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Written Answers

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 17 May 2007

International Development

Africa: Life Expectancy

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to increase life expectancy at birth in Africa. (137468)

DFID is working to increase life expectancy through a variety of activities including support for the provision of clean water and sanitation, large-scale immunisation and insecticide-treated bednets programmes and addressing related maternal mortality. Safe hygiene practice and improved access to clean water and sanitation are also vital for reducing child mortality. DFID produced the Water Action Plan in March 2004, and we will double our spending on water and sanitation to £95 million by 2007-08.

In Nigeria we are providing £20 million to rebuild routine immunisation services and a further £80 million for malaria control. In Tanzania we continue to provide support for the social marketing of bednets as part of the national Insecticide Treated Net Programme, and in Sierra Leone we are designing a new long term Child Survival and Maternal Health Programme with the World Bank and national partners. In Malawi we are contributing £100 million over six years to the government's essential health and human resource programme, and significant progress has been made on child survival through immunisation and malaria programmes. Similarly in Zambia we are major donors to the National Strategic Health Plan, which includes a focus on improving child health through expanded vaccination, curative care and improving access to services. In Kenya we are supporting a sector wide approach for the long term strengthening of the health system and improved service delivery. We have funded the development of a number of plans in human resources, procurement and financial management. We are also concentrating much support on the prevention of malaria, the major cause of mortality in children in Kenya. By the end of 2007 we will have spent more than £45 million on insecticide treated bednets and distributed 11 million nets, saving approximately 167,000 lives. DFID is indirectly supporting South Africa's efforts to reverse under-five mortality rates through the £30 million, five-year HIV/AIDS Multi-Sectoral Support Programme (MSP). Our support to the Maternal Child and Women Health Unit in the Department of Health supports research in the area of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), the development of fertility options policy, and research on barriers to antiretroviral uptake among children and pregnant women.

DFID continues to provide strong support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (GFATM), and also played a central role in the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) which issued its first bonds in November 2006. This will disburse $4 billion over the next 10 years and is estimated will save 10 million lives, including five million children before 2015. DFID also recently pledged long term support to UNITAID, the International Drug Purchase Facility, starting with a £15 million contribution in 2007, to ensure poor countries benefit from lower prices for drugs to treat AIDS, TB and malaria.

Developing Countries: HIV Infection

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in making cheaper HIV/Aids drugs available to developing nations. (137465)

There has been progress in driving down the prices of HIV/AIDS drugs in a number of ways. Competition between multiple producers is leading to significant falls in the prices of some first-line Antiretrovirals (ARVs). The work of UNITAID, trade measures, research and improved transparency around pricing in developing countries, are also combining to bring down prices and improve access.

DFID is supporting UNITAID, the international drug purchasing facility established in late 2006. UNITAID has already approved several significant expenditures, including $61.7 million for paediatric anti-retroviral therapy (ART), $70 million for second line ART and $52.5m for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. We hope that UNITAID will contribute to the necessary reductions in the prices of second-line drugs such as Viread and Kaletra.

UNITAID and the Clinton Foundation recently announced a major cut in the price of 16 ARV formulations which will be available to 66 developing countries. UNITAID has committed over $120 million in 2007 and 2008 to this programme, and the Clinton Foundation has negotiated price reductions on average between 25 per cent. and 50 per cent.

DFID and other Whitehall Departments have worked with the EU and World Trade Organisation (WTO) member states, to ensure that developing countries have the necessary flexibilities in the WTO Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement to safeguard their pressing public health needs. TRIPS now allows countries without manufacturing capacity to issue compulsory licences to import generic copies of patented medicines. The EU is taking steps to implement legislation transposing this agreement into European law. We have funded several programmes including pilot projects in Kenya and Botswana to help them implement legislation allowing them to use TRIPS flexibilities.

The UK is also involved with others in research, largely through public private partnerships including the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), and recently launched an international Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) to focus on price, quality and availability of medicines across the supply chain in-country. MeTA builds on the existing efforts of developing country, donor, World Health Organisation, other multilateral and civil society partners to strengthen national procurement and supply systems, and to tackle corruption.

Middle East: Economic Situation

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to improve economic conditions in the Middle East. (137467)

DFID is helping to improve the economic conditions in the Middle East in a number of ways:

We are supporting the Iraqi Government in their economic reform efforts through a £13 million programme, providing technical advice on fiscal (including budget management and public financial management) and macroeconomic policy.

We are providing £15 million to the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The TIM and other international assistance has helped to slow economic decline. The World Bank has highlighted the restrictions on movement and access of Palestinians as the biggest economic constraint, and the UK Government have made our concerns clear to the Israeli Government on this.

As part of our Yemen programme of £12 million this year, we are investigating various ways in which we can support growth and jobs for poor people. We also focus on improving the efficiency of Government. We are supporting the Ministry of Finance to implement National Public Financial Management Reform. This includes support to budget development and management, procurement reform and auditing. Currently we have £1.1 million committed (2006-08) to this multi-donor Government programme, and are looking to expand over 2008-11 if opportunities to build on progress exist. At community level, the Social Fund for Development (SFD) is supporting small and micro enterprise development throughout the country to which DFID is providing approximately £800,000. DFID has over the past couple of years worked with the Government and other donors to harmonize donor assistance in Yemen in order to make it as effective as possible.

At regional level, DFID supports economic reform across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through contributions to the EC European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) which will provide €5.6 billion (approximately £3.8 billion) for 17 MENA and eastern European countries from 2007-10. Approximately €1 billion (approximately £0.6 billion) of this will come from DFID’s budget. The ENPI is designed to promote good governance and equitable social and economic development.

DFID also directly supports the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and partnership (FEMIP) which has loaned €2 billion (approximately £1.4 billion) to MENA countries to help them meet the challenges of economic and social modernisation and improve regional integration. DFID has provided €3 million (approximately £2 million) in grants to a technical trust fund which helps to ensure the FEMIP lending is effective.

Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what criteria his Department use to evaluate the impact of UK aid. (137466)

All DFID evaluations, which are carried out independently, follow the standard international approach by reporting against the evaluation criteria of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), comprising relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.

Further information can be found on the DFID website at:

www.dfid.gov.uk/aboutdfid/performance/files/guidance-evaluation.pdf

and on the OECD-DAC website at:

www.oecd.org/dac/guidelines.

Uganda: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the Government of Uganda on talks with the Lord’s Resistance Army. (137569)

I last met with President Museveni on 20 November 2006. During this meeting we discussed northern Uganda and President Museveni updated me on the peace talks that are taking place in Juba between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army.

DFID and Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff hold regular discussions with the Government of Uganda on a range of issues that include the talks with the Lord’s Resistance Army. Most recently the British high commissioner to Uganda and the Head of the DFID Office in Uganda met with President Museveni on 10 May 2007. He reconfirmed his support for the Juba peace process. In all of our discussions with the Government of Uganda on northern Uganda we emphasise the importance of dialogue as essential to resolving the conflict. The UK has provided £250,000 to a UN fund set up to support the talks and we have made it clear that we will do more if necessary.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of how many Acholi people (a) died, (b) were murdered and (c) were raped in each of the last five years. (137568)

Accurate data on the number of Acholi people who have been murdered are not available, although UN reports do suggest that incidents of violence in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) affecting parts of northern Uganda have fallen dramatically since peace talks between the LRA and the Government of Uganda began in July 2006.

Accurate data on the number of Acholi people who have been raped are also not available. Many women and girls do not come forward and say that they have been raped because of the stigma involved, and the practical problems associated with reporting such incidents. However the risk of sexual and gender based violence is high. As part of our humanitarian assistance, DFID has provided approximately £2 million to UNICEF and Save the Children over the last two financial years for their programmes to protect women and children in the North. Communities have also stressed the importance of a police presence in tackling issues of sexual and gender based violence. In response we are providing £700,000 from the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool funds in support of a plan to strengthen civilian policing in the North.

DFID is working closely with the Government of Uganda and others to support the collection of accurate information in conflict-affected areas of northern Uganda, to fully understand the impact of the conflict, and to ensure that humanitarian assistance is targeted towards the greatest needs.

In July 2005 DFID supported a Uganda Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation led survey that measured crude mortality rates in northern Uganda. This found that the crude mortality rate in northern Uganda was 1.54 deaths per 10,000 people per day. A crude mortality rate of over 1.0 per 10,000 a day is considered an emergency. As a direct response we have provided over £37 million in humanitarian assistance over the last two years, including £9.6 million in support of a UN programme aimed at tackling some of the main causes of death, including malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory tract infection. There is strong anecdotal evidence that mortality has fallen but a repeat survey will be carried out before the end of the year to check that this is the case.

Leader of the House

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Leader of the House when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Richmond Park of 5 March 2007 on behalf of her constituent Mr GP Knight (reference PT/050307/KNIGHTGP). (136568)

My office had no record of having received the hon. Member’s letter dated 5 March 2007 before it was brought to my attention. I have today replied to the letter. If such a situation arises in the future the hon. Member might want to phone my office in the first instance.

Northern Ireland

Departments: Official Hospitality,

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2007, Official Report, column 1440W, on Departments: official hospitality, if he will provide a breakdown by main categories of expenditure of the money spent on official hospitality by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister in 2006-07. (136272)

Home Information Packs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to introduce home information packs in Northern Ireland. (136063)

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much local authorities spent on (a) arts organisations and (b) other arts related activities in each year since 1997. (137498)

The Government do not collect information on local authority spending on arts organisations and arts related activities specifically. The Communities and Local Government Revenue Outturn returns show the following information for England.

