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21 Dec 2004 : Column 1689W—continued

Building Schools for the Future

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which local education authorities are being considered for Building Schools for the Future funding in the present round; and which have asked for a city academy to be considered for their authority area. [206331]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: All local education authorities were considered for Building Schools for the Future funding in the recently completed round. We announced on 30 November the authorities chosen to join the programme in waves 2 and 3:

Wave 2

Wave 3


 
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Of these authorities, the following have so far submitted formal expressions of interest to the Department to have one or more academies in their authority area: Barnsley, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Kent, Lambeth, Lewisham, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Salford, Sandwell, Southwark and Westminster.

Bullying

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the extent of bullying in schools; and if he will make a statement. [203194]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: Data on bullying is not collected centrally and there is no reliable basis for an estimate on the scale of the problem. However any level of bullying is too high and we are determined to help schools tackle the problem. Our guidance "Bullying: Don't Suffer in Silence", the anti-bullying Charter and the anti-bullying website www.dfes.gov.uk/bullying offer detailed advice on preventing and addressing bullying. In November 2003 the Department launched the anti-bullying Charter for schools, which almost 4,000 schools have already signed. It is accompanied by a summary of effective practice to help schools review and enhance their anti-bullying policies.

Although the DfES does not collect statistics on the incidence of bullying various voluntary sector organisations do. These are as follows:
 
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ChildLine survey August 2004

Parents' concerns—Parentline Plus—National Helpline Report March 2004

Bullying in schools—ChildLine research 2003 (DfES funded)

Bullying and modern technology—NCH survey, April 2002

Bullying in Britain, Young Voice, 2001

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on which television channels the school anti-bullying campaign advertisements sponsored by his Department are being shown; at what time of day they are transmitted; what the anticipated reach in numbers of children of school age is; what the anticipated reach in numbers of adults is; what the total cost is; and if he will make a statement. [205239]

Derek Twigg: The 60 second film produced as part of the Beat Bullying campaign is a public information "filler", not an advertisement. Fillers are public awareness messages, which must exclusively promote health, safety or welfare, and are run in donated airtime. As such, they are a unique and very cost effective route to a broadcast audience.

Currently 70 channels support fillers including:


 
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Stations usually show fillers during their promotional airtime and in any unsold advertising they may have. Fillers are also used to fill gaps in the schedule when programmes run short and to balance uneven network breaks

The Beat Bullying filler was released to broadcasters in December. They are unable to give advanced warning of when it will be shown. The first transmission report is due in February which will give the total number of transmissions and the estimated airtime value. However, the usage information we receive from the stations does not enable us to calculate the exact reach and demographic of the filler's audience.

The Beat Bullying filler cost £60,237.08 to produce and market to TV stations, but does not incur charges for broadcasting airtime.

Christmas Cards

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost of postage was for official departmental Christmas cards in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004. [205117]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: This year the Department for the first time sent electronic and printed versions of Christmas cards. Printed cards are sent via the governmental inter-departmental service or the Royal Mail. No breakdown of the delivery methods is available which would enable an accurate assessment to be made of the postage costs.

All expenditure incurred in the purchase and despatch of official Christmas cards is made in accordance with the departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in Government Accounting.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost was of purchasing official departmental Christmas cards in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004. [205118]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The costs of printing the Department's Christmas card this year was £1,510. The cost in 2003 was £2,820.

All expenditure incurred in the purchase and despatch of official Christmas cards is made in accordance with the departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in "Government Accounting".

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many official Christmas cards were sent out by his Department in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004. [205119]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: Printed Christmas cards are distributed to Ministers and senior officials on request for their staff to prepare and send out. No central record is kept of the numbers sent out.
 
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In 2003, some 13,500 cards were made available for issue. In 2004 the number was 3,000. In addition, in 2004 the Department for the first time sent electronic versions of Christmas cards via email. As at 17 December, 3,400 e-cards had been sent.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many departmental staff have responsibility for preparing Christmas cards. [205192]

Derek Twigg: No central record is kept of the number of staff involved in preparing the Department's official Christmas cards.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many hours of staff time were taken up in preparation of Christmas cards in 2004. [205196]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: No central record is kept of the hours of staff time involved in preparing the Department's official Christmas cards.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of official departmental Christmas cards included a contribution to charity in their cost; and which charities benefited from such a contribution. [205206]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Department does not contribute financially to charities through its official Christmas card.

Each year the Department selects one or more charities who it wishes to endorse by referring to them on the card. This year's charity is the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre.


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