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Ulster Scots Agency

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Investigation into this outstanding matter is continuing. It involves issues of sensitivity for the individuals concerned and it would not be appropriate to give details.

Northern Ireland: Integrated Education

Lord Dubs asked Her Majesty's Government:

22 Jan 2003 : Column WA110

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The target is for an average annual 10 per cent growth in enrolments in integrated schools in response to parental demand. In pursuit of this target, we fund the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education to develop proposals for new integrated schools and it is expected that the department will provide funding of £467,000 in the next financial year to the council. In addition, some £3.5 million has been provided to the Integrated Education Fund to support the development of the sector.

Funding will also continue to be made available, as and when necessary, for new integrated school projects which satisfy the normal viability criteria.

Belfast to Dublin Railway Line

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Following the recent total relay of the railway track between Belfast and Dublin, how many speed restrictions apply; and why they are appropriate on a relaid track. [HL1067]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Translink has advised that there are five temporary speed restrictions currently in place on the Belfast to Dublin railway line, between Belfast and the border. One is related to vandalism and one to settlement caused by badger activity. The remaining three are in place for operational reasons including maintenance work.

Approximately 50 per cent of the track that runs from Belfast to the Border was relaid during the mid to late 1990s and none of the temporary speed restrictions relates to track that was relaid.

Royal School, Armagh

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What restrictions there are on enrolment at the Royal School, Armagh; how the number of boarders at this school impacts upon total enrolment; and whether an increase in the number of boarders at the school means that there must be a restriction on the number of day pupils at the school. [HL962]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Department of Education (Northern Ireland) has approved admission and enrolment numbers of 100 and 650 respectively for the Royal School, Armagh. It is a matter for the school to determine the number of places it sets aside for boarders within these approved numbers subject to the provisions of the Secondary School (Admissions Criteria) Regulations (NI) 1997. These permit a school with a boarding department to give priority to boarding pupils without regard to transfer procedure grades but only to the extent of not exceeding the number of pupils enrolled in a school's boarding department on 21 September 1990 or 2 October 1997, whichever is the greater. Any increase in the number of boarders will restrict the number of day pupils at the school.

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Weston Park

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 9 January (WA 233) concerning Weston Park, which parties accepted the proposals of 1 August 2001 and which did not.[HL1071]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: It emerged following publication of the proposals that they did not constitute the basis of a fully acceptable way forward. The positions of the parties on the detail of these proposals are a matter for them.

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Civil Service: Oath of Allegiance

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any new appointees to the Civil Service in any part of the United Kingdom are required to take an oath of allegiance; if so, which parts of the Civil Service require this; who they require to take this; and to whom it is made.[HL1116]

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): Under the terms of the Civil Service Code, members of the Home Civil Service owe their loyalty to the administration in which they serve.

No civil servant in the UK is required to take an oath of allegiance.

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