£

Arts development and support

Theatre and public entertainment

Arts development support theatres and public entertainment

Arts activities and facilities

Total

2005-06

118,496

142,604

261,100

2004-05

121,042

105,896

226,938

2003-04

224,616

224,616

2002-03

188,933

188,933

2001-02

187,072

187,072

2000-01

174,483

174,483

1999-2000

141,525

141,525

1998-99

89,413

89,413

1997-98

Arts: Innovation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to promote entrepreneurship in the creative industries. (137559)

[holding answer 16 May 2007]: DCMS supported the Entrepreneurship Task Group which considered how to promote the development of entrepreneurial skills amongst creative industries graduates. The group's recommendations have been taken forward by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship.

The Department also sponsors the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), which through its programmes aims to support the next generation of creative innovators and those at the early stages of their creative careers.

Issues around entrepreneurship in the creative industries will be highlighted in the Creative Economy Programme Green Paper, due for publication shortly.

Culture and Creativity Advisory Forum

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the estimated annual running costs are of the Culture and Creativity Advisory Forum. (137496)

There are no running costs of the Culture and Creativity Advisory Forum other than those of staff time within the Department and refreshments, both paid for within DCMS’s revenue budget.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the (a) salary and (b) financial package is for a creative programmer; and what the budget is of each regional creative programme. (137497)

Each Creative Programmer post will attract a salary of around £40,000. The precise financial package will take account of the full costs of employment. This is a matter for each of the Regional Cultural Consortiums who will employ the Creative Programmers and will be responsible for agreeing salaries with successful candidates.

Creative Programmers will work closely with national and regional partners to advise the cultural sector in the region on possible sources of public and private funding to support cultural projects as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Film

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made with the MOT for film policy announced by the Minister for Culture in a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research on 15 June 2005. (137491)

DCMS is working closely with its strategic agency, the UK Film Council, to create a sustainable and successful film industry. The MOT for film policy was a document which suggested possible additional ways of doing this. The UK Film Council has recently launched its three year corporate plan for 2007-10, after extensive consultation. This plan incorporates many of the initiatives from the MOT, including a new Market Testing Fund, a Film Festivals Fund, and a Film Digitisation and Marketing Fund.

Olympic Games: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department will take to ensure that the principles enshrined in the 2012 Construction Commitments will be upheld in the awarding of construction contracts in the Olympic project. (137359)

The Olympic Delivery Authority and partners are committed to promoting the 2012 Construction Commitments developed by the Strategic Forum for Construction, and this is clearly set out in its procurement policy.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the proportion of construction projects for the Olympic and Paralympic Games which are likely to be awarded to local construction firms. (137360)

In accordance with EU procurement regulation, no preference can be given to British companies. Contracts will be awarded to those judged to be the best suppliers and service providers. However, we are committed to ensuring that UK companies are well placed to compete successfully for Games related contracts, and the DTI is mobilising its full range of business support tools to help achieve this.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) publishes details of all contract opportunities on the business section of the London 2012 website at:

www.london2012.org

which also includes advance notice of future opportunities. Alongside this, the business opportunities network that is currently being developed will act as a conduit for information about procurement opportunities and supply chains within the London 2012 project. It will also allow business support organisations to communicate with and offer support to businesses in their area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the contribution of specialist contractors to the construction projects involved in the Olympic and Paralympic Games; and what representations she has received on the involvement of specialist contractors. (137361)

The construction of the Olympic Park, including the packaging and procurement of contracts, is the responsibility of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). Building the Olympic Park will require the contribution of a wide range of contractors, including specialist contractors. In order to keep potential suppliers updated of developments in the letting of contracts the ODA has organised a series of Industry Days, focusing on different aspects of the construction work, which are designed to both consult with key stakeholders within the industry on how contracts could be packaged and to keep them abreast of the procurement process.

In accordance with the ODA's procurement policy and in the interests of maintaining fair and open competition, companies making representations directly to the ODA and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are redirected to the business section of the London 2012 website:

www.london2012.com/business

where they can register to receive updates about the Industry Days and developments in the procurement of contracts. This service is open to all businesses throughout the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the membership is of the (a) Olympic Board Steering group, (b) Olympic Programme Support Unit and (c) working level network of Olympic co-ordinators; what position is held by each; what expenses each has incurred; and on what dates each has attended meetings. (137492)

The Olympic Board Steering Group consists of senior representatives of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Communities and Local Government (CLG), the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the Greater London Authority (GLA), the British Olympic Association (BOA), the British Paralympic Association (BPA), the Olympic Lottery Distributor (OLD) and the Olympic Programme Support Unit (OPSU). This group meets on a monthly basis.

The Olympic Co-ordinators group consists of representatives of Government Departments, the Devolved Administrations, the lead Regional Development Agency and lead Government Office for DCMS. Representatives of the GLA, ODA, LOCOG and OPSU also attend these meetings. This group meets on a quarterly basis.

Any travel and subsistence expenses that arise in relation to attendance at these meetings are the responsibility of the individual organisations and not these groups.

The Olympic Programme Support Unit is not a decision-making body with any specific representative membership. It is a small unit based within DCMS that provides a secretariat for the Olympic Board and independently monitors progress against the Olympic Programme as a whole.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which categories of projects will be entitled to money from the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, UK Wide Cultural Festival. (137495)

We have plans for a wide range of exciting and innovative projects to be part of the Cultural Olympiad. These projects will all: celebrate London and the UK welcoming the world; inspire and involve young people; and generate a positive legacy. The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will shortly announce how cultural organisations can be involved in the Cultural Olympiad, including the UK-wide Cultural Festival.

Sports: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what date her Department agreed the target of offering all children at least four hours of sport a week by 2010. (136988)

In December 2004 the Prime Minister announced the Government's long term ambition to offer at least four hours of sport every week by 2010 to all pupils in schools in England.

Tote

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 3 May 2007, Official Report, column 1833W, on the Tote, what discussions her Department has had with personnel from HM Treasury on the future of the Tote. (136870)

Officials regularly attend meetings as part of the process of policy development It is not normal practice of Government to disclose details of, or attendance at, such meetings. The Government remain in discussion with the consortium of racing interests and the staff and management of the Tote that has submitted an offer for the Tote's businesses.

Wales

Departments: Sovereign Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Office held with Sovereign Strategy in each year between 1997 and 2006. (136864)

Treasury

Business: Newcastle upon Tyne

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the stock was of VAT registered businesses per 10,000 adults in the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in each year since 1996. (137109)

The information is set out in the table.

Stock of VAT registered Businesses

Adults

Stock of VAT registered businesses per 10,000 adults

1996

5,569

226,073

246.3

1997

5,601

223,937

250.1

1998

5,671

221,186

256.4

1999

5,477

219,667

249.3

2000

5,372

217,488

247.0

2001

5,463

216,911

251.9

2002

5,411

217,440

248.9

2003

5,442

218,792

248.7

2004

5,573

222,140

250.9

2005

5,669

229,254

247.3

2006

5,769

1

1

1 Not available yet

Cervical Cancer: Vaccination

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether his Department has made an estimate of the cost of a schools-based vaccination programme for the human papillomavirus vaccine; (137740)

(2) what funds have been allocated for a schools-based vaccination programme for the human papillomavirus vaccine.

All decisions on the funding of health programmes beyond 2007-08 will be made in the context of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Departments: Delivery Unit

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what role the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit will play in the 2007 comprehensive spending review; (137044)

(2) in which (a) policy areas and (b) projects his Department (i) is receiving support or advice from the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and (ii) has received support or advice over the last 12 months.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Chipping Barnet (Mrs. Villiers) on 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 286W.

Departments: Official Hospitality

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 23 April 2007, Official Report, column 982W, on Departments: official hospitality, whether his Department creates a record for security purposes of those visiting his Department’s building at 1 Horse Guards Parade. (137043)

Departments: Sovereign Strategy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department held with Sovereign Strategy in each year between 1997 and 2006. (136851)

Excise Duties: Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department made an assessment of the potential for fiscal incentives to contribute to the promotion of responsible drinking prior to the 2007 Budget. (137202)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer he was given on 20 April 2007, Official Report, column 866W.

Gift Aid

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the cost was to the public purse of administering Gift Aid in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07; (137009)

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to UK charities of administering Gift Aid claim returns in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07.

[holding answer 14 May 2007]: Gift Aid is one of a number of charitable reliefs and activities administered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). HMRC does not distinguish the costs of processing Gift Aid from its other activities in relation to charities and charitable giving and does not have information available to identify the cost of processing Gift Aid by charities.

However, the HMRC Charities business stream brings together most policy, technical and operational work in relation to charities for both direct and indirect taxes. The total operational cost of this business stream was £3,342,594 (2005-06) and £3,690,339 (2006-07). These figures include the paybill costs of staff, but exclude departmental overheads such as accommodation.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will reply to the letter of 19 March from the hon. Member for Weston-Super-Mare, on the child tax credit system. (137375)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Paymaster General will respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Spelthorne dated 26 February about a constituent’s tax credits problem (Treasury reference PO REF: 4/29817/2007). (137502)

Migration

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his most recent estimate is of future net migration for the purpose of determining a long-term trend economic growth rate. (137277)

HM Treasury’s latest projection of migration and its contribution to trend growth are set out in “Trend Growth: new evidence and prospects”, published alongside the 2006 Pre Budget Report (CM 6984).

Office of Government Commerce: Manpower

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) full-time, (b) part-time and (c) external staff the Office of Government Commerce employed in each of the last five years. (136999)

The information is given in the table:

Full-time

Part-time

April 2007

285

10

April 2006

420

10

April 2005

435

15

April 2004

370

10

April 2003

370

20

Pensions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the potential effect on costs arising from arranging for the pension policies held with different employers of one individual to be dealt with by a single tax office. (137637)

HMRC have no plans to bring together how they deal with employer and occupational pension records into a single office. No work has been done to identify the costs or the impact on the handling of pension policies.

However, in 2008 HMRC will bring together individual’s PAYE records, both employment and pension records, onto a single database to improve the standards of customer service and deliver cost efficiencies throughout the department.

