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Drama Teaching

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Whitty: The national training curriculum for secondary English will specify the essential core of knowledge, skills and understanding which trainee teachers must be taught and be able to use in relation to secondary English. The drama element in the secondary English curriculum will ensure that teachers of secondary English are taught how to teach drama in relation to its position in the pupils' English curriculum.

The national training curriculum for secondary English has been the subject of a widespread consultation by the Teacher Training Agency which ended on 3 April. There has been no support in consultation to require those training to become specialist drama teachers to follow the national training curriculum for secondary English. The agency is currently considering the implications of its proposals for those initial teacher training courses which cover both English and drama.

Development Awareness Working Group

Lord Watson of Invergowrie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will provide details of the aims and membership of the Development Awareness Working Group, launched on 31 March.[HL1471]

Lord Whitty: The terms of reference of the Development Awareness Working Group are as follows:

    1. The Development Awareness Working Group will advise DfID on the development and implementation of its strategy on development awareness.

    2. Specifically it will consider:

    The relative priority of different target groups and organisations, including schools, colleges, providers of adult education, development education groups or centres, employers and trade unions.

    Key themes and messages.

    The most effective materials and channels for communication.

    How to measure progress in improving public awareness of development issues.

    How to ensure proper coverage of different parts of the UK, as well as ethnic and religious groups.

    How to set DfID activities in the context of wider UK activity on development awareness and to ensure coherence with other government sponsored or funded activity.

Its membership is:

    Tany Alexander, One World Week

    Douglas Bourn, Development Education Association

    Tim Brighouse, Chief Education Officer, Birmingham City Council

    Paddy Coulter, International Broadcasting Trust

    Liz Cumberbatch, Workers' Education Association

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    Bisi Adeleye Fayemi, Akina Mama Wa Afrika

    John Fisher, Transport & General Workers Union

    Jaya Graves, Southern Voices

    Lisbeth Grundy, Council for Environmental Education

    Judith Hemery, Central Bureau for Educational Visits & Exchanges

    Phil Hope, MP

    Dr. Kim Howells MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, DfEE

    Elenid Jones, Christian Aid, Cardiff

    Robin Lloyd-Jones, Scottish Forum for Development Education in Schools

    Stephen MacCloskey, Coalition of Aid & Development Agencies, Belfast

    Jane Nelson, The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum

    Ashok Ohri, Organisation & Social Development Consultants Ltd.

    Dan Rees, Voluntary Service Overseas

    Tony Robinson

    Scott Sinclair, Development Education Centre, Birmingham

    Jon Snow

    John Sutton, CBE, General Secretary, Secondary Heads Association

    Derek Walker OBE, Worldaware

    Tom Wylie, National Youth Agency

Benefit Fraud

Baroness Miller of Hendon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answers by the Lord Whitty on 27 February (WA 117) and on 26 March (WA 247), what the Secretary of State for International Development meant in the interview which was published in the 20 February edition of the New Statesman when she said, "The way our society is structured is malfunctioning grossly. If you take benefit fraud, some of that is lone mums doing a bit of cleaning to get a bit more money for their children. Under our system that's fraud. We shouldn't have a structure like that. They are good women who are trying to help their kids. It's a system that belittled people".[HL1396]

Lord Whitty: I have nothing to add to previous Answers on this question.

Private Members' Bills

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Leader of the House on 23 March (WA 227), whether they plan the provision of additional parliamentary time to

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    Private Members' Bills during each of the next four Sessions; and, if so, how much time and in respect of what Bills.[HL1503]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Richard): No.

House of Lords Amendments to Bills

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Where an amendment to a Bill is carried against government advice in the House of Lords, whether they will always seek to overturn that decision in the House of Commons.[HL1525]

Lord Richard: The Government treat every proposed amendment on its merits.

Fraud in the Community: ECC Recommendations

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the recommendations contained in the reports from the House of Lords European Communities Committee on Fraud in the Community are being implemented during their presidency of the European Union; and, if not, why not.[HL1516]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Reports of the House of Lords European Communities Committee on Fraud in the Community contain many apposite recommendations which have influenced the direction of government policy since their publication.

