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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will take steps to increase the flexibility of soft loans to small businesses for training through changes to the restrictions on the achievement of whole National Vocational Qualifications. 
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer of 7 February 2002, Official Report, column 984W, on teachers, how many teachers will reach the age of 60 in each of the next five school years. 
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the (a) amount and (b) date of the sponsorship of Government Department events by (a) Capita, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) W.S. Atkins, (d) Nord Anglia, (e) Cambridge Education Associates, (f) KPMG and (g) Ernst and Young; and if she will place related documents in the Library; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the occasions on which her Department has held meetings since May 1997 with representatives from (a) Capita, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) W.S. Atkins, (d) Nord Anglia, (e) Cambridge Education Associates, (f) KPMG and (g) Ernst and Young; if she will state the purpose of each meeting; and if she will make a statement on agreements reached as a result. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Each of the organisations listed in the question is active in the education field and officials from my Department meet organisations' representatives frequently in the course of education related conferences and events, procurement processes, consultation exercises and the like. Information about the many occasions since May 1997 on which officials have met representatives from the named organisations, and the purpose of those meetings, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what mechanisms her Department has in place to ensure that appropriate checks on overseas teachers are made prior to overseas teachers beginning work in the UK; and what agencies carry out such checks on behalf of her Department. 
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My Department gives guidance about the checks that need to be made in Circular 9/93: "Protection of Children: Disclosure Of Criminal Background Of Those With Access To Children" and Circular 7/96: "Use of Supply Teachers", issued to local education authorities and schools, and in Notes of Guidance to Teacher Employment Agencies and Businesses. All the guidance emphasises that no teacher should be placed in employment until satisfactory references have been obtained. Copies of the circulars are available in the Libraries.
The guidance lists a number of checks that are considered essential before any teacher, including a supply teacher, is employed to work in a school. The list includes: identity, qualifications, health, references, my Department's List 99 and, where possible, a police check. In the case of people from overseas, employers and agencies must also ensure that the person has permission to work in the UK.
There are no formal arrangements for employers to obtain checks of criminal records in countries outside the UK. However, some countries are able to provide individuals with official statements, which give details of convictions or confirm a clean record. The circulars and notes of guidance include information about these statements, and emphasise that, where such a statement is not available, particular care should be taken with other checks, such as references.
In respect of part (b), expenditure has been incurred partly through department-wide taxi contracts, partly through local arrangements, and partly through individuals' travel and subsistence claims and it is not possible to provide aggregated figures.
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Mr. Paul Murphy: In 199798 a camera worth £200 and laptop accessories worth £107 were stolen from the former Welsh Office. I am not aware of any subsequent thefts from either the Welsh Office or the Wales Office.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) integrated digital and (b) analogue television sets have been bought by his Department in each of the last 24 months; and if he will publish the guidance given to officials making decisions on television purchases. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many days have been lost owing to industrial action by staff in his Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years. 
The Wales Office does not have any agencies or non-departmental public bodies. Information on the Welsh Office's agencies and non-departmental public bodies, for the period prior to July 1999, is not held centrally.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many job losses there were in Wales, broken down by the lowest regional level for which data are available, in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The information requested is not collected centrally from employers. Information on redundancies is collected in the UK Labour Force Survey but the sample size is not large enough to make reliable estimates for Wales.
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Our ambassador to Burkina Faso raised a number of our concerns when he met President Compaore in September 2001. We reiterated these to the Burkinabè Ambassador to the EU in November 2001. We continue to lobby in the EU and the UN to encourage Burkina Faso to abide by international conventions they have ratified. These include core UN human rights treaties and ILO fundamental conventions (on Forced Labour, freedom of association, discrimination and child labour), we will maintain pressure on Burkina Faso to implement them fully.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her assessment of the levels of (a) child labour and (b) child trafficking in Burkina Faso. 
There is strong evidence that Burkinabè children are trafficked to neighbouring countries. We encourage regional efforts to prevent child trafficking and welcome Burkina Faso's ratification in July 2001 of ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. We also welcome efforts by both international and local NGOs and others to combat child trafficking, including the recent adoption of the Global Industry Protocol on addressing the worst forms of child labour in the cocoa industry, signed in Washington. Through the United Nations and European Union, we also contribute to reducing poverty, the root cause of child trafficking and exploitation.
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