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NORTHERN IRELAND

11-plus

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will undertake a technical analysis of the 11-plus transfer test. [15086]

Angela E. Smith: The 11-plus transfer tests are conducted by the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) on behalf of the Department of Education. CCEA commissions an external agency to develop tests. Each year, a technical analysis is undertaken as part of the development of the new tests, with extensive and rigorous testing and analysis to ensure their validity in terms of the elements of the subjects specified for the tests, that they reflect the relevant programmes of study and that the standard is consistent from year to year.

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the proposed pupil profile as an alternative to the 11-plus transfer test satisfies minimum recognised standards of reliability and validity. [15089]

Angela E. Smith: The Pupil Profile is not an alternative to the 11-plus transfer tests: its purpose is to provide a holistic picture of a pupil's progress, aptitudes, interests and aspirations, that will help to inform choices throughout a pupil's education.

The Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) has been developing and trialling the Pupil Profile over the last two years to ensure that it is robust, manageable and useful for parents, pupils and
 
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teachers. Further development work is planned for 2005/06. CCEA will ensure that the Pupil Profile will meet standards of validity and reliability by benchmarking them against the Assessment Reform Group's principles for effective teacher assessment.

Adult Literacy

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment has been made of the level of adult literacy in each Northern Ireland constituency. [15318]

Angela E. Smith: The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) which was conducted in 1996 indicated that 24 per cent. of the adult population in Northern Ireland performed at the lowest level of literacy, Level 1. Due to sample constraints, it is not possible to disaggregate the data in the Survey below Northern Ireland level.

Available data indicates that of those adults performing at the lowest level of literacy:

Since the launch of the Essential Skills for Living Strategy in October 2002 to March 2005, 28,965 adults have been supported to improve their levels of literacy and numeracy.

Agricultural Subsidies

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost of administration in respect of agricultural subsidies in Northern Ireland was in the last year for which figures are available. [13894]

Angela E. Smith: The costs associated with the administration of the range of agricultural subsidy schemes for the financial year 2004–05 was in the region of £6.64 million.

Air Weapons

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) discussions and (b) correspondence he has had with the Scottish Executive on proposals on the control and licensing of air weapons in Scotland. [14941]

Paul Goggins: We are in close touch with the Scottish Executive and have had meetings at both ministerial and official level to discuss what further measures might be taken to tighten up controls on air weapons.

Alcohol Related Deaths

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many deaths in which the primary cause was alcohol have been identified in Northern Ireland. [15317]

Angela E. Smith: The following table gives the number of deaths in Northern Ireland in the latest year available—2004, where the underlying cause of death indicated a condition directly relating to alcohol use 1 .
 
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Number of alcohol-related deathsregistered in Northern Ireland, 2004

Alcohol-related deaths(107)
2004(108)31


(107)For the year 2004 the cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). The codes used to define alcohol-related deaths are listed as follows:
F10—Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol
I42.6—Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
K70—Alcoholic liver disease
K73—Chronic hepatitis, not elsewhere classified
K74—Fibrosis and cirrhosis of liver
X45—Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol
(108)Data for 2004 are provisional


Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders were (a) applied for and (b) issued in (i) the Northumbria Police force area and (ii) the local authority areas of (a) Wansbeck and (b) Castle Morpeth in each of the last three years. [14462]

Hazel Blears: The available information is given in the table.
Number of ASBOs applied for and issued, as notified to the Home Office, within the Northumbria police force area and where restrictions are imposed within specific local authority areas for 2002 to 2004 (latest available)

ASBOs on applicationASBOs on conviction
AreaTotal
applications
Total
issued
Total
issued
Total issued
on application/
on conviction
Northumbria police force area
20021616160
2003441317
2004882131
Castle Morpeth borough council
20020000
20030000
20040011
Wansbeck district council
20020000
20030000
20040000

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many antisocial behaviour orders have been issued since their introduction in each of the Westminster constituencies in Northern Ireland. [12073]

Mr. Hanson: Five interim antisocial behaviour orders have been granted in Northern Ireland to date; one in the Belfast city council area, two in the Larne borough council area, and two in the Coleraine borough council area. Data is not collected by constituency.

Asbestos

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the progress of the removal of asbestos from (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in Northern Ireland. [11349]


 
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Angela E. Smith: All the Education and Library Boards have now completed asbestos surveys of schools. Where necessary, work on the removal of asbestos is taking place over the summer period and I am advised by the Education and Library Boards that by the end of September 2005, all top priority asbestos will have been removed from both primary and post-primary schools. Where it is not necessary to remove the asbestos immediately, the Boards and other school authorities are responsible for managing the asbestos safely.

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on progress with the Department of Education's asbestos survey; in which schools asbestos remains; and what the timescale is for the removal of asbestos from all buildings used by the Department. [11952]

Angela E. Smith: All the Education and Library Boards have now completed asbestos surveys of schools. Where necessary, work on the removal of asbestos is taking place over the summer period and I am advised by the Education and Library Boards that by the end of September 2005, all top priority asbestos will have been removed. Where it is not necessary to remove the asbestos immediately, the Boards and other school authorities are responsible for managing the asbestos safely. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible regarding the buildings where asbestos remains and the timescale for removal.


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