Previous Section Index Home Page

5 Feb 2008 : Column 1092W—continued


5 Feb 2008 : Column 1093W

South Africa: HIV Infection

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the Government of South Africa on HIV/AIDS. [183473]

Gillian Merron: The DFID Southern Africa office and the British high commission in Pretoria hold regular discussions with the Government of South Africa on the issue of HIV and AIDS. In order to progress the UK's £30 million HIV and AIDS programme, DFID officials recently met with the South African Ministers for Health and Social Development and the vice chair of the South African National AIDS Council, which oversees the South African responses to AIDS.

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of progress in tackling HIV/AIDS in South Africa; and if he will make a statement. [183475]

Gillian Merron: South Africa has the highest burden of HIV and AIDS in the world. Over 5.5 million people are infected, and it is estimated that in 2007 over one sixth of the world’s population with HIV live in South Africa. Recent data from antenatal clinics suggest a modest decline in prevalence rates: in 2006, 29 per cent. of all pregnant women had HIV, down from 30 per cent. in 2005. However, the UNAIDS Global update states that there is no evidence of a decrease in HIV among young South Africans.

Over the past year there has been renewed optimism that South Africa is beginning to scale up efforts to tackle HIV and AIDS. On 3 May the South African Cabinet approved a new national strategic plan for AIDS, with interim targets that put South Africa on track to achieve universal access by 2011. The plan is overseen by a revitalised South African National AIDS Council which brings together all Government departments and 17 civil society sectors, including people living with HIV and AIDS, business, researchers, women, faith based organisations and traditional leaders. The UK provided technical assistance, through UNAIDS, to this revitalisation process.

DFID has also directly supported India (£28.5 million, 2002-10), Bangladesh (up to £50 million, 2005-10), and Iraq (about £21 million since 2003) to upgrade their energy sectors. We have recently committed £20 million to help Sierra Leone (2008-13).

We spent approximately £1.75 million during the last five years on energy research to help developing countries address energy sector challenges and have committed a further £3.75 million (2007-12) to look at the contribution bio-energy can make to poverty reduction in Africa. We are planning to develop an additional research programme to look at energy policy options for developing countries as they consider what action is needed to tackle climate change.

South Africa: Overseas Aid

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid was provided to South Africa by the Government in each of the last five years, broken down by type of aid. [183474]


5 Feb 2008 : Column 1094W

Gillian Merron: Information on UK aid to South Africa is available in the DFID publication ‘Statistics on International Development 2007’. This publication is available online at:

Relevant figures are reproduced in the following tables.

Table 1: UK total bilateral gross public expenditure (GPEX) on development to South Africa, 2002-03 to 2006-07
£000
Year DFID Technical co-operation DFID humanitarian assistance Other DFID bilateral aid Aid from other UK official sources Total GPEX

2002(-)03

22,758

95

13,581

20,751

57,186

2003(-)04

23,856

18,520

50,956

93,332

2004(-)05

13,960

16,554

18,418

48,932

2005(-)06

15,608

13,370

50,388

79,366

2006(-)07

16,321

8,710

5,256

30,286


Table 2: Imputed UK share of multilateral official development assistance (ODA) 2001-05
South Africa ( £000 )

2001

9,639

2002

10,338

2003

1 1,458

2004

10,980

2005

13,699


Children, Schools and Families

Academies: Higher Education

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which universities his Department has formally requested to apply to establish an academy school. [184030]

Jim Knight: There is no process by which the Department for Children, Schools and Families formally requests universities to apply to establish an Academy.

However, the Department has had, and continues to have, discussions with a number of universities about the Academies programme.

Alcoholic Drinks: Health Education

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to ensure that teachers are trained to inform young people about the dangers of alcohol abuse. [183494]

Jim Knight [holding answer 31 January 2008]: Alcohol education should be delivered (along with other drug education) through well planned personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE). We are committed to helping teachers and schools improve their planning and delivery of this important area and there is a Government-funded continuing professional development programme for PSHE, which all teachers of drug (including alcohol) education are encouraged to undertake. The programme, accredited by Roehampton university, is also open to community nurses and supports standards in the delivery of PSHE teaching. Over 6,000 teachers and nurses have been certificated or are participating in the programme.


