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Between 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005, 477,122 people were summoned for jury service of which 186,015 attended court and between 1 April 2005 to 21 Oct 2005, 258,690 people have been summoned for jury service of which 104,774 have attended court to date.
Bridget Prentice: The Government announced its acceptance in principle of the recommendations made by the Law Commission in its 2001 report Limitation of Actions" (Law Com 270), subject to further consideration of certain aspects, in July 2002.
The Law Commission recommended that a child abuse claim should be brought within three years of the date on which the claimant knew (or ought reasonably to have known) the facts giving rise to the cause of action; the identity of the defendant; and, that any injury, loss or damage was significant. As now, time would not run while the claimant was a minor. In addition, the court would have discretion to disapply the limitation period if it would be unjust not to allow the claim to proceed.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many employees in her Department requested training to improve their (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills in each year since 2002. 
Bridget Prentice: No employees have requested training in these areas. Due to the sensitive issues involved in admitting training needs in these areas we have provided an anonymous process for staff to check their level of literacy and numeracy, which then points them towards local, free-of-charge providers of training to meet their needs.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps she is taking to promote uptake of the national tests in adult literacy and numeracy among employees of her Department. 
Bridget Prentice: My Department has promoted the national tests in adult literacy and numeracy via presentations at our regional and area boards; at annual Learning At Work Week events; in the workplace via our local training co-ordinators; in our regional training centres; and on the departmental intranet. We will be re-launching these tests to the newly-created Her Majesty's Court Service and the rest of the Department shortly.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much her Department spent on in-house training on (a) literacy and (b) numeracy (i) in total and (ii) per head in each year since 2002. 
The Department did not spend any money specifically on in-house literacy and numeracy training in the years 200205. However, some literacy issues are covered in our Effective Writing", Letter Writing" and Minute Writing" in-house courses.
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Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what reasons underlay the Government's proposals to bring forward legislation enabling a policy development grant to be treated as a donation. 
Ms Harman: The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 specifically provides that any payment out of public funds received by a registered party shall be regarded as a donation received by the party from a permissible donor. However, Policy Development Grants are currently exempt from this provision. This measure will therefore achieve consistency in the reporting of public funds received by political parties, ensuring that Policy Development Grants, like the money received by opposition parties in Parliament and the devolved legislatures to assist them in carrying out their duties as opposition parties, are reported to the Electoral Commission and recorded on the register of donations.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils have left school at age 16 years with less than five A*-C GCSE grades in (a) the constituency of Wimbledon, (b) Greater London and (c) England in each year since 1997. 
|Wimbledon parliamentary constituency||Greater London||England|
Primary school standards are at their highest levels ever. The provisional results published in August show that 79 per cent. of 11-year-olds achieved the target level 4 of the National Curriculum in the 2005 Key Stage 2 English tests and 75 per cent. did so in mathematics. At Key Stage 1, 85 per cent. of 7-year-olds were assessed to have reached the target level 2 of the
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National Curriculum in reading, 82 per cent. reached level 2 in writing and 91 per cent. reached level 2 in mathematics.
Since 1997, the proportion of 11-year-olds achieving level 4+ has risen by 16 percentage points in English and 13 percentage points in mathematics. This dramatic improvement follows a period when primary school standards had not improved for 50 years.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the June 2005 GCE AS/A-level examinations, with particular reference to the percentage required to secure a grade A. 
Jacqui Smith: The Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 1995 set out when a pupil's absence from school shall be treated as authorised or unauthorised. Authorised absence includes those occasions where the pupil has been granted leave of absence by the school. Schools have discretion as to whether or not to grant leave of absence to allow pupils to go away on holiday.
The Government's view is that holidays in term time should be discouraged. There is evidence which indicates that absence from school can have a detrimental effect on a child's education and their attainment. The Government's view, therefore, is that all unnecessary absences from school, for reasons such as family holidays, should be avoided wherever possible.
Head teachers have access to the information and advice that my Department has issued on managing pupil attendance through our Behaviour and Attendance website (www.dfes.gov.uk/behaviourandattendance). This includes material on handling requests for family holidays during term time and for extended holidays abroad.
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