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Departmental Dress Code

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his Department's policy is on the display of religious (a) artefacts, (b) symbols and (c) dress by its staff; how many staff have been subject to disciplinary proceedings regarding this policy in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [95646]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department does not have a specific policy on the display or wearing of religious artefacts, nor has there been a single disciplinary case related to this issue. There is a comprehensive dispute resolution process which is used for matters of misconduct.

The Department’s policy is to raise awareness of equality and diversity through its diversity delivery plan and also through a number of other measures. We have had in place since 1999 prayer rooms for Muslim staff and with the introduction of the ‘Religion and Belief’ legislation in 2003; we have arranged for the provision of quiet rooms for prayer and contemplation across all our sites. In addition, to support managers in the Department, we published guidance on major
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festivals for example, Ramandan, Yom Kippur and Diwali—which supports one of our objectives of raising awareness amongst all staff and ensuring that we create an inclusive culture.

Departmental IT

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) which of his Department’s databases are (a) wholly and (b) partly operated by external organisations or individuals; and which organisations and individuals own those databases; [97763]

(2) which databases operated by his Department are located (a) wholly and (b) partly outside the UK; and where each of those databases and parts of databases is located. [97764]

Beverley Hughes: The information as requested is not readily available centrally within the Department for Education and Skills. To respond fully would involve an extensive internal and external information collection exercise which would exceed the recommended disproportionate cost threshold.

However, to be helpful, some information is a matter of record.

Database External operator Owner Wholly Partly

HARTLINK (Database of Teachers’ Pensions Records)

Capita Teachers Pensions

DfES School Resources Group

X

Achievement and Attainment Tables (GCSE and A level)

EduServ

DfES Data Services Group (DSG)

(1 )X

Statistical First Releases on GCSE and A level figures

EduServ

DSG

(1 )X

Pupil Absence

EduServ

DSG

(1 )X

Secure Data Transfer

EduServ

DSG

X

On Line Publications

EduServ

DfES Communications Directorate

X

Specialist Schools Database

EduServ

DfES Schools Directorate

X

(1 )EduServ in Bath hosts the published databases although the Department and its contractor hold working versions of the underlying data for operational purposes.
Note:
None of these databases are located outside the UK.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of information technology projects undertaken by or for his Department since 2001 have been delivered (a) over budget, (b) after their original deadline, (c) on budget, (d) under budget, (e) on their original deadline and (f) ahead of their original deadline. [98613]

Beverley Hughes: The information as requested is not readily available centrally within the Department for Education and Skills. To respond fully would involve an extensive internal and external information collection exercise which would exceed the recommended disproportionate cost threshold.

However, to be helpful, some historical information is available. Analysis of the Department’s Individual Learning Account (ILA) Programme is given in the report: “The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts (2003), Individual Learning Accounts, Tenth Report of Session 2002-03 (Ref: HC 544), TSO, London”

An analysis of the Department’s UK e-University Project is given in the report: The “House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee (2005), UK e-University, Third Report of Session 2004-05 (Ref: HC 205), TSO, London”.

In addition, I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by the Under Secretary of State for Children Young People and Families on 13 June 2005, Official Report, column 192W, and 3 November 2005, Official Report, column 1314W.

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) which web-related information technology projects cost his Department more than £50,000 since 2001; which companies submitted qualified tender proposals for each project; and which company was awarded each contract; [98614]

(2) how many information technology projects his Department has undertaken in each year since 2001; [98615]


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(3) how much his Department has spent on (a) information technology projects and (b) web-facing information technology projects in each year since 2001, broken down by (i) expenditure on consultants and (ii) other costs. [98616]

Mr. Dhanda: The information as requested is not readily available centrally within the Department for Education and Skills. To respond fully would involve an extensive internal and external information collection exercise which would exceed the recommended disproportionate cost threshold.

However, to be helpful, some information is a matter of record. Analysis of the Department’s Individual Learning Account (ILA) Programme is given in the report: The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts (2003), Individual Learning Accounts, Tenth Report of Session 2002-03 (Ref: HC 544), TSO, London.

An analysis of the Department’s UK e-University Project is given in the report: The House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee (2005), UK e-University, Third Report of Session 2004-05 (Ref: HC 205), TSO, London

In addition, I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by the Under-Secretary of State for Children Young People and Families on 13 June 2005, Official Report, column 192W; and 3 November 2005, Official Report, column 1314W.

