Community Security Trust Annual Dinner

Mr Amess: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of his speech to the Community Security Trust Annual Dinner; which Members of the Government also attended the dinner; and if he will make a statement. [45507]

The Prime Minister: A copy of the speech has been placed in the Libraries of the House. For information of which Members of the Government also attended the dinner I refer my hon. Friend to the quarterly list of Ministers' hospitality which can be found on the Number 10 website:

http://transparency.number10.gov.uk/who.php

14 Mar 2011 : Column 32W

Departmental Official Visits

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Prime Minister (1) on what date his Office finalised the list of individuals to accompany him on his recent visit to the middle east; [45374]

(2) on what date his recent visit to the middle east was first proposed; [45376]

(3) what the name is of each person not employed by a Government Department who accompanied him on his recent visit to the middle east. [45412]

Angus Robertson: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what meetings he had during his recent visit to the Gulf region to discuss defence equipment sales; [45624]

(2) which representatives from defence industries accompanied him on his recent visit to the Gulf region; [45625]

(3) which (a) special advisers and (b) officials accompanied him on his recent visit to the Gulf region; [45626]

(4) what consideration he gave to postponing his recent visit to the Gulf region in light of unrest in Egypt and Libya. [45627]

The Prime Minister: As set out in the Ministerial Code, details of all my overseas travel is published at least quarterly. This was a long-standing visit to the middle east with the aims of encouraging political reform, boosting trade and strengthening security ties. The visit comprised a varied programme to meet these three aims including meeting leaders and representatives of the business community. I have placed in the Libraries of both Houses a list of the business delegation who accompanied me.

E-petition System

Bob Stewart: To ask the Prime Minister what progress he has made on the implementation of the new e-petition system on the 10 Downing street website. [45509]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the notice on the No. 10 website about e-petitions:

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/

Libya

Mr Watson: To ask the Prime Minister (1) when he was informed of the intention to send a diplomatic mission to eastern Libya; [45935]

(2) on what date he received the submission outlining the intention of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to send a diplomatic mission to eastern Libya. [46371]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 9 March 2011, Official Report, column 900.

Save the Children Fund

Mr Spellar: To ask the Prime Minister what meetings he has had with representatives of Save the Children since May 2010. [45127]

14 Mar 2011 : Column 33W

The Prime Minister: I met campaigners for Save the Children in August 2010 in my constituency. My Office has also had several meetings with Save the Children since May 2010.

Deputy Prime Minister

Alternative Vote: Referendums

Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether electors registered for a permanent postal vote are automatically to be issued with postal ballot papers for the referendum on the use of the alternative vote for elections to the House of Commons. [46310]

Mr Harper: Any elector who has a postal vote at UK parliamentary elections, whether permanent or for a fixed period covering the referendum, will automatically be issued with a postal vote for the referendum. In addition, a person who is entitled to vote by post in one or more of the polls combined with the referendum on 5 May (including the elections to the devolved legislatures) will automatically be issued with a postal vote for the referendum if they are entitled to vote in it. Individuals will also be able to specifically apply for a postal vote for the referendum.

Departmental Written Questions

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of written questions tabled to him for answer on a named day between 27 May 2010 and 9 March 2011 did not receive a substantive answer on the day named for answer. [46565]

The Deputy Prime Minister: Between 27 May 2010 and 9 March 2011, 86 questions for answer on a named day were tabled to the Deputy Prime Minister, 59 of which received a substantive answer on the specified date.

Prisoners: Sentencing

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what reason he has determined that a four year sentence limit is appropriate for the enfranchisement of prisoners. [34015]

Mr Harper: As I indicated in my written ministerial statement on 20 December 2010, Official Report, columns 150-151WS:

“Four years has in the past been regarded as the distinction between short and long-term prisoners, and the Government consider that permitting prisoners sentenced to less than four years' imprisonment to vote is sufficient to comply with the judgment.”

The four year distinction historically has its statutory basis in the Criminal Justice Act 1991, and is still recognised in law as a dividing line in Scotland. More generally, the Government are considering the next steps on prisoner voting rights in view of the strength of feeling on this issue in the UK, as demonstrated by the recent debates in Parliament. The Government have sought to refer the Greens and MT judgment against the UK to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. If the Grand Chamber agrees to the referral they will look again at the case and issue their own judgment.

14 Mar 2011 : Column 34W

Prisoners: Voting Rights

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) whether he plans to allow ballot boxes to be taken into prisons in order to enable franchised prisoners to vote in elections; [40238]

(2) whether his proposals for the enfranchisement of certain prisoners requires primary legislation; [40192]

(3) what provision for voting will be made for prisoners detained in mental health establishments; [39900]

(4) whether prisoners without a residential address or a local area with which they have a connection will be able to register the prison as their eligible address for the purpose of voting; [40137]

(5) what his policy is on extending the franchise to prisoners found guilty of electoral fraud; [39897]

(6) whether primary legislation to enfranchise prisoners will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny; [40136]

(7) what steps the Government is taking to ensure that people convicted of serious offences but who are serving a short sentence are not enfranchised; [40138]

(8) whether prisoners denied the right to vote by a sentencing judge will have a right to appeal; [40135]

(9) whether candidates for elections in which prisoners are to have the right to vote will be permitted to canvass prisoners in prisons; [40239]

(10) what his policy is on the enfranchisement of prisoners when they become eligible for parole; [41335]

(11) when he plans to publish legislative proposals in respect of enfranchisement of certain prisoners. [40193]

Mr Harper: The Government are considering the next steps on prisoner voting rights in view of the strength of feeling on this issue in the UK, as demonstrated by the recent debates in Parliament. The Government have sought to refer the Greens and MT judgment against the UK to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. If the Grand Chamber agrees to the referral they will look again at the case and issue their own judgment.

The Government will set out their intended approach in due course.

Mr Bain: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many prisoners in Scotland he estimates will receive the right to vote in parliamentary elections as a consequence of his plans to extend the franchise to those serving custodial sentences of up to four years. [33361]

Mr Harper: The Government are considering the next steps on prisoner voting rights in view of the strength of feeling on this issue in the UK, as demonstrated by the recent debates in Parliament. The Government have sought to refer the Greens and MT judgment against the UK to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. If the Court agrees to the referral they will look again at the case and issue their own judgment.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many cases in relation to UK prisoner voting are pending before the European Court of Human Rights. [39899]

14 Mar 2011 : Column 35W

Mr Harper: I understand that as at the beginning of February 2011 the European Court of Human Rights has received approximately 3,500 claims from UK prisoners unable to vote in elections. It has suspended consideration of those claims pending the Government's implementation of the Hirst and Greens and MT judgments.

More generally, the Government are considering the next steps on prisoner voting rights in view of the strength of feeling on this issue in the UK, as demonstrated by the recent debates in Parliament. The Government have sought to refer the Greens and MT judgment against the UK to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. If the Grand Chamber agrees to the referral they will look again at the case and issue their own judgment.

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 20 December 2010, Official Report, columns 150-52WS, on voting entitlement (1) what the evidential basis was for the distinction made between serious and other offences for the purposes of sentencing in respect of proposals to allow convicted prisoners the right to vote; and if he will make a statement; [33192]

(2) what assessment he made of the merits of setting a sentence guideline lower than four years in respect of proposals to allow convicted prisoners to vote; and if he will make a statement. [33193]

Mr Harper: As I indicated in my written ministerial statement on 20 December 2010, Official Report, columns 150-52WS,

“Four years has in the past been regarded as the distinction between short and long-term prisoners, and the Government consider that permitting prisoners sentenced to less than four years’ imprisonment to vote is sufficient to comply with the judgment.”

