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Performance and Innovation Unit and Strategy Unit

Question

Asked by Lord Liddle

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Records of reports produced by the Performance and Innovation and Strategy Unit can be found at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives. gov.uk/20100125070726/http://cabinetoffice.gov.uk/strategy/publications/archive.aspx.

Saudi Arabia

Question

Asked by Lord Dubs



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Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Saudi Arabian Government have announced that Saudi women will be able to compete for places in the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic teams for London 2012. We do not yet know whether any of the proposed female participants in training have met the Olympic standard: that is a matter for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Saudi sports authorities. However, we welcome the IOC's ongoing dialogue with the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, both on the potential participation of women in London and on how to increase access for women to sport in general within the country. Saudi Arabia is also planning to send female sports administrators to the Games.

Schools: Teachers

Question

Asked by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The following table provides teacher turnover rates by sector in state-funded schools in England for the past five years.

Turnover rates of qualified teachers in publicly funded schools by sector.
Years: 2005-06 to 2009-10
Coverage: England
(Percentages)
2005-062006-072007-082008-0942009-104
Full-time1Part-time2,3Full-time1Part-time2,3Full-time1Part-time2,3Full-time1Part-time2,3Full-time1Part time 2,3

Sector

Maintained nursery

20.7

33.3

26.4

..

18.7

24.9

20.5

25.1

20.0

26.5

Maintained primary

19.1

29.1

18.3

28.9

19.1

27.2

19.7

26.5

19.0

27.5

Maintained secondary

17.4

31.6

17.1

33.6

17.9

30.8

17.9

28.4

18.5

29.9

Maintained special

17.7

29.7

16.3

29.2

16.3

25.9

15.8

28.2

16.9

26.3

Pupil referral units

24.2

33.4

27.0

36.5

24.2

30.6

23.1

30.4

24.6

33.6

Academies

24.2

..

21.6

..

24.7

..

20.8

31.1

17.2

30.5

All Sectors5

18.2

30.2

17.7

31.0

18.5

28.7

18.7

27.4

18.6

28.5

Source: Database of Teacher Records.

1. Full-time turnover is defined as all teachers in full-time service in the English maintained schools sector on 31 March 2009 who were not in full-time service in the same establishment on 31 March 2010. Turnover therefore includes wastage, transfers to other establishments within the maintained schools sector and teachers leaving to part-time service. Not all employers record all movements between schools within their area so rates are understated.

2. Part-time figures are underestimated by around 15%. This is due to the underreporting of teachers who have not opted to be members of the Teachers' Pensions Scheme.

3. Part-time turnover is defined as all teachers in part-time service in the English maintained schools sector on 31 March 2009 who were not in part-time service in the same establishment on 31 March 2010. Turnover therefore includes wastage, transfers to other establishments within the maintained schools sector and teachers leaving to full-time service. Not all employers record all movements between schools within their area so rates are understated.

4. Provisional estimates.

5. Figures prior to 2008-09 may vary from published figures because academies have been included.

.. Not available, there were insufficient cases and therefore the rate may not be reliable.



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Schools: Worship

Questions

Asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): We think that the right of parents to have a choice about having their children educated according to their religious or philosophical belief is fundamental. The option for parents to withdraw their children from collective worship gives them the right to exercise this choice. Parents can also discuss with the school options for their child to attend alternative provision for collective worship.

Schools are required to design collective worship provision so that it is appropriate to all pupils, regardless of whether or not they hold a religious belief. Schools also have the flexibility to lift the requirement for broadly Christian collective worship, enabling schools to provide collective worship that best meets the needs of their local communities.

Asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen

Lord Hill of Oareford: The law enables parents to decide the most appropriate way for their children to participate in collective worship. They can choose to withdraw their children from all or part of collective worship, without having to give a reason. Parents can also discuss with the school options for their child to attend alternative provision for collective worship.

Schools are required to design collective worship provision so that it is appropriate to all pupils, regardless of whether or not they hold a religious belief. They also have the flexibility to lift the requirement for broadly Christian collective worship so that they can provide collective worship that better meets the needs of their school communities.

We have no evidence of children having been victimised because they are withdrawn from collective worship. Governing bodies of schools are under a duty to promote their pupils' well-being as part of their responsibility for running the school. Schools are required by the Equality Act 2010 not to harass or victimise a pupil in relation to education or the benefits, services and facilities they offer pupils. Schools are also under a duty to address any form of victimisation or bullying.

