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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: We recently confirmed our commitment to the development of a British academy of sport. The academy will be a key element in the national strategy for sporting excellence and in helping lift Britain back into the top 10 sporting nations.
The academy will have top quality training facilities and services such as sports medicine, sports science, research, talent identification and the settling of standards. It will also co-ordinate and direct a network of centres of sporting excellence which will be accessible across Britain. It will also fully incorporate services for disabled athletes.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Millennium Commission agreed in principle on 21 January 1997 to pay grant of £200 million to Millennium Central Limited (the Millennium Exhibition operating company) for the purposes of developing, building and operating the National Millennium Exhibition at Greenwich. The Commission also agreed on that date to consider a future application from Millennium Central for additional grant to cover inflation and contingencies, subject to an order being made under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 to extend the period over which the Commission receives funds from the National Lottery beyond 31 December 2000. On 27 March 1997, the Commission contracted to pay Millennium Central an interim grant of up to £24.5 million to enable the company to establish its organisation and develop detailed plans. Prior to that, the Commission incurred expenditure of £10.9 million in determining the application for the Greenwich Exhibition. In addition to the Millennium Commission's grant, the costs of the Millennium Exhibition will be met through private sector sponsorship and commercial revenue. A target of £150 million has been set for sponsorship income. Public indications of support have been made by British
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): The policy not to release information on the BSE history of individual herds was introduced in October 1996. We are currently reviewing this policy in line with our commitment to be more open than the previous government.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for the Environment and Transport (Baroness Hayman): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions has today launched a fundamental review of transport policy to provide an integrated transport system which meets the environmental and transport needs of all regions of the country for today and the future. The review will look at both the short term and the longer term actions that are necessary to deliver an integrated system.
The review will encompass the key areas of transport and examine transport's relationship with the economy in general and with the many environmental issues which surround it. The review will be overseen by a ministerial team drawn from both the Transport and the Environment Departments and chaired by my right honourable friend the Minister for Transport. My right honourable friends are determined that this review will be conducted in an open and consultative way which will provide opportunity for those with an interest in transport to input their views to the process, and wherever possible, become directly involved in the development of policy.
Our aim is to publish a long-term strategy White Paper next spring which will provide a sustainable framework for decision-making during the remainder of this Parliament, the next and the years beyond that. Critically, it will set interim objectives for the remainder of this Parliament against which to judge our progress. Publication of the White Paper will mark the completion of the initial analytical, goal-setting and consultation phase in the development of an integrated transport
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The previous published expenditure plans for the assisted places schemes in England, Scotland and Wales together for the years 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000 were £159 million, £181 million and £202 million respectively. The Government's spending plans for 1998-99 onwards will be announced in due course and will take account of the savings progressively released from phasing out the schemes. There will be no significant additional burden on local education authorities from educating children who would otherwise have entered the assisted places schemes each year.
Baroness Blackstone: The Government intend to improve the skills of the teaching profession in order to raise standards of pupil performance. We shall be setting out in our White Paper, next month, proposals to raise the quality of teaching and how the skills of the profession will be measured.
Baroness Blackstone: The Government announced on 13 May targets that, by the time of the national tests in 2002, will have 75 per cent. of 11 year-olds reaching the standards expected for their age in mathematics, and 80 per cent. of 11 year-olds reaching the standards expected for their age in English. These targets relate to the total 11 year-old population, including those assessed as having special educational needs. We anticipate that many children with special educational needs will achieve the standards expected for their age; the Government will be seeking to raise standards for all children, including the most severely disabled.
Baroness Blackstone: Admission authorities may use any legal criteria to decide which children will be admitted to a reception class when the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of places available. These may give priority for admission to children who attended the school's nursery class. Children in reception classes, however, will normally transfer automatically to the following year group.
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