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Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total cost of compensation paid to (a) industrial, (b) commercial and (c) residential premises as a result of terrorist attacks by (i) Republican paramilitary groups and (ii) Loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland was in each of the last 30 years. 
Mr. Hain: The Compensation Agency cannot provide information about the cost of compensation stemming specifically from terrorist attacks as there is often no way of ascertaining the motives of an individual or group who have damaged property unless a prosecution follows. Additionally where the perpetrator is unknown, or where no prosecution has taken place, the agency could only speculate about potential motive. Therefore any figures provided would be very unreliable.
Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total cost of compensation paid to individuals as a result of injury through terrorist attack by (a) Republican paramilitary groups and (b) Loyalist paramilitary groups was in Northern Ireland in each of the last 30 years. 
Mr. Hain: The Compensation Agency cannot provide information about the cost of compensation stemming specifically from terrorist attacks as there is often no way of ascertaining the motives of a victim's assailants unless a prosecution follows. In many cases where the assailant(s) are unknown, or where no prosecution has taken place, the agency could only speculate about the perpetrators motives and consequently figures provided on that basis would be very unreliable.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pupils truanted for at least one day from secondary school in each education board in Northern Ireland in each academic year since 2001. 
Maria Eagle: The Department of Education does not collect the requested information. However, information about referrals of pupils to the Education Welfare Service is collected from each of the Education and Library Boards on an annual basis. Referrals can be for a variety of reasons, including truancy.
|Number of pupils in secondary level schools referred to EWS|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much vandalism has cost the Department of Regional Development over the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer to question 73861, whether a valid vehicle inspector's certificate issued by the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency of Northern Ireland in respect of a car registered in the UK covers the use of that car on roads in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) England, Wales and Scotland. 
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the current average waiting time is for each category of vehicle test and driving test carried out for the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency; what the Agencys performance target is for each category of test; and if he will make a statement. 
David Cairns: Waiting times are only measured against an overall target for vehicle tests and driving tests carried out by the Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency. The current average waiting time for all categories of vehicle test is 37 days and for all categories of driving test, 38 days. The target average waiting times are 21 days and 23 days respectively.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assistance is offered to visually impaired people in Northern Ireland to ensure their access to services available to them. 
Paul Goggins: Health and social services provide a wide range of services to visually impaired people including: full needs assessments; low vision clinics; rehabilitation workers; a range of equipment; community development workers and a number of services are provided through partnership with the voluntary sector.
There are no plans for an incineration policy in Northern Ireland. In June 2005 The Department of the Environment published guidelines on the Best Practicable Environmental Option for the development of facilities to recover, treat and dispose of waste materials. Waste to Energy options for up to 12 per cent. of municipal solid waste and 17 per cent. of commercial and industrial wastes by 2013 were included. However, the choice of facilities will be left to the discretion of the three district council waste management partnershipsarc21, the South West
Management Partnership and the North West Region Waste Management Group.
Their statutory plans are currently under review and will take account of the new Waste Management Strategy, Towards Resource Management, which was published in March 2006. The Strategy states that Government continues in its firm belief that energy from waste will be a necessary component of the preferred infrastructure, both in terms of its policies on renewable energy and to ensure that Northern Ireland meets its landfill diversion targets.
Because it can take over a year for a case to come to court, a number of prosecution cases from 2005 and some from 2004 are still pending a verdict in court. These pending prosecutions are included in the figures provided.
|Year in which pollution offence occurred||Number of prosecutions|
|(1) Plus 15 cases pending|
(2) Plus 28 cases pending
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the impact on those defined in Northern Ireland as water poor as measured by the percentage of income spent on water of changes in charges for water over the period 2009-10; and what his estimate is of the change in the percentage of the population paying more than 3 per cent. of their income on water charges in each year of that period. 
David Cairns: Government have recognised that the introduction of water and sewerage charges in Northern Ireland will have an impact on low-income households. To ease the transition, and in recognition of the relatively high levels of poverty and disadvantage in Northern Ireland, the Governments broad objective is to ensure that low-income households, particularly pensioner households, should not need to spend more than 3 per cent. of their income on water and sewerage services.
