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Key Target 1

Sustain threshold level performance at each of the key stages 1, 2 and 3 by matching national (England) achievement in all subject elements and exceeding it by 3 per cent in a majority of the 12 subject elements. Sustain the percentage of pupils obtaining A* to C at GCSE as a three-year rolling average. Sustain the percentage of students obtaining A to E at A-level as a three-year rolling average.

Key Target 2

Sustain SCE's notional position in the English local education authority league tables, within the leading 25 (of 150) LEAs at each of key stages 1, 2 and 3.

Key Target 3

At the higher levels of attainment (i.e. level 3+ at key stage 1, level 5+ at key stage 2, level 6+ at key stage 3) match national level of performance in seven of the 12 subject elements in 2005, rising to eight in 2006.

Key Target 4

For GCSE, sustain performance in average points scores by achieving a score within 10 points of the England "capped" upper quartile figure.

Key Target 5

To achieve grade 4 or above (on the Ofsted seven point scale in at least 85 per cent of schools inspected, in each of the following areas:

Overall effectiveness of the school

Overall standards achieved

Pupils' attitudes, values and personal qualities

The quality of education provided by the school

The leadership and management of the school

Key Target 6

To achieve an overall parental customer satisfaction rating of at least 85 per cent in the 2004–05 parental survey.

Independent Commissioner for Detained Terrorist Suspects

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Rooker): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
 
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(Shaun Woodward) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I have today arranged for copies of Dr Bill Norris's annual report for 2004 to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

I welcome Dr Norris's report and will consider it carefully. I will respond as soon as possible.

Food Products: Para Red

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health (Caroline Flint) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I have been advised by the Food Standards Agency that on 5 May the agency issued advice to consumers not to eat foods that had inadvertently been contaminated with an illegal dye, Para Red. This advice follows previous action taken by the Food Standards Agency to ensure the withdrawal of a range of products containing chilli powder since July 2003 which had been contaminated with a different illegal dye, Sudan I.

Para Red, like Sudan I, could contribute to an increased risk of cancer. At the levels found the risk is likely to be very small; however, it is sensible to avoid eating any more foods contaminated with this substance.

In addition to the list of affected products published on 5 May, further updates were published on 6 and 11 May bringing the total number to 69. The agency acted with all possible speed to inform consumers which products were affected so retailers and consumers could act on this advice. All of the products have now been withdrawn.

Food companies have a legal obligation to remove from sale products that do not meet food safety requirements and to inform the Food Standards Agency and local authorities, and advise consumers about withdrawal.

The contamination of spices with illegal dyes is a European-wide issue. The Food Standards Agency has therefore been pressing for a harmonised approach to this problem to be adopted throughout the European Union. A meeting of the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health was held on 10 May in Brussels specifically to discuss the issue of illegal dyes. A number of initiatives were agreed. These include a review by the European Food Safety Authority of the toxicological data available on Para Red and other similar dyes, and the establishment of a working group to develop testing methods for these substances and make these available to all member states. The United Kingdom will co-ordinate this working group. The European Commission made clear at the meeting that the presence of these dyes in food is not acceptable at any level.
 
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The Food Standards Agency has also announced that it is setting up a task force on incidents. The aim of this task force is to consider ways of strengthening controls in the food chain in order to reduce the likelihood of future contamination incidents occurring and to identify the most effective ways of managing such incidents if they occur. The task force will report to the board of the Food Standards Agency.

The Food Standards Agency also plans to set up a separate, independent review of the circumstances and actions surrounding the Sudan I incident itself. This will not take place, however, until investigations by local authorities of some of the key players involved, which are currently under way, have been completed and any resulting prosecutions concluded, so as not to prejudice the outcomes. This may delay the start of the review for up to 18 months.

House of Lords: Recess Dates

Lord Grocott: Subject to the progress and requirements of business, recess dates will be as follows:
Whitsun
RiseThursday 26 May
ReturnMonday 6 June
Summer
RiseThursday 21 July
ReturnMonday 10 October
Christmas
RiseTuesday 20 December
ReturnMonday 9 January

 
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Scotland: Application of Bills

Lord Evans of Temple Guiting: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland (Alistair Darling) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I have placed in the Libraries of the House a note summarising the likely application to Scotland of the Bills announced on 17 May.

Finance Bill

Lord McKenzie of Luton: My right honourable friend the Paymaster General (Dawn Primarolo) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

It is expected that the Finance Bill will be published on Thursday 26 May. Explanatory Notes on the Bill's clauses will be available in the Vote Office (and the Printed Paper Office, House of Lords) and the Libraries of both Houses on that day. The Explanatory Notes will be available from Stationery Office bookshops and on the Treasury's website (www.hm-treasury.gov.uk).



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