The four-year distinction historically has its statutory basis in the Criminal Justice Act 1991, and is still recognised in law as a dividing line in Scotland. More generally, the Government are considering the next steps on prisoner voting rights in view of the strength of feeling on this issue in the UK, as demonstrated by the recent debates in Parliament. The Government have sought to refer the Greens and MT judgment against the UK to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. If the Grand Chamber agrees to the referral, they will look again at the case and issue their own judgment.

Helen Jones: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many prisoners in (a) the North West and (b) Warrington he expects to receive the right to vote in Parliamentary elections as a result of his plans to extend the franchise to those serving terms of up to four years. [34040]

Mr Harper: The Government are considering the next steps on prisoner voting rights in view of the strength of feeling on this issue in the UK, as demonstrated by the recent debates in Parliament. The Government have sought to refer the Greens and MT judgment against the UK to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. If the Court agrees to the referral they will look again at the case and issue their own judgment.

14 Mar 2011 : Column 36W

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 29 November 2010, Official Report, column 497W, on prisoners: voting rights, what representations he has received from Scottish Ministers on the implementation of prisoners’ voting rights; and if he will publish each item of correspondence between him and Scottish Ministers on the issue. [34495]

Mr Harper [holding answer 18 January 2011]: Neither I nor the Deputy Prime Minister have received any representations from Scottish Ministers in relation to prisoners voting rights.

David T. C. Davies: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what legal advice he has received on the compatibility with judgements of the European Court of Human Rights on the introduction of a prohibition on the enfranchisement of prisoners sentenced to terms of over one year. [38807]

Mr Harper: The Government do not disclose their legal advice. Disclosure of legal advice has a high potential to prejudice the Government’s ability to defend their legal interests—both directly, by unfairly exposing their legal position to challenge, and indirectly by diminishing the reliance it can place on the advice having been fully considered and presented without fear or favour. Neither of these is in the public interest.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will publish the legal advice which informed the Government’s decision on which prisoners to enfranchise. [40185]

Mr Harper [holding answer 11 February 2011]: The Government do not disclose their legal advice. Disclosure of legal advice has a high potential to prejudice the Government’s ability to defend its legal interests—both directly, by unfairly exposing their legal position to challenge, and indirectly by diminishing the reliance they can place on the advice having been fully considered and presented without fear or favour. Neither of these is in the public interest.

Priti Patel: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what (a) recent discussions he has had and (b) legal advice he has received on the extension of the franchise to prisoners. [40256]

Mr Harper [holding answer 11 February 2011]: The Government do not disclose their legal advice. Disclosure of legal advice has a high potential to prejudice the Government's ability to defend its legal interests—both directly, by unfairly exposing its legal position to challenge, and indirectly by diminishing the reliance it can place on the advice having been fully considered and presented without fear or favour. Neither of these is in the public interest.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether any cases in relation to prisoners' voting rights are pending before domestic courts. [41337]

Mr Harper [holding answer 16 February 2011]: Around 585 prisoners made a claim in the domestic courts for compensation and/or a declaration that their rights were infringed for the fact that they were denied the

14 Mar 2011 : Column 37W

right to vote. The High Court struck out those cases on the basis that damages cannot be awarded in the domestic courts under the Human Rights Act for a failure to introduce compatible legislation. The judgment was published on 18 February.

Public Reading: Bills

Natascha Engel: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what discussions he has had with the Procedure Committee on (a) the introduction of a public reading stage for Bills and (b) a public reading day within a Bills committee stage; [41660]

(2) what discussions he has had with the Liaison Committee on (a) the introduction of a public reading stage for Bills and (b) a public reading day within a Bills committee stage; [41661]

(3) what discussions he has had with the Backbench Business Committee on (a) the introduction of a public reading stage for Bills and (b) a public reading day within a Bills committee stage; [41662]

(4) what discussions he has had with the committee of the House of Lords on (a) the introduction of a public reading stage for Bills and (b) a public reading day within a Bills committee stage. [41663]

The Deputy Prime Minister: The Leader of the House of Commons has regular discussions, including with those representing the relevant committees. The Leader of the House of Commons will have further discussions with colleagues within Government and both Houses on the development of the public reading stage of Bills following the pilot of the public reading stage of the Protection of Freedoms Bill.

Natascha Engel: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much has been spent on (a) introducing the public reading stage for Bills and (b) introducing a public reading day within a Bills committee stage to date. [41665]

The Deputy Prime Minister: No separately identifiable costs for the pilot have yet been established, although they are likely to be restricted to the establishment of the dedicated website. The Leader of the House of Commons will consider costs as part of his evaluation of the pilot.

International Development

Renewable Energy

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he plans to take together with the World Bank to support the development of renewable energy projects in the developing world. [45610]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: World Bank Group lending to renewable energy projects (excluding large hydropower) has been steadily increasing, and reached $1.4 billion in 2009 and $1.5 billion in 2010. However, I believe all the multilateral development banks, including the World Bank, should be doing even more to support a shift to climate-smart investment and lending. I will be raising this when I visit the bank in April.

14 Mar 2011 : Column 38W

The UK is a strong supporter of the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) which work through the World Bank and other development banks to finance renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport in developing countries as well as forestry and adaptation to climate change. Current commitments under the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), the largest of the CIFs, amount to $3.1 billion for over 12 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity, sufficient to provide power to almost 16 million households. We also provide core funding to the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, which helps countries develop roadmaps for renewable energy deployment and better understand the costs and benefits of renewables when compared to fossil fuels.

Departmental Procurement

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many procurement projects with a monetary value greater than (a) £10 million, (b) £50 million and (c) £100 million (i) his Department and (ii) each non-departmental public body for which he is responsible was engaged upon in the latest period for which figures are available. [45569]

Mr Duncan: In 2009-10 the Department for International Development (DFID) awarded a total of 16 contracts for procurement projects with a value greater than £10 million. Only one of these contracts had a value greater than £50 million and none had a value greater than £100 million.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which procurement projects engaged upon by (a) his Department and (b) each non-departmental public body for which he is responsible had a designated senior responsible owner in the latest period for which figures are available; and on what date each officer was appointed in each such case. [45570]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has a designated senior responsible owner (SRO) in place for all programmes to ensure they meet objectives and deliver the projected benefits.

Heads of DFID country offices and business units assume responsibility for the role of SRO for programmes in their country or business area on taking up their position. To provide specific dates of all changes in SRO on this basis would incur disproportionate cost.

Pakistan: Floods

Pauline Latham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the outcome of his Department's funding for humanitarian work in Pakistan following the floods in that country. [46010]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: As of 31 January 2011, the Department for International Development's (DFID's) funding for the response to the Pakistan floods has delivered the following results:

14 Mar 2011 : Column 39W

14 Mar 2011 : Column 40W

Sector Indicator Results achieved (people)

Water

People provided with safe drinking water

2,145,000

Sanitation

People provided with access to latrines and/or washing areas

32.3,000

Hygiene

People receiving kits and participating in awareness sessions

1,739,000

Health

People able to access basic health care

603,000

Nutrition

Women and children receiving supplementary or therapeutic feeding for malnutrition

754,000

Food

People receiving food for one month

521,000

Non-food items

People receiving emergency packages of goods

1,252,000

Shelter

People provided with emergency shelter and support to rebuild their homes

1,133,000

Agriculture

People provided with seeds and fertilisers

270,000

Agriculture

People provided with fodder for their livestock

276,000

United Nations Environment Programme

Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding he plans to provide to the United Nations Environment Programme in 2011-12. [45435]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) intends to provide £1.5 million in core funding to the United Nations Environment Programme in 2011/12. This is additional to the UK’s voluntary contribution to the United Nations Environment Programme handled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which has been £4.2 million per annum.