Public Sector Net Cash Requirement

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) total amount and (b) percentage of GDP was of public sector net debt for the UK in each year since 1996. (137124)

These public sector net debt series are published monthly in tables A7 and A8 of the Public Finances Databank, the latest version of which can be found at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/economic_data_and_tools/finance_spending statistics/pubsec_finance/psf_statistics.cfm

Research and Development Tax Credit

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount of tax relief wrongly claimed under the Research and Development Tax Credit Scheme; and whether he has set up a special unit to investigate abuses of the Scheme. (137048)

Since the introduction of the relief in April 2000 no companies have been convicted of making fraudulent claims to relief.

HMRC adopts a risk-based approach to the interventions it undertakes. As with other elements of companies’ tax returns and computations, claims for R and D tax credits are subject to risk assessment procedures. Where significant risks are identified they are pursued through a variety of interventions one of which involves opening an inquiry into the company tax return or claim.

In response to consultation HMRC opened seven specialist R and D units in November 2006. The units will improve the consistency of dealing with claims and their role is to encourage and help companies to make claims to R and D relief while ensuring that any instances of non-compliance are effectively and efficiently handled.

Taxation: Emergency Services

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 8 May 2007, Official Report, columns 189-90W, on taxation: emergency services, what his Department’s policy is on the treatment for tax purposes of the use of emergency vehicles between home and workplace which may also be used for private journeys. (137002)

The statutory exemption that removes the tax charge that would otherwise arise where members of the fire, police, ambulance and paramedic services take their vehicles home, applies where the individual driving the emergency vehicle is on call or engaged in on call commuting. If the vehicle can be used for private journeys at any other time, a tax charge will apply if it is used for such journeys, including journeys between home and workplace.

Welfare Tax Credits

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) underpayment and (b) overpayment there has been of (i) pension credit, (ii) working tax credit and (iii) child tax credit in each year since their introduction. (136404)

Pension credit was introduced in 2003. It is designed to ensure that no pensioner falls below a minimum level of weekly income, and also rewards those who have saved for their retirement.

The amount of pension credit estimated as overpaid in each year due to fraud, customer error and official error is published as National Statistics. The amount estimated as overpaid in each year since the introduction of pension credit is shown in the table, together with the percentage of pension credit expenditure for the relevant period.

2003-042004-052005-06

£ million

Percentage

£ million

Percentage

£ million

Percentage

Overpayments

270

5.4

280

4.6

270

4.1

Underpayments

85

1.7

121

2.0

100

1.6

Figures for 2003-04 are available only for a combination of pension credit and the minimum income guarantee (the system which pension credit replaced).

Child and working tax credits is a flexible system which responds to changes in family circumstances. Therefore, overpayments and underpayments are part of the system and can be caused by income rises from one year to the next, families overstating the extent to which income has fallen, delays in reporting changes in family’s circumstances, and provisional payments made at the start of the year which are based on out-of-date information. They are not therefore, comparable with over and underpayment arising from the pension credit.

Estimates of the number of families with tax credits awards in 2003-04 and 2004-05, including information on overpayments and underpayments (based on finalised family circumstances and incomes for 2003-04 and 2004-05) are available in the publication: “Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Awards 2004-05. Supplement on payments in 2004-05”. This is available on the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-payments-0405.pdf

We do not produce statistics separately for child tax credit and working tax credit. Figures for 2005-06 are due to be published on 22 May 2007.

Scotland

Local Government: Elections

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many spoiled ballots there were in the local authority elections held in Scotland on 3rd May. (137567)

Communities and Local Government

Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will publish carbon dioxide milestones that can be used in conjunction with the standard assessment procedure and the planning process to ensure that appropriate building services and local renewables are specified. (135863)

The Government have proposed changes to building regulations energy efficiency requirements so that by 2016 all new homes will need to be zero carbon as calculated by the Standard Assessment Procedure. The Government have also proposed interim milestones so that in 2010 and 2013, building regulations energy efficiency standards will be 25 per cent. and 44 per cent. higher respectively, compared with 2006.

The Government’s draft Planning Policy Statement on Climate Change has set out the need for development plan documents to set policies on the provision of low carbon and renewable sources of energy to provide the platform necessary for complementing the increasingly high levels of energy efficiency standards required by Building Regulations.

The proposed changes to building regulations together with the draft Planning Policy Statement on Climate Change will create opportunities for the use of appropriate building services and local renewables.

Departments: Official Engagements

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the diary engagements were for each member of her ministerial team for 23 April. (136840)

For 23 April diary engagements for each member of the ministerial team were as follows:

Engagement

Ruth Kelly

Internal meetings only.

Phil Woolas

Internal meetings, a presentation from REACH, and a meeting with UNISON to discuss RSG issues.

Yvette Cooper

Internal meetings and a speech to 9th Hertfordshire Housing Conference.

Meg Munn

Opened exhibition in Bristol to mark bicentenary of abolition of the slave trade.

Angela Smith

Internal meetings and discussion with National School of Government regarding staff development strategy.

Baroness Andrews

Internal meetings and discussion with Patrick Hall MP regarding Milton Keynes

We do not release details of internal discussions as this would prejudice the frank exchanges of views between Ministers and officials which are necessary to policy development.

Housing: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) houses and (b) flats built in (i) 2003, (ii) 2004, (iii) 2005 and (iv) 2006 were found subsequently to have significant building defects; and if she will make a statement. (136727)

The construction of all new dwellings is subject to building control but as this is a fully devolved service under the Building Act 1984, no central records are kept of contraventions of building regulations.

Non compliance with building regulations may result in the withholding of completion or final certificates, and possibly formal enforcement action by the local authority for more serious breaches. In addition, the vast majority of new dwellings are covered by home warranties which provide mechanisms for defects to be remedied. Officials work closely with warranty providers to ensure that these are effective.

India

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which Ministers in her Department have visited India in the last 12 months; on how many occasions each Minister visited India; and what the length was of each visit. (135543)

No Communities and Local Government Ministers have visited India in the last 12 months.

This Government publishes an annual list of Cabinet Ministers’ travel overseas costing over £500 along with the total cost of all ministerial travel. Information for 2005-06 was published on 24 July 2006 and is available in the Library of the House. Information for 2006-07 will be published as soon as it is ready.

All travel is in accordance with the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers.

Local Government Finance: Elderly

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to change the formula for grant allocation to local councils for older people to reflect changes in the numbers of elderly people aged over 75 years and their increased social care needs. (134851)

We tested a wide range of indicators of social service need, including those relating to age and health, when developing the current formula. As a result, I am satisfied that the variables in the older people’s formula adequately reflect relative social service need in different types of authority.

The new formula is calculated using data on the number of people aged 65 and over resident in each area, and pensioners living alone, in receipt of pension credit and attendance allowance, pensioners who live in rented accommodation and those aged 90 and over in each area.

We do expect to update the data we use in the relative needs formulae for the 2008-09 settlement, where possible. This will ensure that the calculations reflect changes in demographic and other trends in each local authority.

Transport

Lorry Drivers: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements are in place to ensure that HGV drivers from (a) European Union member states and (b) other foreign jurisdictions meet the driving standards required of British HGV drivers. (136832)

The UK recognises driving licences issued by all other European Union (EU) member states, including HGV entitlement. As European Council Directive 91/439/EEC prescribes a minimum standard for health and driver testing (including HGV tests), it is presumed that HGV drivers from other EU states will have the same conditions applied to their driving standards.

Non-EU licence holders who are resident here may only drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (motorcycles, cars and light vans). Visitors may drive larger vehicles only if the vehicles were registered outside Great Britain and have been driven into the country temporarily. While driving on British roads they are subject to the same road traffic laws as British HGV drivers.

Enforcement of road traffic law is a matter for individual chief officers of police.

Railways: Aviation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated in the last five years on the potential effect of high-speed rail on demand for air travel; and what plans it has to commission further research. (137566)

The Government made a manifesto commitment to look at the feasibility and affordability of a new north-south high-speed link. The Department has committed to take this forward in the development of a long-term strategy for the railways.

In so doing the Department will draw on a range of evidence and commissioned work, including Sir Rod Eddington’s advice on the long-term impact of transport decisions on the UK’s productivity, stability and growth. The Department will release the evidence alongside our conclusions as part of the long-term strategy for the railways to be published in summer 2007.

Railways: Fixed Penalties

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) fixed penalty notices and (b) court summonses were issued by rail companies in the London area to passengers in the last 12 months. (137115)

The Department for Transport does not collate this information, as the prosecution of individuals is a matter for the train operators concerned, the British Transport police and the courts.

Roads: Construction

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library the most recent appraisal summary table for each road scheme in the Local Transport Programme. (124189)

I have arranged for the most recent appraisal summary table for each local major road schemes granted programme entry or subsequent approval through the local transport programme to be placed in the in the House Library.

Shipping: Radioactive Materials

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the required response time is in the event of an (a) incident and (b) terrorist attack involving a transport ship carrying plutonium-based MOX fuel in European Union waters. (137554)

Ships carrying MOX fuel are required to have a shipboard emergency plan which would be activated immediately in the event that an incident occurred. Emergency support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

An immediate response to a terrorist attack would be provided by the onboard escort team, comprising authorised firearms officers of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether alcohol consumption is permitted on the vessels used by PNTL and NDA to transport plutonium-based MOX fuels from Sellafield to (a) other EU Members States and (b) Japan. (137556)

All crew members on board PNTL and NDA vessels are limited, regardless of destination, to an alcohol level of half the UK legal limit for driving. This is more restrictive than the legal limits for alcohol for professional mariners.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account is taken of whether a ship in the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority nuclear transport fleet possesses the best available technology when decisions are being taken on which ship will undertake shipments of MOX plutonium-based nuclear fuel in European Union waters. (137658)

Ships used to transport MOX fuel are classified as INF class 2 or 3. These ships are designed and built to the highest standards and are certified according to national and international agreements.

