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13 Mar 2007 : Column 250W—continued

Uganda: Judiciary

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the freedom of the judiciary in Uganda. [126693]

Mr. McCartney: The Ugandan judiciary has been relatively free of political interference in recent years. However we are concerned about recent events surrounding the detention of the alleged People's Redemption Army suspects. The violence used by the Government forces at the Uganda High Court on 1 March to frustrate the decision of the High Court to grant the suspects bail has grave implications for the independence of the judiciary, respect for the rule of law and human rights in Uganda. The Uganda judiciary remains on strike in protest at these events.

Our high commissioner in Kampala made representations to the acting Foreign Minister, Henry Okello Oryem, on 2 March. My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, raised our concerns with the Ugandan high commissioner in London on 5 March. We will continue to press all sides to respect the rule of law and abide by the constitution.

Ukraine: EU Enlargement

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on Ukraine joining the European Union. [126984]

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Dr. Howells: The Government support Ukraine's policy of EU integration and firmly believe that the door to eventual membership should remain open. Article 49 of the treaty on EU states that any European country may apply for membership if it respects the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law. The Government believe that enlargement has proved our strongest tool for spreading stability and prosperity in Europe.

Education and Skills

Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was allocated to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service for 2006-07; and what the outturn spending is expected to be. [126088]

Mr. Dhanda: £106,003,000 was allocated to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service for 2006-07. CAFCASS spent £25,401,400 in the third quarter of 2006-07.

Children: Day Care

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he will make a statement on his proposals for wraparound child care to be introduced; when such proposals will be published; what representations he has received on such proposals; and how much has been allocated to the initiative; [127006]

(2) which schools will qualify for wraparound funding. [127007]

Beverley Hughes: We want all schools to offer access to extended services by 2010, providing a core offer of activities, with at least half of all primary and a third of secondary schools doing so by 2008. Primary schools are expected to provide, as part of the core offer, access to affordable child care at or through their school from 8 am to 6 pm all year round linked to a varied menu of activities. Secondary schools are not expected to offer formal child care but they are expected to provide access to a varied menu of activities (study support activities such as sports clubs, music tuition, dance, drama and art clubs) before and after school from 8 am to 6 pm and during the school holidays in response to demand. Our proposals for access to wraparound child care through schools were first published in our 10- year child care strategy “Choice for parents, the best start for children” in December 2004. We published further details in June 2005 in the Extended Schools Prospectus “Extended schools: Access to opportunities and services for all”. We have received a number of formal and informal representations on this, including a number of parliamentary questions on this subject over the past two years.

We are providing £680 million over 2006-08 to support schools in developing access to extended services. £430 million is being routed via local
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authorities through the Standards Fund and the General Sure Start Grant, £250 million directly to schools through the School Standards Grant (SSG). Currently, over 4,000 schools are providing access to the core offer of extended services.

City Academies: Contracts

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advice and guidance is given to academies which intend to contract for commercial services with their sponsor. [126066]

Alan Johnson [holding answer 8 March 2007]: The general requirements relating to the procurement of goods and services are set out in the Academies Financial Handbook, which the Department issues to all academies. This includes the requirement for probity in procurement, to demonstrate that all parties are dealt with on a fair and equitable basis and to ensure that there is no private gain. In particular the Financial Handbook requires governors, including sponsor governors, to make formal declarations of their interests in external businesses and to withdraw from any discussions regarding potential contracting with that business.

In addition to any advice—or indeed directions—which the Department may give to academy trusts in relation to the procurement of goods and services, the law also precludes the payment of any charitable trustee—including the governors of an academy, of which the sponsor is one—unless legal authority for that payment is given in the charity's governing documents, or otherwise granted by a court or the Charity Commission.

The Charity Commission approves the governing documents of all companies proposed to be registered charities prior to granting registration, to ensure that any provisions conferring authority on the charity to make a payment to one of the trustees—or a company associated with a trustee—deal with conflicts of interest in a transparent manner.

All academy trusts use the Department's model memorandum and articles of association as a basis for their own, and these include standard conflict of interest provisions recommended by the Charity Commission. These typically require any trustee of the company, who has an interest in a particular contract, to withdraw from discussions in relation to such a contract. In order to comply with these provisions, a sponsor of an academy trust would, for example, be required to withdraw from any meetings at which a discussion took place on the proposed remuneration of either themselves, or a company with which they are associated.