United Nations: Expenditure

Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department allocated to each UN agency and programme in (a) 2010 and (b) 2011. [45436]

Mr Duncan: It is not yet possible to provide a full estimate of funding for UN organisations in 2010/11. In 2009/10, the latest year for which information is available, the Department for International Development (DFID) provided the following core and non-core funding to UN organisations:

£ million
  2009/10
UN Organisation Core Non core

Convention to Combat Desertification

0.9

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

0.4

Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)

10.0

8.2

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

1.9

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

4.1

1.4

International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

0.9

6.5

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

11.0

1.2

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

21.0

113.9

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

0.1

United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

3.0

0.8

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

57.8

215.1

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

10.0

1.0

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

1.5

10.7

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR)

2.5

United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN HABITAT)

2.0

2.1

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)

4.9

United Nations Mine Action Service

1.1

United Nations Office of Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA)

7.0

74.9

United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

19.0

14.6

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

0.4

United Nations Peacebuilding Fund

0.1

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

22.1

24.4

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

24.9

2.0

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

0.7

World Food Programme (WFP)

74.8

World Health Organisation (WHO)

14.6

65.5

14 Mar 2011 : Column 41W

The Multilateral Aid Review is complete, but DFID has not yet taken funding decisions for 2011/12 for all

14 Mar 2011 : Column 42W

UN organisations. DFID has informed UN organisations of the following funding intentions:

  2011/12
UN Organisation Core (£ millions)

International Fund for Agricultural Development (FAD)

13.7

International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

0.9

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

10.0

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

44.0

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

55.0

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

16.0

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

1.5

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR)

2.5

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)(1)

7.0

United Nations Peacebuilding Fund

11.0

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

20.0

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

23.4

World Health Organisation (WHO)

12.5

(1 )The UK has announced its attention to withdraw from UNIDO and will pay two assessed contributions to serve out its notice period in 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Education

Academies: Finance

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the total allocation of funding from all public sources was for each academy school in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. [35860]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 24 January 2011]: We only hold information centrally on funding provided to academies by the Department for Education. The table setting out the details for the two financial years concerned has been placed in the House Libraries. In some cases, significantly more grant was paid in 2009-10 than is allocated for 2010/11 due to the 2009-10 payment including capital funding.

Academies: Standards

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment his Department has made of the potential effects of the expansion of the academies programme on the quality of science and mathematics-based teaching. [40642]

Mr Gibb: Through their funding agreements, academies are required to teach mathematics and science as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Results show that standards in academies continue to improve faster than the national average.

Children: Human Trafficking

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what progress has been made in locating the 77 children suspected of having been trafficked who have gone missing from children homes in the London Borough of Hillingdon since March 2006. [43035]

Tim Loughton: According to the London borough of Hillingdon, around 25% of the children to whom the question refers have been located through immigration processes, or having come to the notice of the police. Inquiries are continuing in relation to the other children. The local authority, the police and the United Kingdom Border Agency meet regularly to review the progress of these inquiries.

Children's Centres: Finance

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will reintroduce the ring-fence for funding provided to local authorities for children’s centres. [24849]

Sarah Teather [holding answer 19 November 2010]:The Department’s position is as described in the Secretary of State’s written ministerial statement published on 13 December 2010, Official Report, column 65WS, that the removal of the ring-fence on funding for Sure Start Children’s Centres will give local authorities greater freedom and flexibility to target resources effectively and strategically.

Sure Start Children’s Centres are at the heart of the Government’s vision for supporting families with young children and intervening early to prevent problems from becoming crises. Through the Early Intervention Grant, the Government has ensured there is enough money to retain a network of Sure Start Children’s Centres, accessible to all but identifying and supporting families in greatest need.

But the Government have made it clear that it is for local authorities to determine the most effective use of the grant. Local authorities will have greater flexibility, but they remain under statutory duties under the Childcare Act 2006 to consult before opening, closing or significantly changing children’s centres and to secure sufficient children’s centres provision to meet local need.

Connexions Service: Essex

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions he has had with Essex county council on the future provision of the Connexions Service in Essex; and if he will make a statement. [39659]

14 Mar 2011 : Column 43W

Mr Gibb: Ministers have responded to Members of Parliament who have written, on behalf of their constituents, about the provision of Connexions services in Essex.

Local authorities continue to be under a duty to provide such support as they consider necessary to encourage and assist the participation of young people (and young adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities) in education and training. Decisions as to how such services should be provided are a matter for local authorities, taking account of their statutory responsibilities.

Connexions: Conditions of Employment

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what transfer of undertakings and protection of employment arrangements he plans to put in place for Connexions staff affected by the establishment of the all-age careers service. [40677]

Mr Gibb: The application of the transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) regulations depends on the specific facts in each case. It would, therefore, be neither possible nor appropriate for the Department to offer detailed guidance and the organisations involved should take their own legal advice.

14 Mar 2011 : Column 44W

ContactPoint: Finance

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what funding his Department allocated to ContactPoint in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. [40711]

Tim Loughton: The Department spent £67.7 million in 2008-09 on ContactPoint and £68.6 million in 2009-10. We expect total expenditure in 2010-11 to be £22.7 million.

Departmental Expenditure

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what expenditure (a) his Department and (b) each public body sponsored by his Department incurred on engaging external audit services in each of the last three years; and to which service providers such payments were made in each year. [43757]

Tim Loughton: Expenditure by the Department and its arm’s length bodies for external audit services for the last three years is shown in the following table. To include all public bodies sponsored by the Department would incur disproportionate costs.

£

2007-08 2008-09 (1) 2009-10 (1)

DfE notional audit fees

300,000

318,400

320,000

British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA)

27,000

55,000

68,000

Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)

57,000

52,000

60,000

Children's. Workforce and Development Council (CWDC)

(2)25,000

48,000

53,000

National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services (NCSL)

44,000

55,000

55,000

Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC)

22,000

25,000

25,000

Partnerships for Schools (PfS)

(3)21,500

(3)31,700

45,500

Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QC DA)

58,000

62,000

63,000

Schools Food Trust (SfT)

20,000

26,500

30,000

Training Development Agency (TDA)

40,000

51,000

75,000

General Teaching Council for England (GTCE)

26,000

31,000

31,000

Total

640,500

755,600

825,500

(1) There was some additional work in 2008-09 and 2009-10 in relation to the audit of restatement of some figures to move from UK accounting principals to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). (2) In 2007-08, the CWDC was a grant-funded private company being turned into a non-departmental public body. The 2007-08 is therefore a prior year comparator. (3)The audit fees paid by PfS in 2007-08 and 2008-09 were paid to PKF. All other fees were paid to National Audit Office.

Departmental Manpower

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many staff in his Department were in the civil service redeployment pool on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many of these had been in the redeployment pool for more than six months at that date. [44352]

Tim Loughton: On 2 March there were 32 staff in the Department’s redeployment pool. Of these eight have been part of our redeployment pool for six months or more (though two are currently absent from work). This figure includes 17 individuals who were TUPE transferred into the Department on 1 March as a result of the closure of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA).

