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Written Answers

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 4 July 2006

Education and Skills

Adult Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills to which institutions his Department has given funds for adult education in (a) Lambeth and (b) Vauxhall in the last three years; and what the amount was in each case. (78591)

In 2003/04 the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) allocated £25.5 million to providers in the Lambeth area for adult provision, £26.8 million in 2004/05 and £26.75 million in 2005/06. Separate figures for the Vauxhall area are not available. The individual provider allocations are set out in the following table.

£ million

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

Lambeth college (FE)

19.10

19.60

19.50

Morley college (FE)

4.00

4.50

4.60

Lambeth LEA (ACL/PCDL)

2.30

2.50

2.50

TBG (WBL)

0.10

0.20

0.15

Total

25.50

26.80

26.75

Apprenticeships

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils in Year 10 and above in Yeovil constituency are on the apprenticeships scheme. (82178)

There are no Key Stage 4 pupils in Yeovil currently on the Young Apprenticeship Programme. 30 Year 10 pupils are scheduled to start the programme in September 2006, with that number divided between Young Apprenticeships in engineering and in hospitality.

Baccalaureate

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils in maintained schools in England took the International Baccalaureate in each of the last 10 years. (82001)

Figures for the number of pupils in maintained schools in England entered in the International Baccalaureate each year since 1995/96 are given in the following table.

Number of pupils in maintained schools in England entered in the International Baccalaureate

Number

1995/96

101

1996/97

104

1997/98

134

1998/99

137

1999/2000

150

2000/01

154

2001/02

217

2002/03

320

2003/04

333

2004/05

498

Bullying

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance he has issued to schools on tackling bullying via mobile phone; and if he will make a statement. (81695)

This Government have made clear that all forms of bullying, including bullying via mobile phone, are unacceptable and should be punished.

Misuse of mobile phones was one of the specific issues considered by the Practitioners’ Group on School Behaviour and Discipline, in its report “Learning Behaviour” (October 2005). The report points to the fact that, while mobile phones are now a part of daily life, head teachers need a clear policy on their possession and use on school site. The current Education and Inspections Bill re-enacts and strengthens the duty on schools to establish a behaviour policy. The accompanying Explanatory Notes require

“the head teacher to determine measures (which may include rules and provision for enforcing them) that promote self-discipline and a proper regard for authority, encourage good behaviour and respect for others, prevent bullying, secure that tasks are completed, and generally secure an acceptable standard of behaviour by pupils” (Clause 76).

We will be producing guidance on that duty which will specifically address the issue of mobile phone misuse.

The seriousness with which bullying by mobile phone should be treated is referred to in our anti-bullying guidance pack for schools “Don’t Suffer in Silence”. This resource is currently being revised to ensure that schools are provided with the most up-to-date information available.

Child Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps the Government are taking to increase the number of child care places in Swindon. (82409)

Statistics collected from local authorities (LAs) from 1999 to 2003 and from Ofsted from 2003 to March 2006 show that almost 2,000 new child care places were created in Swindon during that period.

From 1999 to March 2005 LAs were set child care place creation targets. Since then, the emphasis has been on LAs obtaining a close match between supply and demand and working with providers to develop a sustainable child care market.

General Sure Start Grant funding of more than £9.3 million has been awarded to the LA for 2006 to 2008, much of which may be used to help create places to meet the current and future demands of families in Swindon.

City Academies

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills with which (a) businesses, (b) charities, (c) individuals and (d) voluntary groups Ministers have corresponded about sponsoring city academies since 16 March 2006. (81715)

My noble Friend Lord Adonis has sent letters to the following organisations:

(a) Businesses

Sunderland Housing Group

Northumbrian Water

Leighton Group

Bee Bee Developments Ltd.

Catalyst Corby

(b) Charities

(Bishop of Warrington) The right Rev. David Wilfred Michael Jennings

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool

The Girls’ Day School Trust

Edge Foundation

The London Diocesan Board of Schools

United Learning Trust

Garfield Weston Foundation

(c) Individuals

David Dangoor

(The Bishop of Leicester) The Very Reverend Tim Stevens

Lord Harris of Peckham

Community Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received on the level of community education in 2006-07. (81836)

There have been no formal representations on the level of community education in 2006-07. However, my colleagues and I have regular meetings about adult learning, including community education, with providers and stakeholders, including the Association of Colleges, the Local Government Association, the Workers’ Educational Association, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.

Connexions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people below the age of 19 years have received support from Connexions in (a) Yeovil constituency and (b) Somerset in the past 12 months. (82179)

The Department collects data on the number of interventions provided but not on the number of young people receiving support. In the past 12 months 33,433 young people were counted in the Connexions cohort of young people in Somerset. They received a total of 37,935 interventions. The Department does not hold this information at constituency level.

Departmental guidance is that, to count as an intervention there needs to be some element of assistance involving a substantial or meaningful exchange with the young person. This should be of enough significance to be noted in their client record. It would normally exclude straightforward referrals to specific opportunities, e.g. job submissions, the provision of factual information and simple follow up to find out if the young person still wanted assistance.

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average cost to his Department was of replying to a letter written (a) by an hon. Member and (b) by a member of the public in the latest period for which figures are available; and how much of that sum is accounted for by (i) officials’ time, (ii) cost of stationery and (iii) postage costs. (80477)

The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of departments in replying to Members/peers correspondence. The report for 2005 was published on 30 March 2006, Official Report, columns 76-78WS. The information requested is not recorded and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Criminal Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the criminal offences created in legislation sponsored by his Department since April 2005, broken down by Act. (76907)

I refer the hon. Member to the replies given on 11 January 2005, Official Report, column 450W, and 14 December 2005, Official Report, column 2072W.

Since 1 April 2005 eight new offences were created in legislation sponsored by the Department for Education and Skills.

The Education Act 2005 created five new offences relating to the obstruction of an inspection. These provisions are found in sections 4(3), 10(2), 23(3), 24(4) (which relate to the inspection of schools) and in section 57(5) (which relates to the inspection of careers services in Wales).

Two further offences were also created by sections 109 and 111 of the Education Act 2005. These concern the unauthorised disclosure of certain information arising from provisions introduced by the 2005 Act which permitted tax and social security information to be shared for the purpose of deciding on or checking eligibility for Education Maintenance Allowances and free school meals. Unauthorised disclosure of such information was therefore made an offence.

The Children and Adoption Act 2006 received Royal Assent on 21 June 2006. By section 12(3) of the Act, which is not yet in force, one new offence concerning adoptions from abroad was created. An offence is committed when a British resident brings or causes another to bring a child into the United Kingdom and conditions specified by the Secretary of State have not been met.

Departmental Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Department-owned vehicles have been issued to his staff in the last 12 months; to whom they were issued; for what reason; and at what cost. (81908)

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has not issued any vehicles owned by the Department to staff during the last 12 months.

Edexcel

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of (a) GCSE, (b) AS and (c) A-level examinations sat in 2006 will be written by Edexcel. (82002)

These data are collected by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in the autumn following each examination series and are normally published in March the following year. Consequently, data on the summer 2006 examination series are not yet available.

The data for 2005 are shown as follows:

Total of examination papers set by Edexcel

Qualification for which examination papers were sat

Total of examination papers set

Number

Percentage

GCSE

1,563

430

27.5

GCE

1,756

478

27.2

Education Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much Government funding for education services was administered centrally by Lancashire local education authority (LEA) in each of the last three years; and how much was administered on average by all LEAs in each year. (81412)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the membership is of the School Funding Implementation Group. (81435)

The School Funding Implementation Group advises the Department on matters relating to school funding, in the context of the wider policy objectives for schools and the Every Child Matters agenda. The members of the group are organisations representing school leaders, school governors, local authorities and the managers of the local education service, and these organisations are responsible for nominating their individual representatives.

The current membership is: the Association of School and College Leaders, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the National Association of Head Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (representing school leaders); the National Governors’ Association (representing school governors); the Local Government Association (representing local authorities); and the Confederation of Education and Children’s Services Managers (representing the management of the local education service). Representatives of the Audit Commission, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Learning and Skills Council also attend meetings as appropriate.

Education Premises

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many educational premises have been declared unfit for use since 1997. (81905)

Information on the number of educational premises that have been declared unfit for use since 1997 is not held by the Department.

Emergency Protection Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many emergency protection orders have been applied for by each social services local authority in each of the last three years; and how many of those were applied for ex parte; (80567)

(2) how many emergency protection orders were applied for by each local authority in each of the last three years; how many were applied for ex-parte; of the ex-parte orders granted how many of each were granted; and how many were for children (a) under and (b) over the age of one year.

Information on the number of emergency protection order (EPO) applications made by local authorities is not collected by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Information on the number of children starting to be looked after for each social services local authority, as a result of an EPO made by the family courts, during the years ending 31 March 2003, 31 March 2004 and 31 March 2005 are presented in the following table. The DfES does not collect information about the numbers of ex-parte EPO applications.

Children who started to be looked after as a result of an emergency protection order being issued by family courts for the years ending 31 March 2003 to 2005 by legal status on starting1,2,3

