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11 Mar 1998 : Column WA41

Written Answers

Wednesday, 11th March 1998.

Repatriated Prisoners: Release Dates

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in calculating the release date of a prisoner who is repatriated from abroad, they use the legislation which was in force at the time of the person's arrest, or at the time of his conviction or at the time of his repatriation.[HL818]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The release dates of repatriated prisoners are calculated on the basis of the legislation in force on the date on which the prisoner is repatriated, subject to the provisions of the Schedule to the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984 (as amended by Schedule 2 to the 1997 Crime (Sentences) Act).

The warrants under which prisoners are repatriated may contain reference to two separate periods. The first is the balance to serve, which is deemed to be the prisoner's sentence in this country. The second, for prisoners for whom it is applicable, is a period used solely to calculate the parole eligibility date of the prisoner.

In calculating the balance of the sentence remaining to be served by a prisoner following return to this country, account is taken of the time served abroad by the prisoner, including, where applicable, any remand time and any remission available to the prisoner. The resulting balance is administered in accordance with the relevant United Kingdom legislative provisions. Automatic release in the case of prisoners sentenced abroad to four years or more therefore occurs at the two-thirds point of the balance to serve, and, for prisoners sentenced abroad to less than four years, at the halfway point. Prisoners sentenced to periods of imprisonment abroad of four years or more are also eligible to be considered for discretionary release on licence (parole).

As far as parole is concerned, it has always been the policy that a repatriated prisoner should be treated as if he had been sentenced here--i.e., he should become eligible for parole after having served one-half of his original term of imprisonment (or one-third in the case of prisoners sentenced prior to 1 October 1992). For the purposes of achieving this, it was the practice to specify in the warrant, for the purposes solely of calculating parole eligibility, a period equivalent to the time actually served by the prisoner abroad.

Amendments made to the 1984 Act as a consequence of the introduction of the 1991 Criminal Justice Act resulted in anomalies with regard to the position of repatriated prisoners. In particular, the amendments linked parole eligibility and automatic release dates. As a consequence, specifying a period in the warrant for the purposes of calculating parole eligibility had the unintended effect of bringing forward the prisoner's

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automatic release date. Judicial reviews in 1995 and 1996 brought these difficulties to light for the first time. It also emerged that the parole eligibility dates of prisoners had not previously been calculated fully in accordance with the terms of the legislation.

The difficulties identified in the legislation were corrected by means of amendments to the 1984 Act contained in Schedule 2 to the 1997 Crime (Sentences) Act. In the light of the amendments and the discovery that parole dates were not previously calculated entirely in accordance with the legislation, it has become clear that it is not always appropriate to specify in the warrant a period equivalent to the actual time served by the prisoner abroad since this does not always result in the correct parole eligibility date.

Since 1 October 1997, therefore, normal policy has been to specify, for the purposes of calculating parole eligibility in accordance with the provisions of the Schedule to the 1984 Act, a period which ensures that the prisoner becomes eligible to be considered for parole after having served one-half (or one-third) of the original sentence. Each case is considered on an individual basis, taking into account the length of the original sentence, the time served abroad, and the balance to serve in this country.

Victims of Mentally Disordered Offenders: Compensation

Lord Monson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in cases of violent assault, criminal damage or theft perpetrated by mental patients released into the community prematurely or without adequate supervision, the victims are entitled to compensation; and, if so, from whom.[HL833]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: For most practical purposes, the victims of mentally disordered offenders are treated in the same way as any other victims of crime. Those sustaining injury, loss or damage may be awarded compensation by the court as part of the sentence, or as the sentence, when an offender is convicted. Victims sustaining personal injury may be eligible for compensation under the criminal injuries compensation scheme. Victims may also seek damages in a civil action, or look to whatever insurance arrangements they may have made.

