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Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate the cost of reducing the three-mile limit for free travel to secondary schools to two miles; and if he will make a statement. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of those aged 16 to 18 years are (a) unemployed, (b) in training, (c) in work and (d) in full-time education, broken down by (i) ethnic group and (ii) gender. 
|In full-time education||60||53||57|
|In work (excluding those education and training)(38)||14||16||15|
Mr. Charles Clarke: The Sustainable Development Action Plan for Education and Skills was launched in September last year. The action plan has four key objectives: education for Sustainable development (ESD); environmental impact of the DfES and its partner bodies; environmental impact of the education estate; and local and global partnership activity. We are already making progress in several areas against the Action Plan. The following are just some examples.
We are supporting subject associations in their work to build on ESD within the curriculum.
On food in schools, we are working with Defra on guidance for school governor organisations. Through website forums we will invite feedback from school managers, governors and parents and report on Food Procurement Implementation.
We are working closely with the Department for Transport, and have jointly published "Travelling to School: An Action Plan5" which gives guidance on sustainable school travel.
Colleges and universities are developing as sustainable organisations, promoting themselves as exemplars and sharing best practice with other institutions.
The Skills agencies have created an online 'toolkit' to encourage, support and promote best practice throughout the sector.
Internationally, we are contributing to the drafting of the United Nations strategy on ESD.
Alan Johnson: The Department does not collect data on the numbers of 14 and 15-year-olds presently studying NVQs and GCSEs in vocational subjects. Rather the Awarding Bodies makes available data on the numbers of entries and the results thereof for particular qualifications. This information is routinely placed in the House of Commons Library in the autumn.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many men (a) requested and (b) received paternity pay prior to 6 April 2003 in each year since 1997, broken down by (i) region and (ii) income. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Statutory Paternity Pay was introduced in 2003 for fathers of children born or expected to be born on or after 6 April 2003 and adopters of children placed for adoption on or after 6 April 2003. Statutory Paternity Pay was therefore not paid before 6 April 2003, except to a small number of fathers whose children were born prematurely.
Some employers will, of course have offered contractual paternity leave and pay to their staff before April 2003. Contractual provision is not recorded centrally but surveys suggest that where this provision was available fathers used it.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many men took (a) parental leave and (b) time off for dependants in each year since 1997 prior to 6 April 2003, broken down by (i) region (ii) income and (iii) length of leave. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: It is not possible to provide the information requested since take up of parental leave and time off for dependants are not recorded centrally. However, a recent survey commissioned by the DTI (The Second Work-life Balance Survey: Results from the Employees' Survey, Employment Relations Research Series No. 27) suggests that 4 per cent. of all parents with dependant children took parental leave in the year preceding the survey.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many women have taken (a) ordinary maternity leave and (b) additional maternity leave (i) in each year since 1997 up until April 2003 and (ii) since April 2003, and how many women have taken 52 weeks maternity leave, broken down by region. 
Take-up of maternity leave is not recorded centrally, and the regional figures cannot be provided. It is possible to make an estimate of the
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numbers of mothers taking ordinary maternity leave based on employer returns to Inland Revenue for payment of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) they recover. Nationally around 300,000 women receive SMP each year. Some of the women will take additional maternity leave, but as SMP is not paid during additional maternity leave, it is not possible to estimate the number taking additional maternity leave.
In addition, there will be some women who will qualify for maternity leave but not SMP (because they do not meet the earnings criteria) and similarly some who qualify for SMP but not leave (because they are employed earners for the purposes of SMP but not employees in order to qualify for leave).
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the Department has been given Treasury approval to retain surpluses payable to it out of the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme during the last five years to offset expenditure on liabilities inherited from British Coal. 
Nigel Griffiths [pursuant to his reply, 19 April 2004, Official Report, c.6667W]: I regret it covered only the three financial years 200102 to 200304 and I am taking the opportunity to clarify that for the preceding financial years, the position was as set out in the Government's Expenditure plans 200001 to 200102 (Cm 4611) which was placed in the Libraries of the House, and which stated:
"These figures include receipts of 50 per cent. of the surpluses in the coal pension funds which are required under the Coal Industry Act 1994 to be paid into the consolidated fund, except in so far as they may be retained to offset expenditure on liabilities inherited from British Coal."
This reflected the special arrangements agreed between the Department and Her Majesty's Treasury as part of the DTIs CSR to ensure the Department's ability to pay coal health claims as quickly as possible.
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