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Antibiotic Resistance and Communicable Disease Surveillance: PHLS Grant

Lord Walton of Detchant asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Officials are discussing with the Public Health Laboratory Service what work needs to be done in this area, bearing in mind the antibiotic resistance strategy and the communicable disease strategy currently being developed and how it might be funded.

Child Abuse: Appointments to Departmental Advisory Groups

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Individuals are invited to become members of departmental advisory groups because their expertise and experience are considered to be sufficiently wide and relevant to enable them to make an effective contribution to the particular study. Many appointees to such committees are already known to the department and hold senior positions in their respective fields as practitioners, senior managers, academics etc. However, those members whose work includes substantial contact with children will have been subject to police and other employment checks. Since therefore their appointment to an advisory group is made with the support of employers,

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it is unlikely that an employer would agree an appointment where they had concerns about an individual's suitability. An appointment would not be countenanced by the department where information about a candidate could compromise its work, nor, should any information come to light after the appointment is made, would an individual remain an adviser to the department.

Modernising Agenda for the Economy

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 13 April (WA 58), what is their modernising agenda for the economy, and what is distinctively modern about it.[HL2262]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government's modernising agenda was summarised in my previous Written Answer. It has been set out in more depth in the White Paper Our Competitive Future: Building the Knowledge Driven Economy (Cmnd 4176) and other White Papers and consultation documents produced by DTI and in Budget and pre-Budget report documentation produced by my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Central to this agenda is providing a commercial framework which will help British business compete against the challenges of the future, whether these come from rising consumer expectations, the increasing knowledge content of products and services or the developments of electronic commerce. We believe it is distinctively modern to be at the forefront of the world in developing legislation and other programmes to promote the best environment for electronic commerce, to introduce a regulatory framework which actively promotes the development of fair and effective competition throughout the economy, to be developing a modern framework of company law suited to the needs of this century and actively to promote innovative business clusters and corporate social responsibility. These are just a few examples of issues which this Government are pursuing to help British business meet the demands of the modern knowledge economy.

Act of Union Bicentenary: Post Office Decision on Stamp Issue

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord McIntosh of Haringey of 19 April (WA 107) whether they will invite the Post Office to explain the use of the word "competitors"; and whether the Post Office has evidence that post offices of other countries may be interested in marking by special stamp issue the bicentenary in 2001 of the creation of the United Kingdom.[HL2272]

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Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Post Office advises me that it is in competition for the custom of collectors with other stamp issuers, mints and other producers of memorabilia/collectibles both in the United Kingdom and overseas. The Post Office does not hold information regarding the stamp issues of other countries.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 10 April (WA 10), whether they will require the Post Office to list the percentage of the telephone research and in-depth market research carried out among small focus groups, including children, on the topic of further stamp issues which takes place in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively, and what was the cost of such research in 1998.[HL2299]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Stamp Programme is a matter for the Post Office. The Government has no plans to require the Post Office to publish details of their market research.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 16 March (WA 220), whether they will invite the Royal Mail to indicate which of the criteria or conventions listed concerning the issue of special stamps caused its decision not to celebrate the bicentenary in 2001 of the creation of the United Kingdom.[HL2274]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The Post Office tells me that all of the criteria and conventions were considered in drawing up the 2001 stamp programme. The preferred subjects were selected having regard to these criteria and the conventions that Royal Mail works to, including the Post Office's commercial target for philately.

Trade Balance: Import and Export of Defence Equipment

Lord Jenkins of Putney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    To what extent the United Kingdom's balance of trade is dependent upon the arms trade.[HL2277]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: According to figures published by the Ministry of Defence in UK Defence Statistics 1999, exports of defence equipment in 1998 were worth £3.5 billion, representing 2.1 per cent of total exports of goods. Imports of defence equipment were worth £1.9 billion, accounting for 1.0 per cent of total imports of goods.

Statistics on trade in defence related services are not available.

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Comprehensive and Secondary Modern Schools: GCSE/GNVQ Percentages

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in addition to the data published in the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 6 April (WA 151-52), they will publish similar data for:


    (a) the percentage of 15 year-old pupils achieving five or more grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ;


    (b) the percentage of 15 year-old pupils achieving one or more grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ; and


    (c) the average point score per 15 year-old pupil for: the top 35 per cent of 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools; the top 30 per cent of 15 year old pupils in comprehensive schools; all 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools; the bottom 75 per cent of 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools; the bottom 70 per cent of 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools; the bottom 65 per cent of 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools; all 15 year-old pupils in secondary modern schools.[HL2315]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The GCSE/GNVQ performance of 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools and secondary modern schools in England, in 1998-99, is shown in the tables.

Performance of top 35 per cent of pupils in comprehensive schools:

(a) Percentage achieving 5 + grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ 100 per cent
(b) Percentage achieving 1 + grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ100 per cent
(c) Average point score per 15 year-old pupil57.0 points

Performance of top 30 per cent of pupils in comprehensive schools:

(a) Percentage achieving 5 + grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ 100 per cent
(b) Percentage achieving 1 + grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ100 per cent
(c) Average point score per 15 year-old pupil58.8 points

Performance of all 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools:

(a) Percentage achieving 5 + grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ 45.0 per cent
(b) Percentage achieving 1 + grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ95.8 per cent
(c) Average point score per 15 year-old pupil37.3 points Performance of bottom 75 per cent of 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools:
(a) Percentage achieving 5 + grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ 27.2 per cent
(b) Percentage achieving 1 + grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ94.4 per cent
(c) Average point score per 15 year-old pupil29.7 points Performance of bottom 70 per cent of 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools:
(a) Percentage achieving 5 + grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ 21.2 per cent
(b) Percentage achieving 1 + grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ93.9 per cent
(c) Average point score per 15 year-old pupil28.0 points Performance of bottom 65 per cent of 15 year-old pupils in comprehensive schools:
(a) Percentage achieving 5 + grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ 14.5 per cent
(b) Percentage achieving 1 + grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ93.4 per cent
(c) Average point score per 15 year-old pupil26.4 points Performance of all 15 year-old pupils in secondary modern schools:
(a) Percentage achieving 5 + grades A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ 32.8 per cent
(b) Percentage achieving 1 + grades A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ95.3 per cent
(c) Average point score per 15 year-old pupil31.9 points

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