To achieve this objective, a special affordability tariff has been developed for those households who are entitled to certain social security benefits (housing benefit or rate rebate) or equivalent provision for relevant children as defined in the Children (Leaving Care) Act NI 2002, or the new Special Rate Relief Scheme being developed within the context of the reform of rates policy in Northern Ireland. The affordability tariff is a capped tariff which has been calculated by reference to the single persons pension credit guarantee, which is updated by Parliament each year. In 2007-08 this means there will be a maximum water and sewerage bill, for properties valued at £100,000 of approx £180 (which is 3 per cent. of the estimated pension credit guarantee in that yeararound £6,000) with additional protection in the form of lower levels of capped charges set for those with properties valued at less than £100,000.
Those occupying property valued at less than £70,000 will pay 50 per cent. of the full affordability tariff, while those in property valued between £70,000 and £100,000 will pay 75 per cent. of the tariff. As the charges will be phased in over three years this will mean that the maximum bill for eligible low-income customers in 2007-08 will be £30, £45 or £60, linked to the value of the property, rising to around £95, £145 and £190 in 2009-10, depending on the pension credit guarantee income level at that time.
The affordability tariff for 2009-10 will be calculated on the basis of the uprated level of the single person pension credit guarantee income level thus continuing to ensure that eligible households will pay no more than 3 per cent. of their income on water and sewerage charges. Many households will pay significantly less.
Data linking individual properties to household income are not available. It is therefore not possible to determine precisely the proportion of the population whose water bill will represent any given percentage of their household income. However it is estimated that around 200,000, close to 30 per cent. of all households will benefit from the affordability tariff and that this number will not change significantly each year. The implementation of the affordability tariff will be closely monitored and reviewed when charges are fully phased in by 2009-10 and the Department will collate all relevant data to assess the scheme against income levels at that time.
Jim Knight: In order to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status, all trainee teachers must demonstrate that they understand their responsibilities under the statutory Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, know how to seek advice from specialists on less common types of SEN, can differentiate their teaching to meet the needs of pupils, including those with SEN, and can identify and support pupils who experience behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
The current standards for teachers are under review. Once revised, it is proposed that they will be strengthened to include a standard which requires teachers to know and comply with current legislation on well being of children and young people, one which requires teachers to know and understand the role of others when dealing with children who have special needs and/or disabilities, and one which requires teachers to communicate effectively with parents and carers.
Induction standards require newly qualified teachers to demonstrate that they can plan effectively to meet the needs of pupils in their classes with SEN, with or without a statement, and in consultation with the SEN co-ordinator (SENCO), can contribute to the planning for individual needs.
Once qualified, all teachers are expected to identify their development needs through performance management arrangements, and to address identified needs by undertaking appropriate professional development. This could include strengthening knowledge of autism.
All schools receive a school development grant which they are able to use to support improvements in any aspect of teaching and learning. Local authorities may retain a proportion of this grant, under certain conditions, to provide specific training and development of SEN.
The Departments published SEN Strategy, Removing Barriers to Achievement recognised the importance of training and committed us to work closely with the Training and Development Agency for Schools to ensure that initial teacher training and programmes of continuing professional development provide a good grounding in core skills and knowledge of SEN. We have commissioned the TDA to carry forward a range of initiatives designed to improve and strengthen the SEN skills and confidence of trainees, newly qualified and established teachers. These initiatives will be implemented over the period 2005-08 at a cost of approximately £1.1 million.
Beverley Hughes: We aim to issue a consultative paper on governance, management and leadership of childrens centres and extended schools this summer. We will be seeking views from key stakeholders and interests in order to inform the final guidance which will be published later in the year.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which off-school site centres deal with children with (a) emotional, behavioural and other difficulties and (b) excluded children; and which schools and areas each serves. 
Jim Knight: There are 290 maintained special schools recorded on the Departments database of educational institutions which cater specifically or primarily for children with behavioural, emotional, and social difficulties (BESD). Also, although we do not have suitable data on any specific needs addressed by each pupil referral unit (PRU), many cater for pupils with a mixture of needs, including those with BESD and those who have been excluded from mainstream schools.
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