Looking in particular at the Committee's 12th Report of 1993-94 published in July 1994, I am pleased to be able to report real progress on areas covered by the recommendations. Much of this has been carried out under the aegis of the Commission's SEM2000 programme (Sound and Efficient Management). For instance, measures have been introduced which will lead to closer monitoring of the fraud-proofing of legislation. This will apply to both existing and new proposals; new proposals will be scrutinised prior to presentation of the proposal to the Council, while existing instruments will be subject to scrutiny where experience has revealed a degree of vulnerability to fraud. The Commission adopted a Regulation in October 1997 setting minimum standards for financial control of the Structural Funds in member states and is working with member states to specify more closely what is required. The Government also, at the InterGovernmental conference in Amsterdam, sponsored proposals to strengthen the role of the European Court of Auditors. These initiatives put into practice specific recommendations of the report and were actively promoted by the UK Government.

The Government have made improving financial management and the fight against fraud one of the priorities of the current UK Presidency of the European Union. It is doing this largely by consolidating initiatives already in progress, to ensure that these really

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achieve their goals. It is ensuring that full use is made of the discharge procedure, working with the European Parliament to ensure that discussion focuses on key issues. It is giving full support to the SEM2000 initiative; this is of particular importance as far as financial management aspects of the new Structural Funds Regulations, reform of the common agricultural policy and the effects of proposed enlargement are concerned. To stress the importance which they accord these issues the Government will use the 19 May ECOFIN to focus on financial management and fraud issues, including a report on progress on SEM2000 and the Commission's annual Fight Against Fraud Report.

Crown Copyright Material: Sales Revenue

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the total revenue in 1996-97 from sales of Crown copyright materials in: (a) Acts of Parliament; (b) birth certificates; (c) the Highway Code.[HL1334]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The total revenue received from sales of Acts of Parliament, birth certificates and the Highway Code during the financial year 1996-97 was £1,023,156. This is broken down as follows:

(a) Acts of Parliament£735,302 from the sale of copies and £6,423 from licensing of the typography
(b) birth certificatesNil
(c) the Highway Code£271,653 from the sale of copies and £9,778 from licensing
The revenue from sale of copies covers the period from 1 April 1996 to 30 September 1996, when the titles were published by the former HMSO. From 1 October 1997, sales income became a matter for the privatised company The Stationery Office Limited. The sales income is net after allowing for discounts.

Work and Economic Growth: Measurement

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they are taking to ensure that all economically and socially significant work is taken into account in national and international policy-making and in the measurement of national and international growth.[HL1434]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Government's policy is to encourage a fair society in which everyone can share in broader opportunities, and to see economic development taking place in a way which respects the environment. Every effort is made to take into account the value of all economically and socially significant work. For example, a number of measures were taken

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in the Budget to assist parents with the cost of bringing up children.

The measurement of economic growth is covered by the internationally agreed System of National Accounts (SNA). The 1993 SNA proposed that more work be undertaken in satellite accounts, developing measurement of activities excluded from conventional accounts. The Office for National Statistics is at the forefront in developing a wide range of satellite accounts, including unpaid household work and environmental accounts. Articles describing the latest developments were published in the October 1997 edition of Economic Trends.

Barnett Formula Allocations

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What were the annual transfers of money from England to Scotland over the last five years under the "Barnett formula", expressed as a percentage of English GDP; as an amount accruing to each resident of Scotland; and (a) including North Sea oil revenues and (b) excluding them.[HL1514]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): The Barnett formula is not used to transfer money from England to Scotland. It simply allocates annually to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Offices from overall UK resources a population-based share of any changes that are made to English programmes for which the territorial departments have comparable responsibility.

Scotland: Computerised Data on Location of Prisoners

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there is now a centralised computer-held record of all persons currently serving sentences in one of Her Majesty's prisons in Scotland; if not, when it is expected to be in operation; and whether the police have, or will have, on-line access to information on prisoner location held on the system.[HL1463]

Lord Sewel: A networked prisoner record database has been available on all Scottish Prison Service sites since October 1995. An electronic link between the Scottish Prison Service and the Scottish Criminal Records Office is planned for completion by December 1998.

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