All individuals without permanent posts are fully and actively engaged in work while part of the redeployment pool, on either key projects or short-term business priorities. These individuals are known as ‘Priority Movers’ and are given first access to vacant posts and other support to find suitable permanent posts.

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what regulations his Department introduced between 30 November 2010 and 8 February 2011. [42085]

Tim Loughton: In the period 30 November 2010 to 8 February 2011:

the Education Bill was introduced into Parliament;

two statutory instruments made before 30 November came into force, as follows:

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14 Mar 2011 : Column 46W

Title Made Laid In force

The Education (School Attendance Targets) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

25 November 2010

2 December 2010

23 December 2010

The Harbour School (Amendment) Order 2010

16 November 2010

25 November 2010

15 December 2010

six statutory instruments were made and came into force, as follows:

Title Made Laid In force

The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 (Commencement No. 3, Saving and Transitional Provisions) Order 2010

15 December 2010

n/a

16 December 2010

The Academies Act 2010 (Commencement and Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Order 2010

22 December 2010

n/a

22 December 2010

The Education and Skills Act 2008 (Commencement No. 7 and Transitory Provisions) Order 2010

7 December 2010

n/a

1 January 2011

The Education (Independent Educational Provision in England) (Unsuitable Persons) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

7 December 2010

10 December 2010

1 January 2011

The Education (Independent Educational Provision in England) (Provision of Information) Regulations 2010

7 December 2010

10 December 2010

1 January 2011

The Education (Local Authority and School Performance Targets) (Revocation and Amendment) (England) Regulations 2010

20 December 2010

29 December 2010

30 January 2011

two statutory instruments were made and will come into force after 8 February:

Title Made Laid In force

The Education (School Day and School Year) (England)-Regulations 2011

26 January 2011

2 February 2011

25 February 2011

The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions (Amendment) Order 2011

31 January 2011

4 February 2011

25 February 2011

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many regulations sponsored by his Department have been (a) introduced and (b) revoked since 12 November 2010. [44368]

Tim Loughton: In the period 12 November 2010 to 2 March 2011, the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), (a) made 13 statutory instruments which came into force during the same period; and (b) revoked 14 statutory instruments or significant parts of statutory instruments, although in some cases the content of the revoked instrument has been largely replaced. The only Bill introduced during that period was the Education Bill.

Departmental Security

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which persons not employed by Government Departments or agencies hold passes entitling them to enter his Department’s premises. [39269]

Tim Loughton: Passes may be issued to those who are required to make frequent visits to specific Government sites, subject to the usual security checks. For security reasons it would not be appropriate to provide details of individuals who hold such passes.

Drugs: Education

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much funding his Department has allocated for drugs education in 2010-11. [39946]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 11 February 2011]:The Government are committed to reducing substance misuse among young people, including drugs, alcohol and volatile substances. Education on these substances is a vital element of the current approach.

The Department does not provide ring-fenced funding for schools’ drug education lessons which schools provide. It is for local authorities and schools to decide how to fund drug education within the overall resources available to them. Drug education ceased to be paid via the ring-fenced standards fund from April 2004.

For 2011-12, we are protecting school funding in the system at flat cash per pupil and have set a minimum funding guarantee so that no school will see a reduction compared with its 2010-11 budget (excluding sixth form funding) of more than 1.5% per pupil before the pupil premium is applied. The pupil premium is in addition to schools’ budgets. The level of the premium will be £430 per pupil and will be the same for every deprived pupil, no matter where they live.

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to announce his Department’s budget for the FRANK service for 2011-12. [45929]

14 Mar 2011 : Column 47W

Sarah Teather: The Government Drug Strategy, published in December 2010, made the commitment that, through the FRANK service, everyone, at any age, will have accurate and reliable information on the effects and harms of drugs, including new substances. It said that they will be able to access advice, information and support if they, their children, or someone they know is at risk of drug misuse. The three sponsor Departments for the FRANK service (Department for Education, Home Office and Department of Health) will collaborate to ensure that these commitments are met in the most cost-effective way possible.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to monitor the effects of discontinuing the payment of education maintenance allowance on take-up rates of post-16 education (a) nationally and (b) in each individual local authority areas. [40868]

Mr Gibb: We are considering the replacement for the education maintenance allowance and want to ensure that the funds we have are targeted on those young people who most need support to enable them to participate in education.

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what financial assistance other than the education maintenance allowance his Department provides to students before they reach further education. [42685]

Mr Gibb: The Department for Education has policy responsibility for students in schools and further education and training up to the age of 18 (or 25 for students with a learning difficulty or disability). For young people aged 16 to 18 in publicly funded further education (that is, in schools, colleges or other training prior to higher education), the Department provides a range of support including through:

The Care to Learn scheme which provides assistance for child care and related transport costs to enable young parents with responsibility for caring for their child to attend education or training. The scheme provides support of up to £160 a week (£175 in London). Child care costs are paid direct to the provider of child care.

Discretionary learner support funding is provided so that education and training providers can target financial help to students who they assess as having need of it in order to stay in education. Assistance may be provided in the form of goods or services, for example specialist equipment needed for the particular course, or through cash grants.

Additional learner support funds are also provided to education institutions and further education providers for the purpose of meeting the additional educational support needs that may be required for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many people applied for education maintenance allowance between 1 October and 1 January in each academic year since 2004. [43911]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 3 March 2011 ]: This is a matter for the Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener, the YPLA’s

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chief executive, has written to the hon. Member for Glasgow North West (John Robertson) with the information requested and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Libraries.

Letter from Peter Lauener, dated 7 March 2011:

I am writing in response to your Parliamentary Question PQ43911 that asked:

"How many people applied for education maintenance allowance between 1 October 2010 and 1 January 2011; and how many such applications were made in the same period since 2004."

The number of applications for Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) that were recorded between 1 October and 1 January for each year since inception is shown below.

Academic year Applications

2010/11

76,874

2009/10

90,919

2008/09

44,186

2007/08

77,273

2006/07

78,524

2005/06

95,273

2004/05

59,521

EMA take-up data showing the number of young people who have received one or more EMA payments during 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10 is available on the YPLA website, at the following address;

http://ema.ypla.gov.uk/resources/research/takeup/

Education Maintenance Allowance: Free School Meals

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of recipients of the education maintenance allowance received free school meals in each of the last three years. [39502]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 10 February 2011]:No information is held on the proportion of recipients of the education maintenance allowance who also received free school meals.

Electoral Reform Services

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the monetary value was of contracts his Department placed with Electoral Reform Services in each year since 2005. [44216]

Tim Loughton: The Department’s central contract records show that it does not hold any current contracts with the Electoral Reform Services. However, a search of our finance system has shown that payments totalling £670,000 were made between March and July 2005. To find out the monetary value of this contract would incur disproportionate costs.

Food: Procurement

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he expects his Department to meet the Government’s commitment to source food that meets British or equivalent standards of production. [43322]

Tim Loughton: The Department for Education is already fully committed to sourcing food that meets British or equivalent standards of production.

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Products are sourced from suppliers and companies that either hold certification to the higher British Retail Consortium global food safety standards or their equivalents. Also supply of chilled meat and poultry is all Red Tractor Farm assured.

The only exception is procurement of bacon on cost grounds in line with the commitment that the Government would

“ensure that food procured by government departments meets British standards of production wherever this can be achieved without increasing overall cost.”

