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Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of universities compliance with equality legislation, with particular reference to anti-semitism. 
Bill Rammell: The Government have demonstrated their clear commitment to ensuring equality of opportunity in higher education and more broadly in British society. Universities as independent, autonomous bodies are responsible themselves for complying with legislation and fulfilling their statutory duties. Under the Race Relations Act 1976 (as amended by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000) university governing bodies are also responsible for assessing the impact of their policies on student and staff of different racial groups.
Bill Rammell: We have made our position extremely clear on this issue in recent weeksincluding my recent visit to Israel, when I spoke to senior Government Ministers, academics, students and the media. We fully support academic freedom and are firmly against any academic boycotts of Israel or Israeli academics. While I appreciate the independence of the UCU, I am very disappointed that the union has decided to pass a motion which encourages its members to consider boycotting Israeli academics and education institutions. I profoundly believe this does nothing to promote the Middle East peace process, in fact the reverse.
DfES supply estimates
In addition, Government invest some £3 billion each year in the delivery of the free entitlement to nursery education for three and four-year-olds. Funding is provided to local authorities through the dedicated schools grant.
The Department has had many discussions with a wide range of stakeholders during preparations for and the run up to the Comprehensive Spending Review and will continue to do so as allocations are finalised.
Good reading skills are essential to improving chances of success for all young people. The
literacy standards of all pupils have improved markedly over the past decade, but within this there remains a roughly constant gender gap: boys tend to read less than girls, and to achieve lower rates of literacy as measured by English tests.
The Boys into Books initiative which the Government launched last month allows every state-funded secondary school with boys on roll to select 20 free books from a new list created by the School Library Association; the take-up of this offer is already approaching two-thirds of all eligible schools. The Reading Champions initiative provides a range of ideas and resources to encourage boys to read more by using the motivational power of reading role models. Both initiatives support our wider programme to promote literacy, including the planned National Year of Reading in 2008.
Mr. Dhanda: The Department's guidance, Drugs: Guidance for Schools (DfES 2004) outlines schools responsibilities in this area and the issues to be covered in drug education across all of the four key stages, Ofsted tells us that the standard of drug education continues to improve.
However, the Government will continue their fight against drugs and intend to consult later this year on proposals for a new drug strategy to be introduced from 2008. Education will be considered as a fundamental part of this wider process.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of procedures to evacuate pupils from school buildings in an emergency. 
Jim Knight: We do not make such an assessment but schools must have contingency evacuation procedures in place for fire risks and we advise them to build on these for other emergencies such as floods. We also worked recently with the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the production of guidance on evacuation and shelter which includes information for schools, for whom we also maintain a website on emergency planning.
Jim Knight: The Government believe there is no place for homophobic bullying in schools, and all our guidance on bullying makes this clear. Recognising that this can be a particularly difficult issue for many teachers to deal with, my Department has been working with Stonewall and Educational Action Challenging Homophobia (EACH) to prepare detailed guidance for schools on how to prevent and tackle homophobic bullying. This will be issued as part of our revised overarching guidance on bullying, Safe to Learn: Embedding Anti-Bullying Work in Schools, which we aim to launch online in September.
Jim Knight: The National School Sport Strategy, jointly implemented by DCMS and DfES, is a key component of a multi-faceted, whole school programme of addressing obesity. The 2005/06 school sport survey found that overall 80 per cent. of pupils participate in at least two hours of high quality PE and school sport a week. This exceeded the target of 75 per cent. for 2006 and demonstrates a considerable increase from the estimated 25 per cent. in 2002. This target for 2008 rises to 85 per cent. By 2010 the ambition is to offer all children at least four hours of sport a week.
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many biological sciences graduates who had an A in biology A level began teacher training in each of the last 10 years, broken down by class of degree; 
Jim Knight: A level grades for post graduate trainees entering initial teacher training (ITT) are not collected centrally. Data relating to trainees first degree is collected as part of the TDA's performance profiles data.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, if he will examine the relationship between trends in teenage pregnancy rates and trends in educational attainment over the last four years; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 26 June 2007] : The likelihood of teenage pregnancy is far higher among young women with poor educational attainment. 29 per cent. of girls leaving school at 16 without qualifications will have a birth under 18, and 12 per cent. an abortion under 18, compared with 1 per cent. and 4 per cent. respectively for girls leaving school at 17 or over. This association between teenage pregnancy and low attainment is evident even after accounting for the effects of deprivation. On average, among the 20 per cent. most deprived wards in England, those with poor levels of educational attainment (less than 40 per cent. of young women achieving 5 GCSE's A-C) have under 18 conception rates twice as high as similarly deprived wards with better levels of educational attainment (more than 60 per cent. of young women achieving 5 GCSE's A-C). Consequently, the teenage pregnancy strategy focuses on raising aspirations and attainment as well as on delaying first sex and better contraception usegiving young people the motivation as well as the means to prevent early pregnancy.
However, while there is a strong association between absolute teenage pregnancy and educational attainment rates, the association between changes in rates over time is less strong and more difficult to interpret. In large part, this is because teenage pregnancy and educational attainment rates are independently influenced by a wide range of factors. Accounting for how these factors impact on the relationship between changing teenage pregnancy and educational attainment rates is problematic as many are not captured by routinely collected statistics.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of whether bovine tuberculosis can be carried from farm to farm by people and animals walking across the land, with reference to the report of the Independent Scientific Group on Bovine Tuberculosis. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of sick leave taken by staff in his Department was stress-related in each of the last three years. 
2005: 6.7 per cent.
2006: 5.3 per cent.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the flood protection and water drainage infrastructure serving Kingston upon Hull and the surrounding area following the flooding that took place on 25 June. 
Ian Pearson: I refer my hon. Friend to the statement given by the Secretary of State on 26 June 2007 , Official Report, column 763, in which he explained that it is too early to make a full assessment of the recent flooding but that there had been no reported structural failings of flood defences.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Environment Agency monitors compliance of businesses obligated under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations via the packaging recovery note (PRN) system. All obligated businesses are required to provide the appropriate agency with a certificate of compliance for the previous year by 31 January, which confirms that a producer has complied with their recovery and recycling obligations. Copies of all PRNs acquired for that particular year should accompany the certificate of compliance.
The Agency is required to provide a report at the end of each year, in respect of the following calendar year, setting out its proposed monitoring plan including in relation to monitoring it is required to carry out (under Regulation 31). This will include an indication of the minimum number of businesses which it proposes to monitor in the course of that year.
The recently established National Packaging Waste Database has been developed to simplify data submission under the regulations, aid national planning and assist the enforcement agencies to identify abuses and non-compliance.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the packaging recovery note system is only applicable to companies that exceed an annual turnover of £2 million and whose packaging handling exceeds 50 tonnes per year. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations oblige businesses in the packaging chain which have an annual turnover of more than £2 million, and which handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year, to recover and recycle a specified amount of packaging waste. This amount is determined, in part, by the amount of packaging they handle. The packaging recovery note (PRN) system was established as the mechanism for businesses to provide evidence of compliance with these regulations.
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