Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


14 Feb 1995 : Column WA29

Written Answers

Tuesday 14th February 1995

Crown Dependencies and Dependent Territories: Right of Individual Petition

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government: For which of the United Kingdom's Crown dependencies and dependent territories has the right of individual petition been accepted, and not accepted, under Article 63(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The right of individual petition has been accepted in respect of the following Crown dependencies and dependent territories: Anguilla Bermuda Falkland Islands South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands Gibraltar Bailiwick of Guernsey Isle of Man Bailiwick of Jersey Montserrat St. Helana St. Helena Dependencies Turks and Caicos

The right of individual petition has not been accepted in respect of the following dependent territories in which the convention applies: British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands

GEST Grant for School Effectiveness

Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government: What will be the total amount of money available for the Basic Curriculum and Assessment section of the GEST (Grants for Education Support and Training) Grant for School Effectiveness in 1995–96, the contribution from the Government and the matching funding required of schools/local authorities (inclusive of grant maintained schools).

Lord Lucas: The GEST programme in England in 1995–96 includes support of £119.2 million for the School Effectiveness grant. Within this, it is for schools to decide how much to devote to Basic Curriculum and Assessment. The Department for Education pays grant on this expenditure at the rate of 60 per cent. (£71.52 million), with local education authorities providing the remaining 40 per cent. (£47.68 million).

In Wales, the total planned expenditure in 1995–96 for the GEST activities covering the Basic Curriculum

14 Feb 1995 : Column WA30

and Assessment is £15.2 million. The Welsh Office pays grant on this expenditure at 60 per cent. (£9.12 million), with local authorities providing the remaining 40 per cent. £6.08 million).

Grant-maintained schools are supported by an equivalent grant, Special Purpose Grant (Development), paid at the rate of 100 per cent., which they must spend on activities equivalent to the GEST programme. The allocation of the grant among these activities is at the discretion of the schools.

GEST Grant for Vocational Qualifications in Schools

Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government: What will be the total amount of money available for the GEST (Grants for Education Support and Training) grant on vocational qualifications in schools, the contribution from the Government and the matching funding required of local authorities/schools (inclusive of grant maintained schools).

Lord Lucas: The GEST programme in England in 1995–96 includes support of £13.3 million for the Vocational Qualifications in Schools grant. Of this, £12.0 million will be for the introduction of GNVQs in schools, and £1.3 million for schools piloting Part One GNVQs from September 1995. The Department for Education pays grant on this expenditure at the rate of 60 per cent. (£7.98 million), with local education authorities providing the remaining 40 per cent. (£5.32 million).

Grant-maintained schools are supported by an equivalent grant, Special Purpose Grant (Development), paid at the rate of 100 per cent., which they must spend on activities equivalent to the GEST programme. The allocation of grant among these activities is at the discretion of the schools. In addition to this, a total of £233,000 has been made available to 18 grant-maintained schools to support work on piloting Part One GNVQs.

Separate arrangements apply in Wales, where the 1995–96 GEST programme includes support of £207,000 for schools which will be involved in a pilot development scheme for GNVQs at Key Stage 4 (14–16 year olds) of the National Curriculum. SPG(D) of £42,900 will be available for grant-maintained schools participating in the scheme. Vocational Enhancement Grant (VEG) of £197,000 will also be available to complement this GEST and SPG(D) support.

In addition, support will also be available, within the general GEST support for the Basic Curriculum, to assist schools develop and adapt the curriculum to include a vocational route for pupils linked to GNVQs.

14 Feb 1995 : Column WA31

The Welsh Office pays grant on GEST expenditure at the rate of 60 per cent. SPG(D) and VEG are both paid at 100 per cent.

St Philip's RC Sixth Form College, Birmingham

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government: What is their response to the recommendations of the Further Education Funding Council for England concerning St Philip's Roman Catholic Sixth Form College, Birmingham.

Lord Lucas: Following the publication of the FEFC's report on the college and its recommendations last November, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education received a number of representations from the trustees, from present and former governors and others connected with the college. After considering these most carefully, she is satisfied that there was mismanagement of the college.

The recommendation from the Further Education Funding Council was that she should remove and replace all the members of the governing body in order, the council advised, to provide a fresh start and a complete break from the past. However, it is possible that the college will close at the end of the 1995/96 academic year. This is a matter in which the relevant legislation gives my right honourable friend no say. In the current circumstances, she has decided that it would not be expedient for her to replace the remaining governors. A number of governors have already resigned. Those who remain have all been in post for a very short time and are now, my right honourable friend believes, doing their best to ensure good governance of the college and, in particular, to secure that the education of the students remains the first priority.

The funding council also made recommendations concerning amending the instrument of government and the provision of a statutory procedure to govern the closure of designated colleges in the further education sector. My right honourable friend will be considering these recommendations in consultation with those concerned with St Philip's and other designated colleges.

My right honourable friend is very grateful to the funding council for investigating the circumstances at the college and for the action it is taking to disseminate the lessons to be learnt. A copy of the official response to the funding council is being placed in the Library. It is clear that these difficulties are not typical of the further education sector as a whole. It is using its new freedoms responsibly, and has already made impressive progress. My right honourable friend hopes that she will not be required to exercise her powers again, but she will not hesitate to do so if she considers it warranted.

14 Feb 1995 : Column WA32

Derby Tertiary College, Wilmorton

Lord Gainford asked Her Majesty's Government: What is their response to the recommendations of the Further Education Funding Council for England concerning Derby Tertiary College, Wilmorton.

Lord Lucas: Following the publication of the FEFC's report on the college and its recommendations last November, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education received a number of representations from present and former governors and others connected with the college. After considering these most carefully she is satisfied that mismanagement took place for which the governing body bears a collective responsibility.

My right honourable friend intends therefore to exercise her power under Section 57 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 to remove the remaining members of the governing body. She is excepting two governors from this action, whom she judges were not responsible for the mismanagement that took place. My right honourable friend intends to appoint seven new governors both as replacements and in order to restore a quorum to the governing body. She hopes that all those connected with the college can now put these events behind them and work together in the interests of its students.

My right honourable friend is very grateful to the Further Education Funding Council for investigating the circumstances at the college and for the action it is taking to disseminate the lessons to be learnt from this episode. A copy of the official response to the funding council is being placed in the Library. It is clear that these difficulties are not typical of the further education sector as a whole. It is using its new freedoms responsibly and has already made impressive progress.

My right honourable friend hopes that she will not be required to exercise her powers again, but she will not hesitate to do so if she considers it warranted.

EC Legislation Deposited in Parliament

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government: What is the total number of (a) regulations, (b) directives, (c) decisions and (d) communications deposited at Westminster by the European Commission since the United Kingdom joined the EC, and what is the total number of (a) regulations, (b) directives and (c) decisions implemented since the United Kingdom joined the EC.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): All proposals for legislation by the Council of Ministers are deposited in Parliament together with a range of non-legislative Community documents. Detailed statistics on the number of Community documents deposited in Parliament since the United Kingdom joined the European Community are not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

14 Feb 1995 : Column WA33

According to the Commission's Eleventh Annual Report on Monitoring the Application of Community Law (1993), the UK has implemented 1,060 directives out of a total of 1,148 directives applicable on 31 December 1993. Figures are not available for regulations and decisions, the great majority of which do not require to be transposed into national legislation.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page