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|Position as at 31 March each year||England||Lancashire local authority area|
(28) Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
(29) Includes Blackburn and Darwen and Blackpool.
(30) Not available.
The figures are as returned by local authorities. Figures for Lancashire local authority area for 19992001 are not directly comparable with 1997 because they do not include Blackburn and Darwen and Blackpool local authority areas.
The latest figures on day care facilities in England were published by my Department in Statistical Bulletin 08/01 "Children's Day Care facilities at 31 March 2001" in October 2001, a copy of which is available from the
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Library. An electronic copy of this publication is also available on my Department's web-site www.dfes.gov.uk/ statistics.
The increase in the number of day nursery places ensures that a wide choice of child care provision is available to parents. We expect this trend to continue with the creation of 45,000 places in neighbourhood nurseries (equivalent to 900 new 50 place nurseries) in disadvantaged areas.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills where an academy is created involving (a) the Church Schools Company and (b) any other faith-based organisation, whether the school will be allowed to select and dismiss teachers in accordance with sections 58 to 60 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. 
Mr. Timms: Employment law allows any school with a religious characterwhether maintained or independentto take into account in appointing or promoting teaching staff, their ability to promote the religious character of the school. Where an academy has a religious character, we would consider proposals to include provisions in the funding agreement analogous to the provisions of sections 58 to 60 of the School Standards and Framework Act as these apply to aided schools with a religious character. This would include the parts of sections 5860 which allow governing bodies of maintained schools to dismiss teachers appointed to give religious education in accordance with the character of the school, where they fail to do so efficiently and suitably.
Mr. Timms: Induction training was introduced for newly-recruited teaching assistants in 2000, funded by the DfES. National Vocational Qualifications, based on the new National Occupational Standards for Teaching Assistants, are expected to be in place later this year. Training opportunities are being considered as part of wider work on the development of new roles and career structures for teaching assistants and other school support staff, which will be the subject of consultation later this year.
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considering the roles, responsibilities and career development of teaching assistants and other school support staff. Proposals for improving career structures for support staff will be published in a consultation paper later this year. Provisional figures for January 2002 show that the number of teaching assistants in maintained schools is 103,624, an increase of 61 per cent. since 1998, and that the Government's target for increasing the number of school support staff by 20,000 in this Parliament was exceeded by 6,000, four years early.
Mr. Timms: The School Workforce Remodelling Working Party was not set up to work towards a report. Rather, it was established last December so that key stakeholders could meet to consider issues raised by the Secretary of State in her Social Market Foundation pamphlet"Professionalism and Trust".
The Working Party's debates have been wide-ranging, from the future deployment of teaching assistants through to reforms to teachers' contracts to deal with workload issues and the status of the teaching profession. The Working Party will shortly be debating the report on teacher workload from the School Teachers' Review Body which we published on 8 May.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the reasons were for the delay in answering the question from the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight on budget changes to employers' national insurance contributions tabled on 22 April, ref: 52079. 
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 22 April 2002, Official Report, column 94W, on what dates since June 2001 (a) Ministers and (b) officials have met their EU counterparts to discuss the proposed EU energy tax. 
Mr. Boateng: The proposed energy products directive has been discussed at meetings of the Council of Economic and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) taking place on 5 June, 22 September and 13 December 2001 and associated preparatory meetings of permanent representatives (COREPER).
The Financial Questions Group, a working group of officials, has discussed proposals for the energy products directive. It has met on 17 July, 18 September, 23 October and 27 November 2001, and 14 February, 7 March and 17 April 2002.
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Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on how many European Union states apply a reduced rate of duty on beer for small brewers; and on which states apply the reduced rate up to the maximum production level of 200,000 hectolitres allowable under EU law. 
Mr. Boateng: Seven other member states apply reduced rates of duty based on brewers' production levels. Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal offer a degree of relief up to the maximum production level allowable under EU law.
Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will begin consultation on his proposal to abolish royalty tax on the oil and gas industry; and how long the consultation period will last. 
Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what research he has commissioned on the effect of the supplementary charge and 100 per cent. first year capital allowances on expected monetary values of oil and gas assets and investments in the UK; 
Dawn Primarolo: A full analysis was made of reform's effect on investment. The Government examined the impact on all investment, exploration and appraised development projects that had already commenced, probable and possible developments on new fields that had already been discovered, and incremental developments of fields already in production.
Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the additional revenue that will be raised from the supplementary charge on the oil and gas industry between 2006 and 2010. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government do not publish such estimates. The overall impact of the Budget measures are taken into account in the forecasts of the economy and public finances as set out in the Financial Statement and Budget Report.
Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the analysis of the effect of changes in taxation of the oil and gas industry on (a) investment, (b) exploration and appraisal and (c) developments referred to in the oral statement by the Economic Secretary of 9 May 2002, Official Report, column 362. 
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what study he has made of the effect on the (a) timing and (b) number of North sea oil and gas projects of tax changes introduced in the Budget. 
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Dawn Primarolo: A full analysis was made of reform's effect on investment. The Government examined the impact on all investment, exploration and appraisal development projects that had already commenced, probably and possible developments on new fields that had already been discovered, and incremental developments of fields already in production. Such information is commercially sensitive and it would be inappropriate to make it public, as provided for in exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many representations he has received from non-UK oil companies operating in the North sea on the effects of preventing companies from claiming funding costs against profits under the Budget tax changes on their overall liability for tax. 
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will review the effect of the decision not to allow financing costs against profits when assessing the 10 per cent. budget tax levy on North sea profits. 
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