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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made towards reducing the disproportionate rate of exclusion of boys from (a) white working class backgrounds, (b) Afro-Caribbean backgrounds and (c) minority ethnic groups. [26050]

Jacqui Smith: Departmental data (2003/04) show that Black boys are permanently excluded at over twice the rate of White boys. These data also show disproportionately high rates of both fixed period and permanent exclusion of pupils from some minority ethnic groups including Travellers of Irish Heritage and Black Caribbean; although encouragingly, it shows that the rate of permanent exclusion of Black pupils has
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decreased from 58 pupils in 10,000 in 1997/98 to 29 in 10,000 in 2003/04. We do not collect data on the socio-economic groups of excluded pupils.

We are committed to reducing the disproportionate rate of exclusion experienced by some minority ethnic groups. In September we wrote to local authorities to highlight this, and to urge them to analyse their data more rigorously and take appropriate action. We expect all secondary schools to be working in partnerships by September 2007 to provide early intervention and support for pupils at risk of exclusion and those that are excluded; in particular for pupils from Black and other minority ethnic groups.


A-level Examiners

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of A-level examiners in Northern Ireland are drawn from the university sector. [30220]

Angela E. Smith: For the summer 2005 GCE AS/A-level examinations, the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) engaged 979 examiners of which 16 (1.63 per cent.) indicated they were employed in the university sector.


Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many babies have been born in each constituency in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years. [30135]

Angela E. Smith: The number of births registered to mothers resident in each parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland for the years 2002 to 2004 is given in the following table:
Parliamentary constituency200220032004(14)
Belfast East771872870
Belfast North1,0301,0771,087
Belfast South9781,0291,009
Belfast West1,1841,1891,288
East Antrim1,0231,0081,007
East Londonderry1,0931,0941,097
Fermanagh and South Tyrone1,2191,1281,215
Lagan Valley1,3281,3161,377
Mid Ulster1,2751,2031,349
Newry and Armagh1,4611,5061,507
North Antrim1,2781,2831,378
North Down829960935
South Antrim1,3031,3081,400
South Down1,4331,4761,509
Upper Bann1,3331,3881,469
West Tyrone1,1361,1511,131
Parliamentary constituency unknown7914
Northern Ireland21,38521,64822,318

(14)Provisional data

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School Meals

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action the Government have taken to promote healthy eating in primary schools in South Antrim. [31053]

Angela E. Smith: The Department of Education, in conjunction with the Education and Library Boards and other school authorities, is introducing new nutritional standards for school meals. The Department has provided additional funding to support the initiative and this will mostly be used to raise the food and nutritional content value of school meals to 50p in primary schools, and 60p in post-primary schools, in line with developments in England. There are 50 schools in the North-Eastern Education and Library Board area presently involved in the roll-out of the new standards and a further 78 will follow in January 2006. 17 of the 44 primary schools in South Antrim will be meeting the standards by that date. All schools will eventually be included in the scheme.

Domestic Rates

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what use is being made of computer-assisted mass appraisal in the Northern Ireland domestic rates revaluation. [29717]

Angela E. Smith: The Valuation and Lands Agency (VLA), which is carrying out the domestic revaluation in Northern Ireland is at the forefront of CAMA application in the UK. It is currently being used by VLA to produce first pass capital values for the vast majority of the 715,000 domestic properties being revalued as at 1 January 2005 for publication in April 2006.

Although some property types, notably apartments and the domestic element of mixed residential/commercial properties are being valued by the traditional manual" method, approximately 90 per cent. of the entire housing stock in Northern Ireland will be assessed on a capital value basis using Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal techniques. These first pass" values generated will be subject to a review and verification process.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he plans to introduce legislation to allow for the domestic rates revaluation in Northern Ireland; and whether this will require primary legislation. [29718]

Angela E. Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 November 2005, Official Report, column 427W. Subject to parliamentary approval, it is intended that the draft Rates (Capital Values, etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 will be made by April 2006 and the proposed second order in council by April 2007.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his estimate is of the gross revenue to be raised in local domestic rates (a) in Northern Ireland and (b) in each council in Northern Ireland in (i) 2005–06 and (ii) 2006–07; and what revenue was raised in 2004–05 in each case. [26934]

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Angela E. Smith: Domestic rates consists of two elements, the regional rate, set by the Secretary of State on a uniform basis across Northern Ireland, and the district rate, set separately by each district council relevant to the location of the property.

The total revenue raised in 2004–05 and estimated revenue to be raised in 2005–06 through domestic rates in Northern Ireland are contained in the Table 1:
Table 1
£ million

District rate2004–052005–06(15)
North Down9.19.6
Total district rate162.3171.4
Total regional rate184.5194.9
Total domestic rate346.8366.3


It is estimated that the proposed domestic regional rate for 2006–07 will raise £251.6 million in revenue. This estimate may change as a consequence of future updates to collection and valuation information.

There is no estimate of revenue for the domestic district rate for 2006–07 as the level of district rates is determined by each of the 26 district councils, based on the relevant underlying cost forecasts for each council. This rate will be set in February 2006.


Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the change in the numbers of those in full-time employment in each parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland has been between 2001 and 2005. [31484]

Angela E. Smith: Estimates of the number of employee jobs below Northern Ireland level are only available from the Census of Employment on a biennial basis and the most up to date figures relate to September 2003. Estimates of the number of full-time employee jobs in September 2001 and September 2003 and the
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change over this period for each parliamentary constituency area within Northern Ireland can be found in the following table.
Number of full-time employee jobs at September 2001 and September 2003 and change over the two-year period for each parliamentary constituency area

constituency area
September 2001September 2003Change 2001–03
Belfast East30,02429,325-699
Belfast North31,32631,074-252
Belfast South64,66267,9943,332
Belfast West20,22920,494265
East Antrim14,88413,267-1,617
East Londonderry19,69320,243550
Fermanagh and South Tyrone21,00922,0851,076
Lagan Valley24,93225,187255
Newry and Armagh22,27823,170892
North Antrim23,68125,0651,384
North Down12,87413,388514
South Antrim27,00226,527-475
South Down15,80515,83328
Upper Bann27,44527,53691
West Tyrone16,62716,931304
Northern Ireland433,951440,7976,846

Census of Employment, DETI

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of persons released from Northern Ireland prisons have entered employment after being released in each year since 2001. [30132]

Angela E. Smith: The information requested by the hon. Gentleman is not available.

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