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Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many free (a) nursery and (b) pre-school places were available for (i) three and (ii)four-year-olds in the Province in each of the last five years. 
Pre-school places in the statutory sector are, as has been the case since the early 1970s, open to children from two-years-old to the lower limit of compulsory school age. In all cases, however, applications from children in their immediate pre-school year are given priority ahead of younger children. The funded provision secured in the voluntary/private sector is only open to children in their immediate pre-school year (children aged between three-years and two-months and four-years and two-months). The regulations made by the Department of Education require providers, in allocating funded pre-school places, to give priority to specified target groups. One of the specified target groups is the oldest children in the final pre-school cohort (those with July and August birthdays) who are the only children who are actually aged four when they enter their final pre-school year.
Angela E. Smith: Each of the five Education and Library Boards (ELBs) has already received earmarked funding from the Department on a per capita basis to help meet the needs of pupils in respect of English as an Additional Language (EAL). The Department's total earmarked budget is £420,000 for the 200506 financial year.
In addition, DE has increased overall EAL funding, by introducing in 200506 within the Local Management of Schools (LMS) Common Funding Formula a specific factor which provides support to schools for each EAL pupil. This factor provides some £1.7 million to schools across the five ELBs in recognition of the additional costs associated with EAL pupils which are encountered at school level. It is designed to enhance the level of support for EAL pupils. This forms part of the total funding made available to all schools under the LMS delegated funding arrangements and decisions on how to use this funding are a matter for individual Boards of Governors.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many employees working for Invest Northern Ireland are in pay bands of (a) £70,000 and over, (b) £50,000 to £70,000, (c) £30,000 to £50,000 and (d) under £30,000 per annum. 
|Salary bands||Number of staff|
|(a) £70,000 and over||6|
|(g) Under £20,000||261|
Invest NI also engages a varying number of contracted staff, in its overseas offices and to deliver specific programmes in Northern Ireland. These currently number 44 and are separately funded. Invest NI has the following number of contracted staff in each of the salary bands:
|Number of contracted staff|
|(a) £70,000 and over||1|
|(g) Under £20,000||13|
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what public sector funding has been allocated to promote (a) Ulster Scots and (b) Irish Gaelic (i)language, (ii) culture and (iii) heritage in each year since 2001. 
Mr. Hanson: The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) jointly funds the Ulster-Scots Agency and Foras na Gaeilge, the Irish Language Agency. The Ulster-Scots Agency has a statutory remit to promote Ulster-Scots language and culture. Foras na Gaeilge has a statutory remit to promote the Irish language.
Foras na Gaeilge (Irish Language Agency)
|Tha Boord o|
Ulster-Scotch (Ulster-Scots Agency)
|Irish Language Broadcast Fund||3,000,000|
|Ulster Scots Academy||500,000|
Funding is also available from departmental mainstream programmes for projects, which may have an Irish or Ulster-Scots language or culture dimension, which cannot be separated from the primary funding objectives.
Mr. Woodward: Research into diseases like myalgic encephalomyelitis needs to be undertaken in specialised centres of excellence and co-ordinated at the national level. The R and D strategy for the health and personal social services, in common with other NHS R and D strategies, do not generally allocate funds for this type of research, but funding for research into myalgic encephalomyelitis has been made available from sources such as the Medical Research Council.
Mr. Woodward: In Northern Ireland each of the four health and social services boards currently operate their own daytime telephone advice line. Out-of-hours providers for which each board is responsible deliver access to advice and services outside normal office hours. The Department is working with the four boards to consider further development of these services on a regional basis.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (a) how many incidents of violence were recorded against NHS staff in Northern Ireland in the last year for which figures are available, and (b) how many people were prosecuted as a result. 
The 1997 Northern Ireland Health and Social Wellbeing Survey provides the most recent estimate of overweight and obesity levels among adults aged 16-plus in Northern Ireland. The survey found that
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48 per cent. of men and 32 per cent. of women were overweight, while a further 17 per cent. of men and 20 per cent. of women were obese. When combined, the survey found that 65 per cent. of males and 52 per cent. of females were either overweight or obese.
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