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30 Oct 2002 : Column 800Wcontinued
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assistance has been given to local authorities to educate residents of the dangers of illegally imported bushmeat. 
Mr. Morley: I have been asked to reply.
A campaign to raise public awareness of the dangers posed by illegal meat imports has been co-ordinated centrally by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. A variety of methods have been used in the campaign, including posters, leaflets, and radio fillers. Two Government information videos have just been produced. A leaflet on the importance of biosecurity has been issued to farmers. At the level of local authorities, in this financial year, Defra is funding jointly with the Food Standards Agency to provide additional training officers on import rules.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what local authorities are introducing smart card technology to improve access to and availability of concessionary fare schemes; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.
My Department is currently reviewing local authorities' plans to implement smart card concessionary travel schemes and has produced an interim list of existing and planned travel schemes.
Active schemes and schemes under implementation (England) 1
1 Smart cards in use but not necessarily complete issue/acceptance
Schemes in preparation and under consideration (England)
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Smart cards have great potential to help improve people's experience of public transport by facilitating through-ticketing and Xseamless" journeys. In some parts of the country projects are already well advanced. We are organising Xshowcase" demonstration examples to promote their wider take-up, to encourage scheme integration and help put the UK firmly in the lead in this area. My Department is working closely with the Integrated Transport Smart Card Organisation (ITSO) to create common specifications for ticketing systems to ensure smart cards introduced in one area are capable of working with ticket machines in other areas.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment has been made of the impact of the implementation of the Private Securities Act 2001 on local authorities' ability to control the activities of private clamping and towing companies; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: I have been asked to reply.
The Private Security Industry Act 2001 will introduce for the first time effective regulation of the activities of those who clamp vehicles on private land. The Act provides for the compulsory licensing of all individuals involved in such activities. Licensing will be undertaken by the Security Industry Authority, which will work closely with local authorities and the police in ensuring proper compliance with the licensing requirement.
The provisions of the 2001 Act do not extend to the towing away of motor vehicles. We are, however, aware of the growing concern about towing activities and are currently consulting relevant bodies about the scale of the problem and what, if any, measures should be introduced to address it.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what responsibilities under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 he plans to give local authorities; what funding will be given for these extra responsibilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: I have been asked to reply.
The Private Security Industry Act 2001 places responsibility for licensing individuals in the industry with the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Section 13 of the Act allows the Secretary of State to devolve to local authorities some or all of the SIA's licensing
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functions in respect of door supervisors. After careful consideration of the issues, including the cost implications and practicality of any such devolution, the Government have decided that all aspects of the licensing of door supervisors should be undertaken centrally by the SIA. I advised the Local Government Association of this decision on 31 August. The SIA will be discussing with local authorities how best to monitor, at local level, compliance with the licensing regime.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the ability of local authorities to regulate the activities of private clamping and towing companies; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I have been asked to reply.
Local authorities do not have any statutory powers to regulate operators who clamp and remove vehicles from private land, including car parks where the public has access. However, under the Private Security Industry Act 2001, the Security Industry Authority has been given powers to regulate all persons in England and Wales who immobilise vehicles in such places, in part because of concerns about the unscrupulous behaviour of some clamping companies. The authority is expected to begin licensing clamping operators with effect from late 2003.
The provisions of the 2001 Act are limited to the immobilisation of a vehicle by the attachment of an immobilising device, and do not extend to the towing away of motor vehicles. We are, however, aware of the growing concern about towing activities and, in view of this, we are currently consulting relevant bodies (such as the police and the British Parking Association) about the scale of the problem and what, if any, measures should be introduced to address it.
Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will introduce a system of bursaries for four-year bachelor of education degrees equivalent to those available for students on post-graduate certificates of education. 
Mr. Miliband: My right hon. Friend has no present plans to alter the support arrangements for students on Bachelor of Education courses, which remain the same as those which apply to other undergraduate students.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his policy is on educating children of immigrants separately for the first months after arrival in order to have their needs assessed. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: All children, including those from migrant families, are given the same opportunities as other children to access education. The Department has no plans to provide separate education for the vast majority of children of immigrants.
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However, a minority of children whose families seek asylum and are destitute may be educated in accommodation centres which will provide a complete package of support for the family. This education will be of the same breadth and quality as that delivered in schools and will be specifically tailored to meet their particular needs, including providing intensive support to help them learn English.
On arrival in the centre, children will receive an initial assessment which will cover such areas as previous educational experience and attainment, knowledge of English and any Special Educational Needs requirements. Teachers will monitor progress during the length of their stay and, on leaving the centre, will undertake a final assessment with information being recorded which will be available to their receiving school.
Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils were excluded from (a) primary schools, (b) city technology colleges,
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(c) other secondary schools and (d) special schools in each year since 1988; how many of these exclusions were taken to appeal; and how many of these exclusions were successfully overturned by an appeals panel. 
Mr. Miliband: The available information is shown in the table. Data on permanent exclusions have only been recorded reliably for the academic year 199596 onward.
(10) Year in which the permanent exclusion fell after appeal procedures had been concluded.
(11) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(12) Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools.
(13) Estimates have been made for 200001 because the data are known to be incomplete.Source:Annual Schools Census
|Appeals by parents||Appeals by governors|
(14) Year in which the appeal was determined.
(15) Not applicable (from 1 September 1999 the right of the LEA to overrule to governor's decision to uphold a permanent exclusion was abolished).
School Exclusion Appeals Survey
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