Foster Care

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will bring forward proposals to amend the law relating to those seeking to become foster parents to enable people to foster children regardless of their religious views. [44314]

Tim Loughton: The statutory framework for foster care does not prevent a person holding any particular religious views from becoming a foster carer. Revised National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services coming into force on 1 April make clear that anyone interested in becoming a foster carer should be treated fairly, without prejudice, openly and with respect.

However, the needs of children must be paramount. A fostering service, when deciding if a person is suitable to foster, should consider the person’s capacity to care for children with complex needs (who may be from diverse backgrounds) and to put the child’s needs first.

Free Schools

Bob Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what factors he takes into consideration when determining whether the proposed location of a free school will have a detrimental effect on admissions to existing schools in the locality. [36008]

Mr Gibb: The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), has a duty under section 9 of the Academies Act 2010 to consider what impact establishing an additional school would have on existing maintained schools, academies and further education institutions before entering into an academy arrangement for a free school. When exercising this duty, the Secretary of State takes account of a number of factors including the effect on local provision in terms of choice and standards, and any representations made by the relevant local authority, local schools and further education colleges.

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which organisations have expressed an interest in establishing a free school for people aged 16 to 19 years only; and where he expects each such school to open. [37832]

Mr Gibb: As at 3 February 2011, the Department has received 10 proposals to establish free schools specifically for 16 to 19-year-olds. Six of these proposals are currently being considered by officials and four have been informed that their proposals have been unsuccessful. Of the six proposals under consideration, the proposers plan to open schools in the following local authority areas:

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Brighton and Hove

Devon

Dudley

Kent

Milton Keynes

Warwickshire

Dr Wollaston: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many proposals for free schools he has received from (a) Totnes constituency, (b) the South West and (c) England. [40232]

Mr Gibb: As at 25 February 2011, we have received one proposal from the Totnes constituency, 29 proposals from the South West region, and a total of 329 for England.

Further Education

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent steps the Government has taken to encourage young people to undertake further education. [43004]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 28 February 2011]: The Government have made a clear commitment to raising the participation age to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015. This includes a major commitment in the spending review of October 2010 to fund sufficient education and training places. In addition, we are simplifying the post-16 commissioning system to free providers from red tape, introducing a funding system based on “lagged” student numbers that will ensure that funding follows students’ choices, and continuing the process of ensuring that all 16 to 17-year-olds receive a suitable offer of a place in education or training to help match supply and demand. The Government are also ending the disparity between post-16 funding between schools and colleges. We are giving schools responsibility for careers guidance at Key Stages 3 and 4 to ensure that it is fully tailored to young people’s needs. Local authorities retain their statutory duty to encourage and enable young people to participate in education and training.

There is also a strong demand for Apprenticeship places and the Government are committed to significant growth in the programme.

Sex and Relationship Education

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will bring forward proposals to require (a) schools to inform parents of the content of sex education lessons and (b) parents to opt in to such lessons; [43732]

(2) if he will bring forward proposals to require primary schools to inform school governors of the teaching materials used in sex education lessons; [43733]

(3) what requirements his Department places on primary schools in respect of the teaching of sex education; and if he will bring forward proposals to require the suppliers of teaching materials for sex education lessons to be licensed. [43734]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 3 March 2011]: School governing bodies have a statutory responsibility to ensure that schools have a policy for teaching about sex education

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which, as a minimum, should provide information about how sex education will be provided, any sensitive issues that will be covered and who will provide it. The policy must be made available to parents on request and must include information about parents' right to withdraw their children from sex and relationships (SRE) provided outside the national curriculum.

We believe it is important that all children have access to high quality SRE so they can make wise and informed choices. Those parents who do not believe that their children are ready to receive SRE at school, or who want to provide it themselves are able to withdraw their children from SRE lessons.

Members of school governing bodies are already responsible for deciding what information the school should make available to them. It is therefore not necessary to require schools to inform school governors of the teaching material used in sex education. In practice this will already happen as part of the governing body's statutory responsibility to have a sex education policy.

When providing sex education all schools must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State published in 2000. This is designed to ensure that pupils receiving sex education learn about the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and the upbringing of children. Furthermore, it is designed to protect pupils from teaching and materials which are inappropriate having regard to the age and religious and cultural background of the pupils concerned.

The guidance provides information about how schools can set in place arrangements to protect pupils from inappropriate teaching and materials. The guidance can be viewed at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationdetail/page1/DfES%200116%202000

We believe it is important that teachers have good quality teaching material to support them in providing sex education, but that they should have the flexibility to use their own professional judgment in deciding such matters, taking account of the guidance, the needs of pupils and the ethos of the school. We have no plans, therefore, to require the suppliers of teaching materials for sex education to be licensed.

Higher Education: Fees and Charges

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether all higher education institutions charging more than £6,000 in annual tuition fees will be eligible to join the National Scholarship Scheme from 2012. [40882]

Mr Gibb: I refer the hon. Member for Bolton North East to the reply given by the Minister of State for Universities and Science, my right hon. Friend the Member for Havant (Mr Willetts), on 16 February 2011, Official Report, columns 876-77W.

Holocaust Educational Trust

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he has made an assessment of the effects of the Holocaust Educational Trust's Lessons from Auschwitz project. [38685]

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Mr Gibb: This Department has not carried out any formal assessment on the effects of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s (HET) Lessons from Auschwitz (LFA) project, but officials regularly meet HET to discuss the progress of the project. HET did commission the Institute of Education to carry out an evaluation of the LFA project in 2009, which sampled five LFA regions which took part in the project in the spring and summer of 2009. Among the key findings were that 98% of participants assessed the project as excellent and 2% as good, and 74% of teachers either agreed or strongly agreed that participation in the project had positively impacted on the school’s teaching and learning about the Holocaust. Over 6,200 students and 1,700 teachers in England have participated in the project since it began in 1999.

Ilkley School

Kris Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to visit Ilkley grammar school in Keighley constituency. [37258]

Mr Gibb: An official will contact Ilkley grammar school with a suggested date in due course.

English Baccalaureate

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will assess the merits of broadening the scope of the English Baccalaureate to include (a) philosophy, (b) economics, (c) religious studies and (d) other humanities subjects. [41581]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 28 February 2011]:We are concerned that the number of pupils, especially those in disadvantaged areas, who receive a broad education in core academic subjects is far too small. Through the introduction of the English Baccalaureate, we want to encourage more pupils to take these core subjects and to bring about greater fairness of opportunity.

The English Baccalaureate is not intended to include all the subjects worthy of study. We recognise that study in other subjects will be just as valuable to pupils and we will encourage all pupils to study non-English Baccalaureate subjects alongside the English Baccalaureate in order to benefit from a well-rounded education. This is why we have kept the number of core subjects in the English Baccalaureate small enough to allow wider study. Subjects, such as religious studies, philosophy, and economics, which do not count towards the English Baccalaureate, can and will play a part in a well rounded, rigorous education. Achievement in these subjects will continue to be recognised in the performance tables as part of the A*-C measure and the teaching of religious education remains compulsory throughout a pupil’s schooling. However we remain open to arguments about how we can further improve every measure in the performance tables—including the English Baccalaureate.

