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Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he has taken to promote equality between (a) older people, (b) disabled people, (c) ethnic minorities, (d) religious minorities, (e) women and (f) gay and lesbian people, and the rest of the population with respect to the services and employment for which his Department has responsibility. [141486]

Ms Jowell [holding answer 12 December 2000]: As an equal opportunities employer, the Department is committed to fairness and equality of opportunity for all in employment and advancement on the basis of suitability. As an employer we aim to develop DfEE into an organisation that values the diversity of its staff and enables all to realise their potential by valuing the contribution of all and recognising the positive benefits that difference can bring.

The Department also aims to ensure that it mainstreams equal opportunities in all its policies, programmes and services in line with the joint-departmental guidelines "Policy Appraisal for Equal Treatment" issued in 1998.

Nuffield Languages Inquiry

Mr. Maclennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will assess the final report of the Nuffield Languages Inquiry, 'Languages: The Next Generation'; and if he will make a statement. [141492]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 13 December 2000]: We have analysed and assessed the recommendations of the Nuffield Report and will be producing a clear statement of response in the new year. This statement will take account of Nuffield's proposals, as well as highlight the positive languages policies already in place. We are already doing a great deal to promote learning in this field, for example by expanding our numbers of specialist language colleges and offering attractive incentives to teacher trainees. The statement will reinforce our commitment to broadening opportunities and will point

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to where there will be scope for development. Our Languages National Training Organisation has already indicated its readiness to participate in vocational language learning initiatives. Additionally we are working with our key partners to promote the programme of events for next year's European Year of Languages. We have recently broached these matters in discussions with our Nuffield colleagues and in formulating our statement we will be working closely in consultation with them.

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the public bodies which (a) are under a duty to and (b) may advise local education authorities of special educational needs of children under the age of five years in order to assist them in planning provision for compulsory years of school attendance; and if he will make a statement on the collation and coordination of such information of needs. [142629]

Jacqui Smith: The Government attach importance to effective identification of special educational needs in respect of children under five. Early education settings are

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required to have regard to the current SEN Code of Practice and this has been amplified in a full chapter of the draft revised Code issued for consultation in the summer devoted to identification, assessment and provision in early education settings. This chapter refers to the legal requirement placed on child health services to inform both parents and the appropriate local education authority where they believe a child has special educational needs. The draft Code offers advice on contact between early education providers and child health services and we are currently considering comments offered on this, and other, sections of the draft document.

Adult Learning and Young People's Committees

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the progress being made on the appointment of committee members to the Learning and Skills Council's Adult Learning and Young People's Committees. [143116]

Mr. Wicks: Bryan Sanderson, Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council, has today announced the appointment of the members of its Adult Learning and Young People's Committees. They are:

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Adult learning committee members

Name Current main role
John Monks (Chair)General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress
Alex PrattManaging Director of Sunalex Ltd.
Chris Humphries, CBEDirector-General of British Chambers of Commerce (but soon to move to become Director-General of the City and Guilds of London Institute)
Alexandra Burslem, OBEVice Chancellor of the Manchester Metropolitan University
Jane DrabbleFormerly Director of Education at the BBC
Hugh Try, CBEDeputy Chairman, Galliford Try plc and Chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board
Tony ChandlerHead of Learning and Organising Services at UNISON
Janice ShinerPrincipal and Chief Executive of Leicester College
Alan TuckettDirector of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
Michael Brunson, OBEFreelance writer and broadcaster. Previously Political Editor of ITN
Paul ConveryDirector of the Unemployment Unit and Youthaid
Patrick PassleyLecturer in Law, Barnet College and Commissioner on the Commission for Racial Equality
Judith ArmittChief Executive of Medway Council

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Young people's committee members

Name Current main role
Chris Banks (Chair)Managing Director of Coca-Cola Great Britain Ltd.
Ian FergusonChairman of Data Connection Ltd.
Imtiaz FarookhiChief Executive of the National House Building Council (NHBC)
John RourkePrincipal of St. Charles Catholic 6th Form College, London
Helen EdwardsChief Executive of Nacro--the crime reduction charity
Kim ParishPersonnel Director of Scottish and Newcastle Retail (S&N plc)
Bill ConnorGeneral Secretary of USDAW
Sue PeacockHead of Research and Development at EMTA (the National Training Organisation for Engineering Manufacture)
Maggie GalliersPrincipal of Henley College, Coventry
Dr. Kevin ConwayPrincipal of Greenhead College, Huddersfield
Ian GartshoreHead-teacher of Downham Market High School, Norfolk
Alex WilliamsCommunity Scheme Manager at Manchester City Football Club
Rosalie ClaytonDirector of Education at Peterborough City Council

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Business Rate

Mr. Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what was the total amount of revenue raised in Wales from the business rate in each of the last four years. [141387]

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Mr. Paul Murphy: The total amount of revenue raised in Wales from the business rate between 1996-97 and 1998-99 was as follows:

Year £

Since 1 July 1999, this has been a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.

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St. David's Day

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Secretary of the National Assembly on enhancing the status of St. David's Day; and if he will make a statement. [141374]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet the First Secretary regularly to discuss a number of matters including this one. The UK Government are currently considering this issue, but have not yet formed a view.

Official Publications

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what his Department's spending on official publications was for (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99, (d) 1999-2000 and (e) 2000-01; and what the planned expenditure is for 2001-02. [141455]

Mr. Paul Murphy [holding answer 11 December 2000]: The figures are as follows:

Welsh Office
(a) 1996-97134,327
(b) 1997-98104,834
(c) 1998-99139,232
Wales Office (Office of the Secretary of State for Wales)
(d) 1999-20008,508
(e) 2000-01(6)5,353

(6) To date

Planned expenditure for 2001-02 is £9,000.

New Deal

Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the impact of the New Deal for over 50's in Wales. [142376]

Mr. Hanson: The New Deal for 50 Plus operated on a Pathfinder basis in Flintshire and Wrexham from October 1999. It went nationwide in April this year.

I am pleased to be able to report that, up to the end of November, 1,200 people in Wales had secured jobs through the programme.

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