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Department for Education and Skills: Outside Consultancies

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Ashton of Upholland: This information is not held centrally and it would require a departmental trawl, at disproportionate cost, to gather the necessary information to answer the Question.

Tourism Industry: Insurance

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they believe that tourism organisations should advise the tourism industry of the limitations of existing insurance cover and, together with the regional development agencies, make representations to the insurance industry for the development of policies that would provide cover in the circumstances that occurred in counties seriously affected by foot and mouth disease in 2001.[HL73]

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): It is a matter for tourism trade organisations to decide on which issues they should advise their members. For instance, the British Hospitality Association (BHA) decided to advise its members in March 2001, following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, that business interruption policies do not usually cover losses incurred following an outbreak, unless the business's access is closed. If the tourism industry does not consider that suitable insurance cover exists for risks such as those arising from an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, then it can make representations to the insurance industry. As sponsors of the tourism and hospitality industry, my department will consider how it can work with the industry on this matter, if we are approached about it.

Thomas Coram Foundation

Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the problems associated with the Thomas Coram Foundation's charitable status have been resolved so that the pictures in the Bloomsbury gallery will be on regular public view.[HL152]

Baroness Blackstone: Legal advice to the Thomas Coram Foundation has confirmed that the revised proposals for the establishment of a museum are acceptable. The required works are likely to take place

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over a period of two years, following which the collection will once again be available for public viewing.

Belfast Agreement: Cross-Border Bodies

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 7 November (WA 160) concerning implementation boards, whether any accounting years other than the calendar year apply; and, if so, when and why.[HL88]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): I refer the noble Lord to the response provided to PQ HL 6079 on 7 November. The calendar year is the only accounting year which applies to implementation bodies.

Northern Ireland: Post-Primary Education

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will give an undertaking that any replacement for the 11-plus examination in Northern Ireland will be based on the wishes of parents, teachers and the community and that full consultation will take place.[HL268]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Extensive consultation on the Burns proposals demonstrated a demand for change and support for the abolition of the transfer tests among the education partners, schools, Churches, political parties, voluntary and community organisations and the public. The Government are taking forward the review of post-primary education and are working towards the abolition of the transfer tests as soon as practical. No decisions have been taken on academic selection or on new post-primary arrangements.

Jane Kennedy is meeting with political parties and Department of Education officials are meeting with education partners and representatives of parents to discuss the next steps in the post-primary review. The Government will consider the views expressed in these meetings and in the responses to all the strands of the consultation in determining how best to develop new post-primary arrangements which meet the educational needs of all the children in Northern Ireland.

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