Languages: Teachers

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he has plans to increase the number of language teachers in primary and secondary schools. [39531]

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Mr Gibb [holding answer 14 February 2011]: The Secretary of State for Education wrote to the Training and Development Agency for Schools on 31 January with the details of the initial teacher training place allocations and training bursary amounts for academic year 2011/12. Despite falling secondary pupil rolls and reductions in the secondary allocation overall, the secondary language place allocation has been protected with 100 more places than the previous year to take account of the introduction of the English Baccalaureate. Future year allocations will continue to take account of the English Baccalaureate and other policy developments. We are also maintaining the training bursary level for modern foreign languages at £6,000 in 2011/12 to help with recruitment.

The Schools White Paper 2010, “The Importance of Teaching”, sets out the Government’s commitment to attract more of the best graduates in shortage subjects, including modern foreign languages, into teaching. We will publish a strategy document for discussion later this year setting out our plans for funding initial teacher training from academic year 2012/13.

We are currently considering the funding and support structures that might best be used to improve language teaching in schools, including the primary school workforce.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether his Department has set a timetable for its internal review of personal, social, health and economic education. [46301]

Mr Gibb: The Department is considering the precise remit for its internal review of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education and has not yet set a timetable. Further information about the review, including a proposed timetable will be available in due course.

Pupil Premium

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much he expects to allocate to Warrington local authority area under his plans for the pupil premium in the year 2011-12. [39948]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 11 February 2011]:The January 2010 school censuses allow an estimate of the number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, or to be looked-after children to be made.

In Warrington in January 2010 there were 3,610 pupils known to be eligible, which would give rise to a pupil premium of £1,552,300. In addition to this there were 10 pupils known to be eligible for the service child premium, paid at a lower rate of £200 per pupil, which would give rise to a further £2,000. However, these are estimates only.

Residential Schools: Finance

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what funding his Department provided to residential schools to cover the costs of meeting the mobility needs of pupils when participating in community activities as set out in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the latest period for which figures are available; [41377]

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(2) what funding his Department provided to residential schools to cover the costs of meeting the mobility needs of pupils spending time with their families at weekends in the latest period for which figures are available. [41378]

Mr Gibb: There are no specific funds provided by the Department to residential schools for meeting the cost of mobility needs of children. From April, education services are funded through the dedicated schools grant and the local government finance scheme. It is for local authorities to decide on how those resources are allocated, including in respect of children whom they fund in residential schools. Capital funding is also provided by this Department to local authorities and to schools which can be used to provide facilities that meet mobility needs where this is the local priority. We are currently reviewing the schools funding system and this will include a review of the funding for children with special education needs and disability.

Schools: Buildings

Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools or school buildings his Department estimates will be built using prefabricated or flatpack buildings in 2010-11. [42718]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 1 March 2011]:The Department for Education does not hold data on how many schools or school buildings will be built using prefabricated or flatpack buildings in 2010-11.

Schools: Finance

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he expects to announce the allocation of the Local Authority Targeted Intervention Grant. authorities. [39938]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 11 February 2011]: The Local Authority Targeted Intervention Grant will cease at the end of the 2010-11 financial year. The 2010-11 allocation was £16.1 million.

On 3 November 2010, the Government announced a new £110 million Education Endowment Fund (the EEF), focused on raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils in underperforming schools. Local authorities, schools, voluntary and community sector organisations, charities and social enterprises will be able to bid to the Fund for resources to test out bold and innovative approaches focused on disadvantaged pupils.

Schools: Leeds

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the requirement for building repairs in schools in Leeds North West constituency; and what estimate has been made of the cost of repair in each such case. [43180]

Mr Gibb: The Department has made no assessment of the requirement and cost of building repairs in schools in Leeds North West. It is the responsibility of each local authority to assess the building requirements of the schools in its area and prioritise the available resources.

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Schools: Sports

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 21 December 2010, Official Report, column 1245W, on school sport partnerships: finance, (1) whether his Department made an assessment of the capacity of partnership development managers to co-ordinate voluntary sports club work with local schools prior to its decision to end funding for school sport partnerships; [34874]

(2) whether his Department took account of the economies of scale for schools arising from school sport partnerships prior to (a) the decision to end funding of such partnerships and (b) the review of that decision; [34893]

(3) whether his Department made an assessment of the capacity of school sport partnerships to co-ordinate the work of national governing bodies of sport with schools in a local area prior to his decision to end funding for school sport partnerships from April 2011. [34894]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 20 January 2011]:The Government have protected the schools budget in the recent spending review, at a time when cutting the national deficit is an urgent national priority. We trust schools to take their own financial decisions when planning a truly rounded education including physical education and competitive sport. Many schools have said that they value the work of school sport partnerships, and so—under the freedoms given to school leaders by this Government—those schools will be able to continue to work in partnerships, if they wish.

The Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport through Sport England is continuing to invest in national governing bodies of sport to ensure that strong links between schools and community sport clubs are developed and retained. In addition, Sport England is committing up to £35.5 million of lottery funding from now to 2014/15 towards a new ‘School Games’ to encourage greater participation in competitive sport, and to which every school will be invited to sign up.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of funding to support participation in school games by pupils in primary schools which will be allocated to each region in each of the next two years. [41287]

Tim Loughton: The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Mr Gove), is making available £65 million of new funding for schools in England to enable them to provide more opportunities for competitive sport. This funding will cover school years 2011/12 and 2012/13 and will pay for one day a week of a secondary PE teacher’s time to be spent out of the classroom, encouraging greater take-up of competitive sport in primary schools and securing a fixture network for schools to increase the amount of intra and inter-school sporting competition. The Department will be writing to schools later this year to provide further details about this funding.

In addition, the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), recently announced

14 Mar 2011 : Column 56W

outline plans for a network of school games organisers in England from September 2011. These organisers will be funded for three days a week to help schools sign up for the nationwide school games. Further details of these organiser posts and their precise roles will be announced shortly.

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for (a) Communities and Local Government and (b) Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport on the use of sports and leisure facilities at (i) primary, (ii) secondary and (iii) specialist sports schools and colleges by local communities. [42812]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 28 February 2011]: I usually have weekly meetings with the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), about the school games. Discussion at these meetings covers a wide range of issues, of interest to both Departments.

Schools can choose to offer extended services, which can include making sports and leisure facilities available to their local communities. Extended services often take place outside of normal school hours and can also include access to child care, sports or cultural activities and support for learning.

In the Schools White Paper “The Importance of Teaching” published in November 2010, we said we will rely on schools to work together with voluntary, business and statutory agencies to create an environment where every child can learn, and can experience new and challenging opportunities through extended services.

The comprehensive spending review 2010 announced that the amount of extended services funding currently provided through the Department’s standards fund will form part of the overall schools revenue baseline from April 2011. Schools will have freedom and flexibility to spend their budgets to support their pupils in the ways they judge best.

The Department has published information about extended services, which can be found at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/popularquestions/schools/typesofschools/extendedschools/a005585/what-are-extended-services

Schools: Transport

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make it his policy that children on transport provided for school travel purposes must be accompanied by a supervisor travelling in each vehicle. [40143]

Mr Gibb: Sections 508B and 508C of the Education Act 1996 place a duty on local authorities to ensure that suitable travel arrangements are made, where necessary, to facilitate a child's attendance at school. These arrangements may include being accompanied by a supervising adult. However, the Government believe that local authorities, having taken account of the individual needs of the child and local circumstances, are best placed to determine whether a supervising adult should be provided.

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Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the terms of reference are for the review of school transport including transport for 16 to 18 year olds; and when he expects the review to be completed. [41945]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 28 February 2011]: Home to school transport policy has remained largely unchanged since the 1944 Act when the social, economic and education environment was very different. The Department is considering home to school transport and in particular how best practice can be spread to all local authorities. We will make further announcements in due course.

