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25 July 2006 : Column 1419W—continued


Roads Service

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the answer of 9 May 2006, Official Report, column 1057W, on Roads Service, what action will be taken to ensure that a strategic route will be provided from South Down to the Belfast/Dublin Corridor as part of the three month comprehensive review of the Regional Development Strategy; and if he will make a statement. [88818]

David Cairns: The acting Chief Executive of Roads Service (Mr. Geoff Allister) has been asked to write to the hon. Gentleman in response to this question.

Letter from Geoff Allister, dated 25 July 2006:

School Closures

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) Catholic maintained and (b) state controlled schools have closed over the last five years in each education and library board area; and if he will make a statement. [87995]

Maria Eagle: There have been 14 controlled school closures and six maintained school closures over the past five years.

Education and library board area Controlled schools Maintained schools

Belfast

1

1

North Eastern

6

2

South Eastern

1

0

Southern

3

1

Western

3

2


In addition, 28 controlled schools have amalgamated into 13 new schools and 21 maintained schools have amalgamated into nine new schools over the past five years.

Education and library board area Controlled schools Maintained schools

Belfast

2 into 1

3 into 1

North Eastern

2 into 1

2 into 1

South Eastern

7 into 3

2 into 1

Southern

4 into 1

9 into 4

Western

13 into 6

5 into 2


Science Teaching

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pupils started (a) AS-levels and (b) A-levels in Northern Ireland in each year since 1997; how many students chose science as an A or AS-level subject in Northern Ireland in each year; and how many undergraduate students at universities in Northern Ireland chose science or environmental studies as their main area of study in each year. [87097]

Maria Eagle: Information on the number of pupils who started AS-levels is not available. The remaining data are as follows:


25 July 2006 : Column 1421W
School A2-level entries School A2-level science entries First year enrolments on undergraduate science or environmental studies courses

1997-98

9,310

3,643

1,084

1998-99

9,199

3,694

1,093

1999-2000

8,962

3,794

990

2000-01

9,172

3,879

979

2001-02

9,280

3,907

1,184

2002-03

9,726

3,883

1,330

2003-04

10,382

4,209

1,293

2004-05

10,919

4,173

1,431

Notes:
1. GCE A-level only, not equivalent qualifications such as AVCEs.
2. A-level science denotes those pupils studying Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
3. Science or environmental studies courses at HE level include HESA subject groups Biological sciences and Physical sciences.
HE Figures are based on a snapshot of enrolments at 1 December within the academic year.

Service Agreements

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate has been made of the number of service agreements and other funding arrangements between health and social services trusts and area boards and community and voluntary sector service providers; what range of services is covered in such agreements; and what assessment he has made of the implications for such agreements of the Review of Public Administration. [87335]

Paul Goggins: It is estimated that HSS Boards have 292 and HSS Trusts have 997 service agreements with the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. The agreements provide for a wide range of services for older people, services for people with physically and mentally disabilities, services for children, services for Travellers and Health Promotion.

In addition, some trusts provide grant aid for such groups where circumstances do not warrant a formal service agreement.

The detailed implications of the Review of Public Administration, as they impact on the community and voluntary sector, are still being worked out. It is envisaged, however, that the new planning and commissioning arrangements will present the sector with additional opportunities for engagement in the delivery of services. In the meantime, the current arrangements for contracting services from the voluntary sector will continue until the new structural arrangements are fully in place.

Single Equality Bill

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2006, Official Report, column 392W, on the Single Equality Bill, what progress has been made with the Bill. [83290]

Mr. Hanson: We are working on proposals for a Single Equality Bill and will publish these in the autumn.


25 July 2006 : Column 1422W

Statutory Investment Board

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what the remit is of the Statutory Investment Board; and which projects the board is working on; [88226]

(2) who the members are of the Strategic Investment Board; by whom they are appointed; and for how long they are appointed. [88227]

Mr. Hanson: The information is as follows.

1. The remit of the Strategic Investment Board (SIB) is:

2. The SIB is currently working on a number of projects and I have placed a copy of these in the Library of the House.

3. The Minister with responsibility for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister appointed Members to the SIB. Current membership is as follows:

All the re-appointed directors had previously served from 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2006. David Gavaghan and Brett Hannam are executive officers of the Strategic Investment Board.

Students

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps his Department is taking to encourage women students in Northern Ireland to undertake science and engineering studies at university. [85367]

Maria Eagle: WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) is a UK wide organisation aimed at attracting more females into SET (Science and Engineering Technology). In Northern Ireland representatives from industry, academia and government meet to plan WISE activities. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment are represented and in 2005, Invest NI provided £5,000 sponsorship for production of a WISE DVD to encourage more young females to consider careers hi SET. The DVD was successfully piloted in October 2005 and is being distributed to schools.

WISE also has a website in Northern Ireland which was partly funded by the Industrial Research and
25 July 2006 : Column 1423W
Technology Unit (IRTU), which is now subsumed in Invest NI, and produces a series of publications aimed at encouraging girls from an early stage to develop an interest in science and engineering.

Other activities include; an initiative to encourage women who have left SET to return to employment; the Science and Engineering Ambassadors Scheme, and a Science and Engineering day for girls at W5. Of the 14 events delivering during Innovation Week, one event was aimed specifically at women called ‘Women Making Innovation Work’ where local and national role models were utilised to encourage women in Engineering, Science and Technology field to become more entrepreneurial.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many students with a learning disability within each of Northern Ireland’s hospital trust areas will (a) transfer at age 19 years in the current academic year from Education Service responsibility to Health and Social Service responsibility and (b) will be offered full adult day care provision by the Department of Health and Social Services as befits their needs; what processes exist within the Department of Health and Social Services to ensure adequate forward planning to meet the needs of those clients in transition from the education sector; and if he will make a statement on the level of provision for such clients within the health and social services sector. [81814]

Paul Goggins [pursuant to the reply, 10 July 2006, Official Report, c. 1505]: I am now in a position to provide the information requested.

The information required to answer parts A and B of this question is given in tabular form.


25 July 2006 : Column 1424W
Trust Numbers transferring Full adult day care

Armagh Dungannon

13

9

Causeway

11

7

Craigavon Banbridge

16

7

Down Lisburn

11

3

Foyle

28

28

Homefirst

23

21

North and West Belfast

11

6

Newry and Mourne

23

4

South and East Belfast

11

8

Sperrin Lakeland

10

10

Ulster Community

6

6

Total

163

109


The Boards determine the needs of their population and allocate resources to meet these needs. Day-Care Services provided through the Health and Social Services Boards and Trusts are for those individuals who will be unable to access services provided elsewhere. Additional investment in Day-Care will continue to be made for those who do not have access to any other form of provision, such as further education, skills training or employment.


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