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26 Jan 2010 : Column 840W—continued

Sudan: Peace Negotiations

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to seek to ensure the complete implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan; what assistance the UK plans to provide in co-operation with other countries for elections and referendums in the next 18 months in Sudan; and if he will make a statement. [311851]

David Miliband: On 9 January my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister re-emphasised the UK's commitment to the complete implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. On 8 January 2010 I joined Troika colleagues to urge greater efforts in Sudan and from the international community. Both statements can be found at:

My noble Friend Baroness Kinnock visited Sudan from 11 to 13 January 2010 and emphasised the need for strong political leadership from all parties to ensure credible elections in April, agreeing the terms of the referendum in January 2011 and for work to start on post 2011 issues such as oil sharing, regardless of the outcome of the referendum. The UK will continue to press on these issues at every level.

The UK recently committed an additional £8 million to support elections in Sudan bringing our total contribution so far to £12.5 million. This assistance will help with technical preparations, civic and voter education and conflict management. We are also pressing the European Commission to deploy an election observation mission to Sudan ahead of the elections.

Sudan: Politics and Government

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Southern Sudan on its proposal to set up a Southern Sudan Referendum Committee. [312614]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: My noble Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, urged the Government of National Unity (GNU) to accelerate progress on preparations for the referendum during her visit to Sudan between 10 and 13 January 2010.

We are pleased that agreement was reached on the Referendum Bill in December 2009. The next stage will be for the GNU to establish the Referendum Commission
26 Jan 2010 : Column 841W
and appoint Commissioners to take forward practical and technical preparations for the referendum. We are looking at what support we will provide to the Commission in this regard.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Southern Sudan on the steps to be taken to ensure that parties other than the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement have sufficient capacity to be able to contest the forthcoming elections. [312615]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: During her recent visit to Sudan between 11 and 13 January 2010, my noble Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, underlined in Juba, as she had in Khartoum, the need for political freedoms, noting reports of harassment of National Congress Party members and reports that some southern opposition leaders had not been allowed to operate in the South. Baroness Kinnock received assurances from the government of Southern Sudan that all registered parties were free to campaign in the South.

Syrian Arab Republic: Foreign Relations

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aims and objectives he has set for UK foreign policy in respect of Syria. [311405]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Our aim is to work with Syria to ensure it plays a constructive and stabilising role in the region, to support trade and economic development and to improve its human rights record at home.

Western Sahara

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to recognise Moroccan sovereignty of the Western Sahara. [312848]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government regard the status of the disputed non self-governing territory of Western Sahara as undetermined, pending UN efforts to find a solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. In this regard, the Government fully support the efforts of Christopher Ross, the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy to Western Sahara.

Western Sahara: Human Rights

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what date he most recently met UK human rights and peace groups working on Western Saharan issues. [312350]

Chris Bryant: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not recently met UK based non-governmental organisations to discuss the Western Sahara specifically.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials regularly meet such groups, with the last such meeting being with the Western Sahara Campaign on 19 January 2010.


26 Jan 2010 : Column 842W

Children, Schools and Families

Children: Carers

Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in how many households in the Birmingham, Sparkbrook and Small Heath constituency a child under the age of 18 years fulfils the role of a carer for a disabled parent. [312201]

Dawn Primarolo: Precise local and national data on the number of children under the age of 18 years caring for a disabled parent are not collected centrally.

Children's Play: Devon

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much funding his Department has provided for the enhancement of public play facilities in (a) Torbay constituency and (b) Devon in the last 12 months. [312860]

Dawn Primarolo: Following the commitments made in the Children's Plan in 2007 and the national play strategy in 2008, every top-tier local authority in England is now receiving funding through the play capital investment programme.

Of the 152 top-tier local authorities, 30 are play pathfinder authorities and the remaining 122 local authorities are all playbuilder authorities. On average every play pathfinder authority will receive around £2 million capital funding and £500,000 revenue funding, while playbuilder authorities will receive around £1 million capital and £45,000 revenue funding, over the current spending period 2008-09 to 2010-11. Play pathfinder authorities will use their allocated funding to deliver a minimum of 28 play areas plus a new staffed adventure playground, while playbuilder authorities will deliver a minimum of 22 play areas by 2011. The play areas that are delivered can be either completely new areas or existing areas which are significantly refurbished.

Local authorities have joined the programme, and so started receiving their funding, in two phases: Wave 1 started in April 2008 and Wave 2 in April 2009. Torbay and Devon are both Wave 2 playbuilder authorities and as such are required to deliver 11 play areas each in both 2009-10 and 2010-11.

The following tables show the capital and revenue funding allocated to Torbay and Devon during 2009-10, with indicative allocations for 2010-11 which will be confirmed in February 2010.

