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10 Nov 2004 : Column 764W—continued

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether it is the Government's policy that conductive education should be made available to all children with special educational needs; what research he has commissioned on conductive education in special education; and what guidance has been issued on the use of conductive education for children with motor disorders. [194626]

Margaret Hodge: Decisions about how to provide for children with special educational needs (SEN) are taken locally in light of all the individual circumstances. Local education authorities (LEAs) have a statutory duty to identify, assess and provide for children with SEN, taking advice from professionals and other agencies as necessary. Some individual placements at specialist centres providing conductive education are being funded by LEAs, social services and health.

A research project by the University of Birmingham to evaluate the effectiveness of conductive education was funded by the Department in 1993. This found no evidence that children receiving conductive education progress better than comparable children at maintained special schools.

There are no plans to give all pupils with special educational needs access to conductive education or to provide guidance. The Government's strategy for SEN—"Removing Barriers to Achievement"—launched in February this year, sets out our vision for giving children with SEN and disabilities the opportunity to succeed according to their personal needs and aptitudes. This strategy builds on proposals for the reform of the children's services in "Every Child Matters". It sets a new agenda for improvement and action at a national and local level.

University Admissions

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 3 November 2004, Official Report, column 290W, on university admissions, what his timescale is for consideration of the benchmarks on university admissions; and whether he plans to announce the outcome of this consideration. [197050]

Dr. Howells: I have said that I will look at the benchmarks to see if there is any way they can be improved or better understood. I have not yet announced a specific timescale, nor at this stage any plans to make an announcement.


Data Protection

Chris Ruane: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will reform the data protection laws to allow (a) local government and (b) national government to share information between departments. [196208]

Mr. Leslie: The Data Protection Act 1998 does not prevent the sharing of information between public bodies, it regulates the way in which such sharing must
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be done to ensure compliance with principles of good information handling. Data sharing between public bodies is also a matter of administrative law, common law and human rights. Guidance on how data sharing can be carried out on a lawful basis is set out in "Public Sector Data Sharing: Guidance on the Law" published by the Department for Constitutional Affairs in November 2003, copies of which are available in the Library.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many agency temporary staff have been working for the Department or its predecessors in each of the last five years, excluding those working for agencies for which no data are kept centrally. [196065]

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Mr. Lammy: Within my Department, temporary staff are defined as individual contract staff employed through an agency. They are used to fill vacancies in a wide variety of support roles.

My Department has a national contract for the provision of agency staff workers. This contract has been in place since 2001. Prior to 2001 agency staff data were not held centrally. Information regarding the number of agency workers provided to the Department under this contract is provided in the following table. Prior to 2001 agency staff data were not held centrally.

Information relating to workers employed through other agencies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Department uses agency workers to meet short-term requirements and in areas where it is difficult to recruit and retain staff.
Use of DCA national contract for provision of agency workers

Financial yearEstimated average headcount
1999–2000Information not available
2000–01Information not available
Lord Chancellor's Department and associated officesNot applicable—did not begin using contract until following year
Court Service—including the Immigration Appellate Authority170

UN Conventions (Channel Islands)

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs when the United Nations Convention (a) on the Rights of the Child and (b) on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women will be extended to (i) Jersey and (ii) Guernsey; what commitments the authorities in the Islands have given to implement the necessary legislation; and by what date. [197182]

Mr. Lammy: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women both cover areas where the Governments of the Crown Dependencies have domestic competence. The Insular Authorities in Jersey and Guernsey have both made a commitment to have the necessary legislation in place when it is practicable to do so. Once that legislation is in place the Insular Authorities may then request the extension of the conventions, that may be done by declaration.



Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total value of imports from Burma was in the first six months of 2004; and if she will break down the items imported by value. [196719]

Mr. Alexander: According to figures published by HM Customs and Excise, the UK's imports of goods from Burma in the first six months of 2004 were as follows:
Fish, (not marine mammals), crustaceans, molluscs, and aquatic invertebrates and preparations thereof2,347
Vegetables and fruit188
Cork and wood454
Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials8
Leather, leather manufactures nes and dressed furskins5
Cork and wood manufactures (excl. furniture)150
Paper, paperboard, and articles of paper pulp; etc.172
Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles, nes42
Non-metallic mineral manufactures40
Manufactures of metal nes518
Power generating machinery and equipment1
Specialised industrial machinery198
General industrial machinery and equipment, nes and machine parts nes393
Office machines and ADP equipment85
Telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus389
Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, nes and electrical parts thereof390
Road vehicles70
Other transport equipment8
Prefabricated buildings; sanitary, plumbing, heating and lighting fixtures and fittings29
Furniture and parts thereof; bedding, mattresses, supports, cushions and similar stuffed furnishings2,032
Travel goods, handbags and similar containers18
Articles of apparel and clothing accessories34,983
Photographic apparatus, equipment, and supplies and optical goods nes; watches and clocks18
Miscellaneous manufactured article nes478
Commodities not elsewhere classified150

nes = not elsewhere specified
Products are classified according to the Standard International Trade Classification (Rev 3).

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Export Credits Guarantee Department

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 27 October 2004, Official Report, column 1240W, on corruption, if she will make a statement on the issues surrounding the details and practical application of anti-corruption procedures which she will be seeking to resolve. [195961]

Mr. Alexander [holding answer 8 November 2004]: ECGD wrote to its customers on 5 November 2004 advising them of the outcome of discussions with industry about the terms of its procedures to combat bribery and corruption. I am putting a copy of this letter in the Library of the House. Revised application forms, reflecting the procedures now being put in place in the light of these discussion, will be posted to the ECGD website (www.ecgd. on 8 November 2004 and will come into force from 1 December 2004.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 27 October 2004, Official Report, column 1242W, on the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), if she will place a copy of the interim arrangements which the ECGD agreed with Airbus on anti-corruption procedures in the Library. [195962]

Mr. Alexander [holding answer 8 November 2004]: Two documents formed the basis of ECGD's interim anti-bribery and corruption arrangements in respect of this business. I have placed in the Library of the House:

The existing anti-bribery and corruption provisions that applied to Airbus pre 1 May 2004 supplemented the aforementioned documents.

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