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Teachers: Early Retirement

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of teachers in the leadership group have taken early retirement in each of the past 10 years. [131268]

Jim Knight: The following table provides the number and percentage of leadership group teachers retiring from the maintained school sector in each year from 1996-97 to 2005-06, the latest information available.

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Head, deputy head and assistant head teacher retirement benefits( 1) from the maintained schools sector, 1996-97 to 2005-06
Financial year (1 April to 31 March) Premature( 2) Ill h ealth( 3) Total Percentage( 4)



















































(1) Teachers awarded benefits from the Teachers Pension scheme.
(2) The effect of the change in the Teachers' Pension scheme as from 31 August 1997 was that many more teachers took early retirement in 1997 than in previous years. Premature includes actuarially reduced benefit retirements from 2000-01.
(3) Changes in the statutory regulations governing ill-health retirement came into force on 1 April 1997. To qualify for ill-health retirement benefits a teacher must now be regarded as permanently unfit to teach.
(4) Total retirements as a percentage of full-time and part-time teachers in service.
(5) For retirement proportions, teacher numbers have been provided from the DfES annual survey of teachers in service and teacher vacancies (618G survey) from 2001-02. Teacher numbers were not available from this, the department’s preferred source of teacher numbers, prior to this and therefore have been provided from the Database of Teacher Records.
(6) Provisional.
Totals may not appear to equal the sum of their component parts because of rounding.
Database Of Teacher Records (DTR) and DfES annual survey of teachers in service and teacher vacancies (618g)

Teenage Pregnancy

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students in each local education authority recorded absences from school as a result of teenage pregnancy in each of the last five years, broken down by ethnic group. [127738]

Jim Knight: The information required to answer the question is not available.

Trade Unions

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many meetings (a) he and (b) his Department’s Ministers held with trade union representatives in 2006. [128762]

Mr. Dhanda: According to our records, during 2006 (a) the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, and his predecessor, had 15 meetings with trade union representatives and (b) Department for Education and Skills’ Ministers had a total of 46 meetings with trade union representatives.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Departments: Energy

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what strategy he has put in place for (a) the use of renewable energy and (b) meeting energy targets in his Department's buildings; and if he will make a statement. [125406]

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Ian Pearson: The information is as follows:

(a) Strategy for use of renewable energy

Cross-government targets are to source at least 10 per cent. of electricity from renewable sources by 2008. In 2005-06 DEFRA purchased 63 per cent. of its electricity from renewable sources.

All major new build or refurbishment projects are subject to a sustainability review to ensure they fully embrace the Government's sustainability objectives. Renewable energy is a major element of this process.

(b) Strategy for meeting energy targets

Cross-government targets on carbon emissions and energy efficiency mandate DEFRA to:

To achieve these targets, DEFRA has signed up to a Carbon Management Programme (CMP). Working with the Carbon Trust, the programme has enabled the Department to develop a systematic approach to carbon management and take a strategic approach to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions through operational improvements, reduced energy costs, staff awareness and monitoring initiatives.

Utility information systems have enabled the Department to monitor and analyse energy consumption across the estate. This has enabled a focussed approach to identifying significant energy/carbon savings. Pilot projects have recently been implemented with a view to wider rollouts in the near future.


Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of infringement considered since the introduction of the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003 have not resulted in prosecutions. [131730]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 16 April 2007]: I have been asked to reply.

Trading Standards investigate many cases of infringement on a range of legislation, the majority of which are dealt with through other means (e.g. meetings with the company or correspondence) than prosecution. Data on unsuccessful prosecution cases and infringements dealt with by other means are not centrally collected with regard to the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Frontiers

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions
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she has had with her counterpart in Afghanistan on progress in policing that country's borders; how many border guards are in place; and what surveillance is in use at checkpoints. [131276]

Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular contact with Foreign Minister Spanta and discussed border management with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during her recent visit to Afghanistan on 28 February to 1 March.

The issue of policing Afghanistan's borders is covered by the International Police Coordination Board, on which our embassy in Kabul is represented by its chief police adviser. Embassy officials also attend monthly International Police Coordinated Action Group meetings chaired by the German Police Project Office (GPPO).