Number

2003

2004

2005

England

1,300

1,300

1,400

North East

70

50

60

Shire counties

Durham

20

10

10

Northumberland

0

0

10

Unitary authorities

0

0

0

Darlington

10

0

Hartlepool

5

0

Middlesbrough

0

10

Redcar and Cleveland

10

5

Stockton on Tees

10

15

Metropolitan districts

0

0

0

Gateshead

5

10

Newcastle upon Tyne

0

North Tyneside

South Tyneside

5

Sunderland

0

0

North West

160

170

190

Shire counties

Cheshire

10

Cumbria

0

15

10

Lancashire

20

10

15

Unitary authorities

0

0

0

Blackburn and Darwen

10

10

Blackpool

5

5

Halton

0

Warrington

10

5

Metropolitan districts

0

0

0

Bolton

10

10

5

Bury

0

0

5

Knowsley

0

0

Liverpool

0

10

10

Manchester

35

15

45

Oldham

5

15

10

Rochdale

15

10

Salford

10

10

Sefton

15

St. Helens

0

Stockport

0

10

Tameside

10

10

10

Trafford

10

10

Wigan

10

5

Wirral

15

10

Yorkshire and the Humber

200

180

180

Shire counties

North Yorkshire

5

15

5

Unitary authorities

0

0

0

East Riding Yorkshire

10

5

Kingston upon Hull

10

10

North East Lincolnshire

15

15

10

North Lincolnshire

5

10

York

0

Metropolitan districts

Barnsley

10

10

10

Bradford

25

25

25

Calderdale

10

Doncaster

10

15

Kirklees

10

10

Leeds

65

45

55

Rotherham

15

5

Sheffield

25

10

5

Wakefield

10

15

East Midlands

130

110

90

Shire counties

Derbyshire

25

15

15

Leicestershire

20

15

0

Lincolnshire

10

5

5

Northamptonshire

20

30

35

Nottinghamshire

20

10

10

Unitary authorities

0

0

0

Derby

10

10

10

Leicester

5

10

5

Nottingham

20

10

Rutland

0

0

0

West Midlands

220

160

220

Shire counties

Shropshire

5

10

Staffordshire

10

15

25

Warwickshire

5

10

Worcestershire

25

10

15

Unitary authorities

0

0

0

Herefordshire

5

10

Stoke-On-Trent

30

15

15

Telford and Wrekin

15

10

Metropolitan districts

0

0

0

Birmingham

45

20

55

Coventry

15

15

Dudley

20

15

25

Sandwell

15

20

15

Solihull

0

Walsall

25

20

20

Wolverhampton

5

East of England

80

100

120

Shire counties

Bedfordshire

20

20

5

Cambridgeshire

10

15

Essex

5

15

30

Hertfordshire

10

10

5

Norfolk

10

Suffolk

15

10

10

Unitary authorities

0

0

0

Luton

25

20

15

Peterborough

0

10

Southend

0

20

Thurrock

5

London

250

280

250

Inner London

Camden

5

5

City of London

0

0

0

Greenwich

10

Hackney

10

5

10

Hammersmith and Fulham

5

5

Islington

15

Kensington and Chelsea

0

10

Lambeth

0

15

15

Lewisham

15

10

Southwark

10

25

10

Tower Hamlets

5

5

15

Wandsworth

20

5

10

Westminster

20

15

Outer London

0

0

0

Barking and Dagenham

30

15

10

Barnet

20

5

Bexley

Brent

10

10

Bromley

5

Croydon

10

10

Ealing

0

Enfield

15

10

20

Haringey

20

20

20

Harrow

10

5

Havering

0

Hillingdon

0

10

0

Hounslow

5

15

15

Kingston upon Thames

0

Merton

5

15

Newham

15

10

20

Redbridge

10

0

Richmond upon Thames

10

Sutton

10

Waltham Forest

10

South East

150

140

190

Shire counties

Buckinghamshire

0

5

5

East Sussex

10

10

Hampshire

20

10

25

Kent

15

20

40

Oxfordshire

10

Surrey

15

25

35

West Sussex

10

10

15

Unitary authorities

0

0

0

Bracknell Forest

Brighton and Hove

20

10

Isle of Wight

0

0

Medway Towns

5

25

5

Milton Keynes

15

15

Portsmouth

15

10

5

Reading

0

Slough

0

0

Southampton

10

10

10

West Berkshire

0

0

Windsor and Maidenhead

Wokingham

0

0

South West

90

110

100

Shire counties

Cornwall

15

15

15

Devon

15

15

Dorset

0

Gloucestershire

10

5

5

Isles of Scilly

0

0

0

Somerset

Wiltshire

10

Unitary authorities

0

0

0

Bath and North East Somerset

0

0

Bournemouth

15

10

Bristol

15

25

North Somerset

0

10

Plymouth

5

15

Poole

5

0

South Gloucestershire

10

10

Swindon

Torbay

0

0

5

1 Only the first occasion on which a child started to be looked after in the year has been counted.

2 Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials.

3 To maintain the confidentiality of each individual child, data at national level are rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000, to the nearest 10 otherwise. At regional level, the data are rounded to the nearest 10 and at local authority level data are rounded to the nearest 5. Numbers from 1 to 5 inclusive are suppressed and replaced by a hyphen (—). Zero (0) is shown only when the number submitted was zero. As a consequence of our rounding and suppression figures may not sum to the total.

Note:

Figures are taken from the SSDA903 return which since 2003-04 covered all looked after children.

EU (Teaching in Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his policy is on the inclusion of teaching about (a) the European Communities and (b) EU policies in educational establishments; and if he will make a statement. (82294)

The Government recognise the importance of pupils gaining an understanding of the workings of the European Union and its history, and this is reflected in the national curriculum. In history, pupils are taught about the history of Britain in its European context. In citizenship, pupils learn about the world as a global community, the role of the European Union and the UK’s relations in Europe, including the European Union. Teaching also reflects the underpinning values and principles of democratic life which are already covered in the European and United Nations human rights conventions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the European Commission’s recommendation for teaching about the EU in schools. (81037)

The Government recognise the importance of pupils gaining an understanding of the workings of the EU and its history, and that is reflected in the national curriculum. Pupils are taught about the history of Britain in its European context in history and about the world as a global community, the role of the European Union and the UK’s relations in Europe, including the European Union in Citizenship. Teaching also reflects the underpinning values and principles of democratic life which are already covered in the European and United Nation’s human rights conventions. Although the EU can encourage co-operation between member states, the content and organisation of education systems is the responsibility of member states.

Exam Boards

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many examination boards have been approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to set (a) GCSE, (b) AS and (c) A-level examinations for the academic year 2005-06. (82000)

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) works jointly with the regulatory authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland to recognise organisations which have demonstrated that they have fulfilled the relevant regulations for offering GCSE and GCE A-level (AS and A2) qualifications.

There are currently five organisations which are recognised by the regulatory authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as providers of GCSE, AS and A2 examinations. These are the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), Edexcel, Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR), the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) and the Council for Curriculum Education and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.

Exam Entry Spending

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent by schools on (a) GCSE, (b) AS and (c) A-level examination entries in each year since 1997. (81999)

It was only in 2002-03 that the Department began collecting information in sufficient detail to answer this question. Therefore no comparable data are available for previous years. The information in the following table covers the cost of test and examination entry fees and any accreditation costs related to pupils, and includes GCSEs, A/AS levels and GNVQs.

Academic year

Amount spent on examination entries (£ million)

2002-03

156

2003-04

174

2004-05

198

We announced in the FE White Paper “Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances” (paragraph 7.16) that the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority will lead a review of examination fees. The review will consider both the level of fees, and how a common format might be created for implementation by the start of the 2007/08 academic year.

Fire Risk Assessments

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many local authorities have carried out fire risk assessments in all their schools. (82044)

The Department does not have this information. However, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that fire risk assessments are carried out. With a school maintained by a local authority, the responsibility for ensuring that this happens is likely to be shared between the local authority, the governing body and the head teacher.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding has been made available to local authorities for the training of school staff in fire safety issues. (82046)

The Department does not collect this information. It is a matter for the discretion of local authorities and schools.

Foreign Language Study

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to promote the study of foreign languages in schools. (79401)

To promote the study of foreign languages for learners of all ages, the Government published its national languages strategy: ‘Languages for All: Languages for Life—a strategy for England’ in December 2002. To oversee the implementation of the strategy, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills appointed Dr. Lid King as national director for languages in September 2003.

In March 2005, the Secretary of State announced a £115 million “Boost for Modern Foreign Languages”, providing support for language teaching and learning until March 2008. For primary schools the funding will provide continuing support for initial and existing teacher training as well as training for support staff. To date we have trained over 2,000 new primary teachers with a specialism in languages. Last October we published, in hard copy and online, our ‘Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages’, which sets out learning objectives for the four years of key stage 2. It is supported by a national training programme, guidance and a planning tool.

The funding will also support new approaches for teaching and learning for 11 to 18-year-olds, including alternative qualifications and vocational options at key stage 4 which will provide more flexibility for pupils in their studies. We are also funding a range of projects and materials to promote languages and to develop innovative curricular models which will be show-cased to provide schools with delivery ideas and support. For example, we funded CILT, the National Centre for Languages to produce ‘Languages Work’, a suite of materials designed to promote the value of language learning, support take-up of languages beyond key stage 3, and how language skills can enhance future employability.

Our key stage 3 strategy continues to impact positively on pupils’ attainment in languages, especially boys. We plan to provide additional key stage 3 strategy training for teachers in the next academic year.

We have expanded the list of qualifications that count towards performance table scores to include more language qualifications. Most significantly, in September 2005 the new national, voluntary languages recognition scheme, the languages ladder, became available nationally. The scheme can be used by learners of all ages and is currently available in eight languages, including Mandarin Chinese. In September 2006, 13 other languages will be made available through the scheme. The scheme differs from existing approaches to assessment in that there are separate qualifications in each language for reading, writing, listening and speaking. To date over 800 centres—including local authorities and specialist language colleges—have registered to take part in the scheme, with over 10,000 learners entered for qualifications across all sectors taking over 26,000 qualifications.

To address the decline in take-up at key stage 4, my predecessor wrote to all secondary schools setting out her expectations that, from September 2006, 50-90 per cent. of a school’s key stage 4 cohort should study a foreign language leading to a recognised qualification.

Further Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of 18-year-olds in each constituency went on to further education in the last year for which figures are available. (81038)

38.4 per cent. of 18-year-olds were estimated to be participating in full-time education in England at the end of 2005; 59.3 per cent. were participating in education and training. These are the latest available figures, published in the Statistical First Release “Participation in Education, Training and Employment by 16 to 18 Year Olds in England” (SFR21/2006) on 8 June 2006. The SFR is available on the DfES website at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000658/index.shtml

Percentage figures on participation in education by 18-year-olds are not available for parliamentary constituencies—figures at local authority level in England are available, but for 16 and 17-year-olds only. The latest figures are for 2004, published in the Statistical First Release "Participation in Education and Training by 16 and 17 Year Olds in Each Local Area in England" (SFR13/2006) on 30 March 2006. The SFR is available on the DfES website at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgatewav/DB/SFR/s000645/index.shtml

Grandparents (Contact Orders)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to review guidance and secondary legislation in relation to the operation of section 8 of the Children Act 1989 in respect of the requirement for grandparents to seek leave to apply for a contact order from the family court for access to their grandchildren; and if he will make a statement. (76248)

[holding answer 12 June 2006]: During the House of Commons Third Reading of the Children and Adoption Bill on 20 June 2006, the Government undertook to review the current requirement, as it applies to grandparents without parental responsibility, that the leave of the court must be sought before they may apply for a contact order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989. The review will consider if there is evidence that, where grandparents are denied contact with their grandchildren, they are unable to seek redress through the courts. I expect to publish the findings of the review by the end of 2006.

Head Teachers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) women and (b) people from ethnic minorities became (i) head teachers and (ii) deputy head teachers in each of the last 10 years. (80537)

The table provides the number of female teachers promoted to head and deputy/assistant head teacher in each year from 1995-96 to 2002-03, the latest year for which information is available.

Information on the number of teachers promoted to head and deputy head teacher by ethnic origin is not collected centrally.

Full-time regular female teachers promoted to head and deputy/assistant head teacher, 1995-96 to 2002-03

Promotions to:

Head1

Deputy2,3

1995-96

1,400

2,110

1996-97

1,590

2,320

1997-98

1,840

2,640

1998-99

1,350

2,170

1999-2000

1,510

2,100

2000-014

1,750

5,310

2001-024

1,490

3,500

2002-034

1,350

3,430

1 Includes promotions from qualified classroom teacher grades, deputy head and, from 2001 onwards, assistant head.

2 Includes promotions from qualified classroom teacher grades.

3 Includes promotions to assistant head from 2000-01 onwards. The assistant head grade was introduced in 2000-01 and this affects comparison with earlier years.

4 Provisional estimates subject to future revision.

Source:

Database of Teacher Records.

Juvenile Sleep

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will place in the Library (a) copies of advice his Department gives to parents of (i) primary and (ii) secondary school pupils on the recommended daily amounts of sleep required and (b) research his Department has (A) undertaken and (B) plans to undertake into sleep and young people; and if he will make a statement. (81319)

The Department has not issued guidance to parents of primary or secondary school pupils on the recommended daily amounts of sleep required. The Department has not commissioned any research into sleep and young people. There are no current plans to undertake research in this area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what information he has collated on the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils who (i) fell asleep in class and (ii) arrived late in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (81236)

National Curriculum

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on his policy on (a) the teaching of religious studies and (b) teaching about (i) Islam and (ii) atheism within the national curriculum. (81898)

All maintained schools must provide religious education (RE) which must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian while taking account of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. This could include Islam. Religious education syllabuses for maintained schools without a religious designation are drawn up by an agreed syllabus conference which advises the local education authority. These bodies represent faith groups, teachers and local schools. For schools with a religious designation the syllabus is drawn up by the governing body according to the trust deed of the school. It is for local authorities, advised by agreed syllabus conferences, and individual faith schools to decide if study of atheism is included as part of the RE syllabus.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), in partnership with the Department, launched a new non-statutory national framework for religious education in 2004. The framework provides for opportunities for pupils to study all of the principal religions in Great Britain, including Islam, and other religious traditions and secular philosophies in line with the Government’s goals of inclusion, tolerance and diversity. All of the major UK faith and belief communities and professional groups were involved in its development.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his policy is on the teaching of (a) modern (i) East European, (ii) West European, (iii) Asian and (iv) African and (b) ancient languages within the national curriculum. (81899)

To promote the study of foreign languages for learners of all ages, the Government published their National Languages Strategy: “Languages for All: Languages for Life—a Strategy for England” in December 2002. The cornerstone of the strategy is that by 2010 all Key Stage 2 pupils will have the opportunity to study a foreign language in class time. It is for individual schools to decide which languages they offer depending on their expertise and access to resources and support.

