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Vocational Qualifications in Schools GEST Funding

Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government: How many local education authorities made bids for funding under the GEST Vocational Qualification in Schools section (1995–96) and how many did not.

Lord Lucas: In England, Vocational Qualifications in Schools GEST for 1995–96 has two separate elements. Under part (a), which supports the provision of GNVQs in schools, all local education authorities were offered and accepted GEST funding allocations, although 12 asked to receive less than they were originally offered.

Part (b) of this grant was available for the Part One GNVQ initiative. LEAs were not invited to bid for GEST funding. Instead, they were asked to support bids to pilot the new qualification made by schools recommended by the vocational awarding bodies. Ninety-five schools in 50 LEAs which have been selected to pilot the Part One GNVQ in England from September will receive GEST support.

In Wales, five out of eight authorities bid specifically for funding to deliver vocational education in schools, as part of the GEST activity, The Support of the Curriculum 5–19; seven authorities made further bids for GEST funding for the GNVQ: Key Stage 4 Development Scheme.

Styal Prison: Prisoners' Fresh Milk Allowance

Baroness Faithfull asked Her Majesty's Government: Whether the consumption of fresh milk for prisoners at Styal prison has recently been reduced from half a pint a day to one pint a week; and, if so, what are the reasons for this, and what are the implications in respect of an adequate intake of calcium in view of the higher risk of osteoporosis in women.

Baroness Trumpington: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Baroness Faithfull from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Derek Lewis, dated 20 April 1995:

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the allowance of fresh milk for prisoners at Styal.

Until last year an extra supply of milk was provided for life sentenced and long term prisoners at Styal. The governor decided that this could no longer be justified as there is no nutritional reason why long-term prisoners should require more milk than other prisoners. Other than this, there has been no significant reduction in the allowance of milk. At present, approximately 450 pints of milk per week are ordered for 230–240 prisoners. A

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balanced and nutritious diet is provided for all prisoners at Styal and the withdrawal of the old additional allowance will not lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Where there are clinical reasons for doing so, for example in the case of pregnant women and nursing mothers, the medical officer has discretion to allow a prisoner additional milk.

If a prisoner is concerned about the level of calcium in her diet she may consult the medical officer, who will prescribe dietary supplements if necessary.

Garment Production by Prisoners: Payments to Prison Service

Baroness Faithfull asked Her Majesty's Government: What amount the Prison Service receives from the Joe Bloggs company for each shirt made for the company at Walton and Styal prisons; how much a prisoner earns for making each shirt; and what is the retail price of each shirt. What amount the Prison Service receives from the Joe Bloggs company for each pair of jeans made for the company at Wymott prison; how much a prisoner earns for making each pair; and what is the retail price of each pair.

Baroness Trumpington: Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Baroness Faithfull from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Derek Lewis:

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about the Joe Bloggs label shirts made at Liverpool and Styal prisons, and the jeans made under the same label at Wymott prison.

Joe Bloggs is a label owned by a company called Pinwise Ltd, which also owns a number of other fashion labels. The work done at the three prisons was under contract to another company called Waltham House, which is a supplier to Pinwise Ltd, and which has been providing commercial work for prisons in the Trans Pennine and North West areas.

The White Paper, Custody Care and Justice (September 1991, CM 1647), set out the Government's intention to extend the range of work available to prisoners and to increase pay levels. This has involved an increase in the amount of commercial work taken on from the private sector. For example, about 80 per cent. of industrial work at Manchester prison is sourced from the private sector. The jeans and shirts work undertaken for Waltham House is good quality tailoring work which has been praised by the end-customer, Pinwise Ltd (Joe Bloggs). The lines produced would normally have been made abroad and imported into this country. Waltham House provided the fabric, thread and other materials, which are not therefore included in the payments received by the Prison Service.

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Generally, inmates work on production lines, each undertaking one or more processes going towards the production of a completed garment. Pay rates are set according to hours of attendance and work rate rather than on the basis of a payment per garment produced.

The shirt work at Styal consisted of an order for just over 4,000 over-shirts, for which the prison received £1.15 per item. Earnings in the workshop at Styal averaged £15.00 per week, which equates to approximately 90 pence per item. Pricing of the finished item is at the commercial discretion of the retailer, but we understand that the over-shirts were expected to retail at between £12.00 and £29.99.

Liverpool prison produced just over 200 over-shirts to help complete the order. The prisoners there worked on a variety of other jobs for consumption within the Prison Service while the over-shirt work was going through and it is not possible to identify separately the earnings attributable to the shirt work, although the

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prisoners concerned did receive a special bonus of £1 per week on top of their normal pay.

For the jeans produced at Wymott, the prison received 90 pence per garment whilst prisoner earnings ranged from £9.77 per week to £29.36. At the time the prisoners were, however, also working on other products, so it is not possible to give a precise figure for earnings for each pair of jeans. We understand that the jeans were likely to retail at between £9 and £16.99.

MoD Married Quarters Estate

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government: What progress is being made with the selection of financial advisers for the proposed transfer of the Married Quarters Estate owned by the Ministry of Defence to the private sector.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): I am pleased to announce that, following a competitive selection process, we have chosen NatWest Markets for this role.

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