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Astute Class Submarines

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where the Astute class submarines will be based. [65180]

Mr. Ingram: Both the first and second batches of Astute class submarines will be at based HM Naval Base Clyde. The first batch is already on order and a decision on the procurement of the second batch of up to three further Astute class submarines is expected later this year.

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Medical Treatment

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average (a) in-patient waiting time and (b) out-patient waiting time was for armed forces personnel in (i) 2000, (ii) 2001 and (iii) 2002 treated in (A) the NHS and (B) the private sector; and if he will make a statement. [54136]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 7 May 2002]: Service patients in the United Kingdom are mainly treated in Defence Secondary Care Agency (DSCA) administered Ministry of Defence Hospital Units (MDHUs) situated in NHS trusts. The DSCA measures treatment waiting times for service personnel at the MDHUs against its Outpatient and Inpatient Key Targets. Details of the Agency's Outpatient and Inpatient Key Targets for 2000–01 and 2001–02 and the Agency's performance against these are given in the tables:

Table 1—2000–01

Key targetOutcome
Out-patients
45 per cent. of service patients to be offered a first out-patient appointment within four weeks of receipt of a referral and 85 per cent. within 13 weeks34 per cent. within four weeks and 89 per cent. within 13 weeks
In-patients
75 per cent. of service patients to be offered a treatment date which is within 13 weeks of the decision to give in-patient treatment68 per cent

Table 2—2001–02

Key targetOutcome
Out-patients
45 per cent. of service patients to be offered a first out-patient appointment within four weeks of receipt of a referral and 90 per cent. within 13 weeks33 per cent. within four weeks and 68 per cent. within 13 weeks
In-patients
80 per cent. of service patients to be offered a treatment date which is within 13 weeks of the decision to give in-patient treatment73 per cent.

Table 1 covers referrals to MDHUs Derriford, Frimley Park, Northallerton and Peterborough and to the Royal Surrey County Hospital (for oral and maxillofacial surgery only). Table 2 also includes referrals to MDHU Portsmouth, which was created on 1 April 2001.

Service personnel can opt to be treated in other NHS hospitals and are referred to these where there is a need for specialised care not available in the Defence Medical Services (DMS) or for geographical reasons. This patient activity is subsumed in overall NHS waiting lists.

The DMS do not maintain a central record of treatment waiting times for the service personnel that they refer to the independent health care sector. Such referrals are made under a variety of schemes managed by either the DSCA or the single services.

Armoured Personnel Vehicles

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to consider the replacement of armoured personnel vehicles in use by the UK armed forces. [62901]

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Dr. Moonie: Planning for a replacement armoured personnel carrying capability includes the Future Rapid Effect System, the Armoured Battlegroup Support Vehicle and the Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle. We continue to review existing armour personnel vehicle programmes to ensure that they remain coherent with evolving United Kingdom strategic requirements.

EDUCATION AND SKILLS

Ministerial Salaries

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the annual cost was of ministerial salaries in her Department in (a) 1997–98 and (b) 2001–02. [60940]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The level of ministerial salaries are recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Body. From May 1997, in this Department's predecessor, the Department for Education and Employment, there was one Cabinet Minister, at an annual salary of £43,991; three Ministers of State, two in the Commons paid at an annual salary of £31,125, and one in the Lords paid at an annual salary of £51,838; and three Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of States, at an annual salary of £23,623. From June 2001, there was one Cabinet Minister, at an annual salary of £68,157; two Ministers of State, at an annual salary of £35,356; and three Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State, two in the Commons paid at an annual salary of £26,835 and one in the Lords paid at an annual salary of £60,961.

Staff Training

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much the Department has spent on staff training and development in each of the last five years. [61052]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Department for Education and Skills is responsible for encouraging and supporting learning and development throughout the UK. It has set itself the objective of becoming an exemplar learning organisation. To this end it has established leading edge e-learning facilities and continues to develop this and other learning solutions for its staff.

As currently constituted, the Department is barely one year old, following a Machinery of Government change. The figures for 1997–98 to 1999–2000 below relate to the Department for Education and Employment. Figures for 2000–01 and 2001–02 have been adjusted to reflect the Department's current responsibilities.

As a percentage of all staff costs the figures are:

Year
1997–981.5
1998–991.5
1999–20002.0
2000–01(2)1.8
2001–02(2)2.6

Estimated


These figures represent the more formal aspects of learning and development. They do not, for example,

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capture such areas as coaching by line managers, interchange, secondment, mentoring and self-managed learning.

School Exclusions

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of pupils living in (a) a residential care home and (b) with foster parents were (i) in special schools and (ii) excluded from school in the last five years for which figures are available, broken down by (A) Government office region and (B) LEA. [62658]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The information is not currently collected centrally in the form requested. Information collected by the Department of Health shows that 1.5 per cent. of children who had been looked after continuously for at least 12 months at 30 September 2000 had received a permanent exclusion during the 1999–2000 school year.

From January 2003, the Annual Schools Census will identify children who are or have been in care, though the type of care will not be recorded.

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many fixed-term exclusions from schools in England there were in (a) 1990, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000 and (e) 2001. [63656]

Mr. Miliband: The information requested is not available centrally.

Fixed term exclusions have been collected for the first time this year on a trial basis. A more regular collection is being considered.

Training Organisations

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost has been of national training organisations in each year since coming into existence. [63968]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The first NTO recognitions were in 1997. NTO recognition was withdrawn as of 31 March 2002. The totality of payments recorded for each financial year since April 1997 made by the Department in respect of work contracted to NTOs is as follows:

£ million
1997–984.158
1998–998.136
1999–200015.008
2000–0113.214
2001–0211.948

Bullying

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations she has received to make it a statutory obligation for schools to allow pupil participation when (a) drawing up and (b) reviewing the school's anti-bullying strategy. [63655]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: Bullying is a serious problem which can put the emotional well-being and educational achievement of young people at risk. From September 1999 head teachers of maintained schools have been

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under a duty to draw up measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils; these need to be reviewed regularly.

We have not received recent representations to make it a statutory obligation to allow pupil participation when drawing up or reviewing a school's anti-bullying policy. We recommend such participation, although it is for schools to decide whether this is appropriate particularly if they have very young pupils. In our pack for schools "Bullying: don't suffer in silence" we mention that schools which involve pupils have found their suggestions practical and sensitive to the school's ethos.

We are currently funding new research by ChildLine to obtain young people's views on schools' anti-bullying policies as part of a project on what works in combating the problem. The results should be available early next year.


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