At Key Stages 3 and 4, secondary schools must give access to at least one course in an official working language of the European Union that leads to an approved qualification. The official working languages of the European Union, for which there are approved qualifications, are: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Once this offer has been made schools may then decide to offer additional languages. Approved qualifications are available in a wide range of languages in the categories raised in the question.

Ancient languages do not form part of the national curriculum. It is for individual schools and their governing bodies to decide whether to include the classics—including classical languages—in their respective curriculum. Their decision may depend on demand for the subject, having a specialist classics teacher available to teach it, and in meeting the needs of their pupils.

As part of our Specialist Schools Programme, secondary schools can apply to become humanities colleges. As part of this specialism, schools have the option to focus on the teaching and learning of classical studies (that is, Latin, Classical Greek and classical civilisation) alongside a core humanities option of History, Geography or English.

In 2005 the Department launched the Languages Ladder—the national, voluntary recognition scheme for languages—as an alternative qualification route to complement existing qualifications. The Languages Ladder endorses achievement in language skills at all levels of competence for all ages. It is available currently in eight languages: French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Panjabi, Spanish and Urdu. A further 13 languages, in the first three stages of the scheme, will be added in September this year and will include: Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Modern Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish and Yoruba.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on his policy on the teaching of sciences in the national curriculum. (82292)

Science is a compulsory subject at all key stages in the national curriculum and the aspects that must be taught are defined by a programme of study.

We have recently made changes to the Key Stage 4 programme of study to make it more engaging and exciting for pupils while maintaining the depth, breadth and challenge of the existing curriculum.

From September 2008, we will be introducing a new statutory entitlement for all Key Stage 4 students to study science programmes leading to at least two GCSEs.

Positive Parenting

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much his Department spent on the promotion of positive parenting in the last period for which figures are available; and what this figure represents per child in England. (82016)

The Parenting Fund provided £10.7 million to support 132 projects during the last period—2005-06.

The Parenting Fund supports voluntary and community sector organisations that provide a range of information, advice and guidance—including the promotion of positive parenting, to parents when and if they need it. The fund is not allocated on a per child basis. It would therefore be misleading to provide a general population, per child figure for parenting spend.

Pupil Numbers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which local authorities had an increase in the number of schoolchildren in (a) key stage 1 and (b) key stage 2 between 2001 and 2005. (81989)

The available information has been placed in the House Library.

This shows that nine local authorities have reported an increase in the number of pupils in the key stage 1 age group between 2001 and 2005; and over the same period, 13 local authorities have reported an increase in the number of pupils in the key stage 2 age group.

Since 2001 the overall population of five to 10-year-olds has fallen.

School Attendance (Lancashire)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the truancy rates were for Lancashire in each year since 1997. (81762)

The Department does not hold data on pupils recorded as truant. However, the figures for the proportion of half days missed due to unauthorised absence (of which truancy forms a part) in maintained mainstream schools in Lancashire local authority are given in the following table:

Percentage of half days missed in maintained mainstream schools1 in Lancashire local authority due to unauthorised absence2,3

Primary schools

Secondary schools

1997/98

0.3

0.8

1998/99

0.4

0.9

1999/2000

0.4

0.8

2000/01

0.3

0.8

2001/02

0.34

0.82

2002/03

0.31

0.82

2003/04

0.32

0.88

2004/05

0.3

0.9

1 Includes middle schools as deemed.

2 Due to local government reorganisation, regional figures are not available prior to 1998.

3 Local authority figures are only available to 1 decimal place prior to 2000.

Unauthorised absence is absence without leave from a teacher or other authorised representative of the school. This includes all unexplained or unjustified absences, such as lateness, holidays during term time not authorised by the school, absence where reason is not yet established and truancy.

School Exclusions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many excluded pupils there have been in Lancashire county council region in each year since 1997, broken down by age. (81763)

The requested information is given in the following table.

There are known quality issues with exclusions data for 2000/01 and later and these are explained in footnote 5 of the table.

Maintained primary, secondary and all special schools1,2: number of permanently excluded pupils by age—1997/98 to 2003/04 Lancashire local authority area

Primary, secondary and special schools

Pupils aged

1997/983

1998/994

1999/004

2000/014,5

2001/024,5

2002/034,5

2003/044,5

2004/054,5

4

6

6

6

6

5

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

6

5

6

6

6

6

7

4

3

6

3

5

6

3

6

8

8

6

6

4

8

5

5

9

9

12

6

7

11

9

7

7

10

20

13

9

15

13

10

13

10

11

12

13

9

15

17

33

26

13

12

38

24

20

45

33

59

40

55

13

59

47

35

56

69

66

74

51

14

82

82

56

74

84

97

91

77

15

65

45

26

28

33

26

47

33

16

6

6

6

6

6

17

6

18

6

19 and over

Total (as reported in the ASC)5

301

244

167

252

278

311

312

254

Total as confirmed by local authorities5

n/a

n/a

n/a

250

299

344

332

273

n/a = Not applicable

1 Includes middle schools as deemed.

2 Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools.

3 Before local government reorganisation

4 After local government reorganisation

5 For these years schools are known to have under-reported the number of permanent exclusions. The Department carried out a checking exercise but this confirmed only the overall number of permanent exclusions in each authority. The numbers of excluded pupils by age are based on incomplete data as reported by schools and should be used with caution.

6 1 or 2 pupils.

Source:

Schools' Census

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what education provision has been made for excluded pupils in Lancashire. (81764)

Education for pupils who have been excluded from schools in Lancashire local authority is provided mainly via pupil referral units (PRUs). The local authority has five PRUs for primary age pupils and eight for secondary age pupils, catering for over 500 pupils. Other forms of alternative educational provision for excluded pupils are commissioned through these PRUs and include placements in further education colleges, extended work placements and provision available in the private and voluntary sector.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils in (a) England and (b) the East Riding of Yorkshire have been reinstated into schools by the Independent Appeals Panel after being permanently excluded in each of the last nine years; and if he will make a statement. (81444)

The number of successful appeals against permanent exclusion where reinstatement was directed is only available from 2002/03 onwards. The available information is given in the table.

Maintained primary, secondary and special schools: exclusion appeals 2002/03 to 2004/05

East Riding of Yorkshire local authority area

England1

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

Number of appeals heard

4

9

10

990

1,050

1,030

Number of appeals determined in favour of the parent/pupil

2

2

4

210

220

220

Percentage of appeals determined in favour of the parent/pupil3

2

2

40.0

21.1

21.2

21.5

Number of successful appeals where reinstatement was directed

2

0

2

150

130

110

Percentage of successful appeals where reinstatement was directed4

2

0.0

2

71.3

57.0

49.1

1 Figures for England have been rounded to the nearest 10.

2 1 or 2 appeals, or a rate based on 1 or 2 appeals.

3 Shown as a percentage of appeals heard.

4 Shown as a percentage of appeals determined in favour of the parent/pupil.

Source:

School Exclusion Appeal Survey

These figures show that head teachers’ judgments on exclusions are not being routinely overturned by appeal panels. There has been a reduction for the third year in a row in the number of pupils reinstated to their former school on appeal.

School Meals

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of primary school pupils (a) were eligible for free school meals and (b) took them up in each local education authority in the last year for which figures are available, listed in ascending order of percentage; and what the equivalent figures were in 1997. (82127)

The available information is shown in the following table.

Maintained primary schools: number and percentage of pupils by school meal arrangements. Position in January each year: 1997 and 2006 (provisional). By local authority area. (In ascending order of the percentage of pupils who were known to be eligible for free school meals as at January 2006)

