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Written Answers

Wednesday, 8 September 2004.

Iraq: Red Cross Report

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): The International Committee Red Cross (ICRC) has not yet produced a formal UK specific report though we expect it to do so in the near future.

As I said in my Written Answer of 7 July (WA 89–90), the ICRC's report on the treatment by the coalition forces of prisoners of war and other protected persons by the Geneva Conventions in Iraq during arrest, internment and interrogation, dated 10 February 2004, was a general document. It was formally passed to Ambassador Bremer and Lieutenant General Sanchez on 26 February. The senior British military representative in Iraq passed a copy of the report to Headquarters Multinational Division (South-East) on 13 February and to the permanent joint headquarters on 16 February, and posted a copy to the MoD that arrived on 27 February. A copy of the report was sent to defence Ministers' offices on 7 May 2004.

NITEworks

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: NITEworks has been in operation since 16 June 2003. In this time NITEworks has completed two major experiments: kill chain development stage 1, and component CIS integration. It has supported UK involvement in the US Joint Forces Command multinational experiment 3, and has also completed initial work on three further experimental themes: indirect fire integration, ISTAR request for information management, and the joint operational picture.

NITEworks has established a unique MoD industry partnership to develop our understanding of the potential of network enabled capability, together with a world-leading experimentation capability providing an environment for exploring the future battlespace.
 
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Programme interventions (equipment, doctrine and training) have been proposed which would significantly improve our ability to engage time-sensitive targets; to integrate our CIS assets across component boundaries; to realise joint fires; to co-ordinate and synchronise our ISTAR assets; and to ensure coherence of our joint operational and recognised land pictures. NITEworks has also ensured that the UK contributes fully to the development of coalition concepts for future effects based operations. NITEworks remains at the heart of our departmental approach to the delivery of network enabled capability.

The cost to the Treasury of NITEworks operations to date has been £13.6 million.

Sickness Absence from Work

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): The Government do not intend to force those who are genuinely ill to go into work.

Olympic Games 2012: London Bid

Lord Fearn asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: No. The election of the host city of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games takes place on 6 July 2005. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport's share of the funding for the Olympic bid was allocated in advance of the announcement of the 2004 spending review and announced in the Command Paper 5867 presented to Parliament in June 2003.

Special Educational Needs

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): In the school year 2002–03, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal registered 1,076 appeals in which the parents requested specific schools. Of these, 689 were from families seeking a special school place and 387 from families seeking a mainstream place.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: This information is not held centrally. Parents of children who have statements of special educational needs can express a preference for any school in the maintained sector—mainstream or special—which they would like their child to attend. LEAs must name the parents' preferred school in the child's statement unless:

Once a school is named in a statement the governors are under a duty to admit the child. Parents can also make representations for non-maintained special or independent schools to be named in statements, but LEAs do not have to name such schools if they feel one of their own schools can meet a child's needs. If parents are unhappy about the school named in their child's statement they have right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. In 2002–03:

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: Under The Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001, which are set out in Annex A to the SEN code of practice, all LEAs are under a duty, at the time they send to parents a proposed statement or a proposed amended statement following statutory reassessment, also to send a notice with prescribed information. LEAs must inform parents of their right to request an LEA-maintained school, "including an LEA-maintained special school", for their child, and of the LEA's qualified duty to "name" the maintained school of the parents'
 
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choice on the child's statement. LEAs must include a list of maintained primary or secondary schools, as appropriate, with the notice. LEAs must also inform parents of their right to suggest the name of a non-maintained special school or an independent school they would like to be named on the statement and include a list of non-maintained special schools and independent schools approved by the Secretary of State and any such list produced by the National Assembly for Wales. For a proposed amended statement following an annual review a notice containing this information must also be sent. Figures are not collected centrally on how many local education authorities (LEAs) do not inform the parents of children with SEN of their right to request a special school.

Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): A public consultation exercise carried out last year revealed widespread support for the work carried out by the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council. In the light of these and other responses the Government have decided in principle that the council should continue primarily as a source of strategic advice to Government, navigation authorities and other waterway bodies about the inland waterways generally. The Government have also decided in principle that the council should be reconstituted as an independent body reporting to and supported by Government and that its formal ties with British Waterways should be severed. The Government are at present exploring ways in which these conclusions can be implemented and hope to make a formal announcement about the council's future soon.


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