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School Closures

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the schools which closed in Shropshire in each year since 1979. [34260]

Mr. Byers: Since 1983, the earliest year for which we have information available, the schools which have closed in Shropshire (excluding special schools) are listed in the table. Some schools have closed to reopen as an amalgamated school: some have closed to facilitate a change in age range. In such cases the successor schools are shown.

24 Mar 1998 : Column: 127

Date of closureSchoolSuccessor schools
31 August 1983Monkhopton CE Aided Primary
31 August 1984Richards Castle County Primary
31 August 1984Morton CE Controlled Primary
31 August 1984Porthywaen CE Controlled Primary Pant Bryn Offa
31 August 1984Llanymynech CE Controlled Primary
October 1984Marton CE Controlled Primary
31 August 1985Chapel Lawn CE Controlled Primary
31 July 1987Apley Park Secondary
31 December 1987Teagues Bridge Junior School
31 December 1987Teagues Bridge Infant School Teagues Bridge Primary School
31 August 1988Coton Mount Infant School
31 August 1988Lancasterian County Primary School Greenfields
31 August 1988St. Michael's Street County Primary School
31 August 1988Acton Burnell Primary School
31 Augist 1988Ightfield C of E School
31 August 1988Fitzalan School
31 August 1988Crosewylan-Oswestry School The Marches
31 August 1989Lyneal C of E (Controlled) Primary School
31 August 1989Stirchley County Middle SchoolStirchley County Primary School
31 August 1989Brookside Middle SchoolBrookside County Primary School
31 August 1989Hollinswood County Middle SchoolHollinswood Junior School
31 August 1989Hollingsworth FirstHollingsworth Infant School
31 August 1989Brindleyford FirstBrindleyford Primary School
31 August 1989Holmer Lake FirstHolmer Lake Primary School
31 August 1989Randlay FirstRandlay Primary School
31 August 1989Stirchley FirstStirchley Primary School
31 August 1991Bayston Hill County Infant School
31 August 1991Bayston Hill C of E Junior School Bayston Hill Longmeadows Primary
31 August 1991Hopesay Parochial Primary School
31 August 1991St. Laurence's C of E Infant SchoolSt. Laurence's CE (VC) Primary
31 August 1991Stockton Norton C of E Primary School
31 August 1992Ellerdine County Primary School
31 August 1992Rodington C of E Primary School
31 August 1992St. Peter's C of E Primary School
31 August 1993Coreley C of E Primary School
31 August 1994The Down Primary School
31 August 1994Ditton Priors C of E Primary School Brown Clee
31 August 1994Burwarton C of E Primary School
31 August 1994Berrington C of E Primary School
31 August 1994The John Hunt School
31 August 1994The Manor School The Sutherland
1 September 1996Ford C of E Primary School
1 September 1996Wattlesborough C of E Primary School Trinity
1 September 1996Yockleton C of E Primary School

24 Mar 1998 : Column: 129

24 Mar 1998 : Column: 129

Mature Students

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will introduce measures to help students over the age of 50 years by (a) the provision of grants, (b) the waiving of tuition fees and (c) extending the upper age limit of eligibility for student loans; and if he will make a statement. [36077]

Dr. Howells: Full-time students currently in higher education who were aged over 50 at the start of their course are eligible for free tuition and for a means tested grant towards their living costs and will continue to be so for the duration of their courses. Those aged 50 and over who begin courses in the academic year 1998-99 will also be eligible for a grant at a reduced rate for that year only.

Under the new arrangements applying to entrants from 1998-99 onwards, all students, irrespective of their age, will be eligible to receive means-related help towards their contribution to tuition costs. We have no plans to extend the eligibility for loans to those aged 50 and over for 1998-99, but intend to review the eligibility requirements for 1999-2000 and subsequent years when grants will no longer be available. The recent consultation paper on lifelong learning, "The Learning Age", invited views on extending loans to those in their early 50s who wish to enter higher education, for example, to retrain following redundancy. Final decisions will be taken in the light of the responses to that consultation.

HEALTH

Acute Hospitals

16. Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role he proposes for GPs and other primary carers in determining the local operation of acute hospitals. [34384]

Mr. Milburn: The White Paper The New NHS sets out our approach for modernising the National Health Service and for providing integrated primary and community health care services which will influence local acute NHS Trusts.

24 Mar 1998 : Column: 130

Burns and Plastic Surgery Facilities

17. Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the future of existing burns and plastic surgery hospital facilities within the Hillingdon, South West-Hertfordshire and Brent and Harrow health authority areas. [34385]

Mr. Boeteng: The Mount Vernon and Watford Hospitals NHS Trust provides plastic and burns services for these areas. A review of these services is being undertaken through joint working with the NHS Executive's regional offices and affected health authorities. Further discussions will shortly confirm a model of care, and criteria against which options for the future provision of services would be assessed. Full public consultation will take place on any significant service reconfiguration.

Learning Disability Services

18. Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action the Government are taking to raise standards in learning disability services. [34386]

Mr. Boateng: There is a substantial programme of work in progress including: a report drawing out the lessons from a Social Services Inspectorate inspection of learning disability services last year and a follow up to good practice guidance on health services for people with learning disabilities called 'Signposts for Success' issued in January 1998.

Nurses and Midwives

20. Mr. Heppell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he intends to take to improve the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives. [34388]

Mr. Milburn: The Government are employing a twin strategy to deal with the growing workforce demand by increasing training levels and investing in initiatives to improve the recruitment, retention and return to practice of trained staff, including flexible and family-friendly ways of working.

24 Mar 1998 : Column: 131

36. Mr. Livsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what strategies are in place to improve the recruitment and retention of nursing staff at NHS trusts. [34405]

Mr. Milburn: We are employing a twin strategy by increasing training levels and investing in initiatives to improve the recruitment, retention and return to practice of trained staff, including flexible and family-friendly ways of working. A resource pack has been sent to all trusts to help local managers develop and expand their recruitment and retention programmes, using the momentum built up by the current £1.2 million nursing publicity campaign.

Health Service (London)

21. Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress of the review of London's health service. [34389]

Mr. Milburn: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced the findings of the independent review panel, led by Sir Leslie Turnberg, and the Government's response, on 3 February 1998, Official Report, columns 843-58. We have accepted all the review panel's recommendations. This marks the beginning of a ten-year programme of modernisation for health services in London, which will deliver tangible benefits to patients, year by year.

Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action the Government are taking to raise standards in primary care in London. [34391]

Mr. Milburn: We have accepted the recommendation of the independent review panel, led by Sir Leslie Turnberg, that there should be systematic progress in developing primary care in London. This will form part of a ten-year programme of modernisation for London's health services which will deliver tangible benefits for patients, year by year.

The starting point for making improvements is the White Paper, "The New NHS" and the vision it sets out for primary care development, organisation and management.


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