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18 Jan 2007 : Column WA192


Lord Jacobs asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's clinical guideline on obesity recommends bariatric surgery for children and young people only in exceptional circumstances and only if they have achieved physiological maturity. The surgical procedures recommended are: jejunoileal bypass, gastric bypass, biliopancreatic diversion, gastroplasty and gastric banding.

Roads: Abnormal Loads

Lord Mason of Barnsley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: There is no formal accreditation or approved list for abnormal load escort companies.

Abnormal load escorts operate on motorways and other roads under a voluntary code of practice published by the Highways Agency and supported by the police and the principal haulage industry associations. The code is a statement of best practice designed to ensure that those escorting abnormal loads do so in a manner that maximises safety. A copy has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Schools: Manchester

Lord Bradley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): The latest available figures on participation in higher education show participation rates by the local area in which the student was resident prior to entering higher education. The figures were published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in January 2005 in Young Participation in England, which is available from their website at:

This report shows participation rates for young people who enter higher education aged 18 or 19, disaggregated by local authority, for the years 1997 to

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2000. The figures for Manchester local authority, and the comparable figure for England, are shown in the table. HEFCE has not produced participation rates beyond 2000.

Young participation rate (YPR (A)) in Higher Education (1) for year cohort aged 18.

Cohort for Manchester (2)





Young Participation Rate (A) for Manchester (3)

17 per cent

18 per cent

19 per cent

19 per cent

Young Participation Rate (A) for England

29.2 per cent

28.8 per cent

29.2 per cent

29.9 per cent

Source: Higher Education Funding Council for England(1) Covers all students studying higher education courses at UK higher education institutions and other UK institutions—for example, further education colleges(2) Cohorts are reported to the nearest 10(3) Young participation rates for constituencies are reported to the nearest per cent.

The total numbers of undergraduate entrants to UK higher education institutions from Manchester local authority for each year since 2001-02 are given in the table:

Entrants to undergraduate courses (1) from Manchester Local Authority






Aged 18






Aged 19






Other Ages (2)






Total Entrants






Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Note: Figures are based on the HESA standard registration population for entrants and have been rounded to the nearest five, so components may not sum to totals. (1) Covers all students studying higher education courses at UK higher education institutions only. Students studying higher education courses elsewhere such as further education colleges are excluded. (2) Includes a very small number of students with unknown ages or ages under 18.

The department uses the higher education initial participation rate (HEIPR) to assess progress on increasing first-time participation of English students aged 18 to 30 in higher education towards 50 per cent: the latest provisional figure for 2004-05 is 42 per cent. The HEIPR is not calculated at local authority level.

Schools: Meals

Lord Trefgarne asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): The level of skill required varies depending on the role of the individual. A competent member of staff who could cook, prepare and finish meals from scratch, which meet the new school food standards, would be working at level 2 of the qualifications framework, and would be a competent cook able to work with a high degree of autonomy. A head chef or someone with supervisory responsibilities would be working at level 3 of the framework, and be able to manage staff and resources and have significant operational responsibilities for work in kitchens.

Training is currently provided in a number of ways. Local authorities and contract caterers provide significant amounts of in-house training. In addition, there are colleges and private training providers which offer courses leading to nationally recognised qualifications such as the certificate in providing healthier school meals, the support workers in schools qualification and national vocational qualifications in professional cookery and food processing and cookery. The department will also be investing £2 million in 2007-08 in the establishment of a network of regional training centres for school catering staff to act as centres of excellence. The department has asked the School Food Trust to take the lead on developing this proposal. Further work is under way, including looking at how this network will fit into existing provision in schools and colleges, and by private providers.

The relevant sector sills council for catering skills is People 1st.

Lord Trefgarne asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Adonis: The department does not collect information on the provision for the storage of pupils' lunchboxes in state schools. However, the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 require an employer, which will include either a school or local authority, to ensure that risk assessments are conducted and measures put in place to control any known risk. This should take all factors into account, including putting arrangements in place for the storage of food and drink on school premises.

Guidance on food safety including food storage is also available on the Food Standards Agency's website.

Schools: Multiverse Theory

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): Multiverse theory—the theory that there are other universes besides our own—is not part of the national curriculum for science. The advanced science behind this theory is normally taught at university.

Security Industry: Private Companies

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Private Security Industry Act 2001 requires contract security guards to hold a personal licence issued for that purpose by

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the Security Industry Authority. There is no exception from this requirement in respect of guards at government offices. Where a security firm has been granted approved status by the SIA under the voluntary approved contractor scheme and has the required authorisation from the SIA, they may deploy up to 15 per cent of staff who are unlicensed but have licence applications being processed by the SIA.

Traffic Management Act 2004

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Department for Transport is currently implementing several parts of the Act to a published timetable ( The implementation dates for some later aspects of the timetable have yet to be finalised.

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