asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to evaluate those parts of the United Nations Nairobi forward-looking strategies for advancement of women which apply to his Department; what resources he has allocated to this; and if he will make a statement.
The Government have made it clear on many occasions that it is essential to ensure that equal curricular opportunity is genuinely available at all levels within the education system, and our policies for education will continue to reflect that commitment to equal opportunities. We shall be considering the education recommendations in the Nairobi strategy document, many of which raise matters which are the responsibility of educational institutions themselves.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has for the implementation of paragraph 58 of the Nairobi forward-looking strategies for the advancement of women, which calls for the collection of timely and reliable statistics on the situation of women.
All regular collections of data about pupils, students, leavers, examination results and teachers provide for separate identification of boys and girls, men and women. Statistical summaries, which normally include separate figures for each sex, are available for departmental consideration within the academic year to which they apply. Subsequent publication retains the distinction when thought to be important.When ad hoc surveys are undertaken, it is customary to consider whether the design should allow for the preparation of reliable statistics for men and women separately. Such allowance is made in the majority of cases.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to seek to ensure that educational programmes enabling men to assume as much responsibility as women in the upbringing of children and the maintenance of the household are introduced at all levels of the educational system, as called for in paragraph 173 of the United Nations Nairobi forward-looking strategies for the advancement of women.
Detailed decisions on the curriculum in educational institution are for the institutions themselves. The Government have made it plain that what is taught in schools should be relevant to adult life and that there can be no room for discrimination in the curriculum on grounds of sex. Her Majesty's Inspectorate have recently published a discussion document on home economics in their "Curriculum matters" series: that document takes it as one of its starting-points that homemaking is equally important for boys and girls, and that in adult life the responsibilities of family life should be shared so that both men and women have sufficient opportunity to continue their own personal development.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to seek to implement paragraph 83 of the Nairobi forward-looking strategies for the advancement of women, calling for new teaching methods which emphasise the equality of the sexes.
Decisions on teaching methods and materials are for educational institutions themselves; attention should be given to the expectation and attitudes of girls when reaching those decisions.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to diversify women's vocational education and training in order to extend their opportunities for employment in occupations that are non-traditional or new to women, as called for in paragraph 171 of the United Nations Nairobi forward-looking strategies for the advancement of women.
The Government will continue to encourage girls and young women to take greater advantage of the full range of vocational education and training which is available. New approaches to education and training in the 14–18 age range are being explored by the technical and vocational education initiative, which is emphasing the need to avoid sex stereotyping; and the Government is seeking in a variety of ways to promote interest among girls and young women in the whole range of employment opportunities.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what meetings he has had with the Equal Opportunities Commission to discuss the implementation of those parts of the Nairobi forward-looking strategies for the advancement of women; and what future plans he has for such meetings.
My right hon. Friend is considering the implications of the Nairobi conference recommendations for Government policies in education, and has not met, or made any plans to meet, the Equal Opportunities Commission. Officials at the commission with responsibility for education maintain regular contact with the Department.