1997

Number of day pupils1

Number of pupils taking a free school meal on the Census Day

Percentage of pupils taking a free school meal on the Census Day2

Number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals

Percentage of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals3

England5

4,428,620

771,780

17.4

938,540

21.2

420

Isles of Scilly

160

17

10.6

19

11.9

857

Rutland6

872

Wokingham6

836

Poole6

825

Buckinghamshire6

835

Dorset6

938

West Sussex

58,168

5,941

10.2

7,496

12.9

925

Lincolnshire

53,619

3,830

7.1

4,597

8.6

867

Bracknell Forest6

865

Wiltshire6

314

Kingston upon Thames

11,530

717

6.2

856

7.4

855

Leicestershire6

868

Windsor and Maidenhead6

869

West Berkshire6

936

Surrey

78,690

6,637

8.4

7,871

10.0

803

South Gloucestershire

22,571

2,259

10.0

2,745

12.2

815

North Yorkshire

47,927

4,435

9.3

5,110

10.7

933

Somerset

38,509

3,855

10.0

4,624

12.0

919

Hertfordshire

92,397

9,452

10.2

11,259

12.2

811

East Riding of Yorkshire

27,126

2,546

9.4

3,158

11.6

884

Herefordshire6

873

Cambridgeshire6

885

Worcestershire6

850

Hampshire6

866

Swindon6

893

Shropshire6

931

Oxfordshire

44,733

4,012

9.0

5,008

11.2

318

Richmond upon Thames

12,074

1,188

9.8

1,611

13.3

877

Warrington6

928

Northamptonshire

54,701

4,940

9.0

6,384

11.7

916

Gloucestershire

46,248

4,929

10.7

6,151

13.3

937

Warwickshire

43,662

4,736

10.8

5,553

12.7

800

Bath and North East Somerset

13,111

1,677

12.8

2,027

15.5

816

York

14,905

1,859

12.5

2,250

15.1

878

Devon6

860

Staffordshire6

881

Essex6

303

Bexley

22,223

3,007

13.5

3,637

16.4

802

North Somerset

14,775

1,777

12.0

2,090

14.1

935

Suffolk

47,239

5,982

12.7

7,554

16.0

820

Bedfordshire6

875

Cheshire6

358

Trafford

21,462

3,399

15.8

4,009

18.7

908

Cornwall

41,862

6,547

15.6

7,784

18.6

356

Stockport

26,941

3,846

14.3

4,661

17.3

886

Kent6

887

Medway6

311

Havering

21,001

2,459

11.7

3,088

14.7

334

Solihull

21,581

2,770

12.8

3,238

15.0

891

Nottinghamshire6

845

East Sussex6

305

Bromley

24,292

3,282

13.5

4,352

17.9

830

Derbyshire6

315

Merton

16,159

2,471

15.3

3,099

19.2

929

Northumberland

21,839

3,345

15.3

3,783

17.3

826

Milton Keynes6

837

Bournemouth6

909

Cumbria

44,762

6,917

15.5

7,904

17.7

319

Sutton

14,630

1,778

12.2

2,070

14.1

813

North Lincolnshire

14,972

2,485

16.6

2,879

19.2

883

Thurrock6

926

Norfolk

66.666

8,913

13.4

10,824

16.2

351

Bury

18,095

2,769

15.3

3,319

18.3

888

Lancashire6

381

Calderdale

20,605

3,478

16.9

4,109

19.9

332

Dudley

30,884

4,394

14.2

5,544

18.0

359

Wigan

30,276

4,838

16.0

5,623

18.6

343

Sefton

28,115

5,465

19.4

7,171

25.5

384

Wakefield

32,956

5,546

16.8

6,572

19.9

382

Kirklees

38,649

7,285

18.8

8,908

23.0

350

Bolton

28,512

5,495

19.3

6,151

21.6

851

Portsmouth6

310

Harrow

19,971

1,643

8.2

2,265

11.3

392

North Tyneside

17,027

3,485

20.5

4,184

24.6

810

Kingston Upon Hull, City of

28,446

6,1 16

21.6

8,017

28.2

870

Reading6

846

Brighton and Hove6

880

Torbay6

871

Slough6

372

Rotherham

25,822

5,283

20.5

6,298

24.4

879

Plymouth6

357

Tameside

23,830

5,001

21.0

5,703

23.9

808

Stockton-on-Tees

20,531

4,413

21.5

5,206

25.4

882

Southend-on-Sea6

370

Barnsley

22,216

4,765

21.4

5,910

26.6

373

Sheffield

46,380

9,686

20.9

12,895

27.8

312

Hillingdon

22,440

2,017

9.0

2,745

12.2

874

Peterborough6

317

Redbridge

21,103

3,204

15.2

4,036

19.1

371

Doncaster

31,343

7,198

23.0

8,280

26.4

921

Isle of Wight

7,387

1,424

19.3

1,767

23.9

383

Leeds

71,508

12,795

17.9

15,974

22.3

841

Darlington6

840

Durham6

894

Telford and Wrekin6

831

Derby6

342

St. Helens

18,027

3,733

20.7

4,275

23.7

302

Barnet

25,979

3,711

14.3

4,625

17.8

336

Wolverhampton

26,293

5,282

20.1

6,644

25.3

812

North East Lincolnshire

17,265

3,756

21.8

4,211

24.4

335

Walsall

28,743

5,896

20.5

7,081

24.6

331

Coventry

30,478

5,482

18.0

6,726

22.1

380

Bradford

42,327

8,656

20.5

10,661

25.2

394

Sunderland

30,149

7,235

24.0

8,984

29.8

333

Sandwell

32,962

7,061

21.4

8,870

26.9

807

Redcar and Cleveland

16,680

4,152

24.9

4,817

28.9

390

Gateshead

18,566

4,231

22.8

4,995

26.9

353

Oldham

25,111

5,618

22.4

6,747

26.9

805

Hartlepool

10,538

2,732

25.9

3,205

30.4

306

Croydon

30,432

6,379

21.0

7,800

25.6

852

Southampton6

801

Bristol, City of

33,642

7,602

22.6

9,103

27.1

313

Hounslow

19,828

4,049

20.4

5,137

25.9

890

Blackpool6

876

Halton6

821

Luton6

856

Leicester6

354

Rochdale

22,354

5,373

24.0

6,470

28.9

201

City of London

208

83

39.9

107

51.4

301

Barking and Dagenham

17,883

3,873

21.7

4,712

26.3

889

Blackburn with Darwen6

307

Ealing

27,213

5,591

20.5

6,927

25.5

320

Waltham Forest

21,411

5,387

25.2

6,715

31.4

308

Enfield

26,028

4,695

18.0

5,620

21.6

861

Stoke-on-Trent6

344

Wirral

31.875

8,217

25.8

9,632

30.2

393

South Tyneside

16,175

4,818

29.8

5,693

35.2

304

Brent

22,478

5,696

25.3

6,420

28.6

892

Nottingham6

212

Wandsworth

17,874

5,175

29.0

6,305

35.3

209

Lewisham

21,984

6,370

29.0

8,052

36.6

806

Middlesbrough

17,267

4,876

28.2

5,718

33.1

355

Salford

23,828

7,019

29.5

8,128

34.1

391

Newcastle upon Tyne

22,220

7,259

32.7

8,552

38.5

340

Knowsley

19,788

6,915

34.9

8,701

44.0

341

Liverpool

49,345

16,852

34.2

20,283

41.1

309

Haringey

21,610

7,096

32.8

8,279

38.3

203

Greenwich

21,608

6,804

31.5

8,408

38.9

316

Newham

28,543

8,487

29.7

11,094

38.9

330

Birmingham

109,673

32,572

29.7

39,245

35.8

210

Southwark

23,132

8,606

37.2

10,744

46.4

213

Westminster

9,604

3,413

35.5

4,247

44.2

208

Lambeth

19,193

7,309

38.1

8.695

45.3

207

Kensington and Chelsea

6,568

2,324

35.4

3,000

45.7

204

Hackney

18,141

8,046

44.4

9,824

54.2

352

Manchester

46,356

17,956

38.7

21,431

46.2

206

Islington

16,232

6,66)3

41.0

8,049

49.6

202

Camden

11,294

4,130

36.6

5,046

44.7

205

Hammersmith and Fulham

9,465

3,763

39.8

4,440

46.9

211

Tower Hamlets

22,472

10,211

45.4

13,292

59.1

902

Bedfordshire

44,748

7,484

16.7

9,187

20.5

903

Berkshire

64,851

6,828

10.5

8,047

12.4

904

Buckinghamshire

66,291

4,227

6.4

5,641

8.5

905

Cambridgeshire

60,924

7,840

12.9

9,945

16.3

906

Cheshire

92,727

14,177

15.3

16,155

17.4

910

Derbyshire

89,462

13,507

15.1

15,468

17.3

911

Devon

84,938

13,450

15.8

16,027

18.9

912

Dorset

48,479

4,117

8.5

4,684

9.7

913

Durham

57,442

11,478

20.0

13,105

22.8

914

East Sussex

55,821

8,804

15.8

11,372

20.4

915

Essex

136,385

18,654

13.7

23,090

16.9

917

Hampshire

139.425

17,054

12.2

20.493

14.7

918

Hereford and Worcester

52,887

4,304

8.1

5,077

9.6

922

Kent

137,962

19,946

14.5

24,746

17.9

923

Lancashire

135,058

24,719

18.3

31,679

23.5

924

Leicestershire

83,027

11,251

13.6

13,623

16.4

930

Nottinghamshire

96,403

17,975

18.6

22,789

23.6

932

Shropshire

38,067

5,442

14.3

6,169

16.2

934

Staffordshire

96,437

15,286

15.9

18,213

18.9

939

Wiltshire

51,809

5,723

11.0

6,954

13.4

20067

Number of pupils on roll4

Number of pupils taking a free school meal on Census Day

Percentage of pupils taking a free school meal on the Census Day2

Number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals

Percentage of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals3

England5

4,151,970

553,560

13.3

667,180

16.1

420

Isles of Scilly

252

0

0.0

0

0.0

857

Rutland6

2,521

94

3.7

108

4.3

872

Wokingham6

12,164

419

3.4

555

4.6

836

Poole6

10,338

459

4.4

485

4.7

825

Buckinghamshire6

39,646

1,370

3.5

1,938

4.9

835

Dorset6

24,747

1,006

4.1

1,203

4.9

938

West Sussex

57,554

2,433

4.2

3,081

5.4

925

Lincolnshire

52,805

2,379

4.5

2,924

5.5

867

Bracknell Forest6

8,811

426

4.8

601

6.8

865

Wiltshire6

35,512

2,074

5.8

2,460

6.9

314

Kingston upon Thames

11,638

712

6.1

816

7.0

855

Leicestershire6

48,257

2,756

5.7

3,374

7.0

868

Windsor and Maidenhead6

8,470

451

5.3

617

7.3

869

West Berkshire6

12,045

713

5.9

896

7.4

936

Surrey

78,463

4,868

6.2

5,921

7.5

803

South Gloucestershire

22,228

1,300

5.8

1,680

7.6

815

North Yorkshire

44,563

2,858

6.4

3,460

7.8

933

Somerset

36,781

2,425

6.6

2,946

8.0

919

Hertfordshire

92,173

6,126

6.6

7,455

8.1

811

East Riding of Yorkshire

25,694

1.649

6.4

2,142

8.3

884

Herefordshire6

12,985

890

6.9

1,082

8.3

873

Cambridgeshire6

43,878

3,037

6.9

3,673

8.4

885

Worcestershire6

38,329

2,807

7.3

3,248

8.5

850

Hampshire6

97,202

6,495

6.7

8,347

8.6

866

Swindon6

16,906

1,180

7.0

1,494

8.8

893

Shropshire6

21,896

1,673

7.6

1,943

8.9

931

Oxfordshire

46,437

3,117

6.7

4,183

9.0

318

Richmond upon Thames

12,948

955

7.4

1,178

9.1

877

Warrington6

17,389

1,344

7.7

1,600

9.2

928

Northamptonshire

56,463

4,038

7.2

5,260

9.3

916

Gloucestershire

43,458

3,561

8.2

4,131

9.5

937

Warwickshire

40,986

3,296

8.0

3,989

9.7

800

Bath and North East Somerset

12,172

985

8.1

1,201

9.9

816

York

13,443

1,097

8.2

1,338

10.0

878

Devon6

53,189

4,109

7.7

5,295

10.0

860

Staffordshire6

63,925

5,396

8.4

6,465

10.1

881

Essex6

107,125

9,430

8.8

10,801

10.1

303

Bexley

20,689

1,640

7.9

2,100

10.2

802

North Somerset

14,897

1,205

8.1

1,514

10.2

935

Suffolk

45,739

3,693

8.1

4,695

10.3

820

Bedfordshire6

24,938

2,188

8.8

2,604

10.4

875

Cheshire6

54,527

4,974

9.1

5,707

10.5

358

Trafford

19,224

1,830

9.5

2,038

10.6

908

Cornwall

39,150

3,695

9.4

4,303

11.0

356

Stockport

23,415

2,219

9.5

2,653

11.3

886

Kent6

110,266

10,448

9.5

12,458

11.3

887

Medway6

22,472

2,175

9.7

2,535

11.3

311

Havering

19,402

1,618

8.3

2,217

11.4

334

Solihull

19,897

1,681

8.4

2,274

11.4

891

Nottinghamshire6

63,381

5,676

9.0

7,291

11.5

845

East Sussex6

36,289

3,491

9.6

4,232

11.7

305

Bromley

23,928

2,364

9.9

2.861

12.0

830

Derbyshire6

62,369

6,312

10.1

7,501

12.0

315

Merton

14,980

1,437

9.6

1,811

12.1

929

Northumberland

19,358

2,140

11.1

2,343

12.1

826

Milton Keynes6

20,989

1,948

9.3

2,606

12.4

837

Bournemouth6

10,525

1,054

10.0

1,321

12.6

909

Cumbria

39,741

4,457

11.2

5,066

12.7

319

Sutton

14,800

1,547

10.5

1,916

12.9

813

North Lincolnshire

13,986

1,602

11.5

1,828

13.1

883

Thurrock6

13,812

1,432

10.4

1,854

13.4

926

Norfolk

65,134

7,060

10.8

8,763

13.5

351

Bury

15,995

1,899

11.9

2,186

13.7

888

Lancashire6

93,269

11,351

12.2

12,951

13.9

381

Calderdale

18,661

2,363

12.7

2,699

14.5

332

Dudley

28,281

3,386

12.0

4,271

15.1

359

Wigan

26,162

3,303

12.6

4,076

15.6

343

Sefton

23,307

2,865

12.3

3,717

15.9

384

Wakefield

28,722

3,569

12.4

4,571

15.9

382

Kirklees

35,811

4,843

13.5

5,738

16.0

350

Bolton

25,438

3,743

14.7

4,099

16.1

851

Portsmouth6

14,071

1,775

12.6

2,299

16.3

310

Harrow

19,593

2,917

14.9

3,211

16.4

392

North Tyneside

16,171

2,301

14.2

2,653

16.4

810

Kingston Upon Hull, City of

22,033

3,081

14.0

3,620

16.4

870

Reading6

10,223

1,424

13.9

1,678

16.4

846

Brighton and Hove6

17,080

2,186

12.8

2,818

16.5

880

Torbay6

9,836

1,312

13.3

1,625

16.5

871

Slough6

11,554

1,558

13.5

1,917

16.6

372

Rotherham

23,690

