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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answers of 9 November 2005, Official Report, column 598W, and 7 November 2005, Official Report, column 124W, on Learning and Skills Council, what the Learning and Skills Council's core administration costs were in 200102; and why different figures were provided in each answer. 
The LSC's core administration costs for 200102 were 3.4 per cent. The figures quoted in the answer of 9 November 2005, Official Report, column 598W, were taken from the LSC's Annual Accounts for
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200102 which include costs incurred in the last seven months 200001 for the setting up of the LSC. This gives an overall administration spend of 4.6 per cent. of total expenditure. The answer of 7 November 2005, Official Report, column 124W, provided administration costs solely for the 12 months of 200102 which give an actual figure of 3.4 per cent.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the cost of providing a nursery place for every child of two years and above in (a) England and (b) the most deprived (i) quartile and (ii) decile of electoral wards. 
Beverley Hughes: The Government do not fund free nursery education places for children aged two and there are currently no plans to do so. However, local authorities are fully funded to meet their statutory responsibilities to deliver a free part-time place for three and four-year-olds through their Education Formula Spending Share (EFSS)their main education budget. Overall resources are determined by means of a national formula, taking into account local factors including deprivation, ethnicity and area costs. From April 2006 funding for the free entitlement is being consolidated within the new Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) arrangements. This will place a ring-fence around education spending while maintaining flexibility for local authorities to determine the distribution of funding in the light of local needs and circumstances.
Bill Rammell: The Office for Fair Access has made excellent progress in approving access agreements for higher education institutions. Details of its work have been published in its annual report in July 2005 and strategic plan in December 2005, copies of which are being placed in the Library. We use these, and periodic discussions with Sir Martin Harris, to review progress.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the number of schools in Morecambe and Lunesdale which teach children to read using synthetic phonics. 
Jacqui Smith: We do not have figures on the number of schools using synthetics phonics in the teaching of reading. However, the use of synthetic phonics is a key part of the approach to teaching reading advocated by the Primary National Strategy, as well as being available in commercial phonics packages, and is therefore widespread.
The interim report of Jim Rose's independent review into the teaching of early reading has given valuable advice on the way in which the teaching of synthetic phonics should develop in future. We will implement the approach that he has suggested, drawing on his interim report and the final report due early in 2006, in our renewal of the framework for literacy teaching.
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Jim Knight: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has brokered a deal on major reform of the CAP sugar regime, discussed the Government's vision for fundamental CAP reform published earlier this month and chaired EU ministerial discussions on agricultural trade liberalisation in the context of the WTO negotiations.
18. Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with colleagues in the Department for Trade and Industry on the Supermarkets Code of Practice. 
Jim Knight: I have had informal discussions about the Code with my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment and Consumer Affairs (Mr. Sutcliffe), and will be continuing these.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the environmental impact of (a) artificial and (b) natural Christmas trees; and if she will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent
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discussions she has had with (a) the Canine Crisis Council and (b) other organisations about a proposal for a dog registration scheme; what her policy is on a dog registration scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Government has been increasing the penalties available for environmental crimes, for example through the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. How to improve further the impact of environmental enforcement and sanctions is being examined under the Government's cross departmental Review of Enforcement in Environmental Regulation.
The environmental enforcement review, led by Defra, is drawing together evidence to better define obstacles to effective enforcement before reaching conclusions about possible solutions in summer 2006. It will draw on contributions from all parties to the enforcement process, including enforcers, business, the wider community, and the courts, who determine penalties in specific criminal cases. The Government will then consider whether further measures are needed.
An examination of the sanctioning tools related to a wide range of regulators, including those in the environmental field is being carried out by the Better Regulation Executive Penalties Review, which was launched with a discussion document on 7 December. It will report in autumn 2006.
Both reviews will contribute to the pursuit of better regulation, and share the aim of making enforcement more proportionate. Serious offences should be met by tough sanctions which will really change damaging behaviour for the better, and ensure a level playing field for law-abiding businesses.
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