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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if she will list the official visits within the UK outside London made by each Minister in her Department in 2001, giving for each (a) the origin and destination and (b) the mode of travel used; and what guidance is provided to Ministers in her Department on choice of mode of travel for official visits; 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will set out for each Civil Service grade within her (a) Department and (b) Department's executive agencies the (i) total number of staff employed, (ii) number aged (A) 1625, (B) 2635, (C) 3645, (D) 4660 and (E) over the age of 60 years, (iii) number of registered disabled and (iv) number of ethnic minorities. 
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Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list non-Governmental organisations operating in the south-west region that receive public funds from her Department; and what amount of annual funding they received in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the educational attainment of schoolchildren in (a) current and former coalfield areas and (b) England; and what improvement there has been since 1997. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In January 2001, we jointly commissioned research with the Coalfield Communities Campaign that looked into patterns of educational achievement in the coalfields. Former and current coalfield areas are benefiting from the literacy and numeracy strategies at primary level.
|Key stage 1||1998||2000||1998||2000|
|Level 2+ reading (comprehension test)||75||77||73||79|
|Level 2+ maths||83||89||82||88|
The same trend applied to girls. Beyond Key Stage 1, performance in coalfield areas did improve but remained below the national average. The full research report is available on the Department's internet site www.dfes.gov.uk (DfES research report 314) and in the House of Commons Library.
We recognise that more still needs to be done which is why we published the Schools White PaperSchools: Achieving Success. It is a significant package for the reform of secondary education and also sets out our vision for education for the years ahead. The full consultation paper is available on the Department's internet site.
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Mr. Ivan Lewis: Reliable data on the percentage of students continuing in post-compulsory education at age 16 for coalfield areas cannot be produced at present. Participation rates by LEA and by local LSC area for 16 and 17-year-olds are published in Statistical Bulletin 11/00: Participation in education and training by young people aged 16 and 17 in each local area and region, England, 199596 to 199900.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions she has had with trade unions about (a) pay and conditions and (b) training of (i) teaching and classroom assistants and (ii) nursery nurses. 
Mr. Timms: Last December my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met a representative from the GMB and school support staff including teaching assistants and nursery nurses to hear their views about the pay and conditions of service of school support staff.
Departmental officials are currently discussing in a working party with representatives of teachers, employers and support staff, a range of options for developing the role, career structure and training of support staff in schools.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of children left school with no academic qualifications in (a) coalfield areas and (b) England in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The proportion of 15-year-olds that achieved no GCSE or GNVQ equivalent passes by 200001 was 5.5 per cent. for England as a whole. This information is not available for coalfield areas.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Drug education in maintained schools is a statutory part of the National Curriculum. DfES Circular 4/95 sets out the statutory position on drug education in schools and was supplemented by the guidance "Protecting Young People" (1998) which gives detailed advice on how to deliver drug education effectively.
There are no requirements for drug education and awareness work to take place in colleges and universities. However the universities' own representative body, Universities UK, has produced guidelines on drug and alcohol policies for higher education institutions.
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Standards Fund grants which are not allocated to LEAs on a formula basis; what additional education funding is not allocated through (a) the Standards Fund and (b) special grants; and which additional educational funding schools are expected to apply for. 
Mr. Timms: All Standards Fund grants are allocated to local education authorities on a formula basis, except for grants supporting grammar school/non-selective school partnerships and the training school initiative, which are based on individual agreements between the Department and the partnership or school. The grants funding Welcome Back bonuses and Golden Hellos for teachers require applications from schools but are allocated by a formula on receipt of the application. Schools may also apply to become part of the Specialist Schools programme, funded through the Standards Fund, and if successful the resulting additional funding is allocated by a formula.
Special educational needs co-ordinators (early years);
Early years training;
Child care grant;
Neighbourhood nursery initiative (primarily a child care grant);
Grant maintained school transitional grant for insurance; and
Capital funding for voluntary aided schools.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on special needs teaching in Somerset, with special reference to the number of specialist teachers available. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Office for Standards in Education inspections of the Local Education Authority and schools indicate that overall the Local Education Authority's strategy for special educational needs is sound. There is a higher than average proportion of good provision for special educational needs pupils in mainstream schools. The number of statements maintained by the Local Education Authority has been declining each year since 1996 and the number of pupils in special schools has decreased to 1 per cent. The national average is 1.3 per cent.
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