3,251

13.7

4,010

16.9

879

Plymouth6

19,274

2,696

14.0

3,253

16.9

357

Tameside

20,088

3,027

15.1

3,417

17.0

808

Stockton-on-Tees

17,269

2,682

15.5

2,947

17.1

882

Southend-on-Sea6

14,152

1,896

13.4

2,450

17.3

370

Barnsley

20,433

2,936

14.4

3,556

17.4

373

Sheffield

42,561

6,157

14.5

7,435

17.5

312

Hillingdon

24,099

3,249

13.5

4,235

17.6

874

Peterborough6

15,274

2,386

15.6

2,684

17.6

317

Redbridge

24,124

3,268

13.5

4,263

17.7

371

Doncaster

27,165

4,180

15.4

4,809

17.7

921

Isle of Wight

6,995

994

14.2

1,244

17.8

383

Leeds

61,446

9,009

14.7

11,247

18.3

841

Darlington6

8,848

1,393

15.7

1,639

18.5

840

Durham6

41,360

6,451

15.6

7,751

18.7

894

Telford and Wrekin6

15,160

2,350

15.5

2,828

18.7

831

Derby6

21,605

3,396

15.7

4,089

18.9

342

St. Helens

15,575

2,432

15.6

3,021

19.4

302

Barnet

26,041

4,225

16.2

5,087

19.5

336

Wolverhampton

22,709

3,631

16.0

4,418

19.5

812

North East Lincolnshire

14,029

2,074

14.8

2,788

19.9

335

Walsall

26,077

3,964

15.2

5,216

20.0

331

Coventry

27,015

4,455

16.5

5,430

20.1

380

Bradford

51,314

8,485

16.5

10,331

20.1

394

Sunderland

24,273

4,377

18.0

4,919

20.3

333

Sandwell

29,887

4,950

16.6

6,128

20.5

807

Redcar and Cleveland

13,242

2,456

18.5

2,709

20.5

390

Gateshead

16,205

2,901

17.9

3,399

21.0

353

Oldham

23,302

4,274

18.3

4,910

21.1

805

Hartlepool

9,195

1,802

19.6

1,948

21.2

306

Croydon

29,389

4,919

16.7

6,301

21.4

852

Southampton6

16,039

2,737

17.1

3,437

21.4

801

Bristol, City of

29,374

5,282

18.0

6,373

21.7

313

Hounslow

18,924

3,505

18.5

4,116

21.8

890

Blackpool6

11,812

2,111

17.9

2,635

22.3

876

Halton6

10,170

1,978

19.4

2,277

22.4

821

Luton6

18,468

3,645

19.7

4.228

22.9

856

Leicester6

28,260

5,732

20.3

6,620

23.4

354

Rochdale

19,595

3,797

19.4

4,642

23.7

201

City of London

231

49

21.2

55

23.8

301

Barking and Dagenham

18,485

3,762

20.4

4,432

24.0

889

Blackburn with Darwen6

14,770

2,986

20.2

3,548

24.0

307

Ealing

26,059

5,101

19.6

6,276

24.1

320

Waltham Forest

21,753

4,408

20.3

5,350

24.6

308

Enfield

27,198

5,712

21.0

6,727

24.7

861

Stoke-on-Trent6

20,841

4,535

21.8

5,173

24.8

344

Wirral

26,456

5,384

20.4

6,682

25.3

393

South Tyneside

12,751

2,799

22.0

3,222

25.3

304

Brent

23,128

5,454

23.6

6.238

27.0

892

Nottingham6

23,537

5,327

22.6

6,356

27.0

212

Wandsworth

17,412

4,244

24.4

4,741

27.2

209

Lewisham

21,971

4,579

20.8

6.121

27.9

806

Middlesbrough

13,926

3,397

24.4

3,889

27.9

355

Salford

19,464

4,944

25.4

5,532

28.4

391

Newcastle upon Tyne

19.694

4,995

25.4

5,630

28.6

340

Knowsley

15,518

3,586

23.1

4,538

29.2

341

Liverpool

38,211

10,018

26.2

12,320

32.2

309

Haringey

21,964

6,127

27.9

7,189

32.7

203

Greenwich

21,206

5,484

25.9

7,070

33.3

316

Newham

30,544

8,617

28.2

10,164

33.3

330

Birmingham

101,191

28,241

27.9

33,745

33.3

210

Southwark

22,848

6,482

28.4

7,896

34.6

213

Westminster

11,021

3,662

33.2

4,028

36.5

208

Lambeth

20,096

6,402

31.9

7,492

37.3

207

Kensington and Chelsea

7,052

2,309

32.7

2,713

38.5

204

Hackney

18,051

6,002

33.3

7,038

39.0

352

Manchester

40,814

14,037

34.4

16,848

41.3

206

Islington

14,292

5,031

35.2

6,016

42.1

202

Camden

11,436

3,807

33.3

4,888

42.7

205

Hammersmith and Fulham

9,707

3,687

38.0

4,163

42.9

211

Tower Hamlets

22,397

9,651

43.1

11,798

52.7

902

Bedfordshire

903

Berkshire

904

Buckinghamshire

905

Cambridgeshire

906

Cheshire

910

Derbyshire

911

Devon

912

Dorset

913

Durham

914

East Sussex

915

Essex

917

Hampshire

918

Hereford and Worcester

922

Kent

923

Lancashire

924

Leicestershire

930

Nottinghamshire

932

Shropshire

934

Staffordshire

939

Wiltshire

1 Includes dually registered pupils. Excludes boarding pupils.

2 The number of pupils taking a free school meal on the Census Day expressed as a percentage of the number of pupils on roll.

3 The number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals expressed as a percentage of the number of pupils on roll.

4 Includes dually registered pupils. Includes boarding pupils.

5 National totals have been rounded to the nearest 10.

6 Before Local Government Reorganisation.

7 Provisional.

Source:

Schools’ Census

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 9 June 2005, Official Report, column 698W, on school meals, when he expects to decide how best to capture information about school meals provision; and what information about school meals provision is collected by his Department. (81798)

The Department has commissioned research to assess compliance with statutory National Nutritional Standards and to measure food consumption in maintained schools in England. A study of ‘School Meals in Secondary Schools in England’ reported in 2004 (DfES Research Report 557). A similar ‘Study of School Meals in Primary Schools in England’ has been conducted, and reported on 29 June 2006 (DfES Research Report 753).

The Annual Schools Census collects data on free school meal eligibility and take up. An internal DfES survey of local authorities (LA) was conducted in November 2005 to assess the nature of school meal provision and providers, the patter of commercial provision and contractual arrangements.

The Department has asked the School Food Trust (SFT) as part of its remit to monitor progress on school meals and report regularly to the Department. The SFT plans to collect information about school meals provision using several approaches. First, they are working with Ofsted and the national Healthy Schools Programme to develop a way of assessing whether or not the new DfES standards for school meals are being met. The intention is for this to be completed by early 2007. Second, they plan to undertake national sample surveys of primary and secondary schools’ food provision and consumption, similar to the two studies commissioned by the Department. These provide baseline information against which the change in the national profile of provision and consumption of foods in school meals can be evaluated. The timing and scale of the national sample surveys will be confirmed by the end of August 2006. Finally, the SFT has just completed a survey addressed to all local authority catering providers in England to assess school meal take-up, the costs of providing a school meal, factors believed to be associated with increases or decreases in take-up, and perceived barriers to change. The survey will be published in July 2006 and repeated annually at the end of each financial year.

School Principals

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of how many hours a week on average (a) head and (b) deputy head teachers worked in the last year for which figures are available. (81696)

The following table provides the average number of hours worked by head, deputy and assistant head teachers in primary and secondary schools in a week in March 2005. This is the latest information available.

Average hours

Primary

Head teachers

52.9

Deputy/assistant heads

55.7

Secondary

Head teachers

62.6

Deputy/assistant

58.1

Source:

Teachers’ Workload Diary Survey, March 2005, School Teachers’ Review Body.

School Sports Facilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what procedures his Department has put in place to improve the link between community leisure needs and the opportunities for community use of sports facilities provided under the Building Schools for the Future programme. (81589)

The Building Schools for the Future programme adopts an area approach to transforming secondary provision. For each phase of the programme, local authorities are required to develop an educational vision in line with our guidance, which takes into account a range of policy areas, including PE and sport facilities, and community use. Our Building Schools for the Future guidance to local authorities covers the preparation of educational visions, joining-up all potential sources of funding and the design of school buildings and facilities. This Department is also represented in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s “Sports Facilities Infrastructure Programme”.

Schools Commissioner

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many candidates applied for the post of Schools Commissioner; how many were invited to the final selection panel interview; and who the members of the selection panel are; (80719)

(2) when he will appoint the Schools Commissioner;

(3) what performance objectives will be used to determine the bonus paid to the Schools Commissioner.

21 candidates applied for the post of Schools Commissioner and three were invited to the final selection panel.

The panel members are:

Mary-Jo Jacobi, Civil Service Commissioner (Chair)

David Bell, Permanent Secretary, Department for Education and Skills

Ralph Jabberer, Director General for Schools, Department for Education and Skills

Dr. Philip Hunter, Chief School Adjudicator.

The outcome of the competition will be announced as soon as possible after the selection process has been completed and is likely to be during July 2006. A performance agreement, including business objectives, will be put in place with the Schools Commissioner when they take up post. This will be the basis on which any bonus award is assessed.

Special Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what role is played by special advisers in answering parliamentary questions asked of his Department. (80654)

[holding answer 27 June 2006]: Special advisers conduct themselves in accordance with the requirements of the ‘Code of Conduct for Special Advisers’.

Staff Absenteeism

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many working days were lost to his Department and its executive agencies in each year since 1997 due to staff absenteeism, expressed as the average annual number of absent days per employee; and what the estimated total cost to his Department and its agencies of absenteeism was in each year. (77253)

[holding answer 19 June 2006]: The information is set out in the following table.

Department/calendar year

Days lost per staff year

Estimated cost of absence (£ million)

Education and Skills

2004

9.0

3.3

2003

10.3

4.4

2002

9.8

3.8

2001

8.4

3.3

Education and Employment

2000

7.7

2.9

Employment Service Agency

2000

11.8

29.3

Education and Employment

1999

7.6

2.6

Employment Service Agency

1999

11.5

27.4

Education and Employment

1998

8.2

2.7

Employment Service Agency

1998

11.0

24.8

The data are taken from the report “Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service”, which Cabinet Office publishes annually. The information in the “Days lost per staff year” column is quoted directly from the reports; the “Estimated cost of absence” is based on the average basic salary used in each report.

For the years 1998 to 2003, data for the Department for Education and Skills and the former Department for Education and Employment included staff in the Government Office network. In the 2004 report “Government Offices” is shown as a separate Department.

Student Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many individual student loan accounts were passed to debt collection agencies from the Student Loans Company in each financial year from 1997-98 to 2005-06; and if he will make a statement. (75320)

The table shows the number of pre-1998 mortgage-style student loan accounts with debt collection agencies, as at 31 March of each year. Data for 1997/08 are not available.