Schools: Vocational Guidance

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what requirement his Department places on schools to provide careers education and guidance; and if he will make a statement. [45171]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 8 March 2011]: Through the Education Bill schools will be placed under a new duty to secure access to independent, impartial careers guidance for all pupils aged 13 to 16. Schools will be free to determine how best to fulfil this duty based on the needs of their pupils but the careers guidance must include information on 16 to 18 education or training options, including apprenticeships.

As the Education Bill makes its way through Parliament, we will remind schools of the importance of offering the broad range of activities encompassed within the term ‘careers education’ to prepare pupils for future learning. This will help to place careers guidance in context and support the development of decision making and career management skills for all young people.

Teachers: Conditions of Employment

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make it his policy to provide that learning activities outside the classroom are not affected by the requirement that teachers rarely cover for absent colleagues; and if he will make a statement. [41190]

Mr Gibb: It is the Government’s intention to provide schools with greater freedoms and flexibilities.

We trust schools to make sensible decisions about opportunities for education outside the classroom through forward planning and careful scheduling of these activities. Where this happens, the rarely cover provisions should not prove to be an obstacle to children being able to learn outside the classroom.

Teachers: Professional Development

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his policy is on continuing professional development for the teaching profession. [37038]

Mr Gibb: We are committed to encouraging schools to demonstrate a strong culture of professional development where teachers take responsibility for leading their own and others’ development and by sharing effective practice

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within schools and between schools. The White Paper “The Importance of Teaching”, published on 24 November, outlined our approach.

We will create a new national network of Teaching Schools, building on the good work of existing Training Schools and National Teaching Schools—over 800 have applied already. These outstanding schools will be responsible for leading the training and professional development of teachers and head teachers so that schools can have access to highly effective professional development support.

A new competitive Scholarship Fund will be introduced this year to provide opportunities for teachers to deepen and enhance their subject knowledge, so that they are seen, alongside university academics, as the guardians of the intellectual life of the nation.

We will also review the proliferation of existing teacher standards to ensure that our expectations of teachers are clear, making it easier to assess teacher performance and encourage professional development.

Teachers: Recruitment

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to ensure the teaching profession attracts and retains high-quality candidates. [18238]

Mr Gibb: Our plans for ensuring that the teaching profession attracts and retains high quality teachers are contained in The Schools White Paper 2010 ‘The Importance of Teaching’.

We will raise the quality of new entrants to the teaching profession by ceasing to provide Department for Education funding for initial teacher training for those graduates who do not have at least a 2:2 degree, expanding Teach First across the country and into primary schools, offering financial incentives to attract more of the very best graduates in shortage subjects into teaching and enabling more talented career changers to become teachers by creating new employment based training programmes.

We will also reform initial teacher training so that more training is on the job and it focuses on key skills such as teaching early reading and mathematics, managing behaviour and responding to pupil's special educational needs.

We will also remove some of the negatives that have tended to keep people out of teaching. We will be tacking bureaucracy at source, stripping out unnecessary obligations, simplifying inspections, giving heads the power to ensure discipline and good behaviour in the classroom and ensuring that schools have flexibility over pay, so they can reward teachers appropriately.

Teachers: Training

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education by what date he expects to have determined teacher training allocations for the 2011-12 academic year. [35234]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 21 January 2011]: The Secretary of State for Education wrote to the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) on 31 January 2011 to notify them of the national initial teacher

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training place allocations for academic year 2011/12. The TDA has now given initial teacher training providers the details of their individual allocations for that period.

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many information and communication technologies PGCE students in (a) England and (b) the west midlands received funding from the further education initial teacher training bursary in each of the last five years; [42179]

(2) how many history PGCE students in (a) England and (b) the west midlands received funding from the further education initial teacher training bursary in each of the last five years; [42180]

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(3) how many PGCE students in (a) England and (b) the west midlands received funding from the further education initial teacher training bursary in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [42181]

Mr Gibb: The requested information is not collected centrally. The available information relates to the number of trainees who were potentially eligible for training bursaries. The table provides this information for postgraduate trainees in the first year of History, ICT and overall initial teacher training (ITT) mainstream courses in the west midlands and England

Number of postgraduate first year trainees eligible for bursary by selected subject and region. Years: 2006/07 to 2010/11 , Coverage: west midlands and England

2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11

West midlands

         

History

95

80

70

75

70

ICT

175

115

110

125

120

Total primary and secondary

2,470

2,300

2,250

2,585

2,595

           

England

         

History

725

675

625

585

520

ICT

910

815

780

835

860

Total primary and secondary

24,540

23,550

23,435

24,965

24,375

Notes: 1. Numbers rounded to nearest five. 2. ICT numbers include Applied ICT. Source: TDA Trainee Number Census

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he plans to provide replacement arrangements for services no longer provided by the Training and Development Agency. [43779]

Mr Gibb: As part of our work to ensure that we are able to achieve the Department’s policy priorities and as part of the Public Bodies Review, we looked at the key functions and programmes carried out by the Training and Development Agency (TDA) and other departmental organisations. We tested the potential for strengthened accountability to Parliament, greater value for money and reduced bureaucracy, In the case of the TDA, and subject to legislation, we decided that the key functions will transfer to the Department for Education, where they will be exercised by an Executive agency that is directly accountable to Ministers.

Think Family Scheme: Finance

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what funding his Department allocated to the Think Family scheme in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. [40704]

Tim Loughton: The Department allocated £94.1 million for the Think Family Grant in 2010-11. This was the first year Think Family Grant funding was allocated.

Three Valleys Independent Academy

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many representations from parents supporting the establishment of a Three Valleys Independent Academy in Rotherham his Department has received; [34640]

(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of each item of correspondence his Department has received in support of a Three Valleys Independent Academy in Rotherham. [34641]

Mr Gibb: As part of their proposal, the Nationwide Independent College of Higher Education provided the Department with representations from 423 supporters. 219 are parents who have indicated that they would consider sending their children to the proposed Three Valleys Independent Academy.

The majority of these representations are as part of a petition or short standard statement of support, and we regard them as made in confidence to the proposer.

Vocational Guidance

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of geographical variation in the (a) quality and (b) availability of careers advice and guidance. [36822]

Mr Gibb: Evidence suggests that Connexions services are not consistently providing high quality careers guidance to young people. The Ofsted report “Moving Through The System”, published in March 2010, reported that there was considerable variability in the quality of information, advice and guidance provided. In a 2010 survey by the Edge Foundation, 51% of young people reported that information, advice and guidance is not meeting their needs. The Government want to restore a focus on independent, professional careers guidance for young people and adults which is based on accurate labour market information and strong evidence about the impact of individuals’ decisions on their future prospects.

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Mrs Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what mechanisms he plans to put in place to ensure that common professional standards for careers and Connexions services in local authorities are maintained in (a) 2011-12 and (b) subsequent years of the comprehensive spending review period; [36925]

(2) what plans he has to ensure that standards of impartiality, quality and consistency of careers advice are maintained following the devolution of responsibility for commissioning such services to schools. [36926]

Mr Gibb: Alongside the establishment of an all-age careers service, schools will be required to secure access for their pupils to independent, impartial careers guidance.