In addition, an important feature of Ofsted inspection relates to how the school promotes pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development; and inspectors look particularly at the behaviour and safety of pupils.



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We think that, taken together, these provisions allow parents sufficient choice and safeguard the interests of children, in respect of collective worship in schools.

Scotland: Referendum

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The Government's current focus is on delivering the Scotland Bill which provides for the transfer of significant new financial powers to the Scottish Parliament, as well as maintaining Scotland's place within the United Kingdom.

Both the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Prime Minister have made clear that if the outcome of a referendum concludes that Scotland should remain within the United Kingdom, consideration can then be given to what further powers could be devolved.

Separated Children's Guardianship Project

Question

Asked by Baroness Goudie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Officials are in discussion with the Office of the Children's Commissioner. The commissioner, who is independent of government, is considering the request to conduct a review into the practical care arrangements for trafficked children. We would expect any review to look at a range of evidence, including initiatives such as the Scottish pilot.

Syria

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development have regular contact with the International Committee of the Red Cross to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) attended the Friends

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of Syria meeting in Tunis on 24 February with more than 70 other countries and international organisations. The chairman's conclusions at the Friends of Syria meeting called for the Syrian Government to allow free and unimpeded access by the United Nations and humanitarian agencies, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The Foreign Secretary set out the Government's position on safe havens during his update on Syria to the other place on 6 February 2012 (Official Report, Commons, col. 32).

Asked by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of UK military intervention in Syria. The Friends of Syria Group meeting in Tunis on 24 February, attended by representatives of more than 60 nations affirmed its goal of a political solution to the crisis.

The Foreign Secretary has often made clear that the situation in Syria is very different to that of Libya.

Taxation

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Total income tax liabilities for individuals with total income of £150,000 or higher are estimated at £40.63 billion in 2009-10, as shown in HM Revenue and Customs' table 3.3 "Distribution of total income before and after tax by gender" available online here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/income_distribution/3-3table-feb2012.pdf.

This is the latest available outturn based on the Survey of Personal Incomes 2009-10, which is a sample survey of taxpayer records for 2009-10.

Definitive estimates for later years are not yet available.

Tristan da Cunha

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Economic development within the overseas territories is a devolved responsibility. However, Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials work closely with the Tristan da Cunha authorities

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in developing areas of Tristan's economy, such as the highly sustainable lobster fishery and sales of commemorative stamps and coins.

Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Minister for Europe, my right honourable friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington) raised the issue of human rights at a meeting with the Turkish Minister for European Union Affairs, Egemen Bagis, on 1 March 2012. We regularly raise our concerns with Turkish officials about pre-trial detention. Our embassy has been involved in a number of ongoing projects with the Turkish Ministry of Justice, including the training of judges and judicial reform. Our embassy also organises study visits to the UK by Turkish judicial experts. In October 2011, a group of judges met British legal experts to discuss media freedom of expression. A further visit to look at UK practice on mediation will take place later this month.

We welcome the recently approved judicial reform package. The Council of Europe recently issued a report on the Turkish Bill on judicial reform (January 2012) a copy of which can be found on the Council of Europe's website at: www.coe.int/t/commissioner/Source/CommHR_comment_on_Turkish_Bill_on_ judicial_reform.pdf. The report raises the issue of the administration of justice in Turkey (including access to fair reviews and justice). We understand that further reforms, specifically focused on freedom of expression, are in the pipeline.

UK Trade and Investment

Question

Asked by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The countries identified by the Government as emerging powers are those beyond Europe and North America whose importance to UK foreign policy interests has grown in recent years given the changing nature of the world. A full list of emerging power countries was part of the strategy drawn up for the National Security Council (Emerging Powers) Sub-committee, which is confidential, but which includes China, India, Brazil and selected other countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Gulf.



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UN: War Crimes Commission

Questions

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The archives of the United Nations War Crimes Commission are currently in the custody of the United Nations Secretariat. In 1987 we supported a revision of the regulations governing access to the archive, including to allow bona fide research by individuals into the history and work of

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the commission and into war crimes. We have no current plans to seek publication of the archive and a copy is not known to be held in the United Kingdom.

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

Lord Howell of Guildford: The archives of the United Nations War Crimes Commission are currently in the custody of the United Nations Secretariat. In 1987 we supported a revision of the regulations governing access to the archive, including to allow bona fide research by individuals into the history and work of the commission and into war crimes. We have no current plans to seek publication of the archive and a copy is not known to be held in the United Kingdom.


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