Furthermore, Charity Law places an obligation on charitable trustees to act in the best interests of their respective charities, and contracting with a company in the knowledge that this might not be at the best terms available to the charity, would obviously be contrary to this obligation.

Advice and guidance is also provided through the designated Project Lead within the Department, and academies are also referred to the Public Procurement Regulations 2006.

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Computing Industry

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what policies his Department is implementing to ensure that there will be sufficient qualified graduates to meet the demands of the UK computing industry. [106055]

Mr. Dhanda: The Government are committed to increasing the number of young people taking science and mathematics at advanced level and progressing to study science at university and beyond. “The Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014: Next Steps”, published in March 2006, sets out a range of measures to support this.

The latest UCAS figures showing applicants for entry to higher education in 2007 show an increase of 10 per cent. in students studying mathematics and an increase of 15.8 per cent. in students studying mathematics and computer science combined.

eskills UK, the Sector Skills Council for IT and telecoms, has developed, along with employers in the IT sector, the IT Management for Business (ITMB) hons degree. eskills UK has also developed foundation degrees for the IT, telecoms and contact centre sectors, all designed to ensure that graduates get the combination of business and technical skills that are vital to business today and tomorrow.

Departments: Discrimination

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress his Department has made in achieving gender equality in public appointments to bodies which fall within his Department's responsibility since 1997. [125209]

Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 5 March 2007]: The Government remain committed to improving diversity on the boards of public bodies and the principle of equal representation of women and men in public appointments.

The annual Cabinet Office publication “Public Bodies” contains details of the number of women appointed to public bodies each year by Department. For 1997-2006 copies of these documents are available in the Library for the reference of Members. From 1998 copies are also available on the internet at:

During 2006, women represented 31.6 per cent. of the public appointments made to non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). In January 2007, 31 per cent. of total public appointments in DfES’s NDPBs were held by women.

In 1997, 23.6 per cent. of public appointments made to NDPBs by the Department for Education and Employment were held by women. Subsequent Machinery of Government changes mean that there is no direct comparison between public appointments in 1997 and in 2006.

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Departments: St. George's Day

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans his Department has to celebrate St. George’s Day. [125784]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Education and Skills has no plans to celebrate St. George’s day.

Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations 2000

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations 2000 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. [125614]

Bill Rammell: The regulatory impact assessment prepared for the 2000 regulations estimated the one-off costs to business to be between £40 million and £80 million over the first five years of operation from April 2000 (in net present value terms at 1999). Our most recent estimate of the recurring costs to business is in the region of £20 million per year.

The one-off administrative costs incurred by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the Student Loans Company in implementing student loan collection through the tax system was £16.25 million. In the 2005-06 financial year recurring administrative costs amounted to £15.25 million.(1)

Education: Greater London

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of 14 year old (a) boys and (b) girls reached each level in the national curriculum tests in (i) English, (ii) mathematics and (iii) science in each London education authority in each of the last five years. [122217]

Jim Knight: The information requested has been placed in the House Library.

Higher Education: Student Numbers

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many applications were made to (a) university and (b) Russell Group universities in each year from 1996 to 2007, broken down by (i) socio-economic group and (ii) ethnicity. [122623]

Bill Rammell: The Department does not hold data on numbers of applications by type of institution and (i) socio-economic group, and (ii) ethnicity, or numbers of entrants by type of institution and socio-economic group prior to 2002/03. The latest available information relates to entrants to full-time undergraduate courses and is shown in the following tables.

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Number of UK domiciled entrants to full-time undergraduate( 1) courses at UK higher education institutions by national statistics socio-economic classification all institutions and Russell Group institutions—academic years 2002/03 to 2005/06
2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06
Of which: Of which: Of which: Of which:
Socio-economic status (NS-SEC) All HEIs Russell Group All HEIs Russell Group All HEIs Russell Group All HEIs Russell Group



















Total known









Of which:

Percentage from:



















Not known(4)


















(1) Includes first degrees, foundation degrees, higher national diplomas, higher national certificates and diplomas of higher education only.
(2) Includes higher managerial and professional occupations, lower managerial and professional occupations and intermediate occupations.
(3) Includes small employers and own account workers, lower supervisory and technical occupations, semi-routine occupations and routine occupations.
(4) Includes entrants who did not state their parental occupation, those who had never worked, those who were long term unemployed and those for whom it was not possible to derive the NS-SEC.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
Figures are on a snapshot basis as at 1 December and are rounded to the nearest 5, therefore components may not sum to totals.

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