To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans his Department has to improve the opportunities of people with disabilities for promotion and staff development within the civil service. 
My Department has established a number of initiatives to improve opportunities for disabled staff in the Civil Service.The Programme for Action for Disabled People in the Civil Service provides a framework to help departments and agencies recruit, develop and promote people on merit, regardless of whether they have a disability. Progress is monitored by my Department and reported to Parliament in the biennial Progress Report on Equal Opportunities in the Civil Service.Overall numbers of disabled staff in the Service have risen. However, these tend to be concentrated in the lower levels. Action to address this situation is being taken primarily through the implementation of the recommendations made by an independent Advisory Panel on Equal Opportunities in the Senior Civil Service.