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Bill Rammell: I refer the right hon. Member to the information on gross and net controlled administration costs underspends for Whitehall Departments which is published in the Public Expenditure Outturn White Papers for the relevant years. These are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding was allocated to the provision of after-school care for children with disabilities in (a) Staffordshire and (b) Tamworth constituency in each year since 1997; and what future funding has been allocated. 
Maria Eagle: We are making funding available to all local authorities and schools up to 2008 to support them in setting up and embedding extended services in mainstream and special schools. The Government does not specify how much of this funding should be spent on disabled children. It will be for individual local authorities, in discussion with all schools in their area, to take a strategic approach to developing access to after school care through schools.
The Extended Schools prospectus issued in June 2005 makes it clear that children with disabilities or special educational needs must be able to access all new services, and schools have a responsibility to ensure this happens. The needs of children in particular schools will vary. Schools will need to work closely with parents to ensure that services are shaped around the needs of children and the wider community.
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Jacqui Smith: The purpose of the annual parents' meeting was to provide an opportunity for a discussion of the manner in which the school had been conducted, and of any other matters relating to the school raised by the parents. Many meetings were very poorly attended and, despite adopting various innovative strategies to improve turnout, it still proved difficult, in many schools, to generate enthusiasm for attending the meetings. The new school profile will give parents a broader and deeper understanding of what a school is doing. The removal of the requirement to hold an annual parents' meeting allows governors to manage their own relationship and communications with parents, to better reflect local circumstances, this may include choosing to hold a meeting.
Removing the requirement to hold an annual parents'meeting also reduced the burden of legislative requirements on school governing bodies, granting greater freedom for school leadership to concentrate on continued improvements in performance.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress she has made on implementing the recommendations of the Better Regulation Task Force following its report of February 2004. 
Maria Eagle [holding answer 15 December 2005]: Guidance has been given to local authorities that directors of Children's Services should have functions relating to child employment as part of their remit, as recommended by the Task Force. We are continuing to consider whether and to what extent the Task Force's other specific proposals can contribute to the key outcomes which we want to see for all children, as described in our Green Paper Every Child Matters". In doing so, we will continue to be mindful of the need not to impose unnecessary burdens on employers or local authorities.
Maria Eagle: My Department takes the health and welfare of all its employees very seriously and has in place a system of ergonomic assessment and subsequent adjustments to ensure that individuals, including those with chronic back pain, get the adjustments they need to work effectively within the Department.
Adjustments may involve adaptation to IT equipment or software, office furniture or workstation and in some cases adjustments to work objectives and working patterns may be agreed.
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My Department contracts with an occupational health provider for medical advice and occupational health advisers visit all my Department's sites on a regular basis to support managers when dealing with staff with health issues and to help identify the most effective intervention in complex workplace ergonomic issues. Staff are reminded frequently of the need for good posture and use of repetitive strain injury guard software.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the cost of reducing primary school class sizes to 20 pupils. 
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the cost of reducing secondary school class sizes to (i) 15 and (ii) 12 pupils. 
|Maintained primary||Maintained secondary|
Maria Eagle: All Connexions personal advisers are trained in using appropriate assessment frameworks for working with young people. This training includes working with young people with learning disabilities.
Connexions is a universal service and has a work force equipped to respond to the full spectrum of client needs. Some personal advisers
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specialise in work with young people with learning disabilities, but we do not collect data about personal advisers' individual specialisms.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions she has had with Connexions on their ability to meet the needs of disabled people in the provision of their services. 
Maria Eagle: Government Offices are responsible for ensuring that quality and continuity of Connexions services is maintained. Government Offices agree each Connexions Partnership's plans for meeting the needs of young people in their area. This includes providing assessments relating to Section 140 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000 and assisting young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to obtain appropriate education, employment or training. Connexions Partnerships have a duty to carry out their responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Department has issued guidance to assist them in meeting their obligations.
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