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Leader of the House


Anne Milton: To ask the Leader of the House how much his Office paid to DHL in each financial year between 1997-98 and 2005-06. [104176]

Mr. Straw: Nothing.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Leader of the House how many (a) marketing officers, (b) communications officers and (c) press officers are employed in the Privy Council Office (PCO); and what the total expenditure on communications for the PCO was on (i) Government Information and Communication Service staff and (ii) other (A) press officers, (B) special advisers and (C) staff in the last year for which figures are available. [104361]

Mr. Straw: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons has one Press Officer on loan from, and employed by, the Cabinet Office’s Communications Group. My Office has incurred no expenditure on communications staff.

International GCSE

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Leader of the House whether the Privy Council Office recognises the International GCSE as an alternative to the GCSE where this is a qualification relevant to a post in the Office being advertised. [103808]

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Mr. Straw: To date, the Privy Council Office has never been presented with this qualification. If GCSEs were a requirement for some recruitment exercises and this qualification were provided, the Department would consider this as an alternative, but would seek further advice from the National Recognition Information Centre for the UK.

Education and Skills


Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidelines his Department has given to schools on tackling bullying. [104201]

Jim Knight: The Department has issued a range of guidelines to schools, local authorities and parents about bullying. We have worked with a number of organisations, including the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the National Strategies, to disseminate this guidance. In addition to our general guidance on bullying which we are currently revising, we are producing specific guidance on tackling prejudice-driven bullying and cyber-bullying. During anti-bullying week we announced a series of new initiatives to strengthen and improve the support and guidance we and our partners provide.

Children's Centres

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much the Government is contributing through Sure Start towards the establishment of new children’s centres in the Bristol local authority area. [104320]

Beverley Hughes: A total of £3,392,280 children’s centres capital and £1,495,450 revenue was allocated to Bristol local authority in the first phase of the children’s centres programme (2004-06). A total of £15,884,712 General Sure Start Grant (GSSG) funding has been made available to Bristol over the next two years (2006-08), comprised of £5,219,964 capital and £10,664,748 revenue to support the delivery of our ten year strategy for child care. Provided they meet their targets, local authorities including Bristol have been given flexibility on how the funding is apportioned to individual programmes. Overall, we have made a combined total of £20,772,442 GSSG funding available to the local authority between 2004 and 2008.

Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding was made available for children's centres in Loughborough constituency in the last financial year for which figures are available. [105830]

Beverley Hughes: Information provided to the DfES by Leicestershire local authority shows that they are currently planning to develop six children’s centres in the constituency of Loughborough. Two of these children’s centres are now designated.

A total of £918,890 children’s centre capital and £196,740 revenue was allocated to Leicestershire local authority in 2004-06. For 2006-08 a total of
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£21,963,950 General Sure Start Grant was allocated: £12,842,812 revenue funding and £9,121,138 capital funding. Provided they meet their targets, Leicestershire have been given flexibility on how the funding is apportioned to individual programmes.

Environmentally Sustainable Behaviour

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures are in place to promote environmentally sustainable behaviour within schools and other educational establishments. [100724]

Jim Knight: The Department’s Sustainable Development Action Plan sets out how we will incorporate Sustainable Development into our policies. We have also asked our delivery partners in further and higher education to prepare sustainable development action plans to ensure that it is embedded across all sectors of education. The Action Plan is available in the House of Commons Library.

Our aim is for all schools to become sustainable schools by 2020. We recently consulted on a sustainable schools strategy setting out a national framework of eight ‘doorways’ for schools to achieve this. The strategy is supported with a dedicated online resource:

There is an ongoing year of action to support schools to become sustainable. The Department is working with partners to develop a range of resources such as, the recently published 'top ten tips' that schools can adopt to reduce energy and water-running costs. The Department has also offered local authorities an advance of capital investment in 2007-08, worth £375 million, and encouraged them to use this to improve the energy and water efficiency of schools.

Nursery Education

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on what basis nursery providers can choose to opt out of the provisions in the Childcare Act 2006 that requires providers caring for children up to age five to register on the Early Years register and deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage; and what the consequences are for the providers opting out. [105846]

Beverley Hughes: The Childcare Act 2006 puts in place an integrated framework of learning, development and welfare requirements to be met by those providing care to young children. It is intended to increase coherence, provide a flexible approach to care and learning, raise quality across the early years sector and help children to achieve better outcomes.

