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6 Jun 2006 : Column 542W—continued

Performance Pay

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many staff in her Department are paid on a performance-related basis. [50516]

Mr. Dhanda: All staff in my Department are paid on a performance-related basis.

School Closures

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria are used to determine primary school closures. [74698]

Jim Knight [holding answer 5 June 2006]: Changes to local school organisation, including school closures, are decided under local decision making arrangements. Individual proposals are determined by the local authority if they published the proposals and there are no objections. In all other cases the proposals are decided by the local School Organisation Committee (SOC) or the Schools Adjudicator, if the SOC cannot reach a unanimous decision.

SOCs and schools adjudicators must have regard to ‘Decision Makers' Guidance’ issued by the Secretary of State when deciding proposals. The guidance sets out a range of factors that must be considered for the different types of proposals but also stresses that all cases must be considered on their individual merits. For school closures the factors include: the impact on standards and diversity, the impact on the supply of school places, the cost effectiveness of the proposals, the impact on the community, the views of interested parties and the nature of the journey to any alternative provision.

The guidance also sets out a presumption against the closure of rural schools. The ‘Decision Makers' Guidance’ is available on the Department's School Organisation website at:

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Social Exclusion (Schools)

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what in-service training is provided for teachers to help them tackle social exclusion within schools; and if she will make a statement. [65936]

Jim Knight [holding answer 27 April 2006]: In order to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) trainee teachers need to demonstrate they have met the standards for QTS. These standards ensure that all new teachers have the subject knowledge, the teaching and learning expertise they need and are well prepared for the wider professional demands of being a teacher.

Further to this, it is for schools to the set their own improvement priorities, which may include social exclusion and inclusive teaching. They also decide what professional development is required in order to achieve their priorities, taking into account local circumstances and the needs of their teachers.

Support is available to schools through a variety of programmes. In particular the National Strategies’ consultants focus on helping schools facing the greatest challenges. This year the National Strategies will be providing training for teachers in the use of catch-up lessons for pupils who have fallen behind, which will help to tackle the problem of children from disadvantaged backgrounds under-achieving. Excellence in Cities is a programme targeted in areas of highest deprivation giving schools access to additional resources through programmes such as Learning Mentors, Learning Support Units and expertise for CPD to meet the teaching and learning needs of teachers in dealing with the barriers faced by disadvantaged young people.

Subject Skills Shortages

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills further to his oral answer on 25 May 2006, Official Report, columns 1613-5, on subject skills shortages, what the teacher specialisms are; and if he will make a statement. [74990]

Jim Knight: A teacher's specialisms are subjects which they are equipped to teach, which may reflect their degree, the subjects taken at Initial Teacher Training, and subsequent re-training.

Sure Start Unit

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reason his Department has not released the delivery unit report on the sure start unit completed in November 2005. [73465]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 6 June 2006]: The report of the Prime Minister’s delivery unit's (PMDU) review of the Government's 10 Year Childcare Strategy, was, like all PMDU reports, an internal report made to Ministers and not intended for wider publication. Following a request to see the report under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act
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2000, the Department declined to release the document, in line with section 35 of that Act which provides that:

However, the PMDU review was used to inform our preparation of “choice for parents, the best start for children: making it happen, an action plan for the ten year strategy: sure start children's centres, extended schools and childcare”, published on 4 April 2006 and available at:

Young Mothers

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of girls who gave birth under the age of 16 years in each year since 1990 went on to obtain educational qualifications. [75015]

Beverley Hughes: The information requested is not routinely collected. However, that engagement in education and training is a protective factor against poor outcomes for teenage mothers and their children. That is why increasing the proportion of teenage mothers in education, employment or training (EET) is one of the key aims of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. Evidence shows that there were higher rates of participation in EET among under-16s in the Sure Start Plus pilot areas, where young parents were provided with a holistic package of support from a dedicated Personal Adviser. Lessons from the Sure Start Pilots were included in the Children’s Centre practice guidance issued in 2005.

Cabinet Office


David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of her staff in each of the last three years; and at what total cost. [73048]

Mr. McFadden: The table shows non-pensionable bonuses awarded to members of staff in Cabinet Office in each of the last three years. The table includes the number of bonuses issued and the total costs per year.

Total number of bonuses Total cost of bonuses (£) Bonuses as percentage of annual pay bill













Debt Collectors

Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the Duchy uses the services of private debt collectors. [71060]

Hilary Armstrong: The Duchy of Lancaster very rarely uses the services of private debt collectors, the last occasion being in 2004.

