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Mr. Timms: Sex education, which must include teaching about HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, is compulsory in all maintained secondary schools. It is discretionary in primary schools. There are no requirements for HIV prevention work to take place in further or higher educational establishments.
Mr. Timms: The Government distribute funding to local authorities through formula assessed Standard Spending Assessments (SSAs). Local education authorities then distribute funding to the schools they maintain, enabling
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them to fulfil their statutory obligations. Local NHS funding could be used to fund or contribute to HIV prevention within schools, colleges and universities, for example in the production of information resources. Alternatively, schools, colleges and universities may choose to buy in or work with non-statutory local organisations.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many environmental appraisals have been published by her Department since 1 January 2001; and if she will list the last four. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 21 January 2002]: The Department for Education and Skills has procedures in place to ensure that environmental appraisals take place when necessary. Examples of policy decisions which included appraisal of environmental impacts are: guidance to schools in England on energy and water management which Ministers aim to issue in spring 2002; obtaining accreditation in 2001 for environmental management of one of our headquarters sites to an international standard; and, in the school curriculum, the Growing Schools programme. This last initiative, launched in 2001, encourages teachers to use farming and growing to help pupils explore different aspects of sustainable development such as the effects of climate change, the life cycle of plants and animals, the values and traditions of rural communities, and the place of agriculture in today's economy.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what procedures her Department has to ensure environmental appraisals are undertaken prior to (a) administrative and (b) policy decisions being made. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 21 January 2002]: Administrative procedures are monitored by an inter-site facilities management working group. This is supported by our procurement policy, which includes guidance on including environmental considerations in whole-life purchasing decisions. On policy, our business planning
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process reminds policy officials to consider their policy impact on the environment in annual planning, which senior officials review at key points in the year.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans her Department has to appraise the environmental implications of its Spending Review submission to the Treasury. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 21 January 2002]: As part of this Department's Spending Review submission to the Treasury we will, in common with other Departments, report on the sustainable development impact of our bids, including any environmental impact.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many officials from her Department have attended the Environmental Appraisal and Integration into Policy training course run by the Civil Service College. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 21 January 2002]: No officials from my Department attended the first of these courses. The course will run three times a year, and has been brought to the attention of my officials. Officials learn about environmental issues through on the job training and written guidance, as well as formal courses by the Civil Service and other training providers.
1. Information is taken from data published in the 2001 and previous years' Departmental Annual Reports. Budget figures up to 19992000 were taken from local authorities' latest Revenue Account returns submitted to the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, and for 200001, from LEAs s52 Budget statements.
2. From 199798 Staffordshire does not include Stoke-on-Trent
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the use of foreign language television and radio in (a) secondary school education and (b) post-secondary school education. 
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Mr. Ivan Lewis: Foreign language broadcasts which have been carefully scripted with content, structure and language level appropriate to the target learners can be a valuable resource for teaching school pupils and older students. They can provide access to a range of authentic native speakers, up to date and topical materials, and opportunities for introducing cultural elements to language learning.
Broadcasts aimed at the native-speaker audience which are accessed from abroad, normally require selection and mediation by a teacher to ensure suitable content, accessible language and effective use for learning purposes.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment she has made of the extent to which the possibility of having incurred a debt upon graduation affects the numbers of people who attend university; and what plans she has to change the relative contributions of (a) students and (b) Government to higher education funding. 
Margaret Hodge: Some research, such as that published by the Department in 2001 on "Issues Affecting Decisions on Participation by Lower Socio-Economic Groups" (SEGs), indicates that finance and concern about debt are factors which can deter people from going on to higher education. However, assessing the deterrent effect is difficult in the light of welcome increases in entry numbers. Final UCAS figures for autumn 2001 show that acceptances of English domiciled full-time higher education students are up by 5.9 per cent. compared to the same time last year, building on the rising trend of previous years. But as yet there is no evidence that the proportion of lower SEGs entering HE has increased significantly. Our review of student finance is considering both the student debt issue, particularly in relation to the lower socio-economic groups, and the relative contributions of students, parents and the Government to student support. We expect to make an announcement on the outcome later this year.
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