Dyslexia

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils at the West Somerset county college receive help for dyslexia; and at what cost. [93575]

Mr. Dhanda: No information is collected centrally which would enable the Government to make an estimate of the number of children with dyslexia at West Somerset county college. However, since 2004, the Department for Education and Skills have collected data on pupils by type of SEN as part of the annual school census. Dyslexia is included within specific learning difficulties (SpLD) - which also covers dyscalculia and dyspraxia. We have data on pupils with SEN at School Action Plus and with a statement of SEN where SpLD is recorded as their primary need. The number of pupils with specific learning difficulties at West Somerset county college in 2006 is in the table below. We do not have data on pupils whose needs are met at ‘School Action’.

West Somerset community college: Number of pupils with specific learning difficulties as their primary type of need( 1—) January 2006
Number

School Action Plus

(2—)

Statement of SEN

4

(1) Excludes dually registered pupils (2 )Less than 3 Source: Schools Census

In 2006-07, Somerset local authority reported via their 2006-07 Section 52 budget statement that they had budgeted £37.2 million for the provision of education for children with special educational needs.
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Of this £37.2 million, the funding delegated to West Somerset County College identified as “notional SEN” was £271,775. Figures recorded against “notional SEN” are only indicative of the amount that might be spent by the school on pupils with SEN and do not include any money retained centrally and spent on behalf of its schools by Somerset local authority.

Funding specifically for pupils with dyslexia is not collected and therefore cannot be distinguished from the overall budgeted expenditure on SEN.

Energy Efficiency

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of light bulbs purchased by his Department in 2005 were of the compact fluorescent type. [98244]

Mr. Dhanda: 90 per cent. of the Department’s headquarters buildings light bulb purchases last year were of the compact fluorescent type.

Green Paper

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he expects to make available an easy read version of the Green Paper, Care Matters: transforming the lives of children and young people in care; and if he will extend the consultation deadline for those requiring the easy read version of the paper. [99711]

Mr. Dhanda: An easy read version of ‘Care Matters: Transforming the lives of children and young people in care’ is being prepared and will be available very shortly. We have no current plans to extend the consultation period, but will wish to continue our dialogue with stakeholders beyond the formal consultation, and will of course be flexible in accepting later responses from those requiring an easy read version.

Head Lice

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to tackle head lice in schools. [99901]

Jim Knight: Local NHS primary care trusts are responsible for local strategies on the prevention and treatment of head lice in their local communities. Queries about such issues are for the Department of Health or local NHS primary care trusts.

Higher and Further Education

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many school leavers in Copeland entered (a) higher education and (b) further education in the last 12 months. [99884]

Bill Rammell: The latest available information is given in the following table. Figures have been produced for both Cumbria local education authority (LEA) and Copeland parliamentary constituency (PC) because further education (FE) figures are not available at a constituency level.


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Numbers from Cumbria LEA and Copeland PC of 16 and 17-year-old students at FE colleges and sixth form Colleges and 18-year-old entrants to undergraduate higher education (HE) courses at UK HE institutions
Academic year 2004/05
Copeland parliamentary constituency Cumbria LEA

16 and 17-year-old students at FE colleges(1)

n/a

2,900

16 and 17-year-old students at sixth form colleges(1)

n/a

700

18-year-old entrants to undergraduate HE courses at UK HE institutions(2)

175

1,365

(1) FE figures are the latest participation figures for the year end 2004 and are rounded to the nearest 100.
(2) HE figures are based on the HESA Standard Registration Population and rounded to the nearest five.
Source:
FE—Individualised Learner Record; HE—Higher Education Statistics Agency Student Record

Figures will not include students who defer entry to higher education and who enter HE in when they are 19 years old.

Mature Students

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of students at each university in England were mature students in each year since 1997. [99704]

Bill Rammell: The latest available information is for 2004/05. Figures for 2005/06 will be available in January 2007.

The proportion of undergraduate enrolments by mature students at each English HE institution is given in a table which has been placed in the Library.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he has taken to offset the carbon dioxide emissions caused by ministerial travel in his Department. [98739]

Mr. Dhanda: All central Government ministerial and official air travel is being offset from 1 April 2006. Departmental aviation emissions are calculated on an annual basis and subsequently offset through payments to a central fund. The fund purchases Certified Emissions Reductions credits from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with sustainable development benefits, located in developing countries.

Muslim Council of Britain

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much (a) financial support and (b) support in kind his Department and its agencies have given to the Muslim Council of Britain in each year since 1997. [96279]

Bill Rammell: According to our records, no direct funding to the Muslim Council of Britain has been provided by the Department or its agencies since 1997. There is also no evidence of funding in kind to support their work.

Nursing

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to encourage students to study nursing. [100101]

Bill Rammell: The recruitment of students to nursing courses is a matter for strategic health authorities in liaison with national health service employers. The Department for Education and Skills is not taking any special steps to encourage students to study nursing but we continue to promote the benefits of higher education for all students and to encourage them to apply to the course best able to match their abilities.


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