physical Education, which was introduced in September 2000 specifies six areas of activity which schools should provide. Boxing is not one of those activities and there are no plans to introduce it.

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Indiscipline (State Schools)

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if she will make it her policy to publish data on levels of indiscipline in state schools; [22258]

Mr. Timms: We do not have consistent data on levels of indiscipline in schools. Methods for gathering information about pupil behaviour changed after Ofsted was set up in 1992, and a further change took place in 1996–97.

Information gathered by Ofsted inspectors about indiscipline in schools informs statements given in the annual reports of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools. I have therefore asked Mike Tomlinson to write to the hon. Member and to place a copy of his letter in the Library.

Departmental Expenditure Limit

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of the increase in the departmental expenditure limit from 2001–02 to 2002–03 will be accounted for by wage costs. [20672]

Estelle Morris: The level of wage costs within departmental budgets this year and in future years will be dependent upon negotiations. Departmental reports published next spring will give details of Departments' expenditure.



Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to compensate parents with care who have suffered financial loss as a result of the CSA not reflecting the amount they have been denied as a result of non-receipt of child support payments. [13608]

Malcolm Wicks: In common with other Government agencies, the CSA can make payments to compensate its clients for financial loss suffered as a result of maladministration. This compensation scheme can cover maintenance payments lost as a result of administrative failures in the agency. Compensation payments cannot, however, be made to cover maintenance withheld by non-resident parents where the CSA has acted correctly in seeking to enforce liability.

Benefit Systems

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the

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local government performance indicators for 2000–01 on housing benefit and council tax benefit for each local authority. [15151]

Malcolm Wicks: Best Value Performance Indicators for housing benefit and council tax benefit for English local authorities are contained in The Local Government (Best Value) Performance Indicators Order 2000, SI 2000 No. 896. A copy is available in the Library.

Performance indicators for Scotland and Wales are the responsibility of the Accounts Commission for Scotland and the National Assembly for Wales respectively.

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Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the measures the Government have brought in since 1997 to assist people who are carers for others. [12335]

Maria Eagle: The Government's general approach to carers is outlined in "Caring About Carers", the report of the National Carers Strategy published in February 1999. A great deal has already been achieved to implement the Strategy and further work is continuing.

The table shows the measures introduced specifically for carers since 1997:

February 1999Introduction of the Carers Grant—to enable local authorities to provide a wider range of services to give carers a break
December 1999The Employment Relations Act gave carers in paid work the right to have time off to deal with family emergencies
February 2000Introduction of carers website to give details of services and benefits affecting carers
March 2000Introduction of the work life balance initiative to promote good practice to help employers explore work life balance
April 2000The Carers and Disabled Children Act gave local councils the power to give carers a needs assessment in their own right. The Act also allows local authorities to give vouchers for buying-in provision when a carer needs respite
April 2001The ICA Earnings Limit was increased by £22 to the level of the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit to help carers who are able to combine work with caring
April 2001The Carer Premium paid through Income-Related Benefits was increased by £10 per week, to provide additional financial support to carers who are less well off
July 2001Launch of UK Online Life Episode "Looking after someone" to provide a wide range of information for carers

In autumn 2000, a substantial package of measures to help carers was announced. This amounts to over £500 million of extra support in the first three years covered by the announcement.

It includes a number of improvements to the main carer benefits aimed in particular at helping older and poorer carers, as well as helping carers to keep in touch with work by making part-time employment more worthwhile financially.

The package also included measures to remove the barrier that prevents people aged 65 or over from claiming invalid care allowance will be removed; ensure entitlement to ICA will continue for up to eight weeks after the death of the disabled person; and rename ICA as 'Carer's Allowance'.

These changes will be introduced by Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) at the earliest opportunity.

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