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UNLOCK: Prison Service Payments

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

6 Apr 2000 : Column WA151

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Prison Service paid a total of £4,812.50 to UNLOCK in the last financial year, 1999-2000. No commitments have been made for future payments in this financial year, 2000-01.

Prison Service Website: Hits

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many hits the Prison Service website received in the latest month for which the figures are available.[HL1765]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: In the four-week period ending 26 February, the Prison Service website received a total of 23,353 unique users sessions, an average of 834 a day.

Grammar and Comprehensive Schools: GCSE/GNVQ Performance Comparisons

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the data which form the basis for Baroness Blackstone's statement on 15 March (H.L. Deb., col. 1546) that "The average performance of the top 24 per cent of pupils in maintained comprehensive schools is slightly higher than in grammar schools".[HL1800]

Lord Bach: The statement reflects the comparative performance of two groups of pupils. The first group included all 15 year-olds in grammar schools. Their results were:

Performance
Percentage achieving 5+ grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ96.4%
Percentage achieving 1+ grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ99.6%
Average point score per 15 year-old pupil60.7

The second group included the top 25 per cent of 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools--based on their total GCSE/GNVQ point score (in order not to include and exclude some pupils with the same point score, the actual percentage of pupils included was 24.5 per cent). Their results were:


6 Apr 2000 : Column WA152

Performance
Percentage achieving 5+ grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ100%
Percentage achieving 1+ grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ100%
Average point score per 15 year-old pupil60.9

This analysis was carried out by the department's Analytical Services. It is based on the data collected for the secondary school performance tables published in November 1999. The analysis was carried out from a pupil level file and based on the results of all 15 year-old pupils in grammar schools and the top 25 per cent of pupils in comprehensive schools. This percentage was chosen because it reflects the proportion of pupils typically taken in by grammar schools in wholly selective LEAs. The pupils in the comprehensive schools were ranked according to their total GCSE/GNVQ point scores.


Millennium Volunteers Programme: Chairmanship

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Blackstone on 29 March (WA 76), why the Department for Education and Employment abandoned appointing a Chairman of the Millennium Volunteers following advertisements in the media for the post.[HL1801]

Lord Bach: My noble friend the Minister for Education and Employment responded on 3 September 1998, Official Report, col. WA 63, explaining the Government's decision to run the Millennium Volunteers Programme in England from a Unit within the Department for Education and Employment rather than to set up a new body. It was therefore no longer necessary to proceed with the appointment of the Chair of Millennium Volunteers. All those who applied for the post of Chair were informed of the decision in July 1998.



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