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Incontinence Products and VAT

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: In response to consultation on the reduced rate of VAT for women's sanitary protection products, the Government received three representations for the reduced rate to apply to incontinence products. The Government's response to all representations received will be published shortly. Incontinent people who are living in their own homes are able to buy incontinence pads on a VAT zero-rated basis under current rules. The Government would not wish to introduce VAT at a reduced rate of 5 per cent on such pads.

Children in Poverty

Lord Higgins asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: It is estimated that 1.2 million children will have been lifted out of poverty as a result of the personal tax and benefit changes announced in the four Budgets since May 1997.

Petrol and Diesel Fuel Duties

Lord Lipsey asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: HM Customs and Excise's estimate of the revenues that would have been foregone since 1992 had petrol and diesel fuel duties been increased in line with the retail price index is shown in the table.

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£ billion revenues
Financial YearForegone
1992-930.2
1993-941.4
1994-952.7
1995-963.9
1996-975.0
1997-986.6
1998-998.4
1999-20009.4

The estimates include VAT and take account of expected changes in the pattern of consumers' expenditure as a result of the lower duty increases.


House of Lords Management and Services

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What consultations he had during the summer recess regarding the House of Lords management and services review, including, in each case, who was involved and when and how the consultations took place.[HL4323]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): I had no such consultations. The membership of the steering group on the review of the management and services of the House of Lords was agreed through the usual channels.

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What were the criteria used to select members of the steering group on the House of Lords management and services review; and who decided these criteria.[HL4324]

The Chairman of Committees: The criteria were that the members of the steering group should be Back Benchers who had not previously expressed an opinion on the proposal for a review of the management and services of the House. These criteria appeared to meet the need for an open-minded consideration of the proposal.

Student Mobility

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What actions they are taking on the recommendations in Student Mobility on the Map (Tertiary Education Interchange in the Commonwealth), the report of the Joint Working Group of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth and UKCOSA: The Council for International Education, July 2000.[HL4375]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The Government are considering carefully the representations made to it in Appendix 1 of this report. We fully support the report's recommendations on promoting student

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mobility and are actively developing this through the Prime Minister's initiative to attract more international students to the UK. We are also encouraging UK students to take the opportunity to benefit from an increasingly international element to their studies, through programmes such as the EU Socrates Erasmus scheme.

Secondary Teachers

Baroness Sharp of Guildford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many of those entering schoolteaching from PGCE courses in secondary education in 1997, 1998, and 1999 dropped out of teaching within two years of graduating.[HL4280]

Baroness Blackstone: The most recent data available show that, of the 11,700 graduates from secondary PGCE courses in calendar year 1997 in England, 820 had left teaching in the maintained sector by 31 March 1999. Some of these will have left for career breaks and will return to teaching; others may have moved to other sectors.

The number of regular teachers in maintained schools increased by 6,900 between January 1998 and January 2000.

A DfEE survey of maintained secondary schools in England in the first week of September 2000 indicated that there were about 1,000 secondary teacher vacancies. The equivalent figure at January 2000 was 1,200.

Baroness Sharp of Guildford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many of those graduating from PGCE courses in secondary education in 1997, 1998, and 1999 pursued careers in teaching for at least a year.[HL4279]

Baroness Blackstone: The most recent data available show that, of the 11,700 graduates from secondary PGCE courses in calendar year 1997 in England, around 7,300 had accrued at least one year of teaching service in the maintained sector by 31 March 1999, the same proportion as the previous year's graduate cohort. A further 670 were in service in the maintained sector but had not yet completed a year of service (having probably taken a gap year). Some graduates will also have entered other teaching service, for example, in the independent, further education or higher education sectors.

The number of regular teachers in maintained schools increased by 6,900 between January 1998 and January 2000.

A DfEE survey of maintained secondary schools in England in the first week of September 2000 indicated that there were about 1,000 secondary teacher vacancies. The equivalent figure at January 2000 was 1,200.

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Students Qualifying as Teachers: Numbers

Baroness Sharp of Guildford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many students entered PGCE courses in secondary education in the academic years 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000; and how many of them dropped out before completion of the course.[HL4278]

Baroness Blackstone: The number of students entering PGCE courses (including school centred or other non-HEI courses) in England and Wales for teaching at secondary school level in 1997-98 and 1998-99, and the number of students from a secondary school level course obtaining qualified teacher status (QTS) in calendar years 1998 and 1999 are as follows:

Academic YearStudents Entering CoursesCalendar YearStudents Obtaining QTS
1996-9714,260199712,450
1997-9814,260199812,190
1998-9913,140199911,020

Equivalent figures for 1999-2000 and the calendar year 2000 are not yet available.

Some students obtaining a PGCE during the calendar year may have started before the appropriate academic year.

7From September 1999, those doing secondary maths or science postgraduate certificates in education received £2,500 whilst they trained. From September 2000, graduates doing any postgraduate secondary teacher training will receive a training salary of £6,000. These measures are on top of the tuition fee waiver for postgraduate teacher training courses. A new initial teacher training curriculum was introduced in September 1998 which is equipping all new teachers with the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to play their part in raising pupil performance across the education system and this raises the standards expected for QTS.


Learning and Skills Act: Land Consents

Baroness Walmsley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many requests have been made to the Secretary of State under paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 8 to the Learning and Skills Act 2000 by local education authorities seeking to dispose of, or enter into contract or grant the option for, a freehold or leasehold interest in land held by the authority from the date of the Act's Royal Assent to 30 September 2000; and how many of the requested consents have been granted within--

    (a) one working day;

    (b) more than one but less than five working days; and

    (c) five or more working days.[HL4304]

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Baroness Blackstone: We have received 48 requests from local education authorities for consent under paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 8 to the Learning and Skills Act 2000. The table below sets out the time taken to respond on receipt of relevant information.

1 working daymore than 1 day but less than five working days5 or more working daysTotal number
Consent granted342045
LEAs informed that consent is not required0213
Total number344148

These figures exclude 28 cases where a joint application has been made for consent under Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 to dispose of school playing fields. The department aims to give a decision on applications under Section 77 within 10 weeks of receipt of all necessary information. This timetable reflects the need to scrutinise applications carefully in light of national concern about the loss of school playing fields under the previous government.



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