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Through the Tackling Violent Crime Programme (TVCP), we are working intensively with practitioners in a small number of local areas with high volumes of more serious violent crimein particular alcohol-related and domestic violencewith a view to identifying, developing, disseminating and embedding good practice. Activities to tackle alcohol-related disorder have included intervening early in the evening with a view to preventing the escalation of violence, and conducting multi-agency visits to problem licensed premises. We are working to improve investigation of domestic violence with a view to bringing more domestic violence offences to justice.
In the Midlands, Coventry is one of the areas that has been involved in the TVCP (along with Wolverhampton and Nottingham) and two more areas (Birmingham, and Leicester) are due to join the programme over the next couple of months. In addition, the regional Government office for the West Midlands is planning a regional TVCP in up to 11 areas during 2006-07.
Coventry has an existing specialist domestic violence court and is included in the Specialist Domestic Violence Court Programmes roll out plan to implement the nationally agreed core components of a specialist domestic violence court system across all of West Midlands over the coming year.
We are introducing new measures which will give police and local communities the powers they need to tackle guns, knives and alcohol-related violence in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill which is currently before Parliament, and, for example, plans have been developed with the Association of Chief Police Officers for a nation-wide knife amnesty, which will begin in late May.
|Advertising spend (£ million)|
|(1) Formal departmental resource accounts for 2005-06 are not yet finalised. Note: All expenditure is exclusive of VAT.|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the statutory provisions relating to the teaching of blind and partially blind children; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: Local authorities have important and extensive duties to identify, assess and make provision for children with special educational needs, including blind and partially blind children, and to keep their arrangements for doing so under review. Schools, early education settings, local authorities and others must have regard to the special educational needs code of practice, which gives guidance on carrying out their statutory duties under the 1996 Education Act.
The Government published in February 2004 its SEN strategy Removing Barriers to Achievement, which sets out a long-term programme to improve SEN provision and to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEN. As part of this strategy, the Department is promoting more consistent practice through a team of national SEN advisers.
In addition to holding qualified teacher status, a person employed by a school as a teacher of a class of pupils with a visual impairment is required by regulations
to hold an additional specialist qualification, approved by the Secretary of State, known as a mandatory qualification.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether he plans to seek to introduce measures to ensure that where chat room moderators are employed outside the jurisdiction of UK courts this is displayed on the relevant site. 
Mr. Dhanda: Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill currently before Parliament, people will be barred where they present a risk of harm to children and/or vulnerable adults. The Bill makes it a requirement for chat-room moderators operating in England and Wales to be vetted.
We will continue to work with representatives of the industry in the Home Offices Internet Task Force to support the industrys approach to maintaining the highest standards of safeguarding. This might include an indication of the standards used by UK-based providers.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 3 May 2006, Official Report, column 1630W, on sex offender vetting, if he will take steps to agree with the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Home Office procedures to enable local councillors and police authorities to bar councillors on the sex offenders register from access to local authority schools and vulnerable adults; what discussions have taken place on the subject; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: Under the new vetting and barring scheme, people will be barred where they present a risk of harm to children or vulnerable adults. Inclusion on the sex offenders register will be one of the reasons for barring. The police and local authorities will be required to provide relevant information to the scheme, on which the Independent Barring Board may decide to place that individual on the childrens or vulnerable adults barred list. Inclusion on the childrens list would prevent the individual from working closely with children including frequently working in key childrens establishments such as local authority schools or holding positions of authority in relation to children such as local councillors with responsibilities in relation to childrens services.
Bill Rammell: Government Procurement Cards are available for use by any member of Departmental staff
with purchasing responsibilities. In addition, the Private Office team also have access to Company Barclaycards for members of their staff. The Department has utilised the national framework contracts established by OGCBuying.Solutions in setting up these card schemes.
Mr. Dhanda: Currently, the Department collects information about the numbers of pupils in the
country with different types of special educational need (SEN) but specific information on pupils with a disability is not collected.
Children who have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority
Work is in progress to identify a common disability data set that can be used to collect information across childrens services to better inform planning, policy development and the monitoring of outcomes for disabled children.
|Maintained primary and secondary schools( 1) : number of pupils with special educational needs by ethnic group( 2, 3) January 2006( 4) , England|
|Pupils of compulsory school age and above|
|Maintained Primary||Maintained Secondary|
|Pupils with SEN without statement( 5)||Pupils with statements of SEN||Pupils with SEN without statement( 5)||Pupils with statements of SEN|
|Number ( 5)||Percentage ( 6)||Number||Percentage ( 7)||Number ( 5)||Percentage ( 6)||Number||Percentage ( 7)|
|(1) Includes middle schools as deemed (2) Pupils of compulsory school age and above (3) Excludes dually registered pupils (4 )Provisional (5 )Includes pupils at School Action and School Action Plus (6) The number of pupils with SEN without statements expressed as a percentage of all pupils (aged 5 and over) of the same ethnic origin. (7) The number of pupils with statements of SEN expressed as a percentage of all pupils (aged 5 and over) of the same ethnic origin. (8 )Information was not sought or refused Source: Annual Schools Census|
|Maintained Primary and Secondary Schools( 1) : Pupils with special educational needs by gender January 2006( 2)|
|Maintained Primary||Maintained Secondary|
|Pupils with SEN without a statement( 3)||Pupils with a statement of SEN||Pupils with SEN without a statement( 3)||Pupils with a statement of SEN|
|(1) Includes middle schools as deemed and excludes dually registered pupils (2) Provisional (3 )Includes pupils at School Action and School Action Plus|
Source: Annual Schools Census.
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