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7 Sept 2004 : Column 972W—continued

Serious Fraud Office (Bribery)

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Solicitor-General from which (a) companies and (b) organisations the Serious Fraud Office have requested (i) co-operation and (ii) information with regard to investigations relating to the enforcement of anti-bribery legislation since 2000. [184168]

The Solicitor-General [holding answer 15 June 2004]: The information requested could be obtained only by examining individual case files in each dating back to 2000 and would incur disproportionate cost (Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, part 2, clause 9).


Counter-terrorism Grants

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how the Government calculates counter-terrorism grants to front-line responders, with particular reference to (a) police forces, (b) fire brigades and (c) ambulance services. [184599]

Mr. Blunkett: I have been asked to reply.

Of the emergency services, only the police carry out counter-terrorism work. Funding for police counter-terrorism and other national security functions is predominantly funded through mainstream funding mechanisms rather than direct grant. However since 2002–03 the Home Office has provided additional funding to the Police Service to enable it to respond to the increased threat posed by international terrorism since September 2001. In 2004–05 this will amount to £84 million. The allocation of this funding to individual forces is determined following full consultation between individual police forces, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office.

Funding for counter-terrorism has to be considered within the wider context of funding for national security in the round, which will rise from £980 million in 2001 to over £2.1 billion in 2007, including the doubling of the size of M15.

In addition, an extra £20 million per year from 2005–06 will be allocated to the Civil Defence Grant. This will double to £40 million per year, the contribution the Government previously allocated to local authorities.
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Tannery Arts Ltd.

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the compulsory purchase order placed on Tannery Arts Ltd.'s premises. [187473]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We are exploring the feasibility of establishing an academy on the site of the former Laburnum primary school following a proposal from the London borough of Hackney and the UBS Investment Bank. There is strong need for new school places in Hackney.

Provision of a suitable site is a matter for Hackney council and they have begun a compulsory purchase order process on land next to the Laburnum school given the restricted nature of that site. This is entirely a matter for them.

We are conscious of the concerns raised about the future of Tannery Arts and discussions are taking place. It would be premature to say anything more at this stage. However, the academy would play a key role in transforming educational opportunities and standards for young people in the area.

Adult Education (Great Yarmouth)

Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what public funding has been spent on adult (a) literacy and (b) numeracy in Great Yarmouth in each of the last five years. [186716]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The estimated total spend on Skills For Life (the Government's strategy for literacy, language and numeracy needs of all post-16 learners from pre-entry level up to and including level 2) and on Key Skills (essential skills of communication, application of number and information technology), from April 2001 to July 2003, in the Norfolk Learning and Skills Council (LSC) area is set out in the following table:

April 2001 to July 2001(10)August 2001 to July 2002August 2002 to July 2003
Basic skills8742,1452,936
Key skills3585241,022

(10) The figures for April to July 2001 include costs incurred from August 2000 on learning aims continuing into April 2001.

From the information available to the LSC it has not been feasible to obtain estimates at constituency level or separate figures by subject without incurring disproportionate cost. Likewise it has not been feasible to obtain comparable figures for periods before April 2001 when the Skills for Life strategy was launched and the LSC was formed, but information shows it was considerably less than at present.


Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money was spent on advertising and promotional literature for his Department's initiatives, broken down by year since 1997. [183805]

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Mr. Miliband: The information is as follows.

1. Expenditure details from the Department's central advertising and public budget, for advertising and promotional work is listed as follows:
Expenditure (£ million)
2004–05 expenditure (budgeted)15.3

2. Financial information for any other advertising and promotional work from outside of the central marketing team could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Alderman Blaxill Secondary School, Colchester

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received about the closure of classrooms at Alderman Blaxill Secondary School, Colchester, following the discovery of asbestos; what action he is taking to ensure that the school has sufficient operational classrooms for the new school year; and if he will make a statement. [187012]

Mr. Miliband: I am not aware of any representations having been received regarding the matter referred in the question other than your letter to the Secretary of State dated 21 July 2004. Essex LEA is working closely with the school to ensure that suitable accommodation is available to the Alderman Blaxill Secondary School for the new school year. The bulk of schools capital is now allocated by formula to authorities and schools so that they can address their local priorities, including accommodation issues. Prioritisation of need should be through an open, rigorous and consultative asset management process, based on assessments of the needs of all schools. This Government have increased their support for capital investment in schools from under £700 million in 1996–97 to £3.8 billion this year and this will increase further to over £5 billion by 2005–06.


Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research he has commissioned regarding the school exclusion rates of (a) autistic students and (b) students with Asperger's Syndrome; and if he will make a statement on his policy on whether autistic students should remain in mainstream schools. [186943]

Margaret Hodge: The statistics published by the Department do not record the types of special educational need (SEN), such as autism and Asperger's syndrome, which excluded pupils with SEN have. The most recent provisional statistics, for 2002/03, do show that children with SEN, both those with and without statements of SEN, account for two-thirds of permanent exclusions and that children with SEN were nine times more likely to be permanently excluded than those without SEN. As part of the SEN strategy "Removing Barriers to Achievement", published in
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February, we are carrying out research into exclusions and children with SEN, including those with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs), and we will act on its findings.

Research by the National Autistic Society in 2000 suggested that children with ASDs, including Asperger's syndrome, were far more likely to be excluded than their peers. The Society is represented on our Autism Working Group which produced Good Practice Guidance on ASDs in 2002. This guidance aims to raise awareness of the disorders and to give good practice pointers to schools, local education authorities and others to help develop and audit their autism provision. It is available to assist schools make the reasonable adjustments to their policies and practice with respect to children with ASDs required by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, which they need to consider when meeting their duty not to discriminate against disabled pupils, without justification, by excluding them because of behaviour caused by their disability.

Children with autism display a range of strengths and difficulties of differing levels of severity and complexity. Those with SEN statements should be placed in a setting where their profile of needs can be met. The Good Practice Guidance recommends that LEAs, either singly or in regional groupings, should develop a range of provision in mainstream, special and specialist schools so that children with statements can be placed appropriately with the placement being monitored and changed as necessary.

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