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Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools had over (i) 10 per cent., (ii) 25 per cent. and (iii) 50 per cent. of pupils who were asylum seekers' children in each of the last five years. 
This compares to an estimated 8,397,000 children aged five to 15 years in maintained and non-maintained schools in the United Kingdom and therefore represents on average 0.95 per cent. of school aged children.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent by her Department on paying pensions to retired employees of her Department in 200102; if she will estimate the corresponding amounts to be spent in (a) five years' time, (b) 10 years' time, (c) 20 years' time and (d) 30 years' time; if she will estimate in each case the proportion of such liabilities which will arise from (i) unfunded pension schemes and (ii) pre-funded pension schemes; and in the case of pre-funded schemes, if she will estimate the value of the corresponding pre-funded funds in each of these years. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 20 May 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office on 23 May 2002, Official Report, columns 56163W.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research her Department has conducted into the levels of awareness of HIV/AIDS among 10 to 24-year-olds between 1987 and 2002. 
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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department for Education and Skills has not conducted research into the level of awareness of HIV/AIDS among young people. However, the Department of Health funds a four monthly tracking survey of young people aged 13 to 21 as part of the evaluation of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. This has consistently shown that 96 per cent. of those surveyed are aware of HIV/AIDS.
A recent report by the Office for Standards in Education recommended that the coverage of HIV and AIDS in schools is enhanced. We have responded to the report by commissioning practical guidance for teachers on HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average age is at which children in the UK learn about HIV/AIDS in school; and what guidelines are given to teachers on the context of such sessions. 
Strategies for teaching about HIV/AIDS are covered by our Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) Guidance which was sent to all schools in July 2000. The guidance makes clear that SRE should be firmly rooted in the framework of Personal, Social and Health Education, to ensure that young people learn to respect themselves and make responsible and well informed decisions about their lives.
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Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many press releases were issued by her Department (a) in each month between May and December 1997 and (b) in each year from 1998 to 2001 inclusive. 
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All press releases dating from 1998 can be accessed via the Department's website, www.dfes.gov.uk/pns/newslist. Press releases dating before 1998 can be accessed via the Central Office of Information (COI) website, www.newsrelease-archive.net/coi/departments.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what information she has collated on levels of non-attendance by (a) Asian girls, (b) Afro- Caribbean boys, (c) white working class boys and (d) pupils reliant on free school transport. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: This level of detail is not available. Information on the number of pupils missing due to authorised or unauthorised absence is collected at school level. The characteristics of individual pupils cannot be identified from these data.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Local education authorities have a duty to secure sufficient schools in their areas and, in doing so, have regard to the need for securing that special educational provision is made for pupils who have special educational needs, including children with autism. Each year authorities must submit for approval, to the local School Organisation Committee, a School Organisation Plan setting out how they will secure sufficient provision, including the provision proposed for children with special educational needs. Local Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships are responsible locally, in association with local education authorities, for early years education and child care provision and are making special educational needs support a priority between 200203 and 200405.
Children with autism are benefiting along with all other children from the considerable extra resources this Government have devoted to education, including the three-fold increase in the capital spending on schools from £775 million in 199798 to £2.2 billion in 200102. The forthcoming guidance from the Department's Autism
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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if her Department will issue guidance to schools as to the circumstances in which (a) permanent exclusion and (b) fixed period exclusion are appropriate for pupils found to be taking or in possession of illegal drugs at school. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Existing guidance on pupil exclusion is contained in Circular 10/99, copies of which are in the Library. My Department will issue revised guidance on exclusion towards the end of this year which will clarify when exclusion is appropriate for incidents connected with illegal drugs including their use and possession in school.
Drugs have no place in our schools and we recently announced a package of new measures designed to tackle the problem. Details are in my Department's Press Notice of 21 May, copies of which are in the Library.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: There are no centrally held statistics on the number of British Sign Language tutors. However, inquiries indicate that there are around 800 tutors, but details of the level of qualifications held are not known.
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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to offer British Sign Language as an option for an additional language as a vocational certificate of education or an advanced vocational certificate of education. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Responsibility for offering vocational qualifications, and optional units within those qualifications, lies with the awarding bodies. There are no current plans to offer BSL within Foundation and Intermediate GNVQs, advanced vocational certificates of education, or within the new GCSEs in vocational subjects being introduced in September 2002. However, BSL qualifications are offered by the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People (CACDP). A range of BSL qualifications offered by CACDP, and included in the Department's list of qualifications approved for use in schools and colleges by pupils and students aged pre-16, 16 to 18 and over 18, will be available from August 2002.
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