The choice of particular ship is a matter for the operator.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of requiring an escort for transport ships used to transport plutonium-based MOX fuel in European Union waters. (137659)

All shipments of MOX fuel in UK flagged vessels are escorted by members of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary’s (CNC) Marine Escort Group, comprising authorised firearms officers who have been trained to a high standard by the Royal Navy.

Ships flagged to other nations may also transport MOX fuel. Approval of arrangements for such movements are the responsibility of that State’s competent authorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what safety tests have been conducted on the type B flasks used for carrying plutonium-based MOX fuel on their ability to withstand explosions. (137660)

Packages for the transport of radioactive material must meet the stringent standards developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Type B packages for the transport of large quantities of radioactive material must undergo tests to demonstrate their ability to survive a severe impact followed by a severe fire.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) number and (b) percentage of calls were unanswered at the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency in the last 12 months; and what targets the agency sets for response times to calls. (137330)

The VOSA enquiry unit operates a system that fields calls to appropriately trained staff. During the last 12 months 189,262 customers have terminated their call before being put through to enquiry unit staff. This represents 24.8 per cent. of the total calls received.

To meet the recent increase in demand on the enquiry unit, VOSA have employed 10 additional staff and implemented a call monitoring system. VOSA anticipate a reduction in unanswered calls to meet industry standards by the end of June 2007.

Defence

Armed Forces: Uganda

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contribution the UK Government made to the military capacity of the Government of Uganda in each of the last five years. (137644)

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 15 March 2006, Official Report, columns 2297-98W, to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. Clegg) which provides details of military training provided to the Ugandan People’s Defence Force up to March 2006.

Over the last year, a number of training activities intended to further improve the professionalism of Ugandan soldiers have been taking place. These have included attendance at the Royal College of Defence Studies, the commissioning course at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and the Royal Engineers troop commanders and Explosive Ordnance Disposal courses. Briefing programmes have been delivered on peace support operations, border security and management and collective training. A similar programme will be delivered over the coming year, with an increasing emphasis on supporting Uganda’s contribution to the embryonic African Standby Force regional standby brigade.

In addition, the Security Sector Development Advisory Team has, since 2002, been assisting Uganda to enhance good governance in defence by more effective management and policy direction. This programme, funded by the Department for International Development, has included assisting in producing a White Paper on Defence Transformation and support to development of a Defence Corporate Plan. Current engagement is directed towards support on improving governance of logistics resources.

Army: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the running costs were of the house provided by his Department to the General Officer Commanding London District in the last 12 months. (137441)

The following table provides the information for 2005-06, the most recent full year for which data is available.

Amount (£)

Rent

15,443

Utilities

6,412.13

Maintenance

4,701.76

Staff

112,508.69

Total

139,065.58

All service personnel living in service accommodation pay charges appropriate to the size and condition of the property they occupy. This is deducted at source from their salary.

Army: Official Cars

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any official cars used by senior members of the Army have been damaged in the last two years. (137132)

Over the last two years there have been 75 accidents recorded that can be attributed to vehicles being driven by senior Army officers (Lt. Col. and above). It is, however, impossible to tell from the MOD’s traffic accident reporting system the severity of the accident or whether any damage resulted to the vehicle. As incidents are recorded by driver name, senior officers who may have been involved as passengers are not identified on the system.

Civil Contingency Reaction Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Civil Contingency Reaction Force; and if he will make a statement. (137917)

The Civil Contingency Reaction Forces have been fully operational since the end of January 2004, and continue to maintain their readiness through a rolling programme of training and exercises with the emergency services that test how they would work together in a crisis. They enhance the armed forces’ ability to support the civil police and other bodies, if requested, through their availability to deploy to assist at the scene of an incident or elsewhere, be it terrorist attack, accident or natural disaster.

Conferences

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of the 16 April conference chaired by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. (136036)

The record of the conference is currently being finalised. I will place a copy in the Library of the House when this work is complete.

Departments: Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the latest estimate is of the cost of refurbishing his Department’s headquarters in London. (136009)

[holding answer 8 May 2007]: The physical refurbishment of the Department’s main building cost £323 million (VAT exclusive) and has delivered a modern and efficient workspace capable of intensive use for the next 20 years and beyond.

Food Supply: Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officials in his Department are involved in strategic contingency planning for the security of United Kingdom food supplies; and in what categories of posts. (137428)

Hercules Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 21 March 2007, Official Report, column 925W, on Hercules aircraft, if he will take steps to ensure that Hercules aircraft being fitted with explosive suppressant foam are flown to flex the wings after the sealant is applied but before the foam is put in place. (136695)

The replacement of the fuel tank sealant is only undertaken on the Hercules C-130K aircraft. Flying the aircraft between fuel tank sealant replacement and fitting explosion suppressant foam (ESF) would introduce unacceptable delays to this urgent programme. Therefore, quality assurance processes are used to ensure that it is not necessary to fly the Hercules C-130K aircraft after the fuel tank sealant has been replaced but before ESF is fitted.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 21 March 2007, Official Report, column 925W, on Hercules aircraft, how long it has taken for each Hercules aircraft being fitted with explosive suppressant foam to return to active service; and if he will make a statement. (136696)

The Hercules C-130K explosion suppressant foam (ESF) modification takes approximately 44 days per aircraft to complete. The less complex Hercules C-130J modification takes approximately 16 days. The difference in time scale between the two marks of aircraft is due to the need to replace the fuel tank sealant on the older C-130K. In order to improve overall aircraft availability to the front line command, the ESF modification has been combined with scheduled maintenance wherever possible.

Land Mines: Bomb Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what initiatives his Department is undertaking to remove land mines and explosive remnants of war; and if he will make a statement. (136639)

[holding answer 14 May 2007]: The Ministry of Defence has three initiatives to remove land mines and explosive remnants of war. These three projects are judged to be highly successful: the first involves 98 Explosive Ordnance Disposal and de-mining personnel for the Kosovo Protection Corps. The second is the Bosnian project, which on completion will have destroyed over 10,000 tons of ammunition. And the third is the International Mine Action and Training Centre in Kenya has trained some 3,800 African and International personnel in de-mining and associated skills. Wider initiatives by the UK, funded by DFID at £10 million per year, are targeted at the world’s poorest nations, and have reduced casualties significantly.

Lynx Helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when the decision was taken (a) not to fit 15 Hamden Lynx Mk 7 with DAS and (b) to install a flare and chaff system instead; (137378)

(2) when the Lynx Mk 7s of 847 NAS were first fitted with a flare system;

(3) how many Lynx helicopters fitted with infra red jamming devices and electronic counter measures are ready for active service;

(4) how many of the Lynx helicopter fleet have been fitted with infra red jamming devices and electronic counter measures; and if he will make a statement.

Defensive Aids can comprise a wide variety of systems, including chaff and flare dispensers, which contribute to the protection of an air platform. We provide our aircraft with a level of protection commensurate with the risk of the operational tasking. This involves a mix of threat mitigation measures, which can include defensive aids.

I am not prepared to disclose specific details of defensive aid fitted, as this might prejudice the operational security of our armed forces.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when a requirement to fit Lynx with Defensive Aid Suites was first established. (137380)

Military Aircraft: Crew

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the planning total is for qualified fast jet pilots at the end of each of the years 2007 to 2010. (135919)

The following table provides the planning total for Royal Air Force and Royal Navy qualified Fast Jet Pilots for the next four financial years.

Financial year

Number of pilots

2007-08

790

2008-09

765

2009-10

760

2010-11

750

Notes:

1. These figures exclude pilots who hold the rank of Wing Commander or above.

2. All figures are rounded to the nearest 5.

3. The RAF element of the figures provided include a manpower training margin to compensate, partially for the loss of productive effort of trained personnel whilst they undergo long periods of training, or for other losses due to such factors as long-term illness, pregnancy or terminal leave.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many suitably qualified fast jet pilots were available for active service at each year end since 2000. (135920)

The following table provides the number of qualified Royal Air Force and Royal Navy fast jet pilots as at 1 April.

Number

2000

675

2001

655

2002

645

2003

685

2004

690

2005

690

2006

680

Notes:

1. The figures show all fast jet pilots, including those who may be medically downgraded or are in non-flying posts, but excludes pilots who hold the rank of Wing Commander/Commander or above.

2. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 5.

3. Obtaining actual numbers for those pilots who are combat ready would involve a manual trawl of data and could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.

RAF Leeming

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the reasons are for the delay in setting up the new communications hub at RAF Leeming; and if he will make a statement. (137224)

I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 8 May 2007, Official Report, column 5WS.

Research and Development Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 364W, on research and development costs, when he expects to be able to provide the information requested. (130502)

Sequestration of Assets: Iran

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 2 May 2007, Official Report, column 1748W, on sequestration of assets: Iran, what options he has considered to ensure (a) the return of seized Royal Navy assets and (b) compensation from Iran; and if he will make a statement. (136963)

We continue to press the Government of Iran to return the boats and equipment seized illegally.

Territorial Army

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the (a) implementation of Additional Duties Commitments and (b) creation of Land Information Communication Security Groups (Volunteers), following the laying before the House on 30 April 2007 of Amendment 31 of the Territorial Army Regulations. (137417)

[holding answer 16 May 2007]: The Additional Duties Commitment was implemented for members of the Reserve Forces (Army) (Regular Reserve, Regular Army Reserve of Officers and the Volunteer Reserves (Territorial Army)) with effect from the introduction of Amendment 31 of the Territorial Army Regulations and the roll out of Joint Personnel Administration to the Army, in April 2007. An Additional Duties Commitment is formal part-time employment, completing the spectrum of employment between Territorial Army Service that is entirely voluntary at the lowest level (attendance on weekday evenings and weekends) through to full time working on either a Full Time Reserve Service engagement or mobilised service. In recognition of the differing levels of commitment and guarantee of work at any given time, the terms and conditions of service are also graduated.

