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16 July 2007 : Column 132W—continued

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Teachers: Science

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2007, Official Report, column 1099W, on teachers: science, what steps he is taking to ensure that there is a sufficient number of new teachers with a specialism in (a) physics and (b) chemistry. [149159]

Jim Knight: We are providing a bursary of £9,000 to PGCE trainee teachers in the sciences and a golden hello of £5,000 after their first year of teaching. As a further incentive, providers of teacher training receive an additional ‘bounty’ of £1,000 for every place on a science course which is taken up by a physics or chemistry graduate.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) funds enhancement courses to increase the number of specialist mathematics, physics and chemistry teachers. These courses have enabled over 1,000 additional people to qualify to teach in these subjects.

Over the last five years we have been running the Student Associate Scheme which focuses on physics and chemistry and places high quality undergraduates in schools for up to 20 days to provide curriculum support for teachers and to carry out project work with pupils. It also gives participants a taste of teaching as a career. The Secretary of State for Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) has just announced that participation in the scheme is to be doubled.

The TDA’s highly successful advertising campaign has also contributed significantly to increases in teacher recruitment, and is now concentrating on attracting teachers to priority subjects, including mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Vacancy rates for science teachers in secondary schools have fallen by almost half—from 1.6 per cent. in 2001 to 0.9 per cent. in 2006, when 3,007 people started mainstream teacher training in science. Of these, 12 per cent. were studying physics, 18 per cent. chemistry, 30 per cent. biology and 40 per cent. general science.

Teachers: Tamworth

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) teachers and (b) teaching assistants were employed in (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools in Tamworth in (A) 1997 and (B) at the last date for which figures are available. [148793]

Jim Knight: The following table provides the full-time equivalent number of teachers and teaching assistants employed in local authority maintained nursery/primary and secondary schools in Tamworth constituency in January 1997 and 2006, the latest year for which figures are available at this level.

Constituency level information for 2007 will become available in September.

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Full-time equivalent number of regular teachers and teaching assistants in service in nursery/primary and secondary schools in Tamworth constituency, January 1997 and 2006
Teachers Teaching assistants
Nursery/primary Secondary Nursery/primary Secondary











Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
School Census

Young People: Parents

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he plans to publish his strategy on teenage parents; and if he will make a statement. [149867]

Beverley Hughes: We plan to publish the strategy shortly. The original teenage pregnancy strategy—published in 1999—included action both to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancies and to provide better support for teenage parents. We have made steady progress in reducing the teenage pregnancy rate. The latest data (2005) show that the under-18 conception rate has fallen by 11.8 per cent. since the strategy's baseline year (1998), to its lowest level for over 20 years.

The refreshed ‘support’ strategy which we will be issuing aims teenage mothers having fewer or to reduce the risk of subsequent pregnancies and to improve the lives of teenage parents and their children, who are at high risk of poor outcomes; including:

Better support for teenage parents not only reduces their risk of poor outcomes now, but is also part of our long-term strategy to reduce teenage pregnancy rates in the future—as it will mean that their children will be less likely to experience the factors that increase the risk of teenage pregnancy, such as social deprivation, poor educational attainment and low aspirations. Through better support we can also help teenage parents to avoid second and subsequent unplanned pregnancies—it is estimated that 20 per cent. of births to teenagers are to young women who are already teenage mothers.

International Development

Central America: Children

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to promote the welfare of street children in Central America. [149602]

Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development (DFID) is assisting street children in Honduras and Guatemala through our support to the World Bank (WB) and the Inter-American Development
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Bank (IDB). DFID funds are being used to strengthen WB and IDB programmes to tackle the factors that force many children onto the street. For example, DFID assistance through the IDB has included $145,000 to build the capacity of Guatemalan non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and public sector officials to reintegrate street children back into society. DFID has also contributed $150,000 to the IDB in Honduras for a programme to better prioritise social assistance to vulnerable groups, such as street children, using better data collection and analysis.

DFID provides core funding to the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) who run programmes throughout Central America aimed at improving children’s access to health and education. Street children have also benefited from UNICEF’s programmes in the region on HIV and AIDS and to eliminate child labour and violence against children.

Departments: Disciplinary Proceedings

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many people in his Department have been (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed for (i) inappropriate use of the internet while at work and (ii) using work telephones to access premium rate telephone numbers in the last 12 months. [149189]

Mr. Malik: DFID’s Discipline and Dismissal Procedures are fully compliant with UK legislation and apply to home civil servants working in both the UK and overseas. The same procedures apply to our locally appointed staff, who work in our network of overseas offices, unless local law dictates otherwise.

DFID disciplined fewer than five staff for inappropriate use of the internet while at work in the last 12 months. Due to the small numbers involved, a breakdown by type of offence, employment status and outcome is not made public on the grounds of confidentiality. None of these staff was dismissed.

DFID did not discipline or dismiss any staff for using work telephones to access premium rate numbers in the last 12 months.

