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Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Labour Party Manifesto should have been included separately in the bibliography rather than under "Related Government Publications". The reference has been amended for the
Lord Williams of Mostyn: We fully support the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and we provide considerable assistance to it. Under the United Nationals (International Tribunal) (Rwanda) Order 1996, powers exist to arrest persons upon receipt of a warrant or request from the tribunal, but the order does not provide for arrest in advance of such receipt.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The standards for Prison Service accredited offending behaviour programmes are based on a large body of research on what works in reducing reoffending in a wide variety of countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands and elsewhere. The effectiveness of the service's accredited programmes is therefore likely to be comparable with them.
The Prison Service is undertaking a long-term evaluation exercise into programme effectiveness, but it will be some years before firm conclusions can be drawn across the full range of programmes because of the need to wait to see whether participants are reconvicted. Interim outcomes relating to attitudinal and other change which is predictive of changes in recidivism are available for the sex offender treatment programme, and were reported in Home Office Research Findings No. 79 (ISSN 1364-6540).
The service's currently accredited programmes do not address all types of offending: for example, they are not suitable for prisoners serving short sentences. However, offending behaviour is also addressed through education training for work, resettlement advice, and a wide variety of locally sponsored and developed programmes. In addition, the Prison Service is making a major investment in meeting the needs of those whose offending may be related specifically to drug misuse, and in examining the particular needs of juveniles, young offenders and women.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The aim of our policies is to support families, whatever their structure. Supporting Families is intended to be inclusive: we see no need to enter into a debate over definitions.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Royal Commission on Long-Term Care of the Elderly was established in December 1997 to examine a range of options for a fair and sustainable system of funding long-term care and to recommend, within 12 months, how the cost of such care should be apportioned between public funds and individuals. The Commission's first substantive meeting took place on 15 January 1998 and it is expected to publish its report at the beginning of 1999.
Baroness Amos: The World Food Programme (WPF) has increased the number of food aid monitors in 17 locations of Southern Sudan. WPF is taking a more direct role in targeting food aid, but food continues to be diverted. The UN and the donor community are pressing the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLA) to take action to put an end to this practice.
Baroness Amos: The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting a number of projects aimed at countering violence against women. A list of projects addressing this issue will be compiled by DFID and placed in the Library of the House by early in the new year.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The Government welcome the steps taken by the Council of Heads of Medical Schools (CHMS) to ensure that their members have selection and admissions procedures which are fair and open. We welcome also the involvement of the Commission for Racial Equality in advising schools on standards for racial equality in recruitment and selection. We look to CHMS to monitor closely progress made in implementing their action plan.
Baroness Blackstone: Raising standards of achievement for all pupils is at the heart of this Government's education policies. The successful implementation of those policies--particularly the literacy and numeracy strategies--will have a major effect on boys' and girls' levels of achievement.
Boys' levels of achievement are a continuing cause of concern, particularly in early literacy. We have therefore put in place a number of policies which are specifically directed at boys. LEAs are now required to demonstrate, where relevant, in their Education Development Plans the action they will take to address this issue. We are ensuring that trainee teachers are aware of the need to set high standards, regardless of gender. We have encouraged and enabled schools to analyse the performance of groups of pupils by gender. The National Year of Reading is promoting positive images of fathers and other males reading to children, especially to boys. We are also funding several independent projects aimed at changing boys' perceptions of reading.
Education Action Zones are required to look at issues affecting particular groups of pupils, such as boys' under-achievement. Some of the zones are looking at this issue as a priority within their action plans.
In addition, we are providing financial and other support to about 140 work-related learning projects involving over 700 secondary schools. These projects are aimed at disaffected and under-achieving pupils at key stage 4. By delivering vocational and practical education in college and work contexts, they should help to raise attainments and improve attitudes. Given their relative underperformance at this stage, more boys than
The Government are monitoring closely the effects of these policies on boys' levels of achievement. It is too early to evaluate their impact on levels of achievement.
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