The LAND Information and Communications Services Group was given formal approval in March 2007. It is a National ‘Specialist’ Territorial Army unit, recruited from all over the UK. Once fully recruited, it will consist of a mix of suitably qualified Territorial Army personnel, and recently retired regular officers and senior non commissioned officers, and professionally qualified officers (PQOs) with specialist skills obtained from industry which will enhance the Defence Information and Communications Systems capability.

Type 45 Destroyers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has received any expressions of interest from foreign Governments regarding the purchase of Type 45 destroyers. (131770)

The Ministry of Defence has received no formal expressions of interest regarding the purchase of Type 45 destroyers. Information about the Type 45 has, however, been provided to other Governments, when requested.

Typhoon

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 9 May 2007 to question 134727 on Typhoon, whether consideration (a) is being given and (b) is likely in future to be given to equipping Typhoon with a functioning cannon. (137054)

[holding answer 14 May 2007]: All RAF Typhoons are fitted with a functioning cannon. If operational requirements led us to conclude that the capability provided by the cannon justified bringing it into service, we could do so at relatively short notice.

Education and Skills

Adult Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many learners were undertaking Learning and Skills Council funded (a) further education, (b) work based learning and (c) adult and community learning provision in each of the last three years, broken down by (i) subject area, (ii) age group, (iii) gender and (iv) local education authority. (133720)

[holding answer 24 April 2007]: Figures for those participating in further education (FE), work based learning (WBL) and adult and community learning (ACL) provision can be derived from the Learning and Skills Council’s (LSC) individualised learner record (ILR). The information requested has been placed in the Library. (Some LA breakdowns could only be provided at disproportionate cost and are therefore not included.)

Children and Adoption Act 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he expects the provisions relating to parenting in the Children and Adoption Act 2006 to be implemented. (137213)

The Government expect that provisions in Part 1 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 in relation to Family Assistance Orders and risk assessments will be implemented from October 2007. This timescale is subject to completion of necessary changes to the court rules, following consideration by the Family Proceedings Rule Committee. Shortly, the Government will be making a written ministerial statement (WMS), outlining the timetable for implementation of the remaining provisions in Part 1 of the Act.

Children: Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what representations he has received on proposals to adopt a child protection approach where a child is involved in gang activity and a younger sibling is at risk of moving into an unsafe lifestyle; (136553)

(2) whether he has plans to address the risk to a younger child in circumstances where an older sibling is involved in gang activity.

The Department has not received any formal representations. Child protection is a matter for local authorities and their partners. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children requires effective co-ordination in every local area. For this reason, the Children Act 2004 requires each local authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB). LSCBs came into force on 1 April 2006. Their core membership includes local authorities, health bodies, the police and other key agencies providing services to children and adults. The objectives of LSCBs are to co-ordinate local work and to ensure the effectiveness of the work of member agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The Government’s statutory guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2006) sets out their roles and responsibilities including their relationship to the wider children’s trust arrangements.

This guidance also sets out the processes to be followed if there are concerns about a child’s welfare. Firstly, a referral should be made to local authority children’s social care and it should decide whether to undertake an initial assessment to establish whether the child is a child in need. If the child is a child in need under s17 of the Children Act 1989, then the LA should decide what services are required to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child and which agency is best placed to provide them.

If there are concerns that a child may be suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm, then a multi agency strategy meeting—led by local authority children’s social care—should be held to determine whether to undertake inquiries under s47 of the Children Act 1989 and what action is required to safeguard the child’s welfare. If a child is at continuing risk of harm, then a child protection plan would be put in place. Children’s social care and the police, together with the other services are required to work closely together during these assessment and decision making processes.

These processes are used to protect children from different sorts of harm and are flexible enough to be used in a range of circumstances. The Government will of course continue to keep this framework under review.

Children's Centres

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the project to determine how health visitors can work more closely with children's centres; what funds were made available for the project; and if he will make a statement. (137220)

The Government have committed £7 million in 2006-07 and 2007-08 to pilot the Nurse Family Partnership initiative in 10 sites in England. This nurse-led intensive home visiting programme has been developed, refined and rigorously tested over 30 years in the US and has resulted in impressive outcomes for vulnerable children and mothers. The programme will be delivered on the pilot sites by health visitors and midwives working within integrated services for children and families, linked to Sure Start children's centres.

Evaluation of the pilot will inform the future commissioning of high intensity early intervention and prevention programmes, as part of the progressive universal model of child and family health. Evaluation will also examine short term impacts on maternal and child health and assess the role of practitioners and their skills requirements for such a model of intervention.

City Academies: Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what oversubscription admissions policies are employed by each academy. (128507)

The oversubscription criteria for an academy are normally contained within its funding agreement, the contract between the Secretary of State and Academy Trust through which an academy is governed. All the funding agreements for open academies are freely available to the public online at the following web address;

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/foischeme/subPage/cfm?action=collections.displayCollection&i_collectionID=190

However, where a number of academies are sponsored by the same individual or organisation, for example ARK or ULT, there may be a master funding agreement for this group, with a series of supplemental agreements setting out the particulars for each separate academy. In such cases, admissions arrangements will be contained within supplemental agreements.

These supplemental agreements are also available at the web address provided above.

All academies are bound by the admissions code, and as such may not select on academic ability in any way, and must prioritise applications from looked after children and those with statements of special educational needs.

Departments: Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for which Government websites he is responsible; how many visitors each received in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the cost (a) was of establishing and (b) has been of maintaining each site. (135734)

The Department runs 25 main Government websites (URL domains). In addition the Department operates a number of sub-sites falling under the main domains.

There would be a disproportionate cost to provide the further information requested.

The Department is working towards consolidation of all its websites. Public-facing content is being migrated to Directgov and business content to Businesslink.

Education: Per Capita Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was allocated per capita by his Department to pupils in (a) City of London, (b) the London borough of Bexley and (c) England in (i) 2005-06 and (ii) 2006-07; and what formula was used for such allocations. (123592)

The per capita allocations for City of London, London borough of Bexley and England in 2005-06 and 2006-07 are set out as follows. Please note that it is wrong to compare funding per pupil in Bexley with City of London as the City of London:

has the highest wage costs in the country;

is the smallest authority in the country so is unable to take advantage of economies of scale; and

draws its pupils from deprived backgrounds.

£

2005-06 EFS

2006-07 DSG

England

3,580

3,642.99

London borough of Bexley

3,510

3,719.15

City of London

5,700

6,708.07

Note:

In 2005-06 local authority funding was based on Education Formula Spending (EPS) which formed the education part of the Local Government Finance Settlement.

The introduction of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) in 2006-07 fundamentally changed how local authorities are funded. In addition, DSG has a different coverage to EFS: EFS comprised a schools block and an LEA block (to cover LEA central functions) whereas DSG only covers the school block. LEA block items are still funded through DCLG’s Local Government Finance Settlement but education items cannot be separately identified.

In 2005-06 school funding was part of the local government finance system. School funding was split into four blocks: primary; secondary; under fives; and high-cost pupils. The formula for each block included a basic amount per pupil with an area cost adjustment uplift. The primary, secondary and under five blocks also included an element for pupils with additional educational needs, defined as pupils with: English as an additional language/ethnicity; working families tax credit; and income support. The primary block also had an element to reflect sparsity.

Each local authority’s total Dedicated Schools Grant for 2006-07 was calculated by multiplying their full-time equivalent pupil numbers (aged 3-15) from the January 2006 pupil count by their Dedicated Schools Grant Guaranteed Unit of Funding (the Dedicated Schools Grant Guaranteed Unit of Funding is unchanged from that set in

December 2005).

The Dedicated Schools Grant Guaranteed Unit of Funding for 2006-07 was based on spend per pupil in 2005-06, with a basic increase of 5 per cent. per pupil (5.1 per cent. for London authorities) and headroom allocated to reflect five ministerial priorities. £30 million was also distributed between authorities who spent below the level of undamped Schools Formula Sending Share in 2005-06.

Faith Schools: Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 9 May 2007, Official Report, column 254W, on faith schools: admissions, (1) if he will make it his policy to collect information on those faith schools in (a) Birmingham, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England which do not give priority to children of their faith; (137362)

(2) what the evidential basis was for the statement in his recent letter to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak that not all schools with a religious character give priority in admissions to children of their faith.

The admission arrangements for maintained schools are consulted on and determined each year by the relevant admission authority. This information is published annually by each local authority for all schools in their area in their composite prospectus for parents. We do not collect this information centrally and have no plans to do so. Through discussions with local authorities, schools and faith providers, we know that practices vary widely and that a number of schools with a religious character do not give priority in admissions to children on the basis of their faith and others offer a proportion of places to children without reference to faith.

Higher Education: Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many entrants to university undergraduate courses came from Regent’s Park and Kensington North in each of the last five years. (137762)

The latest available information is shown in the following tables. Figures for 2006/07 will be available in January 2008.

Entrants to undergraduate courses1 from Regent’s Park and Kensington North parliamentary constituency—UK higher education institutions

Academic year

Number of entrants

2001/02

1,610

2002/03

1,805

2003/04

1,690

2004/05

1,685

2005/06

1,640

1 Covers students on full-time and part-time modes of study.

Note:

Figures are on a HESA standard registration population basis and are rounded to the nearest five.

Source:

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Home Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate his Department has made of the number of children who are educated out of school in 2006-07. (137039)

[Holding answer 16 May 2007]: Local authorities arrange for education out of school in pupil referral units and other settings. The DFES annual census shows that in January 2006 23,670 pupils were educated in pupil referral units. In addition, a further 12,750 received tuition at home, in community homes, at further education colleges, or with voluntary section providers.

