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Jim Knight: The Governments School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is administered by the Department of Health. The Secretary of State for Education and Skills has not met recently with organisers of free fruit schemes for schools.
Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many civil servants were employed in his Department before the Gershon Report; what net reductions were proposed in the Gershon Report; how many reductions have been made; and how many civil servants are expected to be employed in his Department in the Gershon target month of April 2008. 
Mr. Dhanda: The agreed baseline figure that my Department is using to assess progress against its target to reduce civil service posts in response to the Gershon report is 4,660 and is at 1 October 2003. The baseline of October 2003 reflects the starting point for the Departments restructuring programme.
The Gershon report commits my Department to achieving a total of 1,460 staff reductions by 31 March 2008, which would reduce overall numbers to 3,200 (this has now reduced to 3,142 as a result of Machinery of Government changes which transferred 58 staff to DCA with effect from 1 April 2006).
Bill Rammell: We understand that there no plans to reduce the availability of sign language or lip reading provision in York. The Learning and Skills Council will continue to support sign language courses at York College as these are priority programmes and an integral part of the colleges adult provision. Lip reading classes have been run by York city council for a number of years some under a sub-contracting arrangement with York College. York city council have reviewed this arrangement and decided that in future all lip reading courses will be delivered directly through York city council.
We have been clear that provision to support deaf and hard of hearing learners and more generally for all learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities remains a priority and this continues to be the case in York.
Mr. Devine: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many places were allocated in each English university for studying medicine in 2005; and how many of those places were taken by (a) students from overseas and (b) those educated in the private sector. 
Bill Rammell: The available information is given in the following table. Information on the previous educational establishment of the intakes of medical schools is not held centrally. The planned and actual intakes of UK and overseas students are determined independently. An increase in overseas students does not affect the number of places available for UK students.
|Planned and actual intakes of medical schools in England 2005/06|
|Institution||Planned intake||Actual intake( 1)||Home and EU( 2)||Other overseas( 3)|
|(1) Intake figures for 2005/6 are provisional until November 2006. (2) Home and EU domiciles cannot be separated in the return as both pay the same fees. (3) Includes students from the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands as they do not pay home fees. Source: HEFCE's medicine and dentistry return.|
Jim Knight: Local authorities are not obliged to provide milk, but where they do so they must provide it free of charge to pupils entitled to receive a free school lunch. Local authorities decide whether or not to provide whole milk. They are also free to make use of the EU School Milk Subsidy Scheme, which reduces the cost of whole milk and semi-skimmed milk purchased. The new nutritional standards in schools, announced on 19 May 2006, stipulate that only semi-skimmed and skimmed milk should be made available in schools.
The advice of the School Meals Review Panel and the School Food Trust was that only very young children require full-fat milk as part of their diet; and that once children are at school, semi-skimmed and skimmed versions of milk are entirely adequate. This approach reflects current nutrition advice, which is based on advice from the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (now replaced by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition) who considered this issue in relation to cardiovascular disease. Current advice highlights the important role that milk and dairy products play in childrens diets, particularly their contribution to childrens calcium intake; and states that school-aged children should have the opportunity to choose lower fat versions of milk as these contain at least the same amount of calcium as whole milk, but less fat.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans his Department has to review the 2002 guidelines Safeguarding Children in whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced; what discussions he has had with other Government departments about this issue; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: We have no plans to review the Governments guidance Safeguarding Children in Whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced (2002). Consequently, we have not discussed review of the guidance with any other Departments. This guidance was produced jointly by the Department of Health, Home Office, Department for Education and Skills and the Welsh Assembly. It is intended to provide a national framework within which agencies and professionals at local levelindividually and jointlydraw up and agree upon their own more detailed ways of working together in cases of fabricated or induced illness. It is addressed to those who work in the health and education services, the police, social services departments, the probation service, and others whose work brings them into contact with children and families.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which (a) primary and (b) secondary schools have been (i) built and (ii) opened in (A) Southend-on-Sea and (B) England in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) guidance and (b) training his Department and its agencies provide to teachers on dealing with the impact on school children of parental separation and divorce. 
Jim Knight: There is scope in the Personal Social and Health Education framework for schools to explore issues such as parental separation and divorce. Since 2003, we have been providing training for teachers of PSHE through the PSHE certificate for teachers, from which over 5,000 teachers have so far benefited. In addition, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has produced a package of guidance for teachers of PSHE. This package includes units of work which can be used to address issues of divorce and separation.
The DfES-funded Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) curriculum resource for primary schools provides ideas for developing children's ability to deal with loss and separation, sometimes through explicit reference to the separation and divorce of parents, as well as other areas of loss. There is also brief guidance for staff on working with children on these subjects.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what pilot studies involving personal digital assistants and other mobile technology are being conducted to help enhance personalised learning in the education system; and if he will make a statement. 
Phil Hope: The Department is currently supporting an innovative project in Wolverhampton called Learning2Go, involving provision of hand held devices to 1,100 students and their teachers across a range of institutions. This exercise is seeking to understand the impact:
(a) on learner achievement when individual and personal access to a device enables learning to continue beyond the school day;
(b) on individual and family learning when enabling access to school related digital content beyond school hours;
(c) on teacher planning and preparation time in line with the aspiration for saving teacher time.
The Department provided funding to Wolverhampton local authority to enable them to fund the conversion of existing educational software for use on the devices. Becta (British Educational Communications Technology Agency) will be conducting a full and detailed evaluation of the project and we will share what we learn to inform future investment/approaches.
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