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Government Departments: Telephone Numbers

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 26 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many non-geographic telephone numbers are in use by the Department for Education and Skills and its agencies; what services can be accessed by calling each of them; and what revenue has been received from them between September 2004 and September 2006. [HL3265]

The information as requested is not readily available centrally within the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). To respond fully would involve an extensive internal and external information collection exercise which would exceed the recommended disproportionate cost threshold. DfES does not keep central telephony records for its arm’s-length bodies. However, to be helpful, the following information, relating solely to DfES headquarters, can be provided.

DfES currently employs a total of 35 non-geographic telephone numbers. These can be categorised broadly into two groups: those for use by citizens and those for use internally by DfES staff.

The DfES does not participate in revenue-share schemes associated with non-geographic telephone numbers and therefore derives no revenue from the use of these numbers.

Services used by citizens and accessed by customers calling non-geographic telephone numbers include (number of telephone lines in brackets):

Employment Service (2): citizens are able to obtain up-to-date information and advice on jobs and vacancies.

Jobcentre Plus helpline (1): citizens are able to contact Jobcentre Plus to discuss the services it offers.

Student support funding helpline (1): provides advice and guidance in connection with funding and support available for higher education services.

Career development loans helpline (1): advice and guidance on adult learning loans.

Aim Higher helpline (1): provides a complete guide to higher education services.

Childcare recruitment (2): provides information on careers and training opportunities, working in early years childcare and play work.

Attainment and achievement level tables order line (1): Schools performance tables order line.

Public communications helpline (2): DfES inquiry line. Manage inquiries from members of the public.

Main DfES switchboard number (1): will direct the inquirer to the area or team they wish to contact.

Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) (1): the main number for the public to contact OSA, which administers and manages school admission arrangements, statutory proposals from primary and secondary schools.

Child Support Agency (CSA) (1): originally set up as the initial contact point for the CSA. This number is no longer used for the CSA and will be re-allocated or ceased.

Publications helpline/fax (3): manage requests to order official publications relating to the work of the DfES.

Education maintenance allowance (3): a dedicated helpline for local partners, schools and colleges involved in delivering EMA to answer general and administrative queries.

Learning Journey (1).

Schools for Life—Get on Campaign line (1): advice and guidance on skills for life initiative which aims to improve the literacy, language and numeracy skills of adults.

Small firms training scheme (1): now a DWP equality schemes order line. The scheme helps businesses with up to 50 employees for vocational education or training.

Star award helpline (1): used by Quality Improvement Agency (for lifelong learning) from April 06.

Headship information line (1): provides information in connection with the national headship training programmes which were established to provide a range of opportunities to support the development of the skills and understanding required successfully to lead schools.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many non-geographic telephone numbers are in use by the Department for International Development and its agencies; what services can be accessed by calling each of them; and what revenue has been received from them between September 2004 and September 2006. [HL3267]

DfID has one non-geographic telephone number—0845 300 4100—for its public inquiry point. The department received no revenue from this line between September 2004 and September 2006.