We do not collect information about the number of children whose education is arranged by their parents. A recent study on the prevalence of home education in England, conducted by York Consulting, estimated that there were around 16,000 children being educated at home that were known to the local authority. We have not made any estimate of the number of home educated children that are not known to their local authority.

League Tables

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what proportion of 15-year-olds (a) took and (b) achieved A*-C in at least one course within the entitlement area as defined by section 85A of the Education Act 2002 of (i) arts, (ii) design and technology, (iii) humanities and (iv) modern foreign languages in each year since 1997. (117405)

The available information is shown in the tables.

The information for the proportion attempting and gaining grades A*-C at GCSE in modern foreign languages is available only at a disproportionate cost. This is because it would involve calculating how many pupils took and achieved grades A*-C in at least one modern foreign language. The data readily available only consider the number of attempts by all pupils and the number of these to achieve grades A*-C, meaning that there would be double counting for pupils that took more than one modern foreign language GCSE.

Information provided for Design and Technology, Humanities and Art and Design are classified as single subjects and therefore double counting does not apply.

GCSE and equivalent attempts and achievements, 1997 to 20061, 2 in England—Number of pupils

Design and Technology

Humanities

Art and Design

Modern Foreign Languages3

Number of pupils entered for GCSE

Number achieved grades A*-C

Number of pupils entered for GCSE

Number achieved grades A*-C

Number of pupils entered for GCSE

Number achieved grades A*-C

Number of pupils entered for GCSE

Number achieved grades A*-C

1996/97

138,396

63,332

36,067

14,793

194,666

116,178

485,810

248,669

1997/98

375,453

182,193

22,419

9,123

180,735

110,856

491,684

251,385

1998/99

395,155

198,420

20,393

8,586

183,157

117,134

499,451

264,782

1999/00

404,832

206,554

19,393

8,356

178,219

116,373

502,294

265,766

2000/01

416,015

214,539

20,495

8,719

180,627

118,196

517,780

278,722

2001/02

409,414

215,786

20,608

9,126

182,056

121,864

505,649

274,665

2002/03

414,324

222,927

18,856

8,179

186,968

126,132

497,938

260,057

2003/04

408,525

228,126

16,687

7,338

187,504

126,915

481,521

266,343

2004/05

365,559

210,408

14,887

6,643

184,812

128,009

411,318

254,802

2005/064

337,235

199,367

14,409

6,619

186,825

131,740

365,002

242,097

1 Including attempts and achievements in previous academic years.

2 Number of pupils on roll aged 15 at the start of the academic year.

3 Pupils who take more than one language will be double-counted.

4 Figures for 2005-06 are revised, all other figures are final.

GCSE and equivalent attempts and achievements, 1997 to 20061, 2 in England—Proportion of 15-year-olds

Design and Technology

Humanities

Art and Design

Modern Foreign Languages3

Number of pupils entered for GCSE as a proportion of all 15-year-olds

Number achieved grades A*-C as a proportion of all 15-year-olds

Number of pupils entered for GCSE as a proportion of all 15-year-olds

Number achieved grades A*-C as a proportion of all 15-year-olds

Number of pupils entered for GCSE as a proportion of all 15-year-olds

Number achieved grades A*-C as a proportion of all 15-year-olds

Number of pupils entered for GCSE as a proportion of all 15-year-olds

Number achieved grades A*-C as a proportion of all 15-year-olds

1996/97

24

11

6

3

33

20

n/a

n/a

1997/98

65

32

4

2

31

19

n/a

n/a

1998/99

68

34

4

1

32

20

n/a

n/a

1999/00

70

36

3

1

31

20

n/a

n/a

2000/01

69

36

3

1

30

20

n/a

n/a

2001/02

67

36

3

2

30

20

n/a

n/a

2002/03

67

36

3

1

30

20

n/a

n/a

2003/04

63

35

3

1

29

20

n/a

n/a

2004/05

57

33

2

1

29

20

n/a

n/a

2005/064

52

31

2

1

29

20

n/a

n/a

n/a = Not available. Proportion of pupils attempting and gaining GCSEs in Modern Foreign Languages is not available due to double counting.

1 Including attempts and achievements in previous academic years.

2 Number of pupils on roll aged 15 at the start of the academic year.

3 Pupils who take more than one language will be double-counted so the proportion of all 15-year-olds has not been calculated.

4 Figures for 2005/06 are revised, all other figures are final.

Mandarin

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the difficulty of Mandarin GCSE in comparison with other modern language GCSEs. (137462)

The Department has not made any assessment of the difficulty of Mandarin in comparison with other modern language GCSEs. However, the Key Stage 3 programme of study for languages sets out statutory modifications to the level descriptors for listening, responding and reading for pupils studying Mandarin and Cantonese. These modifications assume that Mandarin may be spoken at a slower speed, the range of topics may be more limited and pupils may work with a limited number of characters. There are no similar modifications for other languages.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding has been provided for the teaching of Mandarin in schools. (137461)

We do not promote the teaching of one language over another, and have not provided any specific funding for the teaching of Mandarin in schools. It is for individual schools to decide which languages they offer. However, the Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hanban (Office of the Chinese Language Council International) in July 2006 designed to promote Chinese learning and teaching in English schools and to increase cooperation between the two countries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he has had with education providers on the teaching of Mandarin in schools. (137463)

The Secretary of State has not had any discussions with education providers on the teaching of Mandarin in schools. The Languages Review, published in March 2007, proposed widening the range of languages taught in schools. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has recently finished consulting on the revised Key Stage 3 languages curriculum. The consultation proposed removing the requirement that schools must first teach a European language to allow them to teach any major spoken world language, including Mandarin, depending on local need and circumstances. We are considering the potential implications of these changes for the school workforce.

Nursery Nurses

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people were employed as nursery nurses in the most recent period for which figures are available; how many unfilled nursery places there were in that period; what the balance was of provision between private and non-private nurseries; and if he will make a statement. (135689)

There are no figures available for the number of nursery nurses employed in the nursery sector. However, the Government's latest survey of nurseries carried out in 2005 (Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey 2005—Full Day Care Providers) showed that 104,800 paid staff, 80 per cent. of all paid staff, working in children's nurseries in England had a qualification relevant to working with children and young people.

The 2005 Childcare and Early Year Providers Survey also estimated that in summer 2005 there were approximately 88,400 vacant full day care places in England, 17 per cent. of all places; and that 60 per cent. of full day care provision in England was privately owned, with the remaining 40 per cent. split across the voluntary, local authority, school and other sectors.

Pre-school Education: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what proportion of the money allocated to local authorities to provide the nursery education grant was passed to nursery providers in the latest period for which figures are available; (137215)

(2) for what reasons nursery providers in different local authorities do not receive a uniform amount for the nursery education grant per child.

Nursery education grant was phased out in 2001/02. Funding for the free entitlement to early education for three and four-year-olds is provided through general school funding.

Estimated expenditure on under fives by local authorities in 2005-06, the latest year for which outturn data is available, is £3,473 million.

Local authorities—in consultation with their School Forums—are responsible for deciding how best to apply their total school and early years funding across all age groups and between different types of provider, based on an assessment of local circumstances. Therefore it is a matter for each local authority to determine the levels of funding for providers in their area. The 2006 Code of Practice on the provision of free nursery education places for three and four-year-olds makes clear that local authorities should fund providers equitably, fairly and transparently.

The Schools, Early Years and 14-16 Funding consultation which ends on 1 June sets out a number of proposals for changes to the way the early years funding system operates and can be accessed at:

www.dfes.gov.uk/consultations

Schools: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding has been allocated for each One School Pathfinder Project; when he expects each project to be completed; and when the decision was made on each allocation. (127650)

The following table shows funding allocations for each BSF One School Pathfinder project. Funding for phase one projects was initially approved in May 2006. Funding for phase two projects was initially approved in January 2007. Phase one projects were given an ambitious target of completion in September 2008, and phase two by September 2009. The following dates indicate our latest information on when new facilities will be open at each school.

Phase 1 projects

Name of school

Current estimated opening date

Funding(£ million)

Barnet

East Barnet school

September 2009

25.5

Bexley

New school

September 2010

23.8

Cornwall

Penryn college

September 2008

22

Devon

Bideford college

December 2009

31.7

Dorset

Queen Elizabeth’s CE VC school

April 2009

28.4

Gloucestershire

Rednock school

July 2009

27.2

Kingston-upon-Thames

Chessington community college

April 2008

23

Leicestershire

King Edward VII school plus sixth form

September 2009

24.1

North Yorkshire

Richmond school

September 2009

29.6

Richmond-upon-Thames

Teddington school

September 2009

30.0

Torbay

Torquay community college

March 2009

22.2

Warrington

Culcheth high school

September 2009

21.7

Wiltshire

George Ward school

September 2009

25.1

Phase 2 projects

Bath and North East Somerset

Writhlington school

April 2010

25.5

Bracknell Forest

Garth Hill college

September 2009

33.2

Bromley

Langley Park school

September 2009

34.2

Buckinghamshire

Cressex community school

September 2009

30.5

East Sussex

Bexhill high school

September 2010

33.1

Harrow

Whitmore high school

September 2009

31.5

Herefordshire

The Minster college

December 2009

21.2

Isle of Wight

Cowes high school

September 2010

30.5

North Somerset

Nailsea community school

January 2010

28.8

Plymouth

Estover community college

September 2009

26.5

Redbridge

Loxford school of science and technology

September 2009

38.6

Rutland

Vale of Catmose college

September 2009

17.4

Sefton

Litherland high school

April 2010

22.3

Shropshire

William Brookes school

September 2009

19.8

South Gloucestershire

Filton high school

September 2010

25.4

Southend-on-Sea

Belfairs high school

September 2009

25.1

Sutton

Stanley Park high school

September 2009

32.9

Trafford

St. Ambrose college

September 2009

20.7

West Berkshire

St. Bartholomew’s school

September 2009

31.6

West Sussex

Bognor Regis community college

September 2009

35.9

Wigan

Abraham Guest high school

September 2009

18.1

Windsor & Maidenhead

Holyport Manor special school

September 2009

23.6

Wirral

Woodchurch high school

September 2010

25.2

Wokingham

Waingels college

September 2010

29.1

York

Joseph Rowntree school

September 2009

25.4

Schools: Playing Fields

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many disposals of school playing fields of areas of land greater than 0.2 hectares were proposed in each of the last 10 years; (137499)

(2) how many general consents have been approved since the School Playing Fields Advisory Panel was set up; and under what conditions and circumstances general consents are approved for school playing fields;

(3) what average area in hectares of playing fields is owned by (a) all schools, (b) academies, (c) specialist schools and (d) specialist sports schools;

(4) how many of the planning applications for development of school playing fields were for improvements to the facilities in each of the last 10 years;

(5) how many (a) applications to develop and (b) developments there have been of school playing fields in the last 10 years; and what the area in hectares was of each;

(6) how many applications for development on school playing fields have been made in the last 10 years, broken down by region.