Wales: Analysis of National Curriculum Tests 1994-97

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish data for Wales showing for all state schools, independent schools and all schools taken together, the percentage of all seven year-old pupils in each of the years 1994 to 1997 passing National Curriculum tests at level 2 or better together with the average level attained per pupil and the corresponding average subject age of pupils, calculated using the relationship between expected

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    National Curriculum level and actual pupil age published by the Department for Education and Employment, in the following subjects; mathematics, reading (where appropriate, showing data separately for the reading task and the reading comprehension test) and writing, showing separately for state schools the percentages and averages for local education authority schools, voluntary schools (including together voluntary controlled, voluntary aided, and special agreement schools) and grant-maintained schools showing data separately for boys, girls and all pupils and including, for each category of school, the number of schools and the number of seven year-old pupils.[HL867]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Industrial action by teachers severely affected Key Stage 1 testing arrangements in Wales in 1994, and to a lesser extent, in 1995. As a result, no reliable figures can be compiled for 1994. Participation was higher in 1995 and national figures for Wales were published for all subjects apart from Welsh. The information requested is shown, as far as is possible, subject to ensuring the confidentiality of individual schools, in the following tables. These figures do not attempt to define an average level of pupil performance. There would be no correspondence between any such average and the National Curriculum level descriptions, which are designed to be rounded descriptions of performance. Pupil level results are not held centrally, so that average subject ages cannot be calculated.

The Key Stage 1 results figures relate to children assessed at Key Stage 1: most, but not all, of these children will have become seven years old during the school year.

Number of schools from which KS1 task/test results were received

Type of school199519961997
LEA (excluding voluntary) maintained primary and special schools8261,2291,245
Voluntary maintained primary schools179244244
GM primary schools136
Independent schools006

Key Stage 1 test results in Wales, 1995-1997, by type of school

YearNumber of pupils assessedPercentage at Level 2 or above
LEA (excluding voluntary) maintained primary and special schools
English: Reading
Boys199512,70072
199613,49070
199713,66073
Girls199512,00082
199612,57082
199712,92084
All pupils199524,70077
199626,06076
199726,58079
English: Writing
Boys199512,70072
199613,49071
199713,66074
Girls199512,00083
199612,57084
199712,92084
All pupils199524,70078
199626,06077
199726,58079
Welsh: Reading
Boys19963,08072
19973,25074
Girls19963,16082
19973,10086
All pupils19966,23077
19976,35080
Welsh: Writing
Boys19963,10064
19973,25063
Girls19963,17076
19973,10079
All pupils19966,26070
19976,35071
Mathematics
Boys199513,38076
199616,56079
199716,91081
Girls199512,67080
199615,73083
199716,03085
All pupils199526,05078
199632,29081
199732,94083
Voluntary primary schools
English: Reading
Boys19952,07079
19962,23080
19972,21082
Girls 19952,00087
19962,11089
19972,13090
All pupils19954,07083
19964,34084
19974,34086
English: Writing
Boys19952,07075
19962,23078
19972,21079
Girls 19952,00086
19962,11088
19972,13090
All pupils19954,07081
19964,34083
19974,34084
Welsh: Reading
Boys199628065
199725068
Girls199626078
199726080
All pupils199654071
199751074
Welsh: Writing
Boys199628055
199725061
Girls199626073
199726076
All pupils199654064
199751069
Mathematics
Boys19952,09081
19962,51085
19972,46085
Girls19952,02084
19962,37087
19972,39089
All pupils19954,11083
19964,87086
19974,85087
GM primary schools
English: Reading
Boys19964086
19977085
Girls19963091
19979094
All pupils19967088
199716090
English: Writing
Boys19964070
19977082
Girls19963088
19979095
All pupils19967078
199716089
Mathematics
Boys19964092
19978095
Girls19964092
19979097
All pupils19968092
199716096
All schools
English: Reading
Boys199514,78073
199615,75072
199715,99074
Girls199514,02083
199614,71083
199715,22085
All pupils199528,80078
199630,46077
199731,21080
English: Writing
Boys199514,78073
199615,75072
199715,99074
Girls199514,02083
199614,71084
199715,22085
All pupils199528,80078
199630,46078
199731,21079
Welsh: Reading
Boys19963,36071
19973,50073
Girls19963,42082
19973,37085
All pupils19966,78077
19976,86079
Welsh: Writing
Boys19963,38063
19973,50063
Girls19963,43076
19973,37079
All pupils19966,81070
19976,86071
Mathematics
Boys199515,48077
199619,11080
199719,49082
Girls199514,71081
199618,13084
199718,59086
All pupils199530,19079
199637,24082
199738,07084

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