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Mr. Ivan Lewis: Administrative receivers were appointed to Amraf Training plc on 1 October 2001. To 28 June 2002, the Department has received 66 representations concerning the closure. Details of any payments made by the Department to Amraf Training plc are held as commercial in confidence.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of (a) paper and (b) other goods purchased by her Department was recycled paper in each year since 1997; what the annual total cost of these purchases was; what plans there are to increase these proportions; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: My Department changed stationery supplier in December last year because our previously contracted supplier ceased trading. As a result, we have been unable to obtain accurate data concerning the annual total cost of purchases. Mechanisms are now in place to ensure that this information will be available in future.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills who her Department's Green Minister is; when they (a) have attended and (b) plan to attend meetings of the Green Ministers' Committee; what the outcomes of meetings were for her Department's activities; and if she will make a statement. 
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Following the general election in June 2001, the previously informal Green Ministers Committee was upgraded to a Cabinet Sub-Committee of ENV and it is established practice under exemption two of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees. Therefore I cannot relate progress or outcomes by my Department to anything that has been discussed.
However, I am happy to confirm my Department's commitment to promoting sustainable development, including green issues. Our departmental strategy to 2006 mentions sustainable development in relation to our investment strategy for schools, colleges and universities and in the modernisation of the Department's estate.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) environmental assessment and (b) assessment of the traffic implications she has made with respect to the specialisation of secondary schools in rural areas. 
Mr. Miliband [holding answer 4 July 2002]: No assessment has been made of environmental or traffic implications of specialisation for secondary schools in rural areas. We do not expect specialist school designation to have a significant impact on transport in rural areas. Specialist school designation is about raising standards of achievement across the whole school. Specialist schools enrich the learning opportunities and broaden the range of courses in their designated specialism, but they continue to teach a broad and balanced curriculum and meet the needs of all their pupils.
Mr. Miliband [holding answer 4 July 2002]: Of the 992 specialist schools to be operational from September this year, 21 (2.1 per cent.) are located in areas defined in the Register of Educational Establishments as mixed, predominantly rural or wholly rural areas. This compares with 2.8 per cent. of secondary schools nationally.
From October 2002, in order to assist small mainstream schools (many of them in rural areas) with their specialist school applications we have reduced the sponsorship requirement. Those with under 500 pupils on roll will have to raise sponsorship on the basis of £100 per pupil, subject to a minimum of £20,000.
Mr. Stephen Twigg: Departments are required to comply with the Government's general policy on insurance, which is set out in "Government Accounting", chapter 30, para 30.2.5, which notes that Government do not need to purchase insurance to protect the viability of its business, and should consider insurance only where the
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value of claims met would exceed the cost of insurance premiums. Commercial insurance of a building is acceptable in cases where (a) insurance is a condition of a lease (b) the lessor will not accept a Government indemnity (c) incurring the total cost of the accommodation in question, including the cost of the insurance, is more cost- effective than other accommodation options ("Government Accounting", para 30.2.11a).
Mr. Stephen Twigg: A list of the buildings owned by my Department and their estimated market value are detailed within the National Asset Register, published in July 2001 (Cm5221). This register lists all assets owed by Departments and their valuation.
Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will provide detailed information on PFI schemes, withheld on the grounds of commercial confidentiality, to bona fide research bodies to make objective assessments of their value for money. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 5 July 2002]: Tackling rural issues was one of the aspects which was tested in the piloting of the Connexions Service, the results of which were published by the Department for Education and Skills in the 'Lessons Learned from Connexions Pilots' report on 17 October 2001 (Research Brief ref: RB 308, Research Report ref: RR308). The document is available in the House of Commons Library.
We have also recently commissioned the University of Hull to conduct a study into the relative costs associated with delivering Connexions in rural and urban areas. This study will run from July to November 2002 with a report to be published by the Department for Education and Skills within three months of the completion of the field work. The findings of the study will help to inform a planned review of the Connexions funding arrangements due to be undertaken during 2003. All Connexions Partnerships have been informed of the study and are welcome to be involved where they feel that they have a particular contribution.
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commissioning stage, but we will in due course be disseminating examples of innovative approaches to help Partnerships deliver a high quality multi-agency support service to young people living in rural areas.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment her Department has made of the percentages of pupils staying on in full-time education or training post-age 16 in (a) schools with sixth forms and (b) schools without sixth forms in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Miliband [holding answer 8 July 2002]: The primary source of information on the changes in the activities of young people after completing compulsory education is the Youth Cohort Study (YCS). The following table shows details in the figures requested.
|In full-time education or training post-age 16|
|Comprehensive schoolswith sixth form||86%|
|Comprehensive schoolsno sixth form||83%|
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