The Government are taking steps to raise the quality and profile of the careers profession, and have accepted the recommendations of the Careers Profession Task Force, set out in its report, “Towards a Strong Careers Profession”, published in October 2010. The 14 recommendations include the development of common professional standards and a code of ethics. A strong emphasis is also placed on ensuring all careers advisers receive effective initial training and continuing professional development to carry out their role. The Government are working with the Careers Profession Alliance and other sector organisations to implement these recommendations.

Written Questions: Government Responses

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to answer questions (a) 34640, (b) 34641 and (c) 34651 on the establishment of an academy in Rotherham, tabled on 18 January 2011. [41158]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 15 February 2011]:A response to the right hon. Member’s question 34651 was issued on 9 March 2011, Official Report, column 1117W. Responses to the right hon. Member’s questions 34640 and 34641 have been issued today.

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to answer (a) question 39708, on the harnessing technology grant, and (b) question 39707, on the pupil premium, tabled on 7 February 2011 for named day answer on 10 February 2011. [46607]

Mr Gibb: A response to the hon. Member’s question 39707 was issued on 10 March 2011, Official Report, column 1238W.

A response to the hon. Member’s question 39708 was issued on 10 March 2011, Official Report, column 1233W.

Young People: Protection

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many people aged 16 and 17 years were accepted by local authorities as being owed a duty under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 in each quarter since Q1 2009. [43710]

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Tim Loughton: The number of people aged 16 and 17 years who were accepted by local authorities as being owed a duty under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 in each quarter since Q1 2009, is shown in the following table.

Children who started to be looked after under section 20 during the year, aged 16 and 17 by the quarter in which they started (1,2,3) . Year ending 31 March 2010 , Coverage: England

Number

All children aged 16 and 17 who started during the year

3,000

Quarter

 

1 April to 30 June 2009

620

1 July to 30 September 2009

860

1 October to 31 December 2009

760

1 January to 31 March 2010

730

(1) Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000, and to the nearest 10, otherwise. (2) Only the first occasion on which a child started to be looked after in the year has been counted. Consequently, if a child started more than one period of care, each in a different quarter, he/she has only been counted in the earlier quarter. (3) Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements. Source: SSDA 903

Youth Crime Action Plan: Finance

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what funding his Department allocated to the Youth Crime Action Plan in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. [40708]

Tim Loughton: The then Department for Children, Schools and Families allocated the following funding for the Youth Crime Action Plan:


Funding allocated (£ million)

2008-09

8.600

2009-10

23.000

2010-11

(1)28.000

(1 )The ring-fence on this funding was removed in June 2010.

Youth Opportunity Fund: Finance

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what funding his Department allocated to the Youth Opportunity Fund in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. [40707]

Tim Loughton: Table 1 shows the allocations made nationally by the Department for the Youth Opportunity Fund in these three years.

Table 1: Youth Opportunity Fund

£ million

2008-09

35.75

2009-10

40.75

2010-11

40.75

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Drugs

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the level of narcotics production in Afghanistan. [45389]

Mr Hague: The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s most recent Annual Opium Survey, published in December 2010, reported that the potential opium production in Afghanistan was 3,600 metric tonnes, down from 6,900 metric tonnes in 2009. The UNODC has predicted a slight fall in poppy cultivation in 2011 from last year’s level of 123,000 hectares—though it should be stressed that this is indicative only.

The UNODC Cannabis Survey of April 2010 estimated cannabis cultivation at between 10,000-24,000 hectares and cannabis resin production at between 1,500-3,500 metric tonnes. We await publication of UNODC’s latest cannabis survey, due in April 2011.

Afghanistan: Politics and Government

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the appointment of a US special representative to Afghanistan. [45354]

Mr Hague: The appointment of a US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan was a decision that the US alone made. In my statement on 19 February, following the announcement by the US Secretary of State, I welcomed Mr Grossman's appointment. I look forward to working closely with him and continuing our co-operation on this important foreign policy area.

Arms Trade: Treaties

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what dates he expects to participate in meetings at the UN to discuss the proposed International Arms Trade Treaty. [45317]

Mr Hague: Participation in UN meetings on the Arms Trade Treaty is undertaken at official level. Our delegation is led, at senior official level, by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and contains representatives from other Government Departments. The latest Arms Trade Treaty Preparatory Committee meeting took place at the UN in New York from 28 February 2011 to 4 March 2011. The UK continued to play a leading role in negotiations, and good progress was made at the meeting.

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The next Preparatory Committee meeting will take place from 11 to 15 July 2011. This will be followed, in 2012, by a further Preparatory Committee meeting dealing with procedural matters for the Diplomatic Conference later that year. The exact dates of these meetings have yet to be confirmed. We remain committed to securing a robust and effective Arms Trade Treaty.

Departmental Land

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to reduce the size of his Department’s estate; and if he will make a statement. [45894]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) constantly reviews its global estate in the light of changing operational needs to optimise the use of its property assets. As a consequence the FCO regularly acquires and disposes of its property assets. In 2009 the Treasury set the FCO an asset sales target of £25 million for the financial years 2010-11.

Between 2011-12 and 2013-14 we have identified 71 potentially redundant properties for disposal with a total book value of £131.25 million. In order to maximise the price received for the sale of our assets, it is not our policy to provide exact details of our sales programme, nor the price we expect to receive in advance of formal marketing.

Details of sales completed are reported quarterly to the Foreign Affairs Committee. Book value for each property is based on value as assessed by independent chartered surveyors commissioned to undertake the rolling programme of revaluations.

In the UK we are working with the Government Property Unit to ensure our Whitehall offices are of a size to meet best practice.

Departmental Procurement

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which procurement projects engaged upon by (a) his Department and (b) each non-departmental public body and agency for which he is responsible had a designated senior responsible owner in the latest period for which figures are available; and on what date each officer was appointed in each such case. [45562]

Alistair Burt: The following table lists projects and their senior responsible owners (SRO), where this information is available.

Department Project SRO appointment

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Diplomatic Bag

18 November 2010

 

Passport Secure Delivery

15 December 2009

 

Fortress IV - High Classification system

1 December 2010

 

Overseas Standard IT

1 October 2010

 

Echo (global voice and data services)

May 2009

 

Conrad (Consular assistance systems)

14 January 2011

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14 Mar 2011 : Column 66W

 

Legalisation System Improvement Project

21 January 2011

 

BRIT 2—Passports

1 October 2009

 

Minerva

29 July 2010

 

Arcane—High Class System

1 October 2011

 

eDisclosure—Scope

23 February 2011

     

British Council

Books and Multimedia Tender

11 September 2009

 

Career Transition Support

3 July 2009

 

COLA and Location Allowance contract

28 January2009

 

Cultural Relations through Sport Services

6 August 2009

 

Education UK—Content and Print

9 July 2009

 

Fundraising for Skills for Employability

14 December 2009

 

Global HR Transformation—e-HR

25 August 2009

 

Global Innovation Lab

22 January 2010

 

GPC3 Framework

4 December 2009

 

Ground Transportation Project

29 April 2009

 

Justice Sector Development Programme

13 July 2009

 

Legal services

19 January 2010

 

Market Research Roster

4 January 2010

 

Going Global

18 November 2009

 

Security Services

11 February 2010

 

Selector Radio—production

18 August 2010

 

Graphic design services

27 December 2009

 

Legal services

29 January2010

 

Audio Visual services

21 July 2010

 

Working with Major Donors

15 December2009

 

European Voluntary Service Training Provision

8 September 2010

Projects are generally devolved to directorates and a full list where an SRO has been appointed could be obtained only at disproportionate costs.