The arrangements for staff accessing the internet, and the use of office telephones, are described in our response to a similar question raised on 1 May 2006, which covered the preceding five year period.

Departments: Public Transport

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what incentives he has considered to encourage staff in his Department to use public transport. [148799]

Mr. Malik: DFID provides interest-free loans to staff for the purchase of travel season tickets. This is the only direct incentive we provide to staff, although we also publicise public transport alternatives, particularly in London where we do not have any car parking for staff. We also engage with local authorities on the provision of public transport around our East Kilbride office, and monitor and report on trends in our Green Transport Plans.

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Departments: Publicity

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the cost effectiveness of advertising commissioned by his Department in the last 12 months. [148514]

Mr. Malik: In the 12 months since July 2006, DFID’s main promotional activity was in support of the launch of the Third White Paper on International Development. This was the largest campaign that DFID has run to date. The campaign was evaluated to show which promotional method gave the best rate of response and the best value for money. This showed that e-communications compared favourably with flyer inserts into periodicals and newspapers. This information is being used to inform future campaigns and promotional activity.

DFID’s other main area of advertising spend is recruitment and procurement advertising which is assessed in terms of response rate and quality. At present there is no formal system for evaluating the cost effectiveness of each advert. However, DFID is introducing an e-enabled recruitment system that will help with this evaluation in the future.

DFID is committed to reducing the cost of advertising generally by the use of shorter and more focused advertisements and through maximising discounts through the Central Office of Information.

Departments: Racial Harassment

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. [149249]

Mr. Malik: DFID’s Grievance Procedures are fully compliant with UK legislation and apply to civil servants working in the UK and overseas. We also apply them to our locally appointed staff overseas, who work under local contracts, unless local law dictates otherwise.

DFID investigated fewer than five complaints of racial harassment in the last 12 months. Due to the small number, a breakdown by number, employment status and outcome is not made public on the grounds of confidentiality. All complaints were thoroughly investigated by trained staff and appropriate action was taken by senior managers hearing the cases.

Governance and Transparency Fund

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the estimated cost is of administration of the funding distribution mechanism of the Governance and Transparency Fund; and from which budget that funding comes. [148176]

Mr. Malik: Under the agreement reached with the managing agent for the Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF), the exact cost of administration will depend on the number of proposals submitted and the
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number of projects supported. We estimate that the administration cost will be approximately £1.6 million. This will come from DFID’s administration budget, not from the £100 million programme budget allocated to the GTF.

Iraq: Reconstruction

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what bodies his Department consulted in or before March 2003 on the likely cost of the reconstruction of Iraq in the event of military action being taken against that country; [148904]

(2) what his Department’s estimate was in March 2003 of the cost of reconstruction in Iraq in each of the subsequent five financial years. [148905]

Mr. Malik: Before March 2003, the UK Government, together with United Nations agencies, international NGOs and Coalition partners such as the United States and Australia, prepared contingency plans that included the possibility of prolonged urban warfare, large population movements, or the widespread destruction of essential infrastructure. The cost of reconstruction was considered substantial. Iraq had suffered more than 20 years of conflict, mismanagement and underinvestment by the Saddam regime.

From June to October 2003, the World Bank, United Nations and Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) undertook a joint needs assessment and recommended investing some US$56 billion towards reconstruction over four years (this was not divided into financial years). It was expected that oil revenues would make a significant contribution to this reconstruction. Against this, the international community pledged an initial US$32 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq at the Madrid Donors’ Conference in October 2003 to which the UK pledged an initial £544 million. Iraq has plenty of resources in its own budget, with forecast oil revenues of $33 billion in 2007. Our priority is therefore to help the Iraqi Government make better use of these resources so that they can deliver better public services.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent on reconstruction in Iraq in each financial year since 2002-03. [148972]

Mr. Malik: Since 2002-03, DFID has disbursed the following on bilateral assistance to Iraq:

Financial year Reconstruction and development assistance Humanitarian assistance Total DFID bilateral programme

























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Liberia: Children

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what resources his Department has provided for (a) children's services projects and (b) child protection programmes in Liberia over the last two years; what further such projects are planned; and if he will make a statement. [148331]

Mr. Thomas: DFID’s humanitarian support for Liberia in the last two years has focused on the provision of basic services and on protection issues for the most vulnerable, particularly children, including the internally displaced (IDPs), returning refugees, and those not yet returned.

DFID has provided over £2 million in support of the provision of basic and secondary health care services, through agencies such as Save the Children and Merlin, which have given emphasis to providing free primary health care, including reproductive and sexual health care services to children, adolescents, women and other vulnerable groups recovering after the conflict. DFID support for the return of IDPs and refugees, including food and shelter, has totalled £2.8 million over the last two years.

Our continuing support to Community Development Programmes provides assistance to enterprise and apprenticeship schemes to give skills training opportunities for youth (£1.9 million over the last two years).

DFID’s wider programme of support to Liberia will continue at £10 million per annum and will include increased support to the health sector and to water and sanitation services to provide equitable access to the most vulnerable, including children.

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