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Fluoridation of Water

Earl Baldwin of Bewdley asked Her Majesty's Govnerment:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health made grants of £80,000 for 2000–01, £82,000 for 2001–02 and £84,050 for 2002–03 to enable the British Fluoridation Society to maintain an information base on water fluoridation and give advice on the technical aspects of water fluoridation and its effects on oral and general health. The level of support for 2003–04 will be decided early next year.

Parkinson's Disease Research

Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: We understand that the report in the Wall Street Journal is based on unpublished data presented at a scientific meeting. Until the research is published in full it would be premature to make any comment.

Classics: GCSE, AS and A-level Students

Lord Lewis of Newnham asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The information requested for schools and colleges in England is shown below:

Classical Greek822852831906
Classical Civilisation3,2093,2583,5053,688
Ancient History
Total 15 year-olds575,210580,972580,393603,318
GCE A-level
Classical Greek202184215198
Classical Civilisation2,9742,7542,7382,794
Ancient History525392347342
Total 17 year-olds entered 123,405122,426188,717188,086
AS examinations
Classical Greek32
Classical Civilisation231
Ancient History59
Total 17 year-olds entered 28,058

Early Years Education

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will consider advancing their plans for full funding of early years education from 2004 to 2003 to assist with the provision of free places in rural areas.[HL457]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: From April 2003 increased funding to all local education authorities (LEAs) through education formula spending will ensure that all LEA areas are adequately resourced to achieving universal provision for 3 year-olds by April 2004, six months earlier than originally planned.

School Transport for 16-19 year-olds

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Learning and Skills Council will take full responsibility for financing home to school transport for post 16 year-olds, thereby protecting rural students from cuts in services consequent on county council spending pressures.[HL458]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: During the passage of the Learning and Skills Bill, the issue of who should take the lead on providing support for home to school transport was debated, and it was agreed that local education authorities (LEAs) should continue to co-ordinate this. This was because LEAs are responsible for compulsory school age transport, many of them are already providing good support, and their local authorities have wider responsibilities for transport locally. The Department for Education and Skills arranged a major study of these arrangements Transport for Students in Further Education by transport consultants Steer Davis Gleave. The study was published earlier this year, and the report and

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recommendations are available in the House of Commons Library.

My department responded to the consultants' recommendations by changing the legislation governing the support LEAs must provide for students of 16-19 and clarifying their responsibilities in Schedule 19 to the Education Act 2002. The legislation commences in January 2003 and requires LEAs to work with their learning and skills council, colleges, passenger transport authorities and other partners to meet the needs of students aged 16-19. They must take account of a number of factors, including ensuring that students are not prevented from accessing and completing their courses because of the availability of transport services or their ability to afford them. We have also provided development funding of £9 million in 2002-03 to help 70 LEAs to research and develop more effective transport support arrangements. Finally, from September 2003 we will be channelling additional funding via the LEAs to help local partnerships to provide effective and sustainable transport support. This will complement the substantial additional funding to be provided to students of 16-19 from September 2004, when the education maintenance allowance is introduced nationally. We are confident that these measures will make a significant improvement to transport support generally and for rural areas in particular.

The current review of funding of adult learning is looking at all aspects of financial support for adult learners.

Primary School Spending

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the average amount spent per primary school pupil in each of the past five years in (a) England and Wales and (b) Northern Ireland. [HL523]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The table below sets out the information requested for the last five years for which data are available. The figures for Northern Ireland are taken from outturn statements published by each of the education and library boards for controlled and maintained schools and the Department of Education in respect of grant maintained integrated schools. Direct comparison of these per capita figures is not appropriate with those of England given the differences in the levels of delegated responsibility, the incidence of small schools and differing levels of social deprivation.

Northern Ireland £1,697£1,709£1,805£1,990£2,148

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School Sport Co-ordinators

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    (a) How many school sports co-ordinators have been appointed to date; (b) how they were recruited; (c) how many successful applicants were from different ethnic minority communities; (d) how many were men and how many were women; (e) how many of the successful applicants have disabilities; and (f) how it is expected that the schools sports co-ordinators will promote the achievement of race equality and good race relations as part of their operation objectives.[HL428]

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): (a) In September 2002, there were 765 school sport co-ordinator posts in 149 partnerships. No partnerships have gone live since.

(b) There is no recruitment process specifically for school sport co-ordinators. A school sport co-ordinator is designated in each partnership secondary school from among the school's existing PE teachers. These teachers are recruited to the school workforce in the normal way.

(c, d, e) We do not collect ethnicity, gender and disability breakdowns for school sport co-ordinators. Such information could be made available only at disproportionate cost.

(f) Each school sport co-ordinator partnership works to a development plan, including explicit strategies for benefiting all pupils, including those from ethnic minorities. Partnership aims include providing new and enhanced out of school hours opportunities for all young people in the partnership, including out of school hours learning, non-competitive participation and competition; increasing all young people's participation in community sport through creating and strengthening links with sports clubs, leisure facilities and community providers; and raising standards of pupils' achievement in all aspects of their school life through increased participation and improved performance, motivation and attitudes.

Northern Ireland: Food SafetyPromotion Board

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 November (WA176-77), whether the Answer means that employees of the Food Safety Promotion Board are subject to Republic of Ireland law and at the same time Northern Ireland law; and, given the differences between the two systems of law, how they resolve potential conflicts.[HL198]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The Food Safety Promotion Board, as do all the implementation bodies, carry out their functions in accordance with the respective domestic law of the two jurisdictions in which they operate. Accordingly,

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Northern Ireland law applies to staff employed in Northern Ireland and to the exercise of functions in Northern Ireland. Similarly, Republic of Ireland law applies in relation to the employment of staff and the exercise of functions in the Republic of Ireland. Conflicts do not therefore arise.

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