In the last 10 years the Department has received a total of 248 applications (109 of which in respect of closed schools) that involve the disposal of an area of land capable of forming a sports pitch of at least 0.2 hectares. Of the total received, 54 must be subsequently withdrawn, 16 are still under consideration, 176 have been approved and two were rejected. Of the approved applications, the sale proceeds were used to provide new or improved sports or educational facilities in every case.

Since the School Playing Field Advisory Panel was set up, in July 2001, the Department has approved 1,076 general consent applications. The effect of a general consent is that, in certain circumstances, the specific prior consent of the Secretary of State is not required to dispose of school playing field land. Such circumstances include the disposal of an area of land to provide a facility as part of an extended school, such as childcare, lifelong learning etc.; the disposal of the ancillary social and recreational areas that surround the buildings of a closed school; certain disposals where playing fields remain as playing fields (for example a transfer to the district council); the exchange of one school playing field for a replacement newly-created school playing field of at least equal size, resulting is no net loss of facility; the disposal of areas of playing field under 50 square metres; and a temporary loss of school playing field.

Data on school playing fields were supplied to the Department by local authorities in 2001 and 2003. However, because the data were incomplete, it is not possible to assess accurately the number and area of school playing fields.

Education Ministers only have power to regulate the disposal of school playing fields. They do not have any statutory powers to govern the future use or development of school playing fields. These are matters for local planning authorities to consider.

Schools: Sports

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding has been claimed by primary schools for teacher training under the PE, School Sport and Club Links scheme. (136938)

[holding answer 14 May 2007]: As part of their core funding, £36.3 million was claimed from 2004 to 2006 by School Sport Partnerships for the release of primary school teachers from the timetable to undertake training in physical education. This enables teachers to take places on the national PE, School Sport and Club Links strategy’s professional development programme. This has seen over 143,000 teacher training places being undertaken by primary school teachers from April 2005 to March 2007. These places develop teacher’ skills in delivering high quality physical education for their pupils.

Science: Curriculum

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 20 April 2007, Official Report, column 701W, on science: curriculum, for what reason specific mention of (a) role of lung structure in gas exchange, (b) tectonic processes, (c) geomorphological processes, (d) weather and climate, (e) ecosystems, (f) population distribution and change, (g) the growth and development of settlements and (h) specific properties of light and sound is no longer proposed to be included in the National Curriculum programmes of study. (137397)

The changes in science and geography are in line with the remit that the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority was given in February 2005 when it was asked to review the Key Stage 3 curriculum. Although some of the language in the draft programmes of study has been changed, the extent of the subject content remains the same. These changes have been made to ensure that pupils can progress from their Key Stage 2 understanding through Key Stage 3 to a point where they can progress to Key Stage 4.

The following table covers the inclusion of the specific topics in the new Key Stage 3 programmes of study for science and geography.

Topic

Where it will be covered in the new Key Stage 3 science or geography programmes of study

(a) role of lung structure in gas exchange

Science—Range and content—Organisms, behaviour and health bullet 1 (respiration is a life process)

(b) tectonic processes

Geography—pupils to learn about how human and physical processes shape places, landscapes and societies

(c) geomorphological processes

Science—New section in Range and content—The environment Earth and Universe

Geography—pupils to learn about how human and physical processes shape places, landscapes and societies

(d) weather and climate

Geography—pupils to carry out studies that involve physical geography and physical processes—this should include study of weather and climate.

(e) ecosystems

Science—New section in range and content—The environment Earth and Universe

Geography—pupils to learn about how human and physical processes shape places, landscapes and societies

(f) population distribution and change

Science—Some precursor work in new section in range and content—The environment Earth and Universe

Geography—pupils carry out studies that involve human geography, built and managed environments and human processes

(g) the growth and development of settlements

Geography—pupils to learn about how human and physical processes shape places, landscapes and societies

(h) specific properties of light and sound

Range and content—Energy, electricity and forces, explanatory text (the properties and behaviour of light and sound)

Secondary Education: Curriculum

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1575W, on secondary education: curriculum, (1) whether the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority prepared any (a) systematic reviews and (b) quantitative meta-analyses on the principles of effective teaching during the preparation of the secondary curriculum review; (137061)

(2) what evidence the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority used to base its decision to focus on explicit teaching of metacognitive strategies in the secondary curriculum review supporting documents;

(3) what quantitative effect size was identified for each of the principles of effective teaching by the review of research into effective teaching carried out in the preparation of the secondary curriculum review.

As part of its ongoing remit to monitor the National Curriculum, QCA draws on research evidence about effective teaching from a wide range of sources. Analysis and evaluation of the principles of effective teaching developed by Ellis et al was not part of the curriculum review remit given to QCA, nor was this an explicit part of the process of developing the new curriculum.

The National Curriculum is primarily about setting out an entitlement to learning in terms of the knowledge, skills and understanding that forms the statutory part of a wider school curriculum. The National Curriculum does not prescribe specific approaches to pedagogy; it is for schools themselves to choose the teaching methodologies most appropriate for the material being taught and the needs of individual learners.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1575W, on secondary education: curriculum, what evidence the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has found to suggest that learning how to learn can be taught independently of subject content. (137172)

The ability to reflect on learning and how to improve performance is an essential skill for life and work. This is why it continues to be an important element of the National Curriculum.

Schools provide opportunities for young people to develop these skills through their approach to pedagogy and assessment, and particularly through their approach to assessment for learning. These opportunities can take place within subject contexts and beyond them.

As part of its ongoing remit to monitor the National Curriculum, QCA draws on research evidence about effective teaching from a wide range of sources. Evidence for successful approaches to assessment for learning can be found on the DFES Standards Site at:

http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/personalisedlearning/five/afl/.

Teachers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many physics teachers there are in the maintained sector; and how many (a) are under the age of (i) 40 and (ii) 30 years and (b) have (A) A-level physics and (B) a degree in physics; (136882)

(2) how many chemistry teachers there are in the maintained sector; and how many (a) are under the age of (i) 40 and (ii) 30 years and (b) have (A) A-level chemistry and (B) a degree in chemistry;

(3) how many biology teachers there are in the maintained sector; and how many (a) are under the age of (i) 40 and (ii) 30 years and (b) have (A) A-level biology, (B) a degree in biology and (C) a degree in biological sciences;

(4) how many mathematics teachers there are in the maintained sector; and how many (a) are under the age of (i) 40 and (ii) 30 years and (b) have (A) A-level mathematics and (B) a degree in mathematics.

In 2005 the Department commissioned research about mathematics and science teachers from the National Foundation for Education Research. The report, entitled ‘Mathematics and Science in Secondary Schools: The Deployment of Teachers and Support Staff to Deliver the Curriculum’, can be found on the Department's website at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR708.pdf.

The research included a survey of a representative sample of 40 per cent. of secondary schools in England. Projections were made of the total number of teachers in secondary schools in England delivering the mathematics and science curriculums. The findings also included distributions of the teachers by age and by highest qualification in the subject being taught.

Mathematics

The research found that there were an estimated 27,400 teachers teaching mathematics in secondary schools in England, of whom an estimated 21,100 were mathematics specialists1 including 11,700 with a degree in mathematics. The following table shows the distribution of mathematics teachers in terms of their mathematics qualifications. The teachers are counted once against their highest qualification in mathematics. For example, if an individual holds a degree and a PGCE in maths, they are counted in the figures for “degree in maths”; if an individual holds a PGCE in maths but a degree in another subject, they are counted against “PGCE incorporating maths”.

1 A “specialist” is defined as holding a degree in or incorporating maths, or having studied maths at initial teacher training.

Highest post-A-level qualification held by mathematics teachers in the sample

Highest qualification in mathematics

Teachers of mathematics

Number

Percentage

Degree in maths

1,335

42

B.Sc or BA with QTS or B.Ed in maths

524

16

Cert Ed incorporating maths

193

6

PGCE incorporating maths

583

18

Other post-A-level maths qualification

140

4

A-Level maths

189

6

No post-16 maths qualification

251

8

No response

5

<1

Total

3,220

100

Due to rounding, percentages may not sum to 100 Source: NFER survey of teachers of mathematics, 2005.

The following table provides a breakdown of the age profile of mathematics teachers by their highest post-A-level qualification in maths.

