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10 Nov 2003 : Column 73W—continued

Condover Hall School

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what discussions his Department has had with the Royal National Institute for the Blind on the closure of Condover Hall School; [134358]

Margaret Hodge: There are many schools in England, approved to make provision for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties and severe learning

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difficulties which are able to provide services for multi-disabled pupils. We understand from the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) that its school, Rushton Hall, provides education services very similar to those provided at Condover Hall. Other schools which provide services for mulit-sensory disabled children, but with different patterns of residential provision are: St. David's Unit at the West of England School, Exeter; and the Royal School for the Blind in Liverpool. Liden Lodge School in the London borough of Wandsworth is also developing support for multi-sensory disabled children.

Official at the DfES have had no discussions to date with Shropshire county council about the closure of Condover Hall School. We do of course stand ready to discuss the matter with any interested party, including local education authorities which currently make use of the school, if asked to do so.

Officials have however asked the RNIB to clarify its plans for the closure of Condover Hall School, and in particular to explain how the RNIB intends to ensure that appropriate and realistic plans for the placement of children currently attending the school are in place. We are currently awaiting a response.

Condover Hall School currently has 34 pupils of statutory school age. There are no primary age pupils. Six pupils are in year 13 and are due to leave school at the end of the summer term 2004. In addition there are 12 young adults, aged from 19–24, in the Adult Education Centre at Condover Hall School.

Condover Hall School currently has 11 teachers, including the Principal and Deputy Headteacher. Nine teachers are employed in the main school and two in the Adult Education Centre. RNIB has stated its intention of exploring opportunities for redeployment of staff currently employed at Condover Hall.

It will be for the home LEA of each child currently placed at Condover Hall to decide, based on the special educational needs of that child, the most suitable placement for them following the closure of the school.


Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Connexions personal advisers were allocated to (a) information and advice in schools and colleges, (b) targeted preventative work in schools and colleges and (c) information and advice to those not engaged in education or training in (i) 2002–03 and (ii) 2003–04, in each Connexions region; and if he will make a statement. [134110]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 23 October 2003]: Statistics relating to the specific areas listed in this question are not available from Connexions partnerships. Partnerships are required to show the percentages of total expenditure on both pre-16 and post-16 work. These figures include staff as well as other costs and give some indication of the balance of expenditure on young people during compulsory education and beyond. It can be assumed that the majority of pre-16 expenditure is devoted to young people wholly engaged in learning.

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The role of the personal adviser is very broad, covering initial information and advice through to more in-depth support. The specific roles of personal advisers within schools and colleges are determined via a partnership agreement signed between each institution and the partnership. This is a further reason why it is not possible to supply information in the forms requested.

Analysis of Connexions grant spend

Percentage of grant spentby age group
April 2002–March 2003April 2003–June 2003(8)
Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire46544951
Kent and Medway(9)5644
South Central51495347
West London44564753
Central London32684258
North London46545149
East London51495149
South London38623862
East of England
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough57435050
Bedfordshire and Luton46544654
Essex, Southend and Thurrock49515248
South West
Wiltshire and Swindon40604852
West of England62385743
Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole54465347
Cornwall and Devon41594357
West Midlands
Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin65356535
Black Country40604654
Birmingham and Solihull47534852
Coventry and Warwickshire63376337
Hereford and Worcester54465446
East Midlands
Lincolnshire and Rutland42584060
Yorks and the Humber
York and North Yorkshire55455446
West Yorkshire53475347
South Yorkshire45554555
North West
Greater Manchester50505050
Greater Merseyside44564555
Cheshire and Warrington58425842
North East
Northumberland (started 1 April 2003)004951
Tyne and Wear45554555
County Durham57435644
Tees Valley44564456
England total49515050

(8) The latest available information

(9) Details not available for Q1 2003–04


Partnerships' Income and Expenditure Tables

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Departmental Energy Use

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much (a) electricity and (b) other energy his Department has used in each year since 1997 (i) in total and (ii) per square metre; what the projected use is for each of the following years for which forecasts are made; what plans he has to reduce usage; and if he will make a statement. [135051]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: In response to parts (a) and (b) parts (i) and (ii) of this question, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by Defra on 3 November 2003 (Official Report column 404W). Targets for future energy use on the Government Estate are being developed under the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate.

Recent and planned changes to our estate due to the rationalisation of the use of our headquarters buildings have meant that we cannot accurately predict our energy consumption in the near future. My Department remains committed to reducing energy use as part of our own sustainable development plan, and as part of the government-wide programme to improve performance in this area.

Domestic Violence

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to ensure that the findings of the Government's "Safety and Justice" consultation on domestic violence are included in the outcome of the "Every Child Matters" consultation process. [134911]

Margaret Hodge: Responses to "Safety and Justice: The Government's Proposals on Domestic Violence" are currently being analysed and will be considered by Ministers shortly. I shall ask for details of those responses to "Safety and Justice" which have a bearing on our proposals for improving services to children and young people, as set out in the Green Paper "Every Child Matters", to be considered together with the responses received to that Green Paper.

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether issues relating to domestic violence will be included in the remit of the proposed Commissioner for Children. [134998]

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Margaret Hodge [holding answer 28 October 2003]: The Government set out in the Green Paper 'Every Child Matters' our intention to legislate for the appointment of a Children's Commissioner as a new voice for all children and young people, especially the disadvantaged. The Commissioner would ensure that the views of children and young people are heard, and report to Parliament through the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on progress against the outcomes for children set out in the Green Paper. Further details on the remit and responsibilities of the Commissioner will be made available in the light of the consultation which runs until 1 December.

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how cross-departmental policy implementation on issues relating to children and domestic violence will be organised. [135007]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 29 October 2003]: Cross-departmental issues relating to domestic violence, including those affecting children and young people, are overseen by the Inter-Ministerial Group for Domestic Violence chaired by Baroness Scotland of Asthal. Baroness Ashton of Upholland represents the Department for Education and Skills on the Inter-Ministerial Group.

When necessary, issues relating to domestic violence and children and young people will be considered by the children, young people and family services Cabinet Committee MISC9 chaired by the Chancellor. The Secretary of State for Education and Skills has Cabinet-level responsibility for both policy and delivery of services for children and young people and is a member of MISC9. He is also chair of the Cabinet sub-Committee MISC9(D) which is responsible for ordinating the delivery of services to children, young people and families. I am a member of both MISC9 and MISC9(D).

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