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Staff Numbers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many staff were employed by her Department on (a) 2 May 1997 and (b) 31 May 2002. [60920]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for State at the Cabinet Office on 13 June 2002, Official Report, column 1402W.

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Special Educational Needs

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer of 4 July 2002, Official Report, column 498W, on MLD and SLD schools, on what basis the Government allocates funding to meet SEN requirements. [69501]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: Most provision for the education of children with special needs (SEN) is included within general revenue grant support for local authorities. The Education Standard Spending Assessment formula through which this general support is distributed allows for different levels of additional educational need, between authorities, but does not specifically allocate funding for SEN needs. In practice, about 11 per cent. of local authority schools expenditure is attributable to SEN and to other "special" kinds of provision such as pupil referral units. In addition to general grant support, the Government pay specific grant through the Standards Fund which will support £91 million of expenditure on SEN in 2002–03. This specific support is distributed to authorities on the following basis: 70 per cent. on full time equivalent pupil numbers in all LEA maintained schools and 30 per cent. by entitlement to free school meals.

Early-years Education

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of three- year-olds in deprived areas have access to early-years education. [69382]

Margaret Hodge: The Department does not collect data in the format requested.

However, we have increased the national percentage of three-year-olds able to access a free, part time, early education place from 34 per cent. in January 1997 to more than 66 per cent. in January 2002. By September 2004, all three-year-olds will be able to access a free place.

Already, 65 of the most deprived local education authorities offer a free nursery education place to all three-year-olds whose parents want one. The remaining authorities are responsible for devising eligibility criteria for the distribution of free places in their area according to social need.

Children and Young People's Unit

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action she will take in response to the publication of the 'Yvote?/Ynot?' report by the Children and Young People's Unit. [69615]

Mr. Denham: The Children and Young People's Unit will be working with the Electoral Commission and a wide range of young people's organisations to extend the debate about the report's findings. We plan to make the materials from the project available to teachers, youth workers and organisations working directly with young people. We shall be working with the All Party Group on Youth Affairs to explore how honourable Members can be helped to improve their communication with young people. The report also identified the importance of information about the political process and this will be a

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key feature of citizenship education which will be part of the national curriculum for secondary schools from August 2002.

My objective is to seek to ensure that all young people who have the opportunity to vote for the first time at the next general election should have considered the issues involved.

Grammar Schools

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many places there were in each state grammar school in each English local education authority; what percentage this represented of the total number of secondary school places in these local authorities; and how many and what percentage of children was entered for the admission test for each of these schools in each of the last three years. [68172]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not regularly collect information on the number of school places in any type of school. Nor does it collect information on the number of children entered for admission tests.


S/Waste Paper

Mr. Mullin: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much waste paper was produced by the House in each of the last two years; how it was disposed of; and if he will make a statement. [2635]

Mr. Kirkwood [pursuant to his reply, 17 June 2001, c. 156W]: In July 2001 I said that some 3,000 tonnes of waste were incinerated per year. In fact the total quantity of domestic waste (that is, not including builders' waste) removed from the parliamentary estate and burned over the last three years has been under 1,500 tonnes per year. I apologise to the hon. Gentleman for this error; the wrong information was provided by a contractor, and that mistake has only just come to light in the course of preparing an answer to a recent question.


NHS Dentistry

9. Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on dental health. [67272]

Mr. Lammy: Since the inception of the NHS oral health has improved greatly and NHS dentistry has worked well over this period. There have been dramatic falls in the numbers of adults and children with decayed, missing or filled teeth. However variations remain across the country and we are taking action to tackle these. We are also working with representatives of the profession to modernise NHS dentistry and to see how new demands on the service can be met for the benefit of patients and dentists.

31. Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of adults are registered with an NHS dentist. [67295]

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Mr. Lammy: Arrangements are now in place to ensure that patients can gain access to national health service services simply by calling NHS Direct. This means that even if a patient is not registered with a dentist it will still be possible for that patient to access all forms of dentistry that are provided by the NHS.

Forty-three per cent. of adults were registered with a general dental service dentist in England at 31 May 2002. Registrations lapse if patients do not return to the dentist within 15 months. Patients who are not registered can be seen under occasional treatment arrangements that were introduced last year.

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding has been made available to the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency for NHS dental provision. [60776]

Jacqui Smith [pursuant to her reply, 24 June 2002, c. 727–28W]: I regret that my previous reply was incorrect. It should read:

Information on funding of national health service dental provision is not available on a constituency basis.

The gross fees paid to general dental practitioners (GDP) within the old Morecambe Bay health authority area, for providing NHS dental treatment, were £9.28 million in 2001–02. Additional sums are paid to GDPs, for example to reimburse business rates. Funding for hospital and community dental services is drawn from the health authority's main allocation. This information is not identified separately.

In 2001–02 the following additional funds were made available to Morecambe Bay health authority to improve NHS dental services:

Elderly Care

11. Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on implementing the elderly care strategy in north Staffordshire. [67274]

Jacqui Smith: My hon. Friend has worked hard over many years to ensure better care for the elderly in the north Staffs area. I am aware that following concerns expressed by herself and the Community Health Council about plans for the future of elderly care services in north Staffs, Professor Brian Edwards was commissioned to make an independent report on the best way forward.

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I understand that the Shropshire and Staffordshire health authority are on target with the implementation of their elderly care strategy and are addressing all recommendations made in Professor Edwards' independent report including ensuring an extra 48 places in community hospitals over and above Professor Edwards' recommendation of 163 long-term beds.

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