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The bullying of disabled children is an issue that Ofsted takes very seriously. I know colleagues within the Education Directorate in Ofsted have recently met with representatives from Mencap to discuss the implications of their report: Bullying Wrecks Lives. Eileen Visser HMI discussed with Lesley Campbell and Rachel Hughes (Managers for the Stop the Bullying Campaign) what more inspectors might look for in relation to bullying of disabled pupils in schools.

A consequence of this meeting has been to provide a platform for a young woman with a learning disability to address our forthcoming Education Directorate conference, which will include references to disablist bullying in schools. At this same conference, training will be given to inspectors on the inspection of learning difficulties and/or disabilities in schools. The issue of bullying as a result of a disability is included.

In February this year, the Children's Rights Director in Ofsted published a report which had canvassed children and young people's views about bullying and what could be done to improve this problem. This survey included residential special schools and the views of 153 children who declared themselves as having a disability were taken. The report can be found at

Referring now to your comments about the Disability Discrimination Act, I can advise that Ofsted recently carried out a rapid response survey looking at schools' compliance with equalities legislation. This report was sent as an internal briefing paper to the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). In this small scale survey one in four schools indicated a shortfall in their compliance with legislation. This shortfall was reported in their inspection report where it had a negative impact on the overall judgment about equalities. Concerns about compliance are also included in a school's inspection report where there is an impact on the outcomes for learners. Over time this should lead to improvement in schools' compliance with legislation.

We are conducting a survey of SEN provision and outcomes in 2009-10 and bullying could be a factor in this work. Furthermore we have indicated that it would be possible to include a separate survey solely looking at this issue in the 2009-10 work programme and will discuss that with the DCSF.

I hope this is helpful. Do please contact me if I can provide you with further information.

Licensing: Music

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

7 May 2008 : Column WA72

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government are currently drawing up options for exempting from the Act certain low-impact licensable activities, including low-impact live music events, and aim to carry out a public consultation by the summer.

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Yes. This is one of several options that the Government are considering.

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Representatives of the Musicians' Union (MU) had an introductory meeting with new senior officials in the creative industries team at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on 28 January 2008. There was no formal agenda for this meeting.

The MU is a member of the DCMS's Advisory Group on Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing and its sub-group on minor variations. Both groups met on 13 March 2008. The question of new exemptions from the Licensing Act 2003 for low-impact activities (including low-impact musical performances) was discussed at both meetings.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will meet the MU on 3 June 2008 to discuss music-industry issues. The agenda for this meeting has not yet been agreed.

Marine Environment: Conservation Areas

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Our objective is to designate an ecologically coherent network of well managed marine protected areas by 2012.

At this stage it is too early to predict the precise size and shape of the network of marine protected areas. This will depend on the outcome of work being undertaken by the statutory conservation agencies to identify sites in UK waters. This work is being taken forward with the involvement of sea users, industry and other stakeholder groups.

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Marine Environment: Endangered Species

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The draft Marine Bill contains various proposals which will help us to better protect marine wildlife, and prevent the loss of marine biodiversity. Part 4 in particular provides for the designation and protection of marine conservation zones (MCZs), which will be capable of being used where necessary to protect seriously endangered marine life species throughout UK waters, as well as rare, threatened and representative species, habitats and marine features.

The UK's biodiversity strategy has established biodiversity action plans (BAPs) for a number of marine species including harbour porpoise and bottle-nosed dolphins and for marine habitats such as eelgrass and maerl beds.

Mental Health Act Tribunals

Lord Jones of Cheltenham asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): There is currently no right of appeal against the decision of a mental health review tribunal (MHRT). Decision of the MHRT may only be challenged by judicial review. There is no historical information which provides details of the number of decisions of MHRTs which have been challenged by judicial review. There is no historical information which shows the outcome of decisions of MHRTs challenged by judicial review.

Lord Jones of Cheltenham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Jack Straw) and the mental health review tribunal operate in parallel to achieve a balance between the need to protect the public from serious harm and the rights of individual restricted patients to seek independent judicial review of the lawfulness of their detention for treatment.

7 May 2008 : Column WA74

The Secretary of State sometimes seeks judicial review of the tribunal's interpretation of its powers or whether its decision-making has been a reasonable or adequately explained response to the evidence. The tribunal is charged with taking an independent decision, and the Secretary of State does not seek review simply because he disagrees with the tribunal's conclusion.

No central record is kept of the occasions when he has sought review of the tribunal's process.

Millennium Fund: Projects

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Millennium Commission funded the following capital projects in Northern Ireland:

ProjectGrant £

The Odyssey Complex, Belfast


Millennium Forum, Derry


ECOS Millennium Environmental Centre, Ballymena


21st Century Halls for Northern Ireland


Woods on Your Doorstep (Northern Ireland)


St Patrick Centre, Downpatrick


Spectrum Centre, Belfast


Belfast 2000 Community Parks


Community Outreach Centre, Belfast


Royal Hospitals Millennium Gardens, Belfast


Linen Green Centre, Moygashel


Clonoe Community Centre, Clonoe


Oakfield Community Centre, Carrickfergus


Kesh Boat Park, Kesh


Trillick Enterprise Leisure Centre


Rathfriland Community Centre, Rathfriland


Ulster Folk and Transport Museum: The Flight Experience


The Strangford Stone, Downpatrick


All these projects achieved their declared objectives in the past, but the Linen Green Centre, Moygashel, no longer has public good objectives. It met its objectives from its completion in 2000 until ownership was transferred in 2006 to a third party which was not subject to the objectives set out in the original Millennium Commission grant agreement. The sum of £960,500 was retrieved from the Linen Green Centre, Moygashel. No moneys have been withdrawn from successful projects.

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Two hundred and twenty-three completed capital projects were funded by the Millennium Commission in the UK apart from the Millennium Experience at Greenwich, which was subject to different procedures, and £1,326 million was allocated for the capital programmes. Of the 223 completed projects, 219 achieved their declared objectives. Three projects became insolvent and failed to meet their objectives. A fourth has recently been sold for non-public good purposes. The total grant spent on these four projects was £45,053,232. The amount retrieved from these four projects was £6,003,017. No grant has been withdrawn from successful projects.

Northern Ireland Office: Dress Code

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Answer given on 28 April (WA 8) explained that the department has no formalised dress code for staff. This means that the departmental staff handbooks do not set out requirements concerning the type of clothing which should be worn by staff.

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