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24 Oct 2005 : Column 123W—continued

Waiting Lists

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many patients from each health board area in the Province are waiting for radiotherapy treatment. [20074]

Mr. Woodward: Information on the number of people awaiting radiotherapy treatment is not collected centrally.

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average length of time has been that patients in the Province have waited for radiotherapy in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [20076]

Mr. Woodward: Information on waiting times for radiotherapy treatment is not collected centrally.

Warm Homes Scheme

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many contractors are working within each parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland for the Eaga Partnership Warm Homes Scheme, broken down by those contractors fitting (a) heating systems and (b) insulation measures. [19529]

Mr. Hanson: There are currently 17 heating contractors and 10 insulation contractors working on the Warm Homes Scheme across all the parliamentary constituencies throughout Northern Ireland.

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the recent monthly update from the Warm Homes Scheme in Northern Ireland and the steps he is taking to increase take-up of the scheme in those areas where take-up is low. [19530]

Mr. Hanson: The Department for Social Development is keen to ensure that as all those eligible for assistance under the Warm Homes Scheme are fully aware of their entitlement and can access the scheme with the minimum amount of bureaucracy. For this reason management of the scheme has been passed to Eaga Partnership, which has been working with a variety of organisations across the statutory, private and voluntary sectors to ensure that Warm Homes information is passed on to those most vulnerable and who may be eligible for the grant. This activity includes a variety of methods including local press releases, information sessions for community groups, training sessions for healthcare professionals and targeted mail shots. Time is also spent briefing MLAs and local
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authorities on Warm Homes, performance statistics and discussing local approaches to promote the scheme in individual areas where uptake may be low.

Weapon Licences

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applications for personal protection weapon licences have been made in each month since August 2004; and how many such licences were issued in each month. [19196]

Mr. Woodward: The following information has been supplied by the PSNI.
PPW applications

Number of PPW applicationsNumber of PPW licences issued
August 20042119
September 20042624
October 20042117
November 20041310
December 200496
January 20051413
February 2005103
March 20051613
April 200564
May 2005117
June 20051211
July 200552
August 200521
September 2005114

For a firearm certificate to be issued the Chief Constable must be satisfied that the applicant is a fit person and has a legitimate reason to hold a firearm. Where the Chief Constable has information from his own sources of a real and immediate risk to a person's life from terrorists he may allow an application for a firearm certificate for a personal protection weapon.

The figures do not include PPWs held by the security forces.


14 to 19 Education

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations she has received on the Government's 14–19 White Paper; and if she will make a statement. [20592]

Jacqui Smith: My right hon. Friend has had a number of meetings recently in which the 14–19 White Paper was discussed. We will be publishing later in the autumn a 14–19 implementation plan. This will set out progress since publication of the White Paper specifically: action we have taken in the short term to raise attainment; reform of qualifications and the curriculum for the long term; and delivery on the ground.

Academy Courses (London West)

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of the 16 to 19-year-olds expected to study at the proposed academy on the Brunel University's Uxbridge campus will be studying courses not presently provided by schools and
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colleges in the London West Learning and Skills Council area; and what courses she expects these to be. [19520]

Bill Rammell: The Brunel HSBC Education Trust Academy is currently in the feasibility stage of development, where its viability is assessed and consulted on with local stakeholders. It is, therefore, too early to give a detailed breakdown of the curriculum it would offer. The proposed specialism of the Academy is in mathematics, science, engineering and technology.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will publish the criteria against which the proposal to establish a 16 to 19 academy based on Brunel University's Uxbridge campus is being evaluated. [19521]

Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend will make a decision on whether to establish The Brunel HSBC Education Trust Academy, having consideration of the sponsors' vision and objectives for the Academy, the proposed education provision and the value for money and effectiveness of the Academy building design. Consideration will also be given to the findings of the consultation process, currently under way, including the views of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) both locally and nationally. In line with the Academy programme ethos the Brunel HSBC Education Trust Academy aims to attract students who might not otherwise have remained in education at age 16. This will be in particular students from the LSC London West and nearby areas.


Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps the Government are taking to improve the (a) levels of awareness of and (b) information about allergies and related issues for (i) teachers, (ii) non-teaching classroom assistants and (iii) professionals who work in pre-schools; and if she will make a statement. [19648]

Jacqui Smith: To assist all staff working in schools and early settings to support children with medical needs and manage their medicines, the Department jointly with the Department of Health published guidance Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings" March 2005. The guidance includes a section on common conditions including anaphylaxis, though it is not a substitute for detailed medical advice. It is important that the needs of children are assessed on an individual basis and staff receive appropriate training and support from health professionals

The guidance provides schools and early years settings with practical advice to help them put in place policies on managing medicines and to put in place effective management systems to support pupils with medical needs.

Asperger's Syndrome

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what steps she is taking to ensure that teachers are trained to provide appropriate support to children with Asperger's syndrome; [19642]
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(2) if she will take steps to ensure that appropriate levels of behaviour support are provided for children with Asperger's syndrome; [19643]

(3) if she will take steps to ensure that each child diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome receives an assessment of needs from an educational psychologist at the time of diagnosis; [19644]

(4) if she will take steps to ensure that appropriate training and support is provided for teachers dealing with children with Asperger's syndrome. [19645]

Maria Eagle: Maintained schools and local authorities have statutory duties to identify and make suitable provision for all children with special educational needs (SEN), including those with Asperger's syndrome. Where necessary, local authorities have a duty to assess children's SEN and draw up SEN statements. These assessments, which do not need to wait until a child receives a diagnosis, must include advice from an educational psychologist. The SEN Code of Practice, which gives statutory guidance to schools, local authorities and others, and the assessments are in place to ensure that children with SEN receive the appropriate levels of support, including behaviour support.

The Good Practice Guidance on autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) (2002), published by the Departments for Education and Skills and Health, recommends that all those who provide for children with ASDs, including Asperger's syndrome, should have some knowledge and understanding of the disorders. In order to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status, all trainee teachers must demonstrate competences in SEN including that they know how to seek advice from specialists on less common types of SEN and that they can identify and support pupils who experience behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Newly Qualified Teachers, during induction, must demonstrate they can plan effectively to meet the needs of pupils with SEN. For in-service training, all schools have a School Development Grant which they can use for purposes such as supporting professional development in SEN, including training in Asperger's syndrome, if they feel that is needed.

Under the SEN strategy Removing Barriers to Achievement" the Department has commissioned the Teacher Development Agency to carry out work to the value of £1.1 million over the period 2005–08 to strengthen teachers' SEN skills. This includes work to strengthen the SEN training infrastructure by creating a network of SEN tutors in order to encourage the sharing of expertise.

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