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12 Oct 2004 : Column 193W—continued

FE Colleges

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of (a) the cost of the strategic area reviews of further education colleges and (b) the effect of the five-year plan on the progress of the reviews. [190079]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) was established in 2001 to plan and fund post-16 education and training. LSC led strategic area reviews (StARs) were introduced in April 2003 and are an
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integral part of this planning role. No extra funding was allocated to carry out these reviews and it is therefore not possible to disaggregate their specific cost from the overall cost of the wide range of planning activities carried out by local LSCs.

The DfES's five-year strategy published in July sets out our vision for an education and skills system to meet the needs of the 21st century. The StAR process supports this vision by mapping local provision and identifying the balance of provision there needs to be in a locality. The progress of the StAR process has not been affected in anyway by the five-year strategy and is still expected to complete in spring 2005 as originally planned.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) whether providers of NVQ2 in plumbing are able to supply sufficient numbers of qualified assessors for students to be able to continue with their qualifications; and if he will make a statement on the requirement for workplace assessment; [190013]

(2) what the ratio is of qualified assessors to students with regard to the NVQ2 in plumbing, broken down by each institution that offers this qualification; [190014]

(3) how many providers are no longer able to offer NVQ2 for plumbing in the current academic year due to not being able to meet its required rates of qualified assessors to students. [190016]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information on the ratio of qualified assessors to learners is not available within the Department.

The organisation of assessment arrangements is for the awarding bodies in conjunction with the centres which they have approved to deliver their qualifications, which in the case of the NVQ2 in plumbing is City and Guilds.

The assessment strategies that must be implemented in NVQs are specified by the appropriate Sector Skills Council or sector body and approved by the regulatory authorities.

Pupil Exclusions

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many decisions taken by schools in Buckinghamshire permanently to exclude pupils were reversed by independent appeals panels in each year since 2000–01. [189842]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The requested information is given in the following table.

Figures for 2003–04 are not yet available. In January 2003 we reformed the legislation governing exclusion appeal panels to strike a better balance between the interests of the individual pupil and those of the school community as a whole. We changed the composition of independent appeal panels to include more members with experience of school life. Our guidance is that panels should not normally reinstate excluded pupils for a range of offences, including threatened or actual violence.
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Maintained primary, secondary and special schools(2): summary of exclusion appeals 2000–01 to 2002–03

Buckinghamshire LEA
Appeals against exclusion
from a school
Number of appeals lodged16167
Number of appeals heard13166
Percentage of appeals heard(3)81.3100.085.7
Number of appeals determined in
favour of parent/pupil
Percentage of appeals determined
in favour of parent/pupil(4)

(2) Excludes non-maintained special schools.
(3) Shown as a percentage of appeals lodged.
(4) Shown as a percentage of appeals heard.
School Exclusion Appeals Survey

Sustainable Development Action Plan

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he expects to fill the post of coordinator for the Sustainable Development Action Plan; and if he will make a statement. [190220]

Mr. Charles Clarke: An appointment is in the process of being made and will be confirmed shortly.


ASBOs (Buckingham)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) antisocial behaviour orders and (b) curfew orders have been made in the Buckingham constituency since the commencement of the schemes. [189857]

Ms Blears: The information is as follows.

(a) Antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) have been available to the courts since 1 April 1999. From commencement, up to 31 March 2004 (latest available), the Home Office has been notified of three ASBOs issued where restrictions imposed are specific to Aylesbury Vale district council area of which the Buckingham constituency forms a part.

(b) The table shows the number of curfew orders with and without electronic monitoring made at courts in the County of Buckinghamshire from 1996 to 2002. Court proceedings data for2003 will be available in November. It is not possible from the data available centrally to identify those made in the Buckingham constituency.
Number of persons given curfew orders(5) in Buckinghamshire, 1996–2002


(5) Electronic and non-electronic orders.

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No applications have yet been received to establish a local child curfew scheme under section 14 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Some local authorities and police forces have considered the possibility but concluded that other measures should be taken to tackle relevant local problems.


Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how contestability differs from (a) market testing and (b) privatisation. [168393]

Paul Goggins: Contestability means obtaining the best value for money and the most effective supervision, punishment and care of offenders by opening up the prison and probation service to competition. We aim to engage the public, private, voluntary and 'not for profit' sectors, both in prison and the community, so that we can enhance public protection and deliver the most effective and efficient management of offenders. Market Testing, which has already been used successfully in the Prison Service and has demonstrated that public services can compete effectively with the private sector, is only one of a number of ways of achieving that aim.

Privatisation, which means selling a publicly provided service to the private sector, is not being considered.

CS Gas

Mr. Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many reported injuries have resulted from police use of CS gas spray in each of the last five years; and how many of those injured were police officers; [189505]

(2) how many complaints have been received in connection with the use of CS gas spray by police officers in England and Wales in each of the last five years; and what the outcome of each complaint was. [189506]

Ms Blears: Information about the number and outcome of police complaints received relating to specific situations is not held centrally by the Home Office. It could therefore be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Similarly, information about the number of injuries caused by police use of CS spray is not centrally held, and could again be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Dangerous Driving

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans there are to review the status of witnesses in cases of dangerous driving. [187387]

Caroline Flint: The Association of Chief Police Officer's Road Death Investigation Manual aims to achieve consistent professional investigation of incidents. In the early stages of investigation, one of the most important sources of evidence may be the identification of witnesses. The manual provides guidance to practitioners on how to gather evidence and secure the accounts of witnesses.
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The 'No Witness No Justice Project' aims to deliver a more customer-focused service to victims and witnesses to enable more witnesses to give evidence and increase victims and witness satisfaction.

Different approaches to support services for incidents that lead to death or serious injury are being piloted. The pilots are subject to independent evaluation and will inform national standards of care for people affected by road death and serious injury.

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