Referrals with debt collection agents at 31 March—England and Wales

Number

1999

13,586

2000

17,423

2001

19,244

2002

13,005

2003

11,100

2004

15,955

2005

27,504

2006

21,758

On average, referrals to debt collection agents represent 1.8 per cent. of the total number of borrowers. These data should not be equated with the number of loan accounts in arrears; cases may be referred more than once in a year and debt collection agents are asked to locate borrowers as well as to collect loans.

There was a particular drive in 2004/05 to tackle longstanding cases via external collection agents but the volume of referrals to collection agents, and the numbers of accounts in arrears are now decreasing.

There have been no referrals to collection agents of cases under the post 1998 income contingent loan scheme.

Student Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills who is responsible for checking that schools have sufficient smoke alarms and fire extinguishers and that they are in working order. (81666)

[holding answer 3 July 2006]: The Department for Communities and Local Government recently published guidance for schools on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, “Fire Safety Risk Assessment—Educational Premises”. This states that the responsibility for complying with the Fire Safety Order rests with the “responsible person”. With a school maintained by a local authority, the duties of the responsible person are likely to be shared between the local authority, the governing body and the head teacher. One of the prime duties of the responsible person is to appoint one or more competent persons—someone with sufficient training, knowledge and experience to carry out the preventive and protective measures required by the Fire Safety Order. The guidance covers what these are. In Part 1, section 3.41 deals with fire detection and warning systems, and 3.42 with firefighting equipment and facilities. They give advice on what to look for in school premises and provide checklists for both detection and firefighting.

Sure Start

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many available places there are on Sure Start schemes in (a) Yeovil constituency, (b) Somerset and (c) the south-west; and what percentage of children are on the Sure Start scheme in each area. (82148)

There are two Sure Start children's centres up and running in the constituency of Yeovil offering services to 1,815 children under five and their families including 58 child care places. In Somerset there are 14 children's centres offering services to 10,4011 children under five and their families including 237 child care places. In the south-west as a whole there are 78 children's centres offering services to 57,1552 children under five and their families including 2,234 child care places. Data on how many children have accessed services are based on information collected for Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) because data on numbers using children's centres are not yet available.

There are no Sure Start local programmes in the Yeovil constituency. 2,139 children under four live in areas covered by three SSLPs in Somerset. In all 24,613 children under four live in areas covered by 31 SSLPs in the south-west. The latest information available (at March 2005) shows on average 30 per cent.3 of children in the Somerset and on average 25 per cent.4of children overall in SSLPs in the south-west had significant contact (that is, a home visit or attendance at a centre-based activity) with Sure Start.

Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) were set up between 1999 and 2003 offering a range of services to children under four years of age and their families living in defined areas. In 2002, Mini Sure Start programmes were set up in rural areas and pockets of deprivation that would not normally be covered by larger SSLPs. All SSLPs and mini programmes are becoming Sure Start children's centres and will offer services to children under five years of age and their families. Information about the percentage of children reached by SSLP services is now collected once a year. The Department does not keep data on how many children have participated in Mini Sure Start programmes. However, each programme typically covers between 150 and 170 children under four in their catchment areas.

1 10,401 children include 2,139 children previously served by the three SSLPs across Somerset that have become children's centres.

2 57,155 children include 24,613 children previously served by the 31 SSLPs across the south-west that have become children's centres.

Source:

Sure Start Local Programme data returns March 2005.

Teach First

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many graduates who have entered teaching via Teach First have continued to work as teachers after the two year commitment had ended. (81752)

Teach First was launched in 2003 and, of the first cohort to complete the two year programme, approximately 45 per cent. have stayed in teaching.

Teachers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many trained teachers were employed by the East Riding of Yorkshire Education Authority in each of the last 5 years, broken down by subject taught; and if he will make a statement. (81701)

The following table provides the full-time equivalent number of regular qualified teachers in service in the East Riding of Yorkshire local authority for each January from 2000 to 2005, the latest year available. This information is not available broken down by subject taught.

Full-time equivalent number of regular qualified teachers in service in the East Riding of Yorkshire local authority, January 2000 to 2005

Total FTE

2000

2,420

2001

2,510

2002

2,530

2003

2,590

2004

2,590

2005

2,630

Source:

Annual survey of teachers in service and teacher vacancies, (618g).

Tuition Fees

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students from (a) Yeovil constituency, (b) Somerset and (c) the south-west are exempt from tuition fees. (82149)

The number of students from Somerset local authority, and the South West Government Office Region making no contribution to their tuition fees in 2004/05 was £2,830, and £29,700 respectively1. Data are not available at the constituency level.

Students on full-time undergraduate courses and their families are expected to make a contribution towards the cost of their tuition based on household income. Students from lower income backgrounds are wholly or partially exempt from paying tuition fees.

From 2006/07 upfront fees are abolished and full-time students will be eligible for tuition fee loans of up to £3,000. In addition, we expect around 30 per cent. of students to receive a maximum maintenance grant of £2,700 and an HE institution bursary of at least £300. Overall, we expect around half of all eligible students to receive at least some maintenance grant.

1 Rounded to the nearest 10 students.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students from (a) Houghton and Washington East constituency and (b) Sunderland city council area are exempt from tuition fees. (82284)

The number of students from Sunderland local authority making no contribution to their tuition fees in 2004/05 was 1,7401. Data are not available at the constituency level.

Students on full-time undergraduate courses and their families are expected to make a contribution towards the cost of their tuition based on household income. Students from lower income backgrounds are wholly or partially exempt from paying tuition fees.

From 2006/07 up-front fees are abolished and full-time students will be eligible for tuition fee loans of up to £3,000. In addition, we expect around 30 per cent. of students to receive a maximum maintenance grant of £2,700 and an HE institution bursary of at least £300. Overall, we expect around half of all eligible students to receive at least some maintenance grant.

1 Rounded to the nearest 10 students.

University Ranking

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he will consider creating a system by which to rank universities; (80577)

(2) what recent representations his Department has received on establishing its own criteria for ranking universities.

We have received no formal recent representations on criteria to rank universities nor do we have any immediate plans to create a ranking system. However, we have started to make more comparative information available to prospective students. However, there is currently no consensus on how English higher education institutions could be ranked taking due account of their increasingly diverse size and missions and distinguishing between inputs and outputs. We will listen to any suggestions on possible ways forward.

Weapons (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps are being taken by his Department to provide security measures to ensure that (a) knives and (b) guns are not taken into schools. (82264)

School security is a local matter. Under health and safety law, it is for individual school employers to determine what measures a school should take to keep pupils and staff safe. In the main, schools are very safe places and the majority of pupils have never carried a knife. It is a criminal offence to carry an offensive weapon on school premises. Where schools have suspicions they can call the police, and should do so if they believe pupils or staff are at risk of serious harm. Schools and local police can agree a Safer School Partnership to prevent crime in and around a school. We also propose a power in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill to enable schools to search, without consent, pupils they suspect are carrying a knife or other weapon.

Home Department

Animal Experiments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many project licences for animal experiments were (a) applied for and (b) successful in 2004; and for what reasons applications were rejected. (81433)

In 2004, 595 project licences were applied for and of those 413 were granted in 2004, 122 in 2005 and two in 2006. None were formally refused. Nineteen are still being processed. Thirty nine applications are recorded as not proceeded with.

A feature of the regulatory regime under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 is the discussion that often takes place at an early stage between applicants (or prospective applicants) and the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate. This means that proposals unlikely to meet the Act’s stringent requirements are revised or withdrawn before formal refusal becomes necessary.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) age and (b) sex was of each of those made subject to an antisocial behaviour order in the Bristol local authority area in each year since their introduction. (80591)

The available information is given in the following table:

Number of ASBOs issued, as reported to the Home Office by the Court Service, where restrictions are imposed within the local government authority area of Bristol city council, by period, sex and age group, from 1 June 20001 to 30 September 2005 (latest available)

Males (age)

Females (age)

Period

10-17

18+

Unknown

Total

10-17

18+

Unknown

Total

1 June to 31 December 2000

1

1

2

2001

25

2

1

8

1

1

2002

2

2

4

1

1

2003

4

5

9

2004

15

17

32

5

1

6

1 January to 30 September 2005

3

14

1

18

2

1

3

Total

30

41

2

73

9

2

11

Persons (age)

Period

10-17

18+

Unknown

Total

1 June to 31 December 2000

1

1

2

2001

5

3

1

9

2002

2

3

5

2003

4

5

9

2004

15

22

1

38

1 January to 30 September 2005

3

16

2

21

Total

30

50

4

84

1 From 1 April 1999 to 31 May 2000 data were collected on aggregate numbers only by police force area. 2 Includes one order made at Bristol magistrates court—petty sessional area only known.

Asylum/Immigration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps he has taken to ensure that the supporting documents produced by asylum applicants are recorded. (73700)

Any document presented by an applicant at their screening interview in relation to their identity, nationality or route taken to the UK is retained by the screening officer, the applicant is given a copy, and a copy placed on file.

The screening form includes a question 7.38 “What other documents do you have (Record full details and attach copies of all documents to this screening form)”. The applicant and screening officer both sign the screening form at the end of the interview.

The Casework Integrated Database has a field for recording documents that have been submitted, the screening officer will update that field, any additional entries will be recorded under the name of the officer who added the information. CID would also record the date and time of any amendments.

It is also practice in the ASU to record on the file minute sheet documents that have been retained.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is taken in respect of immigration and asylum applicants who are assessed by Immigration and Nationality Directorate officials as posing a security risk. (73691)

Where an individual in question is assessed as posing a security risk, and is overseas and is seeking to enter the United Kingdom, they will be excluded. Those applicants assessed as posing a security risk who are already present in the UK, we will seek to deport, consistent with our international human rights obligations.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what language qualifications are required of employees of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate; and if he will make a statement. (73693)

All Home Office employees are expected to demonstrate competency in the English language. For those in more operational roles such as immigration officers there is a provision to demonstrate proficiency in languages other than English.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the director general of the immigration and nationality directorate last considered his policy on the quality of decisions made by staff. (73705)

The policy on the quality of casework decisions made by staff is kept under constant review.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many employees of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate hold dual citizenship. (77120)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being taken to improve the speed of access to the immigration and nationality directorate website; how many complaints the IND has received about this problem; what the estimated cost is of the necessary remedial measures; and when he expects the site to be fully operational. (79019)

The immigration and nationality directorate website was re-launched on Wednesday 7 June 2006. Visitors to the site should now find it much faster to access. During the time the site was running slowly, the IND web team received approximately 600 complaints.

CCTV

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact of the installation of CCTV cameras on levels of crime in Beverley in each of the last five years. (79531)

The scheme in Beverley was installed at a cost of £203,000. The local police in Beverley have indicated that the presence of CCTV plays an important part in their operational work to prevent and detect crime. The quality of cameras, colour images on screens, recording, storage and photographic reproduction provides the possibility of admissible evidence for court proceedings against offenders.

Compensation Claims

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what financial support is available for people found to be not guilty during their trial to investigate the circumstances and make claims for compensation against the Crown Prosecution Service and the police. (81035)

I have been asked to reply.

Any party who qualifies for legal aid under the standard means and merits criteria can obtain legal advice and information, or legal representation, for any civil proceedings which are within the scope of the legal aid scheme, including proceedings against the Crown Prosecution Service and the police.

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter dated 26 January from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mr. Rashid Mahmood. (58113)

Crime Statistics (Suffolk)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many burglaries have been recorded in Suffolk in each of the last five years. (82107)

The information requested is given below.

Table 1: Recorded burglary offences in Suffolk—2000-01 and 2001-02

Number of offences

2000-01

5,738

2001-02

6,346

Note: The data in this table is prior to the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard. These figures are not directly comparable with those for later years.

