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Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many schools have been refurbished since 1997 in (a) Liverpool, Riverside, (b) Liverpool, (c) Merseyside and (d) the North- West; 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: We do not hold this level of detailed information centrally. The information will be held locally. Much of the Department's support for capital investment is allocated to local authorities and schools so that investment decisions can be made locally, based on asset management planning processes. We have, however, made available significant capital support. Last November we announced capital allocations covering the next three years. This means that schools in Liverpool, Merseyside and the North-West will benefit from the following investment:
In addition, Knowsley, Lancashire and Manchester are in wave 1 of Building Schools for the Future, and are due to receive investment under that programme from 200506. Liverpool will be in wave 2 (200607), and Salford and Tameside will be in wave 3 (200708). Building Schools for the Future aims to renew, refurbish and transform the secondary schools' estate over 15 waves.
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Mr. Stephen Twigg: In 2004, the Department for Education and Skills in partnership with the Food Standards Agency funded research that looked at school lunch standards in 79 secondary schools in England. It found that pupils made healthier food choices in those schools where catering staff had received training. It is for this reason that we are developing a new qualification for school catering staff.
Derek Twigg: The Department does not hold information on funding for ICT in schools at constituency level. However, Wimbledon is in Merton LEA and allocations for this authority since 1998 are detailed in Funding for ICT in Schools in England" which is available in the House Library.
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Roger Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teaching assistants there were in schools in Wimbledon (a) in each of the last seven years and (b) on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: Information on the number of teaching assistants in service is collected in January of each year. The following table shows the number of teaching assistants in maintained schools in Wimbledon from 1997 to 2004, the latest information available.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will undertake a review of the National Literacy Strategy following the publication of the Clackmannanshire research into synthetic phonics teaching of reading. 
The Clackmannanshire study is a valuable piece of research which highlights the importance of having a well structured and direct programme of synthetic phonics teaching in schools. It lends further weight to the approach to teaching reading and spelling advocated by the National Literacy Strategy which has at its heart early and direct instruction in synthetic phonics, very similar to the teaching methods trialled in Clackmannanshire.
While the pupils who took part in the Clackmannanshire study made significantly faster gains than pupils in the control group, their attainment in reading comprehension was broadly the same as that achieved by an average 11-year-old in an English school who would be taught using the National Literacy Strategy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the
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number of Key Stage 3 teachers who are (a) not fully qualified in the subject they are teaching and (b) not fully qualified to teach the age group they are teaching. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: Details of the qualifications held by secondary school teachers in the subject they teach are available but cannot be split by Key Stage level. The information was published in table 24 of the Statistics of Education, School Workforce in England Volume, 2004 edition, a copy of which has been placed in the House of Commons Library. Alternatively it may be accessed at the following URL: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/VOL/v000554/index.shtml
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission which EU institutions may be permitted participants in a referendum, under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Viggers: Section 105(1) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) sets out the definition of 'permitted participant' in relation to a particular referendum to which Part VII of that Act applies. Ultimately, it would be for the courts to decide whether any particular body falls within the scope of this definition in relation to any particular referendum.
As I informed the hon. Member for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey) on 7 March 2005, Official Report, columns166667W, The Electoral Commission has already indicated that it does not regard the European Commission as falling into any of the categories of organisation that can be a permitted participant in a referendum on the EU Constitution. Beyond this, the Commission has not expressed any views on whether EU institutions may be permitted participants in any particular referendum to which Part VII of PPERA applies.
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