Those providing care for children aged zero to five years will be required to join the Early Years Register. In order to ensure a proportionate approach to regulation and inspection, exemption from compulsory registration will be allowed under regulation to maintain the existing regime whereby certain forms of care, for example short term, occasional and baby-sitting services, are not required to register. Providers
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exempt from compulsory registration will be able to join the Ofsted Childcare Register voluntarily and enjoy the benefits it brings.

The Childcare Act also includes a power to exempt early years providers from all or part of the learning and development requirements under the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). We expect that exemptions or modifications in respect of providers to be exceptional and for short limited periods. During the period of such an exemption or modification, local authorities would be expected to use their powers under Section 13 to support the provider to meet the full learning and development requirements. There are no exemptions from EYFS welfare requirements and the learning and develop requirements will be sufficiently flexible to accommodate the vast majority of providers.

The Department will be consulting on both types of exemption in due course.


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the implications for the extended school day of his proposals to require those seeking to work in delivering
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these provisions to hold national vocational qualifications. [105977]

Beverley Hughes: Extended schools provide access to a wide range of services which, depending on the nature of the activity, may require staff to have different skills and qualifications—for example those required for registration of childcare by Ofsted. Beyond this, it is for schools and local authorities to satisfy themselves that those delivering extended services have the levels of skills and qualifications appropriate to the services offered. They are best placed to determine this, taking into account the roles of individual employees and local circumstances.

Special Measures

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which schools have been in special measures for more than two years; and when each school went into special measures. [104202]

Jim Knight: The following table shows the schools that have been in special measures for longer than two years and the dates on which they went into this Ofsted category.

URN School Name LA Area Phase Date into special measures


Rhodesway School



12 December 2002


Usher Street Primary School and Nursery



10 July 2003


The Pinchbeck East Church of England Primary School



14 July 2004


Quarrendon Upper School



30 September 2004


Cheltenham Kingsmead



10 November 2004


Weavers School



18 November 2004


Newman Catholic School



19 November 2004

The number of schools in special measures for over two years has reduced from 23 at the end of the 2004/05 academic year to the current figure of seven.

Ofsted judge that six of the seven schools are making satisfactory progress. The exception is Usher Street in Bradford which is going to be closed. Rhodesway is the secondary school that has been in the category the longest and it due to become an academy.

House of Commons Commission

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Stephen Williams: To ask the honourable Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what progress has been made on plans to offset the carbon dioxide emissions produced by overseas select committee visits. [105988]

Nick Harvey: The Commission and the Members Estimate Committee decided on 19 June to make annual contributions to the Government's carbon offsetting fund to cover the carbon costs of parliamentary air travel booked through the parliamentary travel office. The House of Lords House Committee decided to do likewise on 18 July. Carbon dioxide emissions resulting from overseas select committee visits will be offset as part of this arrangement. A first payment, covering the current financial year, is expected to be made in April 2007.

Members' Portraits

Dr. Pugh: To ask the honourable Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much has been spent on paintings and photographs of hon. Members in the current Parliament displayed on the House estate in the last five years. [105935]

Nick Harvey: A total of £39,177.50 was spent from the House Vote on paintings and photographs of current Members of Parliament acquired in the last five years. Twenty works were acquired for this sum.

International Development

Aid Statistics

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department makes of the macroeconomic effects of aid flows on individual recipient countries. [100666]

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Hilary Benn: DFID commissioned the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to look into the macroeconomic impact of large aid flows in Mauritania, Mozambique Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) undertook similar work looking at Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.

The findings of this work were discussed with a group of interested recipient country finance ministers, central bank governors and officials from developing countries at a joint IMF/DFID at seminar in April 2006. Both pieces of work showed that countries could, with appropriate economic policies, manage the impact of large scale aid inflows.

The issue is obviously more of a concern for countries where aid is a relatively larger proportion of national income. In Uganda for example, DFID has funded work to look explicitly at the macroeconomic impacts of larger aid flows and the particular worry of so called “Dutch Disease” effects, which can hamper exports. This followed explicit concerns from the Ugandan Government regarding increases in aid. We have also recently looked at exchange rate effects in Zambia, although aid flows are only part of the picture in the appreciated exchange rate.

While in most cases we would expect the IMF and recipient countries to do detailed macroeconomic analysis on this issue, DFID works with both to inform its country assistance plans and to provide assistance where appropriate.

Commonwealth Scholarship Commission

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the (a) names and (b) qualifications are of the members of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission established under section 13 of the International Development Act 2002. [106194]

Mr. Thomas: There are currently 14 members of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission:

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