HC Deb 13 June 2002 vol 386 cc1410-1W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the Government aims to achieve within the European Union's educational competence at the European Council's meeting at Seville; and if she will make a statement. [59102]

Margaret Hodge

The formal agenda for the Seville Council meeting on 21 and 22 June has not yet been finalised, and there is unlikely to be much discussion of education issues.

The European Commission is preparing a feasibility study to identify options for helping secondary schools to establish or enhance an internet twinning link with a partner school elsewhere in Europe. This was agreed in principle at the Barcelona European Council, following a proposal from the UK and Spain. The Commission was asked to report back to the Seville Council on its findings. We believe there are considerable potential educational benefits in extending school twinning.

Within the limits of Community competence in this area, we always aim to participate fully in any Council discussions, share good practice with other member states and co-operate with each other wherever it makes sense to do so.