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13 Jan 2004 : Column 638W—continued

Teachers (Huntingdon)

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many full-time (a) primary and (b) secondary school teachers were employed in Huntingdon on 1 December 2003. [146435]

Mr. Miliband: Constituency level data for regular teachers are collected on the Annual Schools' Census in January of each year. The most recent data available for primary and secondary full-time regular teachers is at January 2003. These data are shown in the following table.

Full-time teachers(3) in maintained schools in Huntingdon constituency


(3) Includes qualified and other teaching staff.

(4) Includes middle schools as deemed.


Annual Schools' Census.

Toilet Training

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment has been made of toilet training for children; and whether any research has been conducted on this subject. [146727]

Dr. Ladyman: I have been asked to reply.

The Department of Health has not commissioned any recent research on links between bowel and bladder problems in children and child abuse.

Data on the number of parents accused, and admitting to abuse of their children as result of enuresis are not collected centrally.

A study published in 1997, based on data from the national study of health and growth, found that a father's social class was associated with enuresis only in girls, with a higher prevalence in those whose fathers were manual workers.

"Good practice in continence services", issued by the Department in April 2000, provides guidance to primary care trusts (PCTs) on continence services. This includes that PCTs should have specialist continence services in place, which provide patients with an individual assessment of their needs. Provision of these services in England is a matter for PCTs, which are responsible for determining the level of services required to meet the needs of their local populations. The Department does not monitor provision in this level of detail.

Toilet training for children is considered in the Department of Health guide, "Birth to Five", available free to first time mothers and at The Department has not commissioned any recent research on toilet training for children.

Unauthorised Absence

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils missed, through unauthorised absence, (a) one half-day session, (b) between two and five half-day sessions, (c) between

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six and 10 half-day sessions, (d) between 11 and 15 half-day sessions, (e) between 16 and 20 half-day sessions and (f) over 20 half-day sessions in each year since 1997. [147145]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not available. The Pupil Absence Return requires schools to provide only the number of pupils with at least one unauthorised absence. From the data collected, it is possible to calculate the average number of half-days missed per absent pupil due to unauthorised absence and the figures since 1997 are shown as follows:

Academic yearAverage number of half-days missed per absent pupil due to unauthorised absence


Figures are for maintained primary and secondary schools combined.

Tuition Fees

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the amount the proposed top-up fees would raise annually if (a) all universities charged the maximum and (b) universities on average charged half the maximum. [147563]

Alan Johnson: Information on the costs and benefits associated with the proposal in the Higher Education Bill to allow universities to set their own tuition fees is contained in the Regulatory Impact Assessment, published on 8 January 2004, alongside the Bill. The Regulatory Impact Assessment illustrates the income from additional fees in different scenarios. Because of the nature of a variable scheme, the costs vary greatly according to the decisions that higher education institutions take, and they cannot be estimated precisely at this stage. Copies of the Regulatory Impact Assessment were placed in the Library of the House; it is also available on the Department for Education and Skills website.

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in which year he expects his proposal to increase from £10,000 to £15,000 the income threshold for repayment by graduates of tuition fees to take effect; and whether he plans to take account of possible inflation in the intervening period when setting the threshold. [147724]

Alan Johnson: We plan to increase the threshold for the repayment of student loans from £10,000 to £15,000 with effect from April 2005. No account will be taken of any inflation in the intervening period.

Violent Pupils

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what provisions are being implemented to promote the safety of teachers, with particular reference to violent pupils. [146666]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are investing nearly £470 million over this and the next two years in measures to improve behaviour and attendance in schools. These include training for school staff in managing pupil behaviour and preventing violence. We have also made it clear that head teachers may permanently exclude pupils responsible for violence. New legislation in the Anti-Social Behaviour Act will enable local education authorities to apply for court-imposed Parenting Orders for parents whose children have been excluded from school for serious misbehaviour. And we have issued "A legal toolkit for schools", which identifies legal remedies available when school staff experience problems with violent parents. Some of these are also available when dealing with violent pupils.


Departmental Relocation

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff in her Department work in (a) the West Midlands and (b) North Staffordshire. [146918]

Mr. Caborn: There are currently no staff in my department that work in the West Midlands or North Staffordshire area.

Hotel Accommodation (VAT)

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make representations to the Chancellor to undertake a review of value added tax levels on hotel accommodation. [147250]

Mr. Caborn: DCMS has no plans at present to make representations to the Chancellor to review the rate of VAT on hotel accommodation, but we will continue to monitor the position carefully in consultation with the tourism and hospitality industry. Inconsidering the rate of VAT for hotels, the Government has to consider a wide range of issues such as the rate paid by other industries and the impact on revenue to the Exchequer, both in the short and longer term. The Government's aim is to maintain a tax system that provides the best overall environment for business, but it does keep the system under continual review.

Iraqi National Museum

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which Government Ministers have recently visited the Iraqi national museum in Baghdad; and if she will make a statement on (a) lost, stolen or damaged exhibits belonging to the museum and (b) access to the museum and its security. [146362]

Tessa Jowell: No Government Ministers have visited the Iraqi national museum in Baghdad recently. The British Museum is collaborating with the Baghdad Museum on a conservation programme which includes providing training in London for three Iraqi conservators on up to date conservation techniques. Estimates on numbers of missing artefacts are subject to regular revision. Early reports stating that 170,000 pieces had been looted from the museum were misleading. Currently around 30 pieces from the main

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collection are still unaccounted for and a further 10–13,000 other pieces may also be missing. Access to the Museum and the security of the Museum, and of its collections is a matter for the Museum and the appropriate Iraqi authorities working in partnership with the Coalition Provisional Authority.


Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to increase productivity in the tourism industry in 2004. [147253]

Mr. Caborn: Government, in partnership with the wider tourism industry, has identified four key strategic priority areas for increasing productivity in the industry. During 2004, DCMS will continue the work that is already in progress on domestic and overseas marketing through direct funding to VisitBritain and development of the EnglandNet initiative, on raising skills through supporting the establishment of a Sector Skills Council, by driving up quality through the Fitness for Purpose initiative and a review of the current accommodation quality grading schemes, and by improving tourism data through a review of data quality and availability with a view to strengthening statistics. A fifth priority for DCMS is to strengthen the advocacy of tourism across government at all levels. By concentrating on these areas, we aim to drive up productivity in the sector and to develop a highly competitive industry with sustainable foundations for long-term growth.

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