Table 2: Recorded burglary offences in Suffolk—2002-03 to 2004-05

Number of offences

2002-03

6,248

2003-04

6,396

2004-05

5,090

Note: The data in this table takes account of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These figures are not directly comparable with those for earlier years.

Criminal Records Bureau

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what total amount was paid to Capita as (a) service payments and (b) performance-related payments during each year of the Criminal Records Bureau’s operation. (75298)

Capita do not operate the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). The disclosure service operates as a contract between the Criminal Records Bureau and Capita Business Services based upon a public private partnership agreement. Under this agreement, Capita are required to perform contractually specified services and to develop, deliver and maintain the technical infrastructure of the disclosure service. This is to enable the Home Office to discharge its responsibilities under part V of the Police Act 1997 and other supporting legislation, including the Protection of Children Act 1999, to make available to approved organisations information regarding the criminal or related background of individuals.

Other services carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau that are not undertaken by Capita are carried out by civil servants and include the sensitive matching of an applicants personal details to records held on the Police National Computer (PNC) and other lists held by the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Skills.

A contract schedule sets out the service levels for Capita to meet. A further schedule sets out the service credits that apply should Capita fail to meet the agreed service levels. There is provision within this contract for liquidated damages to be charged in the event of late delivery to agreed changes in the service.

In each year since financial year 2001-02, the following payments have been received from Capita for service credits and liquidated damages:

Amount (£)

2001-02

555,000

2002-03

1,718,000

2003-04

1,528,000

2004-05

53,000

2005-06

92,000

The hon. Member will appreciate that with a contract of this size and complexity, the CRB would not be able to list and explain the context of each occasion when service credits and liquidated damages have occurred without employing disproportionate resources.

However, as an illustration, between August 2001 and November 2001, liquidated damages were applied due to the delays in launching the disclosure service and some of the associated services. Subsequent service credits were also applied in 2003 for operational delays within the disclosure process. These payments relate to the early years of the service.

The contract was originally estimated at £400 million to run over 10 years. In each year since financial year 2001-02, CRB have paid Capita the following as service payments:

£ million

Amount

2001-02

12.1

2002-03

33.5

2003-04

58.5

2004-05

44.1

2005-06

47

There have been no performance related-payments made in any of the above financial years.

Departmental Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to which faith-based organisations his Department has made grants in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) the amount and (b) purpose. (74596)

Departmental Legislation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what legislation has been introduced by his Department in each year since 1996, broken down by type; and whether Royal Assent was given in the case of each Bill. (74597)

The following is a list of all Government Bills and Private Member's/Peer's Bills on Home Office subjects that have received Royal Assent since the beginning of the 1995-96 session.

Royal Assent received during the 1995-96 session

Wild Mammals (Protection) Act

Prevention of Terrorism (Additional Powers) Act

Law Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act

Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act

Sexual Offences (Conspiracy and Incitement) Act

Offensive Weapons Act

Security Service Act

Civil Aviation (Amendment) Act

Hong Kong (War Wives and Widows) Act

Prisoners' Earnings Act

Asylum and Immigration Act

Royal Assent received during the 1996-97 session

Theft (Amendment) Act

Horserace Totalisator Board Act

Firearms (Amendment) Act

Knives Act

British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act

Crime (Sentences) Act

Police Act

Police and Firemen's Pensions Act

Protection from Harassment Act

Sex Offenders Act

Public Entertainments Licences (Drug Misuse) Act

Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Act

Prisons (Alcohol Testing) Act

Criminal Evidence (Amendment) Act

Police (Health and Safety) Act

Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act

Police (Property) Act

Police (Insurance of Voluntary Assistants) Act

Dangerous Dogs Amendment Act

Royal Assent received during the 1997-98 session

Firearms (Amendment) (No.2) Act

Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act

Criminal Justice (International Co-Operation) Act

Data Protection Act

Crime and Disorder Act

Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act

Human Rights Act

Registration of Political Parties Act

Royal Assent received during the 1998-99 session

European Parliamentary Elections Act

Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act

Football (Offences and Disorder) Act

Criminal Cases Review (Insanity) Act

Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act

Immigration and Asylum Act

Royal Assent received during the 1999-2000 session

Representation of the People Act

Terrorism Act

Football (Disorder) Act

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

Licensing (Young Persons) Act

Disqualifications Act

Freedom of Information Act

Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act

Race Relations (Amendment) Act

Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act

Criminal Justice and Court Services Act

Royal Assent received during the 2000-01 session

Vehicles (Crime) Act

Election Publications Act

Elections Act

Criminal Justice and Police Act

House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Act

Private Security Industry Act

Royal Assent received during the 2001-02 session

Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act

Football Disorder (Amendment) Act

Proceeds of Crime Act

Police Reform Act

Mobile Telephones (Reprogramming) Act

Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act

Royal Assent received during the 2002-03 session

Criminal Justice Act

Sexual Offences Act

Crime (International Co-operation) Act

Extradition Act

Antisocial behaviour Act

Female Genital Mutilation Act.

Royal Assent received during the 2003-04 session.

Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act

Domestic Violence, Crime & Victims Act

Royal Assent received during the 2004-05 session

Prevention of Terrorism Act

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act

Drugs Act

Royal Assent received during the 2005-06 session

Racial & Religious Hatred Act

Identity Cards Act

Immigration, Asylum & Nationality Act

Terrorism Act

The following Bills on Home Office subjects are currently before Parliament:

The Charities Bill

The Fraud Bill

The Police and Justice Bill

The Violent Crime Reduction Bill

The following table lists the number of statutory instruments, Orders in Council and local orders made by the Home Office in each year since 1996:

SIs, Orders in Council, and Local Orders 1996 to 2006 (up to 25 May 2006)

Statutory Instruments

Orders in Council

Local Orders

Total

1996

77

24

10

111

1997

135

48

8

191

1998

97

28

15

140

1999

90

14

9

113

2000

126

21

5

152

2001

118

18

2

138

2002

136

11

0

147

2003

146

10

1

157

2004

145

1

1

147

2005

127

3

1

131

2006

37

1

1

39

Total

1,466

Deportations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of its potential liability for compensation to the victims and their families following an offence committed by an individual who has been released from prison and has failed to have been deported or removed by the Home Office and its responsible agencies. (67857)

[holding answer 3 May 2006]: We would not expect there to be any significant exposure to liability in civil law applying the normal principles. Victims of violent crime are of course entitled to apply for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in the normal way.

DNA Database

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests have been received from other nations for details from the national DNA database concerning people who were added to the database when they were under 18 years and not charged or cautioned with any offence. (79025)

Requests for the exchange of DNA information between the United Kingdom and other countries are usually made through the United Kingdom National Central Bureau for Interpol (UK NCB) based at the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). Other requests may be made as a result of bi-lateral direct liaison between law enforcement authorities; and formal mutual legal assistance channels.

We understand from SOCA that it has not received any requests from other countries for details from the National DNA Database concerning people who had a DNA sample taken and added to the database when they were under 18 years of age and who were not charged or cautioned with any offence. No data are available on the number, if any, of exchanges of DNA information in such cases which occur through direct liaison between law enforcement authorities or formal mutual legal assistance channels.

Drug Intervention Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many cases in the Drug Intervention Programme (a) handling stolen goods, (b) attenuated acquisitive crime and (c) begging was the trigger for a drugs test in 2004-05. (69542)

I refer to the answer given to the hon. Member on 1 March 2006, Official Report, column 811W.

Ethnic Minority Community Liaison

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with representatives from the (a) African, (b) North African, (c) Arab and (d) Iranian communities since 7 July 2005. (77986)

All Home Secretaries and their Ministers meet with representative groups from an array of countries and organisations during the course of their duties.

Foreign Criminals

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign nationals who are in UK prisons have previously been imprisoned in the UK; for what offences they were imprisoned; and what the dates are of their previous (a) convictions and (b) imprisonment. (68724)

The information requested is not available centrally and establishing it from case files would incur disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a policy has been introduced that all foreign national prisoners are placed in category C prisons. (79501)

[holding answer 26 June 2006]: No. The policy on categorisation remains unchanged. The overriding purpose of categorisation remains to ensure that prisoners are retained in custody with a level of security consistent with the need to protect the public.

Knives

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many knives have been handed in during the current amnesty in (a) Beverley and Holderness and (b) Humberside Police Authority area; and if he will make a statement. (81702)

Figures for the number of items handed in during the first week of the knife amnesty have been collected at police force level. Humberside police report that 259 items were surrendered to them. 17,715 items were handed in England and Wales during the first week of the amnesty. We worked closely with ACPO to develop the arrangements for the amnesty, which was part of our wider strategy to tackle knife crime. We are also focusing on legislation, enforcement, education and prevention. We have brought forward provisions in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill that will raise the age at which someone can be sold a knife to 18; are introducing a new offence of using someone to mind a weapon; and giving head teachers powers to search pupils for knives. The Home Secretary announced on 19 June that he was giving very serious consideration to the suggestion that the maximum sentence for having a knife or blade in a public place should be increased from the current sentence of two years.

Many police forces are undertaking tough enforcement operations, for example, the Metropolitan police’s Operation Blunt and the British Transport police’s Operation Shield, which uses search equipment to detect those carrying knives and other weapons on our transport network. We are also supporting educational initiatives that demonstrate to young people the dangers of carrying knives, and reinforce the message that carrying a knife can result in it being turned on you. Though our small grants programme, the Connected Fund, we are also supporting a wide range of local community projects which work with young people to provide mentoring, training, education and other support.

Leave to Remain

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applicants from each of the countries which joined the EU in May 2005 have outstanding applications for leave to remain under the one-off exercise announced on 24 October 2003. (79018)

I am advised that as of 16 June 2006, 20 principal applicants from these countries have outstanding applications.

This figure is from internal management information.

London Terrorist Attacks

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those seriously injured in the terrorist attacks on 7 July 2005 have received (a) partial and (b) full compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board; and if he will make a statement. (68701)

[holding answer 8 May 2006]: As at 21 June 2006 the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) had received 522 applications for compensation arising from the incidents on 7 and 21 July 2005. They had offered 255 final awards and 165 interim awards, and had paid out over £2¼ million in respect of these claims.

CICA advise that they have made large interim awards in 17 cases where the injuries might be described as extremely serious. These injuries include loss of one or more limbs, loss of an eye, and serious burns to extensive areas of the body.

CICA have not yet been able to finalise any of these seriously injured cases, as they all involve claims for compensation additional to the basic tariff awards for loss of earnings and special expenses, and in all cases the final prognosis for recovery is not yet clear.

CICA will continue to make substantial interim awards in cases where final settlement is not in prospect, provided they have a police report confirming the claimant’s involvement in one of the incidents and a medical report confirming the nature and extent of the injuries.

We announced on 8 June 2006 that we were making an extra donation of £2.5 million to the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund to give assistance to bereaved and the injured victims of the 7 July London bombings. The further support was being made on a special, one-off basis in recognition of the exceptional circumstances of the London bombings, rather than under the rules of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, which would require a change to legislation 8 June 2006, Official Report, column 38WS.

North Yorkshire Constabulary

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) regular constables and (b) community support officers have been recruited to the North Yorkshire constabulary in the last 12 months. (79482)

In the period 1 June 2005-31 May 2006 the North Yorkshire constabulary have recruited (a) 114 police officers and (b) 12 police community support officers.

