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Economic Inactivity and Unemployment Rates

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

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Letter from the National Statistician, Len Cook, dated 18 July 2003.

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent questions about economic inactivity and unemployment rates. (HL3998, 3999, 4000, 4001, 4002 and 4003)

The information required to answer these questions is not readily to hand and will require extensive analysis. Unfortunately, we are unable to supply this in the time available. The necessary work is being carried out as a matter of urgency and I will send the completed answers to you as soon as they are available.

In the meantime, please accept my apologies for this delay.

University Students

Lord Quirk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What percentage of undergraduate students at:

    (i) Oxford and Cambridge; and (ii) The "Russell Group" of universities came from each of the following in England and Wales: (a) comprehensive schools; (b) secondary modern schools; (c) grammar schools; (d) independent schools; (e) sixth-form colleges; and (f) further education colleges.[HL3896]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The information is not readily available. I will write to the noble Lord when the information is at hand and will place a copy in the House Library.

Russian GCSE and A-level

Lord Skidelsky asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many candidates sat examinations in Russian at GCSE and A-level respectively in each year since 1990.[HL3922]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The number of candidates who sat examinations in Russian at GCSE and A-level each year since 1992 1 are as follows:

Total Number of GCSE entries in Russian for 15 year-old pupils in England


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Total number of GCE A-level entries in Russian for candidates of all ages in England


Prior to 1992 GCSE and A-level data were not collected as part of the performance tables exercise, and therefore the figures are not comparable for earlier years.

Biology Teachers

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Teacher Training Agency will take steps to ensure that all newly qualified biology teachers have sufficient training to enable them to deliver basic out-of-classroom teaching in biology and other scientific disciplines.[HL4009]

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Baroness Ashton of Upholland: As one of the statutory requirements to be met before qualified teacher status can be awarded, trainee secondary teachers must be able to demonstrate a secure knowledge and understanding of the subject they are trained to teach. They must also be able to demonstrate that they can plan opportunities for pupils to learn in out-of-school contexts, including school trips, museum visits, field-work and employment-based settings, with the help of other staff where appropriate.

Science Teaching: Fieldwork

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have plans to ask Ofsted to include the provision of science and biology fieldwork as one of the criteria by which it assesses the performance of schools.[HL4011]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: This is a matter for Ofsted. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools, David Bell, will write to the noble Baroness and place a copy of his letter in the Library.

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