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Paul Goggins: The same stringent vetting standards will apply to PCSOs as to regular officers. The regulations will cover both criminal convictions and business interests identical to those which apply to police officers.
Paul Goggins: There are no immediate plans to introduce legislation specifically in respect of autism. The Bamford team's review of legislation, which will cover learning disabilities such as autism, is due to report this summer.
Maria Eagle: The Bain Review represents an important step in improving education in Northern Ireland. The report includes recommendations for making better use of resources, improved planning of schools, and improved sharing and collaboration across schools, and highlights the educational, economic and social benefits which changes will bring. The Government have accepted all the reports recommendations.
Paul Goggins: The Historic Enquires Team project has been allocated £34 million over six years, this is a significant sum. Estimated expenditure to 31 March 2007 is £10.5 million. This project involves the PSNI, Police Ombudsman, Forensic Science Agency and PPS. Government are committed to ensuring that this work is adequately resourced.
13. Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made in securing commitments from all political parties in Northern Ireland to supporting (a) the police, (b) the courts and (c) the rule of law. 
Paul Goggins: The Government acknowledge that the Police Ombudsmans investigation has succeeded in bringing to light serious failings of duty by a small number of police officers over the period 1991 to 2003. The Chief Constable has accepted the reports recommendations and work on reinvestigating the cases has already begun. Where sufficient evidence can be obtained, prosecutions will be brought.
|Number of firearms held on firearm certificates|
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 6 February 2007, Official Report, columns 556-57W, on departmental computers, whether any of the computers and laptops stolen contained information (a) which could have compromised the safety of individuals or the general public and (b) about the names, addresses and other personal data relating to individuals; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: Of the 55 laptops lost or stolen from Northern Ireland Departments in the nine-year period ending in February 2007, it is possible that one owned by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety may have contained documents which included names and addresses relating to dental referral cases.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by the Department for Education on the teaching of English as an additional language in each of the last five years. 
Maria Eagle: The Department of Education has provided earmarked funding for the provision of teaching and teaching support for English as an additional language (EAL), through the Education and Library Boards in each financial year as follows:
Since 2005-06 funding, additional to that provided through the boards, has been given direct to schools through the common funding formula, for those schools that have identified EAL pupils who require extra support. Funding for the schools by financial year was:
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the Department for Education's most recent estimate is of the number of (a) primary and (b) post-primary pupils in schools in Northern Ireland who are learning English as an additional language. 
Maria Eagle: In 2006-07 there are 2,425 children in primary schools (Year one-seven classes) and 1,148 children in post-primary schools who are recorded as having English as an additional language. The numbers refer to children who have significant difficulties with the English language and require additional support.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his Department's most recent estimate is of (a) the number of people from minority ethnic communities who live in Northern Ireland and (b) the proportion of the total population of Northern Ireland represented by people from those communities. 
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many nursing vacancies there were in each health trust area in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years; and what the average length of time taken was to fill nursing vacancies in each health trust area in Northern Ireland over the same period. 
Information on the average length of time taken to fill nursing vacancies in each Health Trust area is not available; however the number of long-term vacancies for nursing staff (i.e. vacancies which remain vacant after three months) is given as an indication of those that were particularly difficult to fill.
The number of current qualified nursing staff vacancies has decreased from a headcount of 746 (678.45 WTE) in June 2004 to 583 (523.80 WTE) in September 2006 (although the September 2006 figure shows an increase from September 2005). The number of long-term qualified nursing staff vacancies also decreased from a headcount of 252 (232.41 WTE) in June 2004 to 203 (171.45 WTE) in September 2006.
The number of current nurse support staff vacancies has increased from a headcount of 105 (94.77 WTE) in June 2004 to 139 (119.67 WTE) in September 2006. The number of long-term nurse support staff vacancies also increased from a headcount of 22 (19.05 WTE) in June 2004 to 70 (60.41 WTE) in September 2006.
|Number of current vacancies for nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff in each Health Trust as at 30 June 2004|
|Qualified nursing staff( 1)||Nurse support staff|
|Trust||Headcount||WTE( 2)||Headcount||WTE( 2)|
|(1 )Qualified nursing staff include midwives, health visitors and district nurses.|
(2 )Whole-time equivalent.
A current vacancy is defined as an unoccupied post which the organisation was actively trying to fill.
NI HPSS Trusts & Organisations
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