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Lord Lucas: Between 199192 and 199394 expenditure on administration and inspection by LEAs in England fell by about 25 per cent. in cash terms (30 per cent. in real terms). Almost certainly the rapid growth in the number of English grant-maintained schoolsfrom 62 in April 1991 to 1,034 todaywill have contributed to this reduction. Other factors have included the transfer of further education and sixth form colleges to the new FE sector funded by the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC), the introduction of local management for schools (LMS), and the establishment of a national inspection system for schools controlled by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED). Additionally, the 47,000 teaching and non-teaching staff at these grant-maintained schools are, of course, no longer employed by local authorities.
Lord Lucas: The Government sets the framework for the funding of education nationally, and decides how national totals are distributed between local authorities through standard spending assessments (SSAs). SSAs are not, however, prescriptive, and decisions about how much to spend on the education service are for individual local authorities to make and justify in the light of their own particular circumstances.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): Estimates vary for the numbers killed, wounded and displaced by the conflict in south-east Turkey. Figures range between 13,000 and 15,300 for
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The ICRC believe that around 230 prisoners are currently detained in Khiam. We continue to hear reports of ill-treatment of detainees and the ICRC are still not granted access to the prison. Since the beginning of February prisoners have been allowed visitors under certain strictly defined circumstances. We welcome this step but continue to press for full access for the ICRC.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: A grant of £100,000 has been given to the Burma Border Consortium for its work with Karen and other ethnic minority refugees on the Thai-Burma border. No request for further assistance has been received since the recent military offensive and the fall of Manerplaw. The EU earmarked 240,000 ecu for Aide Medicale Internationale, but they have been forced to withdraw from the area due to the fighting. We continue to monitor the situation closely.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: A recent Amnesty International report highlighted the forcible detention by the Sudanese authorities of non-Moslem displaced children in northern Sudan. We are concerned about this practice, which has encouraged rumours that the children are being converted to Islam through force or inducement.
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Sino-British Joint Declaration obliges China to ensure that the provisions of the covenants, as applied to Hong Kong, remain in force. It clearly means that all the provisions of the two covenants now applied to Hong Kong, including the reporting provisions, shall continue to apply. We have made our views known to the Chinese Government as to how it may fulfil its obligations under the joint declaration. One way to implement the reporting obligations would be for China to accede to the covenants in respect of the whole of its territory. Alternatively, we believe it would be feasible for China to assume reporting obligations under the covenant in respect of Hong Kong only. We continue to discuss this question in the joint liaison group. These discussions
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimate that there are currently around 30 million internally displaced persons worldwide. These figures are not broken down into individual countries. The Office of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative on Internally Displaced People is funded from the UN regular budget allocation for all mandates approved by the UN's Economic and Social Committee. Voluntary contributions may also be made through the trust fund of the Centre for Human Rights. Humanitarian relief may be supplied on a case by case basis to internally displaced persons by a number of agencies. At the request of the UN Secretary General, UNHCR has often taken the lead in such situations, most notably in former Yugoslavia. An inter-agency task force under the chairmanship of the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs is currently considering ways to ensure that the needs of internally displaced persons are met.
The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Viscount Ullswater): The Government's response is published today. Copies have been presented to the Chairman of the Environment Committee in another place and placed in the Libraries of the House.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The cost of headquarters administration in England as a percentage of total National Health Service revenue expenditure was (provisionally) 3.9 per cent. in 199394 and 3.8 per cent., in 198788. Organisational and accounting practice changes make it difficult to compare expenditure in 199394 with that in 198788.
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