Offenders (Unpaid Work)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will estimate the funds saved through the use of unpaid work by offenders in each of the last 10 years. (63024)

It is not possible to give a precise figure but the following table provides a broad estimate of the value of the unpaid work done by offenders since 1995. It takes no account of the costs to the probation service of managing the work. Orders that include unpaid work vary in length but the calculation is based on the average number of hours per order. An allowance has been made for the fact that not all offenders complete their orders. The estimated total number of hours has been multiplied by the national minimum wage for each year. (Because the minimum wage came into force in 1999, the introductory figure of £3.60 has been used for 1995 to 1998.)

Estimated total value (£ million)

1995

18.0

1996

17.5

1997

18.4

1998

19.2

1999

19.2

2000

19.0

2001

18.7

2002

21.1

2003

21.7

2004

24.4

Passports

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have applied for a passport in each of the last eight years; and how many of those who have applied were rejected due to the applicant's (a) criminal record and (b) antisocial behaviour in each year. (80308)

The number of passport applications received by the Identity and Passport Service (formerly UKPS) in each of the last eight calendar years is in the following table.

A criminal record or a record of antisocial behaviour does not disqualify a British national from holding a passport and applicants are not required to give this information. If notified by the police, the IPS would refuse a passport to a person for whose arrest a warrant had been issued in the United Kingdom, or a person who was wanted by the United Kingdom police on suspicion of a serious crime.

Passport applications

1998

4,834,000

1999

4,685,000

2000

5,150,000

2001

5,692,000

2002

5,570,000

2003

5,635,000

2004

6,134,000

2005

6,539,000

People Trafficking

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of children trafficked into the UK in the last five years. (76842)

[holding answer 15 June 2006]: We have no centrally collated data on the numbers of children trafficked into the UK. The Home Office recognises there is an urgent need to improve its intelligence on this issue and for this reason has commissioned a scoping project in partnership with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to estimate the scale and nature of the problem including source countries. Additionally newly established Minors Intelligence Teams based at Croydon and Liverpool asylum screening units now provide monthly reports on children who have been identified as being at risk, including those that they believe have been trafficked.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 20 June 2006, Official Report, columns 1840-41W, on people trafficking, what proposals for combating human trafficking were discussed at the G8 meeting on 15 and 16 June. (81827)

[holding answer 3 July 2006]: Both the Attorney General and my hon. Friend the Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety addressed the issue of human trafficking when addressing G8 Justice and Interior Ministers in Moscow 15 and 16 June. They urged that the G8 step up its work in tackling organised human trafficking and referred to a UK-led project to establish ways of further enhancing cooperation and the exchange of intelligence to combat organised trafficking and smuggling.

G8 Justice and Interior Ministers stressed the importance of cooperation with Interpol as well as Europol to enhance the efficiency of cooperation in the fight against smuggling and human trafficking and the use of the Interpol Lost, Stolen and Invalid Passports Database. They also called for increased interaction with relevant UN institutions, as well as the International Organization for Migration, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization, and the Europol in combating illegal migration.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government have taken to meet their obligations under Section 7 of the Council of the European Union’s Framework Decision on combating trafficking in human beings to ensure appropriate assistance is provided for the families of child victims of trafficking. (79229)

[holding answer 21 June 2006]: The Council of the European Union’s Framework Decision on combating the trafficking in human beings, places certain obligations on member states to criminalise and prosecute traffickers, and to protect and support victims of trafficking. Under Article 7, paragraph 3 (Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA) member states are obliged to take the measures possible to ensure appropriate assistance for the family of a child victim of trafficking.

All agencies and organisations within the criminal justice system aim to work in partnership to meet the needs of all victims of crime, including young victims. Advice and information will be offered to families in line with the detailed provisions of Article 4, (Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA), cross referenced in Article 7 (Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA), on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been (a) prosecuted for and (b) convicted of trafficking people since Sections 4 and 5 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 came into force. (78813)

[holding answer 20 June 2006]: To date there have been no prosecutions or convictions for trafficking under section 4 and 5 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004.

Police (Cultural Items)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many specialist police there are with responsibility for theft and other crimes relating to cultural items in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. (73433)

There is no specific data collected for the number of police officers with responsibility for theft and other crimes relating to cultural items.

As at 31 March 2005, there were 727 full-time equivalent police officers whose main function was “burglary”. This includes staff who predominantly investigate offences of burglary. In the same period there were 16,887 full-time equivalent police officers whose main function was “CID”. This includes staff mainly employed in plain clothes for the investigation of crime, and includes any specialist squads, e.g. robbery.

Prison Education

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place a much larger proportion of short-term prisoners in open prisons. (65573)

The length of a person's prison sentence is not the primary determinant for their categorisation. Prisoners are placed in the lowest security category consistent with the needs of security and control and the need to protect the public. Prisoners are subject to a rigorous and robust risk assessment when being categorised. Only prisoners categorised D and therefore considered to pose a low risk of escape and not represent a threat to the public may be placed in open prisons.

Prison Sentences

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who listed a residential address in Hartlepool constituency at the time of sentencing received a prison sentence in each year since 1990. (77116)

There is no information recorded on the Court Proceedings database relating to the home addresses of persons sentenced. The information contained in the table shows, however, the number of persons sentenced to immediate custody in the Hartlepool Petty Sessional Area (PSA) (sitting at Hartlepool Magistrates Court) or committed by Hartlepool Magistrates Court to the Crown Court for trial or sentence from 1990 to 2004, the latest year for which data are available.

Persons sentenced to immediate custody by the Hartlepool PSA1, 1990 to 2004

Number of persons

1990

104

1991

92

1992

106

1993

106

1994

138

1995

161

1996

200

1997

181

1998

247

1999

242

2000

269

2001

292

2002

264

2003

314

2004

260

1 Including cases sentenced at the Crown court following committal from Hartlepool PSA.

Prison Service

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff are employed in the Prison Service Security Group; and if he will make a statement. (78184)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many personnel the Prison Service Fraud Investigation Unit employs; how many investigations the unit has undertaken in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement; (80021)

(2) what assessment was made by the Prison Service of the risk of fraud in its latest assessment of business risk; what the date was of the last assessment; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how often within the last five years the Prison Service Fraud Investigation Unit interrogated Prison Service corporate data to identify indicators of fraud; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 26 June 2006]: There are the equivalent of two full-time staff within the Fraud Investigation Unit, which is contained within the Audit and Corporate Assurance Group. The unit has undertaken 90 investigations over the last five years:

Number of investigations

2001-02

25

2002-03

17

2003-04

14

2004-05

15

2005-06

19

Individual establishments and headquarters groups are required to undertake a fraud risk assessment annually and to ensure appropriate controls are in place to mitigate this risk. In addition, one of the key systems in place to manage one of the Prison Service corporate risks measures the effectiveness of compliance with financial controls and standards. The Prison Service Management Board has assessed this as satisfactory at the last assessment on 24 April 2006.

The Fraud Investigation Unit along with other members of Audit and Corporate Assurance have been fully engaged in advising on the design of major Prison Service systems for human resources, Finance and Procurement, in order to reduce the risk of fraud. Once these systems have been fully implemented, it is intended that the Fraud Investigation Unit will use appropriate software to interrogate corporate data systems. It has not yet happened.

Prisons

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria are used to determine whether a prisoner should be categorised as category A. (81025)

Prisoners are categorised according to the risk they present to the public, to the police or to the security of the state.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what processes are in place for the review of category A status for prisoners; and what records are kept of such reviews. (81036)

The security category of a prisoner is assessed, decided, and kept under review in the light of all available information. The processes in place for reviews of category A status for prisoners are set out in Prison Service Order 1010 which provides for annual reviews of categorisation for sentenced prisoners. Records are kept in the prisoners file at prisons and also at Prison Service headquarters.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions the judiciary has changed the status of a category A prisoner to facilitate the prisoner's attendance at trial in the last 10 years. (81125)

The Prison Service has responsibility for categorisation of prisoners. The judiciary cannot change the status of a category A prisoner to facilitate their attendance at trial.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inmates were being held in open conditions who had previously been Category A or Category B prisoners on 31 December of each of the last 10 years. (63082)

This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only by examination of individual records at a disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely effect by 2010 on (a) the prison population and (b) prison costs of requiring all prisoners currently under sentence to serve their full sentences. (76608)

Projections of the prison population in 2010 if all prisoners were to serve to their sentence expiry date have not been produced. Prison population projections to 2011 have been produced for a range of scenarios and are published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 10/05, a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of whether access to (a) naltraczone, (b) subutex and (c) methadone would increase the exchange of illegal drugs within the prison estate; and if he will make a statement. (78102)

Prison Service Order 3550 requires that the administration and consumption of prescribed drugs used in maintenance and detoxification programmes is strictly monitored. In possession medication is not indicated for subutex and methadone. Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist which does not have the same potential for abuse as methadone and buprenorphine (subutex).

A comprehensive range of measures is in place to reduce the supply of drugs in prisons, including routes from prescribed medication.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures are in place within the Prison Service to advise the (a) police and (b) probation service of unexpected changes in prisoners’ release dates brought about by restoration of remission boards; and if he will make a statement. (78103)

Governors are required to notify the police and probation service of the release dates for offenders. In the specific case of high risk offenders coming under Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements, Governors must ensure that all staff involved in sentence calculation, decisions to restore ‘added days’ and facilitating release arrangements for high risk prisoners are aware of the need to advise the police and probation service immediately of any unexpected changes to release dates or release arrangements. In all cases where a prisoner is released on licence, a copy of the licence is sent to the supervising probation service shortly before release, and is updated in the event of any change in release date.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the (a) availability and (b) use of (i) naltraczone, (ii) subutex and (iii) methadone in dealing with drug addiction within the prison estate. (78109)

Naltrexone, subutex and methadone are used in the management of those who are addicted to opiates, and as such they can be used as treatment interventions in prison.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison officers have been reinstated after dismissal in each prison in each of the last three years. (78133)

Information is not available centrally on the number of prison officers who have been reinstated following dismissal in each of the last three years. This information could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact on the overcrowding rate in female prison establishments of the re-roling of HM Prison (a) Bullwood Hall and (b) Brockhill; and if he will make a statement. (78144)

The impact of the allocation of women prisoners from Bullwood Hall and Brockhill in the women’s estate has been assessed and no overcrowding is expected as a result of this change of function. There is still spare capacity within the women’s estate.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what checks are carried out by the Prison Service into the nationality of prisoners entering prison establishments who claim to be British; and if he will make a statement. (78196)

Prison Service Order 0500 requires prison reception staff to interview all incoming prisoners and note their stated nationality in the prisoner’s core record. Any passport or other document providing evidence of the prisoner’s nationality will be examined but prison staff do not have the means to carry out any specific checks to confirm the nationality of prisoners claiming to be British. Prisons will report the details of all prisoners who state that they are foreign nationals or dual nationals, all those whose nationality is initially unclear and all those who refuse to give their nationality to the Immigration Service who will then establish their immigration status.

As the Home Secretary outlined in his ministerial statement of 23 May, officials are now looking at the possibility of placing a legal obligation on those suspected, charged or convicted to declare their nationality.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times officials of his Department have met officials at HMP Peterborough since 1 January to discuss prisoner releases from HMP Peterborough; and if he will make a statement. (78919)

The Home Office controller for HMP Peterborough is the key official who meets with the prison's director to discuss operational matters, including the release of prisoners. Formal meetings take place monthly and in addition there are informal weekly meetings. Since January 2006 the controller has discussed with the director cases involving the release of eight individual prisoners, including five meetings between April and June concerning the release of foreign national prisoners.

It is a requirement that release licences for prisoners are signed by the Home Office controller in his or her capacity as a Crown servant. As a consequence of this the contractor's custody management team is in regular contact with the controller's team, who make the necessary checks prior to release taking place.