Decisions on where the allocated capital funding is spent within local authority boundaries are taken locally, based on grant requirements around improved play spaces being provided where they are most needed and based on a robust consultation process with local children and young people, families and wider communities.

We are encouraging all Members of Parliament to proactively engage with their local play capital programmes as they roll out, and we are asking local authorities to ensure that their local Members of Parliament and council elected members are appropriately consulted, and briefed, about where the capital funding is spent.


26 Jan 2010 : Column 843W
Capital funding (£) Revenue funding (£)
Local authority 2009-10 2010-11 2009-10 2010-11

Torbay

529,078

596,381

27,372

18,248

Devon

535,178

603,256

27,554

18,370


Class Sizes: Sussex

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average class size was in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in (i) Lewes constituency and (ii) East Sussex in (A) 1997 and (B) 2009. [312420]

Mr. Coaker: The information requested is shown in the table.

LA maintained primary and state funded secondary( 1) schools: Average class size( 2)
Lewes East Sussex( 3)

Primary Secondary Primary Secondary

1997

27.8

21.3

28.2

21.4

2009

26.9

23.5

27.2

21.6

(1) Includes city technology colleges and academies. Includes middle schools as deemed.
(2) One teacher classes as taught during a single selected period in each school on the day of the census in January.
(3) East Sussex in 1997 in pre local government reorganisation and therefore includes schools in Brighton and Hove.
Source:
School census

Class Sizes: Torbay

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average class size in schools in Torbay constituency was in (a) 1997 and (b) 2009. [312396]

Mr. Coaker: The average class size of maintained primary schools in Torbay was 29.1 in 1997 and 27.2 in 2009; the figures for state funded secondary(1) schools were 21.4 and 20.6 respectively.

Pre-school Education: Finance

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how much his Department spent on extending the pre-school entitlement to two year olds in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2008-09; and if he will make a statement; [309219]

(2) how much funding his Department expects to allocate to extend the pre-school entitlement to two year olds in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. [309203]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 6 January 2010]: Funding allocated to support the Free Early Learning and Childcare offer to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds is as follows:

£ million

2008-09

20

2009-10

61

2010-11

76


We are committed to rolling out a free entitlement to two-year-olds, stage by stage. The most disadvantaged two-year-olds in every local authority can already access
26 Jan 2010 : Column 844W
a free place of at least 10 hours a week, 38 weeks per year. Decisions regarding future funding settlements will be taken as part of the next spending review.

Pupils: Bullying

Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department is taking to prevent children from being stigmatised as witches. [312562]

Dawn Primarolo: The Government issued guidance on 'Safeguarding Children from Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession' in May 2007. The guidance provides advice to agencies working with children to help them identify and deal with abuse that may be linked to a belief in spirit possession, following the processes set out in the core Government guidance, 'Working Together to Safeguard Children'. The guidance also advises local agencies and institutions to work to minimise risk of harm by building trust and understanding of child abuse issues with local communities.

School Leaving: Expenditure

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much he expects his Department to spend in each area of expenditure on raising the education and training leaving age in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. [306823]

Mr. Iain Wright: Raising the participation age will bring benefits for young people, the economy and wider society. Continuing in learning post 16 means young people are more likely to achieve higher levels of qualifications and to have increased earnings over their lifetime, better health and improved social skills. This in turn contributes to a more highly skilled, productive and internationally competitive workforce, with net benefits estimated at an additional £1.6 billion for each cohort of young people affected by RPA.

The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families recently announced a record level of investment of £8.2bn in 16-18 learning for 2010-11. It was also announced that the budget for 16-18 learning would increase by 0.9 per cent. in real terms in 2011-12 and 2012-13 in preparation for raising of the participation age. Funding beyond this period is subject to future spending reviews.

To further support preparations for raising the participation age, trials are underway in 11 local areas to develop innovative local practice. Building on existing good practice the Department for Children, Schools and Families has recently published "Raising the Participation Age: supporting local areas to deliver" which sets out the key actions at national and local levels to support raising the participation age. This includes:

Specialised Diplomas: Yorkshire and the Humber

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many young people are studying for 14 to 19 diplomas in (a) Leeds, West constituency and (b) West Yorkshire in academic year 2009-10. [306619]

Mr. Iain Wright: The 14 to 19 diploma was introduced in the academic year 2008/09. Data for this year were published via the DCSF website on 11 November 2009 at:

We do not expect the 2009/10 figures by parliamentary constituency to be available until end November 2010 at the earliest.

The number of learners who participated in a course of study towards a diploma for all or part of the academic year 2008/09 in (a) the Leeds, West parliamentary constituency and (b) West Yorkshire, up to and including 31 August 2009, as identified by the number of diploma learners registered on the QCDA Diploma Aggregation Service (DAS) data is:

Number

Leeds, West

38

West Yorkshire

324


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