Currently the official establishment of the Afghan Border Police (ABP) is set at 12,000. However, should the overall establishment of the Afghan National Police rise from 62,000 to 82,000, as is currently being considered, then the revised establishment of the ABP will increase to 18,000. Presently, the actual number of ABP is approximately 7,900, deployed at 13 official land border crossing points, four international airports (Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif), and within a Quick Reaction Force and their HQ at the Ministry of Interior. In addition to static security at these fixed locations, they attempt to police at least another 400 unofficial land border crossing points located around the country. While it would be inappropriate to comment in detail on the precise surveillance techniques used at the border crossing points, we are aware this remains an area where the potential for major development exists.

Developing the ABP remains one of the top priorities for the GPPO and will also be covered by the proposed European Security and Defence Policy mission to Afghanistan. The UK will continue to keep a keen interest in the ABP's development given its significance in helping to stem the flow of insurgents and weapons through the eastern and southern border areas, as well as the fight against the narcotic trade and other illicit smuggling activities. On the northern border, the UK is contributing to a European Commission project to build border infrastructure and capacity for the Afghan border police and customs in Badakhshan province.

Departments: EU Action

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which projects were funded in the last 12 months for which figures are available by (a) the Committee of the Regions and (b) the Economic and Social Committee on informing people in the European spirit; and what role her Department has played in the development of such projects in the UK. [130665]

Mr. Hoon: The Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) organise a number of communication projects. These include the CoR OPENDAYS and the EESC’s local stakeholder forums. These are funded from an
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overall communications budget of €2.2 million per year for the CoR and €900,000 per annum for the EESC. The annual communication budget for both committees does not indicate the funding for individual projects. Although the Foreign and Commonwealth Office leads on the selection of members to the UK delegations to both committees, both institutions act independently of member state governments. The Government have not been actively involved in any initiatives by either Committee.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will place in the Library a list of the attendees, with their affiliations, at each of the last five public events that her Department has hosted on European Community matters. [130633]

Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has hosted several events relating to EU issues in recent months. On 23 and 24 March, the FCO hosted a conference organised by the University Association for Contemporary European Studies entitled “Reflections on European Integration: 50 years of the Treaty of Rome”.

On 22 March, I hosted a reception in Lancaster House to mark the EU’s 50(th) Anniversary and the launch of ‘Learning Together’. This initiative aims to encourage more schools in the UK to take part in educational partnerships with schools across Europe. It will provide schools across the UK with information about the exciting opportunities available. Teachers and heads with experience of joint learning projects with other countries will become “Learning Together Ambassadors”, and share their experience with other schools interested in joining.

On 9 March, the FCO hosted an event organised by the European Youth Parliament. At this event, pupils from secondary schools across the south-east took part in a debating competition on European issues.

On 16 January, the FCO and Department for Education and Skills hosted a reception to relaunch the Life Long Learning programme. This programme aims to enable learners and trainees to work with their European peers through joint projects, exchanges and work experience.

On 10 January, the FCO hosted a reception to mark the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU.

The FCO does not keep records of all event attendees. Guests at the above events were drawn from a range of organisations and included European Ambassadors, representatives from the EU institutions, hon. Members from relevant select committees, teachers, students, representatives from non-governmental organisations and business groups.

Departments: Official Hospitality

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures are in place to limit the amount of money spent on alcohol for hospitality purposes by her Department. [132201]

Mr. Hoon: The budget administered by Government Hospitality for official ministerial hospitality is carefully managed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The head of Government Hospitality is
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advised on suitable expenditure on stock for the Government cellar, and other hospitality for which the Department is responsible, by the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the Purchase of Wine (GHACPW). The GHACPW is an advisory non-departmental public body which answers directly to Ministers in the FCO.

EU Action: Finance

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what Government funding grants are available to (a) think tanks, (b) youth groups and (c) campaigning organisations on EU issues; and what funds were allocated to those groups in each of the last two years. [129259]

Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Europe Directorate’s EU Communications Budget funds activity in the UK to achieve greater domestic awareness of EU issues and a more mature debate about them. The FCO Europe Directorate and other Directorates provide funding to conferences held at Wilton Park, a non-departmental public body of the FCO, think tanks or other events in the UK, including on EU issues. This funding may come from Directorates’ Programme Budgets or the FCO Global Opportunities Fund.

In the 2005-06 financial year (FY), the following amounts were allocated to such organisations for activity in the UK on EU issues:

In the 2006-07 FY, the following amounts were allocated to such organisations for activity in the UK on EU issues:

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