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11 Mar 2003 : Column 168W—continued

Pupil Expenditure

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent by each local education authority per (a) primary and (b) secondary pupil in descending order in the latest year for which figures are available. [101247]

Mr. Miliband: The information requested is contained in tables, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries.

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the expenditure per child in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in (i) Westminster and (ii) Kensington and Chelsea was in (A) 1997–98 and (B) 2001–02. [100071]

Mr. Miliband: The information requested is contained in the following table.

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Kensington and Chelsea2,9203,810
2001–02 (provisional)
Kensington and Chelsea3,4704,360


1. The figures consist of Net Institutional Expenditure (NIE) per pupil in nursery/primary and secondary schools and does not include central costs.

2. Cash figures are adjusted to 2001–02 levels using December 2002 GDP deflators.

3. The figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

4. The expenditure data in 1997–98 is drawn from the annual 'RO1' spending returns which local authorities submitted to the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. 2001–02 data is taken from Local Education Authorities' section 52 outturn statements submitted to the DfES. The pupil data are drawn from the DfES Annual Schools' Census.

Sex Education

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what options are available to parents of children attending schools which teach forms of sexual education that they deem inappropriate for their children to be exposed to on moral or religious grounds. [101969]

Mr. Miliband: Parents should be consulted by their child's school about its sex and relationship education (SRE) policy and informed about what is taught in SRE lessons. Policies should be culturally appropriate and inclusive of all children. Consulting pupils and their families will help establish what is appropriate and acceptable to them. Where schools work within the SRE guidelines that the Department published in July 2000, and consult effectively, parents should be reassured about the content of lessons.

Parents do have the right to withdraw their child from some, or all, SRE lessons, but not statutory science lessons. Parents who are considering such a step should talk it through with their child and then with either the headteacher or another senior teacher at the school. The schools should provide information about the lessons being missed and ideas for other sources of support for the parent to fulfil the task of educating their child.

Sixth Form Funding

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list schools with sixth forms for which the provisional funding for their sixth form for the next financial year would be lower than that for the current year, giving the (a) cash value and (b) percentage of the reduction in each case. [102153]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 10 March 2003]: The Learning and Skills Council has now announced finalised sixth form allocations for the 2003–04 academic year. These will be used by local education authorities in calculating schools' budget shares for the financial year 2003–04. The allocations are primarily the responsibility of the LSC and John Harwood, the Chief

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Executive, will write to the hon. Member and a copy of his letter will be placed in the House of Commons Library.

Specialist Schools

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools with a specialist designation there were in each of the last five years; and what percentage of specialist schools have chosen to exercise the option to select by aptitude. [101038]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 10 March 2003]: The number of schools in the Specialist Schools Programme in September for the last five years is as follows:

2000 536

Our figures suggest that less than 6 per cent. of schools that were specialist in summer 2002 (685 schools) used aptitude as part of their admission arrangements.


Accountancy Services

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the total cost to her Department was for accountancy services in 2002. [101859]

Clare Short: In 2002 DFID spent £940,000 on accountancy services for the development programme and £75,000 on support to our accounts department. These figures do not take into account lower value contracts, details of which are not held centrally.


John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the United Nations Statement of 20 February regarding the potential for terrorist acitivity in Southern Afghanistan in the event of military action in Iraq; and what impact the statement will have on her Department's humanitarian programme in Afghanistan. [100920]

Clare Short: DFID's support for humanitarian (emergency) activities is channelled through UN Agencies and NGOs. We will continue to monitor the security situation, and needs, in conjunction with the Afghan Transitional Authority and the UN.

DFID has recently received reports of an improvement in the security situation in the South. The Afghan National Army and the national police force are now much more visible in Kandahar. All the NGOs (with the exception of Oxfam) that had left Kandahar due to security concerns have now returned as security has improved.

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International Organisation for Migration

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions her Department has had with the UN regarding the funding of a visit by the International Organisation for Migration to Liberia. [101712]

Clare Short: We funded the visit of a four-person IOM team to Liberia in October 2002, to conduct an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) assessment survey. The visit was to evaluate the numbers, vulnerability and socio-economic profiles of the IDP population; to assess the cost of potential future programmes of assistance; and to participate in a UN co-ordinated IDP registration exercise, launched in collaboration with the Liberian authorities.

Subject to agreement on detailed objectives, we have agreed in principle to fund a return visit, in part to carry out some preliminary work on identifying urgent caseloads of IDPs who can be returned to their homes, and the costs of such an exercise.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment her Department has made of the security issue in UNHCR transit centres and surrounding villages in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia. [101718]

Clare Short: The recent eruption of fighting, apparently between Liberian opposition groups and Liberian armed forces, around Toe Town in Grand Gedeh County, has seriously affected the UNHCR transit centres in Toe Town itself and in Zwedru. There are reports that the Liberian opposition groups involved are operating from within Cote d'lvoire.

UNHCR has reported that, following an attack on Toe town on 28 February, local residents and an estimated 2,500 Ivorian refugees and third country nationals fled towards Zwedru. UNHCR has established a transit centre at Zwedru. A skeleton staff of UNHCR, WFP and NGO staff are running the centre. On 4 March, following rumours that the town would be attacked, many people left Zwedru. As a precautionary measure, a month's food rations were issued to all refugees and third country nationals staying in the centre.

The security situation in Grand Gedeh County remains unstable and uncertain. This is due to the combined effects of fighting in Liberia and Cote d'lvoire. We are strongly supporting efforts by the international community to press for an end to conflict in both countries.


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on aid to be made available to Iraq for the forthcoming year. [101647]

Clare Short: Our ongoing programme of humanitarian support in Iraq, is expected to disburse around £6 million in the forthcoming financial year. I have also recently committed an additional £10 million from the current financial year to assist UN agencies and NGOs with contingency planning. My Department

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maintains a contingency reserve of £88 million, which I would draw on in the event of any worsening humanitarian crisis in Iraq.

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact on Iraqi civilians, in terms of (a) hunger and (b) disease, of military hostilities against Iraq. [101652]

Clare Short: The vulnerability of the Iraqi people to humanitarian crisis should not be underestimated. People's private coping strategies have been worn away by years of misrule. 60 per cent. of the population are totally dependent for food on the UN Oil For Food Programme which is likely to be disrupted in the event of military action. A majority live in urban areas, with a dependence on electrically-powered water and sanitation systems which might also be disrupted, leading to a number of potential health problems. My Department is in regular discussion with the Ministry of Defence, the UN, partner Governments and other humanitarian actors about minimising the humanitarian risks of any conflict to the Iraqi people, and responding to any crises which might arise.

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the (a) cost and (b) logistics of aid operations established to replace the oil for food programme for Iraq. [101654]

Clare Short: Current annual expenditures under the UN oil for food programme run at around $10 billion, the largest elements of which are the food allocation ($3 billion) and basic service delivery supplies (health, education, water and sanitation, and electricity—$2 billion). In the event of military action, we will work with others to minimise disruption to the programme and re-establish it as quickly as possible. During any period in which the programme was not able to function, the responsibility to provide immediate humanitarian relief would fall to those best placed to help, and my Department has been working with the Ministry of Defence and other partners on how best this might be done. The potential scale of this task, for a population of whom 60 per cent. are dependent on the programme, is enormous. The costs involved would obviously vary depending on the length of any disruption, but the ability of the international community to meet them will be greatly enhanced if a lead role for the UN is put in place for the relief and reconstruction of Iraq following any conflict.

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