5 Feb 2008 : Column 1095W

Care Homes: Standards

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what percentage of children's homes do not meet the national standards for care homes. [179571]

Kevin Brennan [holding answer 17 January 2008]: This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 16 January 2008:

Children: Obesity

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has to amend the initial teacher training syllabus to counteract childhood obesity. [183660]

Jim Knight [holding answer 31 January 200 8 ]: There is no prescribed curriculum or syllabus for initial teacher training, but to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status trainees must be able to demonstrate that they are aware of current legal requirements, national policies and guidance on the safeguarding and promotion of the well-being of children and young people.

The Government recently announced the first steps in their strategy to help people maintain healthy weight and live healthy lives and, as an important part of that, they are making food technology compulsory at key stage 3 for every 11 to 14-year-old from September 2011—with food technology lessons, involving practical cooking lessons and classes on diet, nutrition, hygiene and healthy food shopping. Extra food technology teachers are to be recruited to lead in this and the initial teacher training that they receive, specifically to teach this subject, will contain detail on diet and nutrition, as it does now.

Classroom Assistants

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance his Department provides to schools on the use of teaching assistants to cover qualified teachers who are absent. [184199]


5 Feb 2008 : Column 1096W

Jim Knight: The Department for Children, Schools and Families is absolutely clear that support staff such as teaching assistants are not substitutes for qualified teachers. Provided certain conditions are met, however, support staff are permitted to carry out “specified work”, which includes delivering lessons to pupils. These conditions are set out in The Education (Specified Work and Registration) (England) Regulations 2003 and (Amended) Regulations 2007 and accompanying Guidance http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/_doc/11731/Time_for_Standards_2007.pdf and are: that the member of staff concerned carries out the work in order to assist or support the work of a qualified teacher in the school and is subject to the direction and supervision of a qualified teacher in accordance with arrangements made by the head teacher of the school; and that the head teacher is satisfied that the support staff member has the skills, expertise and experience required to carry out the work.

In determining whether the person has the skills, expertise and experience required to carry out specified work, the head teacher should have regard to the standards for higher-level teaching assistants that are published by the Department.

In addition, the Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group (WAMG), which includes the majority of school workforce associations and unions and employers, as well as the Department and Welsh Assembly Government, has published guidance on cover supervision.

During cover supervision, no active teaching takes place but pupils continue their learning by carrying out a pre-prepared exercise under supervision (usually by a member of support staff). The guidance makes clear that cover supervision is appropriate only for short-term absence and that the head teacher must be satisfied that the member of staff supervising the class has the necessary training and skills.

Guidance and support to schools on the use of support staff for providing cover, as well as more generally, is also available through a network of local authority-based workforce advisers funded by the Training and Development Agency for Schools. Any school wanting further advice on this issue is best advised to contact the local authority concerned.

Connexions Card

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) for what reasons the Youth Opportunity Card pilots were conducted on a timescale shorter than that outlined in his Department's Youth Matters: Next Steps, Something to do, Somewhere to go, Someone to talk to; and if he will make a statement; [183233]

(2) how many pilots of the Youth Opportunity Card took place; how many cards were issued under those pilots; what the total cost of the pilots was; and if he will make a statement. [183234]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 4 February 2008]: In February 2007 we took the decision not to proceed with the Youth Opportunity Card pilots and therefore no cards were issued. For details on the reasons for this
5 Feb 2008 : Column 1097W
and the cost of the card project, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 945W, to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban).

Food: Secondary Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government plan to take to support schools in providing mandatory cooking lessons. [183840]

Jim Knight: To support schools to provide food technology to all their pupils at key stage 3 from September 2011 the Government will:

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what estimate he has made of the likely number of additional teachers needed to provide cookery lessons in schools for 11 to 14-year-olds over the next three years; [183771]

(2) what estimate he has made of the likely cost of re-training existing teachers to provide cookery lessons in schools; [183772]

(3) how many secondary schools do not provide cookery lessons; [183773]

(4) what account the setting of teacher training intake targets for 2008 has taken of the policy on the provision of compulsory cookery classes; [183775]

(5) what discussions he has with the Training and Development Agency for Schools on increasing the number of teachers who specialise in teaching cookery. [183776]

Jim Knight: The Department has recently provided the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) with targets for teacher training places in secondary subjects for the three year period 2008-09 to 2010-2011. We will make available approximately 800 secondary school food technology teacher training places in this period.


Next Section Index Home Page