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4 Feb 2004 : Column 892Wcontinued
Alan Johnson: The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) carries out audits which cover the means by which an awarding institution secures the standards of its awards and the effectiveness of its quality management arrangements for partnership links, including those overseas. In addition, as part of the 'Institutional Audit'
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills by how much he expected the Children's Fund partnerships to underspend their 200304 budget profiles; on what basis the expectation of an underspend on Children's Fund partnerships was reached; and what alternative uses have been made of funds clawed back from his expectations of an underspend by Children's Fund partnerships. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 27 January 2004]: The 200304 mid year review of expenditure in the Children's Fund programme was carried out to assess actual expenditure against partnerships' own projections. This identified approximately £12.5 million underspend from the first half of the year. Underspend from partnerships is being used to fund other commitments in the Children's Fund programme.
Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children in Essex received free school transport to (a) secondary schools, (b) primary and infant schools and (c) special schools in each year from 1990 to 2003. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: Although we collect data on home to school transport expenditure, we do not usually collect data on the number of children receiving free transport. However, in response to a recent survey, Essex said that it provides free home to school transport to about 21,000 pupils at a cost of around £20 million in 2000/01.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 27 January in respect of the commitment to more funding for higher education. 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money deriving from the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme has been spent on promoting environmental education in schools in each of the last three years; and what assessment he has made of the impact of changes to the scheme on the funding of environmental education from this source. 
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|Calendar year||Expenditure (£)|
The figure for 2003 is as reported to date and may increase given that Environmental Bodies may report on expenditure for this specific year until April 2004.
The reform of the LTCS was announced in the pre-Budget report in 2002. As a result, waste projects, previously funded under categories c and cc, are no longer eligible for funding. However, certain types of environmental educational projects are eligible for funding under the current scheme, for example in the biodiversity category.
A sustainable waste management delivery public spending programme, administered by Defra, has been established following the reform of the LTCS, to ensure that sustainable alternatives to landfill disposal are widely available. Under the public expenditure programme the Waste and Resources Action Programme are responsible for taking forward work on waste awareness.
Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 29 January 2004]: The Department for Education and Skills has received representations from the National Association of Head Teachers on behalf of their members following their conference resolution on safety on school buses. We have received similar representations from one individual. I met with the NAHT to discuss safety on school buses on 19 January.
Bus safety legislation falls within the remit of Department for Transport. Local Authorities are required to secure "Best Value" when negotiating home to school transport contracts, and can include a requirement that additional safety measures be included in tenders. When asked to do so we advise authorities to take the safety benefits of seat-belts and other measures into account when considering the suitability of transport for particular journeys.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he was informed that the fraud squad of the Israeli police were investigating the unlawful sale of University of Humberside degrees; and what measures he has taken as a result. 
Alan Johnson [holding answer 2 February 2004]: My Department was alerted by recent press articles to the investigation by Israeli police. The Higher Education Funding Council for England wrote to the University of Lincoln (formerly the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside) on 26 January 2004 formally requesting details of the University's position.
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Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) false and (b) genuine degree certificates have been issued through each branch of University of Humberside franchised operations in Israel since they were established. 
Alan Johnson [holding answer 2 February 2004]: The University has informed me that 4,965 students in Israel were awarded degrees and that these are genuine. I have no information on the number of false degree certificates.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 5 January 2004, Official Report, column 90W, on albatrosses and petrels, if the United Kingdom will ratify the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels before the first meeting of the parties on 2004. 
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 5 January 2004, Official Report, column 90W, on albatrosses and petrels, what legal and other assistance the Government are giving to the UK overseas territories of (a) South Georgia/South Sandwich Islands, (b) Falkland Islands and (c) Tristan/Gough to enable them to submit their ratifications of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels on time for the first meeting of the parties in 2004. 
Mr. Morley: The UK continues to provide assistance to, and work closely with, all the Overseas Territories referred to by the hon. Member. We are keen to ratify the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels as soon as possible and we are giving priority to those Overseas Territories that have the necessary legislation in place or have formally requested that ratification be extended to them.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of municipal waste going to landfill was biodegradable waste in the last year for which figures are available; and what estimate she has made of the likely change in the next five years. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 29 January 2004]: In 200102, 28.8 million tonnes of municipal waste were collected, of which 22.3 million tonnes (77 per cent.) were disposed of to landfill. 70 per cent. of the waste land filled was estimated to be biodegradable using various assumptions. Surveys of biodegradable content of municipal waste are not made routinely, but the Environment Agency plan to carry out a survey to determine the biodegradable proportion of municipal waste arising.
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Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total amount paid under the Common Agricultural Policy was in the United Kingdom to (a) limited companies and (b) to individuals in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will recommend to the Leader of the House that a debate should be held on Common Agricultural Policy reform prior to decisions being made on the methodology to be employed in implementing the single farm payment.[R] 
Margaret Beckett [holding answer 27 January 2004]: I am aware that a number of Members would welcome such a debate. However, I am always conscious that there are very heavy pressures on parliamentary time. The timing of such a debate is a matter for the Business Managers.
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