Age range of mathematics teachers in the sample by their highest post-A-level qualification in maths

Percentage

Age

Under 25

25 to 29

30 to 39

40 to 49

50 to 59

60+

Degree in maths

7

18

26

23

24

2

B.Ed/QTS in maths

3

8

25

34

28

2

Cert Ed in maths

0

0

0

14

80

6

PGCE in maths

4

19

35

28

14

1

Other post-A-level maths qualification

8

24

26

24

18

1

No post-A-level maths qualification

3

8

17

29

42

<1

Total

5

15

25

26

28

2

Notes:

1. Base: 3,036

2. Due to rounding, percentages may not sum to 100.

Source:

NFER survey of teachers of mathematics, 2005

Science

The research found that there were an estimated 31,000 teachers teaching science in secondary schools in England, of whom an estimated 28,800 were specialists2 in science. This included an estimated 13,700 biology specialists, 7,900 chemistry specialists, 5,800 physics specialists and 1,400 other science specialists.

The following table shows the breakdown of the samples of science teachers in terms of their qualifications in science. As before, individuals are shown against their highest qualification, so if an individual holds a degree in chemistry and a PGCE in science, they are included in the figures for “degree in chemistry”. However, if an individual holds a first degree in biology followed by a masters degree in biochemistry they are counted in the “degree in biology” category as “school sciences” take priority.

2 A “specialist” is defined as holding a degree in or incorporating the relevant science, or having studied the relevant science at initial teacher training.

Highest post-A-level qualification held by science teachers in the sample

Highest qualification in sciences

Teachers of science

Number

Percentage

Degree in Biology

753

27

Degree in Chemistry

440

16

Degree in Physics

279

10

Degree in general science

158

6

Degree in other science

415

15

B.Sc or BA with QTS or B.Ed in science

311

11

Cert Ed incorporating science

109

4

PGCE incorporating science

184

7

Other post-A-level science qualification

49

2

A-level science

29

1

No post-16 science qualification

27

1

No response

2

<1

Total

2,756

100

Note:

Due to founding, percentages may not sum to 100.

Source:

NFER survey of teachers of science, 2005.

The “degree in biology” category can be disaggregated further and the next table shows the proportion of teachers holding a biology-related degree.

Type of degree in biology held by science teachers whose highest post-A-level qualification in science was a degree in biologyType of degreeTeachers of scienceNumberPercentageBA/BSc Biology34012BA/BSc Biology related (e.g. botany, zoology)27810BA/BSc Biology and science related723BA/BSc Biology and non-science related281MA/MSc Biology482MA/MSc Other science subject1271DPhil/PhD Biology401DPhil/PhD Other science subject16<1Total75327 1 “Other science subject” includes medical-related sciences, biochemistry, environmental science, etc—see section 6.3.5Note:Multiple response question: respondents could give more than one degree, therefore percentages may not sum to 27.Source:NFER surveys of science teachers, 2005.

The following table provides a breakdown of the age profile of science teachers by their highest post-A-level qualification in science.

Age range of science teachers by highest post-A-level qualification in science

Percentage

Age range

Degree in biology

Degree in chemistry

Degree in physics

Degree in general science

Degree in other science

B.Ed/QTS in science

PGCE in science

Cert Ed in science

All science teachers

Under 25

6

5

8

3

7

7

4

0

6

25-29

27

18

13

11

26

14

18

0

20

30-39

29

31

26

23

32

16

34

1

27

40-49

23

24

27

31

20

27

30

16

24

50-59

15

21

24

30

14

32

15

77

22

60+

<1

1

2

2

<1

4

0

6

1

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Note:

Base: 2,597 (results for “other post-A-level qualification” in science and “no post-A-level qualification” in science not shown)

Source:

NFER survey of science teachers, 2005.

The Department has commissioned a 2007 Secondary School Curriculum and Staffing Survey and fieldwork was completed before Easter. The survey will provide more up to date information on the qualifications of teachers delivering all subjects in secondary schools. A report will be published during the summer.

Teachers: Calderdale

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers were judged by Ofsted (a) not to be adhering to the school behaviour policy and (b) not to be complying with management requests at the Ridings school in Calderdale. (126495)

This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 14 May 2007:

Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, for reply.

You asked how many teachers were judged by Ofsted (a) not to be adhering to the school behaviour policy and (b) not to be complying with management requests at the Ridings School in Calderdale.

Ofsted does not collect this detailed information. Inspectors observed a number of inadequate lessons at The Ridings School, and in some, the school's behaviour policy was not being followed. Other evidence, such as that emerging from discussions with support staff, indicated that children were being sent to the internal exclusion unit without earlier procedures being followed, supported the view that the problem was more widespread than those specific teachers. The school does not disagree with this judgement. However, the school inspection framework does not require—and indeed, there is insufficient time—for inspectors to observe all teachers in lessons.

Similarly, the number of staff not complying with management requests was not pursued in detail. The school’s management team, governors and the Local Authority gave this as one reason for the difficulty the school was experiencing in moving forward and the evidence seen by inspectors triangulated this view. For example, an inspector observed a lesson taught by a teacher who was not a specialist in that particular subject area. It was a very poor lesson in which there was no planning, school behaviour policies were not followed by the teacher and the work was not appropriate for the students. As a result, students made no progress in their learning. The teacher explained that he was following union guidance to not adhere to any school policy regarding planning of lessons, preparing work and following behaviour policies when teaching lessons which were not in their specialist subject area.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Jim Knight MP, Minister of State for Schools, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

Young People: Carers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding was provided for young people who care for family members in each of the last three years. (137038)

[holding answer 16 May 2007]: As part of their general funding, local authorities have substantial resources to fulfil their responsibilities towards children and families. They also receive the Carers Special Grant which supports local authorities in providing breaks and services for carers in England. Department of Health guidance indicates that councils should consider spending around 20 per cent. of their allocation on young carers and those caring for disabled children. The Carers Grant was £125 million in 2004-05, £185 million in 2005-06 and £185 million in 2006-07. It is worth £185 million in 2007-08.

The Vulnerable Children Grant, which identified young carers as a vulnerable group, was allocated to local authorities on a formula basis. It was worth (including matched funding) a total of £84 million in 2004-05 and 2005-06. From 2006-07 onwards, the grant is no longer separately identified within DfES funding to local authority children’s services. Within their overall provision, local authorities with children’s services responsibilities are free to make spending decisions in accordance with their own assessment of local needs and priorities. Out-turn expenditure information on individual vulnerable groups is not collected centrally.

The Government have also funded the Children’s Society to provide the “Young Carers Initiative” at a rate of £80,000 over each of the three years up to 2006-07. The successor grant for 2007-08 to 2009-10 has been substantially increased. The grant for 2007-08 will be £205,651.

Young People: NEET

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of young people were not in education, employment or training in each of the last five years. (137333)

The following table gives the proportion of 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) in England in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

End of calendar year

Proportion of 16-18 year olds not in training education, employment (NEET) (%)

2001

10

2002

10

2003

10

2004

10

2005 provisional

11

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of young people in the London borough of Bexley were not in education, employment or training in each of the last 10 years. (137616)

The following table gives the proportion of 16-18 year olds in the London borough of Bexley who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Figures for earlier years are not available.

Proportion of 16-18 year olds in London borough of Bexley not in education, employment or training

Percentage NEET

2004

7.8

2005

8.2

2006

6.9

These figures are drawn from the operational client management systems maintained the Connexions Service. They include 16-18 year olds known to the Connexions; young people who attended independent schools or were at school outside England may be excluded. The age relates to those of calendar year age 16-18 on the date of measurement. The figures are for the average percentage NEET between November and January each year.

This NEET measure is that used for setting and monitoring local authority NEET targets. The definition differs from that used to measure the national departmental PSA NEET target. Along with not covering the entire population, the Connexions NEET measure excludes those on gap years, or in custody. The PSA measure is for academic rather than calendar age 16-18.

Youth Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the Government is on target to meet the aim, identified in section 4.2 of Youth Matters: Next Steps, of a London-wide prospectus of summer opportunities; and what steps are being taken to give opportunities for summer activities to teenagers from areas of the country other than London. (137336)

On behalf of DfES, Summer Uni London is developing a website as an online prospectus to highlight the wide range of opportunities available to London’s young people during the summer months, and enable them to sign up for those activities. When the website is launched this summer, more than half of the 33 London boroughs will detail the activities on offer in their areas through that website, and we expect all London boroughs to do so by summer 2008.

In respect of areas outside of London, the Department previously managed the Positive Activities for Young People programme (PAYP) which provided diversionary and developmental activities for young people across the country aged 8-19 during the school holidays. This funding stream passed to local area agreements (LAAs) from April 2007. It is now the legislative duty of all local authorities to provide positive activities in their locality. They are best placed to take decisions according to local need.

Trade and Industry

Direct Mail: Prosecutions

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many successful prosecutions the Information Commissioner made against direct mailers in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (137280)

I have been asked to reply.

The Information Commissioner has not made any prosecutions against direct mailers in any of the last five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what powers the Information Commissioner has to curb irresponsible direct mailers; and if he will make a statement. (137281)

I have been asked to reply.

The Information Commissioner has regulatory powers to bring about compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. In serious cases involving direct mailing, the Commissioner has the power to issue an enforcement notice requiring an organisation or individual to take specified action to comply with the Act. Failure to comply with such a notice is a criminal offence.

The Commissioner also has the ability to seek an enforcement order under the Enterprise Act 2002 in cases to require an organisation to cease conduct, which is harmful to consumers.

Measures: EU Action

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry following the announcement of revised policy on weights and measures in the EU Trade and Industry Commissioner’s recent statement, if he will press for the late Mr. Steven Thoburn to receive a posthumous Royal Pardon. (137410)

Nuclear Power: Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to support research into nuclear fusion. (136677)

The UK invests in fusion research through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Almost all UK fusion research currently takes place at UKAEA Culham, which will receive grant support from EPSRC of £95 million over the four years to 2007-08. This is in addition to the EU funding for the Joint European Torus and other activities at Culham, and the EU participation in the ITER project.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office