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Departmental Staff

David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many staff in her Department did not achieve an acceptable mark in their annual report in each of the last three years; and what percentage this represented of the total number of staff in each case. [75111]

Mr. McFadden: Under the Department's performance management procedures, unacceptable performance may be addressed at any time of the year. Central records on the number of staff whose performance has been assessed as unsatisfactory are not available for periods before 1 June 2005. Since that date, fourteen staff have been handled under the Department's formal disciplinary procedures for poor performance. This represents less than 1 per cent. of the total number of staff.

Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many (a) pay grades and (b) pay bargaining units there are in the civil service; and how many grades and bargaining units there were in (a) 1997 and (b) 2001. [75230]

Mr. McFadden: Departments have delegated authority to determine their own pay and grading arrangements below the senior civil service that are tailored to meet their business needs. Under the delegated arrangements, comprehensive information on grading structures in individual departments is not collected centrally. Similarly, it is for each department to determine what bargaining arrangements are appropriate for their own organisation and in their executive agencies. Nevertheless, Cabinet Office records indicate that there are about 80 bargaining units currently operating across the civil service and there were about 100 in 2002. Cabinet Office has no records for 1997 and 2001.

Pay for senior civil servants is not delegated to departments and is not subject to collective bargaining. There were nine SCS pay bands in 1997 and four in 2001; this remains the current position.

Information Technology

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the (a) originally estimated, (b) most recently estimated and (c) outturn cost was in each of the five largest information technology contracts agreed by the Cabinet Office with outside suppliers over the last five years. [71784]

Mr. McFadden: Financial information on the five largest information technology (IT) contracts agreed by the department with outside suppliers over the last five years cannot be made available in the form requested without incurring disproportionate cost.

However the Department's largest five IT contractors by expenditure, and the total expenditure recorded against each of them over the past five financial years, are shown in the table.

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Contractor name Total recorded expenditure 's (£)







Cable and Wireless


Electronic Data Systems


It should be noted that the above figures contain some data from the 2005-06 financial year which is currently subject to audit. Audited figures will not be available until the resource accounts are published prior to summer recess.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions hospitality has been offered at Chevening to members of (a) foreign and (b) Commonwealth governments in each year since 2000. [74411]

Margaret Beckett: Official hospitality has been provided to members of foreign governments on the following occasions since 2000:


30 November 2000

Dinner in honour of President Chirac

17/18 December 2001

Lunch and dinner for UK/Ukraine Conference

22/23 May 2002

Lunch and dinner for UK/Germany Economic Talks

1 February 2003

Dinner for French Foreign Minister

19 January 2004

Dinner for French and German Foreign Ministers

No official hospitality has been offered to members of Commonwealth governments.

In addition Chevening was used to host a number of meetings of senior officials as part of the G8 process in 2005.

EU Defence Policy

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many members of staff in EU institutions and agencies are working on EU defence policy; and at what cost in the most recent year for which figures are available. [73847]

Mr. Hoon: There are four EU institutions and agencies responsible for European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP):

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Figures for costs of these staff would be very difficult to determine, as some of the staff are seconded by member states, which pay for them. In general terms, however, the overall total budget for 2006 of the EU Council is €527,344,953 of which the costs of these staff represent a small proportion. Further details on the European Council budgets from 2003 can be found on the following website:

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total budget was for EU defence policy in each of the last 10 years; and how much is budgeted for each of the next seven years. [73930]

Mr. Hoon: The budget for EU defence policy, also known as European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), covers civilian activities and is drawn from the Common Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) budget. Military ESDP operations are not funded from this budget, but are instead paid for on an ad-hoc basis by contributions directly from EU member states. Budgeting for civilian ESDP missions began in 2002 with the EU follow-on mission (EUPM) to the United Nations International Police Task Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Budget allocations for this and subsequent missions were decided as follows:

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€ million


Police Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (EUPM)





Police Mission in Macedonia (EUPOL Proxima—later EUPAT)



EUPOL Proxima (later EUPAT)


Rule of Law Mission in Georgia (EUJUST THEMIS)







Police Mission in Kinshasa, DRC (EUPOL Kinshasa)


Rule of Law Mission in Iraq (EUJUST LEX)


Security Sector Reform Mission in DRC (EUSEC RD Congo)


Aceh Monitoring Mission


Police Mission in Palestine (EUPOL COPPS)


Border Assistance Mission in Rafah (EUBAM Rafah)


2006 (allocated to date)



EUPOL Kinshasa


Planning team for a mission in Kosovo




Aceh Monitoring Mission


(1) For 2004

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