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Special Educational Needs and Disability Legislation: Implementation Support

Lord Baker of Dorking asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The Explanatory Notes that were published when the Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill received its First Reading in the House of Lords on 6 December gave an estimate of the effect of the Bill on public sector finances, including the effect on public service manpower (paragraph 141). The Government also published, last year, a Regulatory Impact Assessment of the effect of the Bill on the private and voluntary sectors.

We are making significant resources available to support implementation of the Bill. In support of the planning duty, we are making available £220 million between 2001 and 2004 to help schools widen access to premises and the curriculum for pupils with SEN and disabilities.

We are also supporting implementation by providing significant--record--levels of financial support for the training and professional development of teachers and other staff working with pupils with special educational needs. Under the Standards Fund 2000-01, we are supporting expenditure of £26 million on SEN training and development--an increase from £21 million in 1999-2000. In 2001-02 we envisage that £30 million of the overall SEN Standards Fund allocation (£82 million) will be spent on SEN training. LEAs will be free to spend more.

In the Green Paper Teachers: meeting the challenge of change we set ourselves an ambitious target of recruiting the equivalent of an additional 20,000 teaching assistants between April 1999 and March 2002. Over that period, around £350 million is being made available for recruitment and training of the newly recruited teaching assistants working in schools in England, and also to support further training opportunities for more experienced assistants. This of course includes teaching assistants who, under various titles, specialise in working with children with SEN.


Lord Hughes of Woodside asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What future levels of development assistance they intend to provide to Montserrat.[HL984]

Baroness Amos: We have informed the Government of Montserrat (GoM) that approximate future levels of assistance will be as follows:

2004-05 9.5
2005-06 7.5

These amounts include both budgetary aid and development assistance. The 2001-02 figure is firm, subject to parliamentary approval. Figures for subsequent years are for planning purposes and are subject to the normal processes of resource allocation and review in the light of changing circumstances.

By the end of March 2001, DFID will have provided over £135 million to Montserrat since the onset of volcanic activity in 1995. A substantial amount of work has been completed during this period, with much of the essential economic and social infrastructure now in place in the previously under-developed north of the island.

DFID's assistance to Montserrat in the next five years will focus on building the capacity of GoM to deliver effective and efficient public services, with a reduced requirement for significant external budgetary assistance.

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Regulatory Toxicology and Safety Evaluation Studies: Guidance

Baroness Billingham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress they have made in the preparation of guidance on the conduct of regulatory toxicology and safety evaluation studies. [HL995]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): We have today published guidance on the conduct of regulatory toxicology and safety evaluation studies and a copy has been placed in the Library.

The guidance has been prepared by the Home Office working with the British Toxicology Society, the British Society of Toxicological Pathologists and the Department of Health and takes account of consultation with the scientific community and animal welfare and animal protection groups.

Copies of the guidance will be issued shortly to all establishments licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and it will also be available on the Home Office website.

The guidance will not impact significantly on the numbers of animals used, but will ensure that all possible refinement strategies are considered in the design of these studies.

Immigration Detainees: Random Mandatory Drug Testing

Baroness Cohen of Pimlico asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What changes they intend to make to the random mandatory drug testing programme for immigration detainees. [HL996]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Immigration detainees rarely test positive for drugs. As a result, from 1 April 2001 detainees held at Her Majesty's Prison Haslar and within discrete units at Her Majesty's Prisons Lindholme and Rochester will no longer be subject to the random mandatory drug testing programme.

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Other security measures to prevent the smuggling and misuse of drugs will remain unchanged. These new arrangements will not apply to detainees dispersed more widely across the prison estate and who therefore have regular contact with prisoners. The policy will be reviewed at three and six-months intervals to ensure that the low level of drug abuse in these establishments continues.

Terrorism Act 2000: Proscribed Organisations

Baroness Cohen of Pimlico asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What additional terrorist organisations they intend to proscribe, following the coming into force of the Terrorism Act 2000.[HL997]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has today laid a draft order, under Section 123(4)(a) of the Terrorism Act, recommending to Parliament that the following organisations be added to the list of proscribed organisations in Schedule 2 to the Act:


    Egyptian Islamic Jihad

    Al-Gama' at al-Islamiya

    Armed Islamic Group (Groupe Islamique Armee) (GIA)

    Salafist Group for Call and Combat (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prediction et le Combat) (GSPC)

    Babbar Khalsa

    International Sikh Youth Federation

    Harakat Mujahideen

    Jaish e Mohammed

    Lashkar e Tayyaba

    Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

    Hizballah External Security Organisation

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    Hamas-Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades

    Palestinian Islamic Jihad--Shaqaqi

    Abu Nidal Organisation

    Islamic Army of Aden

    Mujaheddin e Khalq

    Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan) (PKK)

    Revolutionary Peoples' Liberation Party--Front (Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi--Cephesi) (DHKP-C)

    Basque Homeland and Liberty (Euskadi ta Askatasuna) (ETA)

    17 November Revolutionary Organisation (N17)

Under Section 3(3)(a) of the Act, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary may by order add an organisation to Schedule 2 where he believes that it is concerned in terrorism, as defined in Section 1 of the Act. He is entirely satisfied that the organisations named above are "concerned in terrorism" as set out in Section 3(5) of the Act, and has, after careful consideration, decided to exercise his discretion to proscribe them. The draft order is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. There will therefore be a debate in both Houses on his recommendations. If approved by Parliament, the proscriptions will take effect on the day after my right honourable friend the Home Secretary signs the order. To assist consideration by both Houses, we have placed in the Libraries, the Vote Office, and the Printed Paper Office, copies of a Note setting out a brief summary in respect of each organisation named in the draft order.

The Act provides for an appeal process. After the order comes into force, it will be open for any of the organisations so proscribed, or any person affected by their proscription, to make application to me for deproscription. If that application is refused, the Act provides for an appeal to a new independent tribunal, the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission, established by the Terrorism Act.

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