Industrial Health and Safety: Prosecutions

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 14 September 2011, Official Report, column 1173W, on industrial health and safety: construction, in which employment sectors the duty holders who were prosecuted for health and safety offences operated in each year. [72774]

Chris Grayling: From 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2011, the Health and Safety Executive completed 453 prosecutions of duty holders employing fewer than 10 employees outside the construction sector. The sector distribution of these prosecutions is given in the following table:

Duty holders employing fewer than 10 employees (including those with no employees) outside the construction sector prosecuted
Number
  Sector
Work year (1 April to 31 March) Agriculture Extractive/utilities Manufacturing Services

2006-07

24

5

52

42

2007-08

9

2

38

33

2008-09

8

1

21

54

2009-10

10

3

21

52

2010-11

10

1

29

38

Note:The above 2010-11 figure is based on current information in advance of the release of official statistics for this year in October 2011.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the amount which will be paid in jobseeker's allowance in England in the next (a) 12, (b) 24 and (c) 36 months. [72339]

Chris Grayling: The available information is in the following table. Forecasts are produced only for Great Britain, and for financial years.

Jobseeker's allowance expenditure forecasts
Great Britain 2011-12 Forecast 2012-13 Forecast 2013-14 Forecast 2014-15 Forecast

£ million, nominal terms

4,831

4,971

4,676

4,365

£ million, (2011-12 prices)

4,831

4,850

4,442

4,037

Notes: 1. Forecasts are those underpinning the Office for Budget Responsibility's Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published alongside the March 2011 Budget, and are consistent with the claimant unemployment assumption published by in that document. 2. Forecasts are as published on the DWP website at: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/index.php?page=expenditure Source: Budget 2011 forecasts.

Jobseeker's Allowance: West Midlands

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people under the age of 24 who will have been in receipt of jobseeker's allowance for more than 12 months by 2013 in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands and (c) Dudley borough. [72337]

Chris Grayling: The Department has made no such estimates.

Means-tested Benefits

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people who are transitioning from contributory to means-tested benefits were ineligible because of the earnings or savings of a spouse, partner, or civil partner in the most recent year for which figures are available; and how many applications for benefits were refused because of the earnings or savings of a spouse, partner, or civil partner in the most recent year for which figures are available. [72760]

Chris Grayling: Unfortunately, the information requested is not available as data on reason for claim closure or refusal are not centrally collated.

11 Oct 2011 : Column 351W

Personal Pensions

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to tackle recent reductions in personal pension contributions and their likely effects on the prosperity of future pensioners. [72590]

Steve Webb: The Government wants to help individuals by having a stable economy with sustained and balanced growth, which is why we are taking action to tackle the deficit and support business in creating jobs. The Government's Growth Review will continue for the rest of this Parliament, providing ongoing focus on what the Government can do to support growth.

We believe that pension provision is important and that is why we are introducing workplace pension reform. Automatic enrolment will be introduced from 2012 requiring all employers to enrol eligible workers into workplace pension saving and to make an employer contribution. It is for employers to choose the type of scheme they want to use to meet their employer duties and this could be a personal pension arrangement.

The aim of automatic enrolment is to encourage people to start saving, continue saving and save for longer to meet their retirement needs. As a result of automatic enrolment we expect there to be around five to eight million people newly saving or saving more in all forms of workplace pension scheme.

Automatic enrolment is widely recognised as the best way to overcome people's savings inertia—rather than having to make an active decision to save in a workplace pension, an employee has to make an active decision not to save. Even where an individual opts out, the employer is required to re-enrol them every three years, encouraging individuals to rethink about the need to save for their retirement.

A programme of communications and information is being designed to help people understand the need to save to meet their aspirations for retirement, build awareness of the changes and support a behavioural shift amongst working age people so that saving in a pension becomes the norm.

And for future pensioners the Government are looking at reforming the state pension system which would be simple, easy to understand, efficient to deliver, affordable—providing a firm foundation for workplace saving.

Pensions: City of York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the average monetary value of benefits provided by his Department was to (a) single pensioners and (b) pensioner couples in York in respect of (i) NHS Services, (ii) social services, (iii) travel concessions, (iv) television licences, (v) insulation and home repairs and improvements grants and (vi) other services in each year since 2003-04; [71438]

(2) with reference to the answer of 25 March 2010, Official Report, columns 419-21W, on pensioners: social security benefits, what the average monetary value of benefits in kind provided to (a) single pensioners and (b) pensioner couples in York in respect of (i) NHS services, (ii) social service, (iii) travel concessions, (iv) television licences, (v) insulation and

11 Oct 2011 : Column 352W

home repairs and improvement grants and (vi) other services has been for the period later than those given in that answer for which information is available. [71440]

Steve Webb: A wide range of services and benefits in kind are available to older people and these are administered both centrally and locally by a number of Government Departments. As a result, the information is not available in the format requested: some information is not collected and some could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The information which is available is given as follows.

(i) NHS services

People aged 60 and over are able to claim free prescriptions and eye tests on the grounds of age. Detailed information on prescription charges is not held in the format requested.

Free NHS sight tests were made available to people aged 60 and over from 1 April 1999. Information on the average value of NHS sight tests provided to people aged 60 and over within the area of the former York and Selby PCT is only available on a consistent basis for the three years 2003-04 to 2005-06 and is set out in the following table.

Financial year Number of free NHS sight tests given to people aged 60 and over Estimated cost of NHS sight tests to people aged 60 and over (£)

2003-04

26,254

453,144

2004-05

26,619

474,351

2005-06

25,057

460,798

PCTs were restructured in October 2006 and no equivalent data for 2006-07 are available. Information for 2007-08 to 2010-11 is available for the North Yorkshire and York PCT area and is set out in the following table.

Financial year Number of free NHS sight tests given to people aged 60 and over Estimated cost of NHS sight tests to people aged 60 and over(£)

2007-08

88,428

1,708,429

2008-09

90,380

1,789,524

2009-10

89,805

1,819,449

2010-11

88,324

1,828,307

There is no automatic entitlement for pensioners to NHS optical vouchers or free dental treatment. Individuals may qualify for these benefits if they are in receipt of certain qualifying benefits, or if they have been assessed as eligible for assistance under the NHS Low Income Scheme. Information on the value of such NHS services provided to patients of pensionable age who qualify on the basis of their personal economic circumstances is not available centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

(ii) Social services

The following table shows the gross current expenditure by York council on social services for people aged 65 or over from 2003-04 to 2009-10.

Gross current expenditure (1) by York council on older people (aged 65 or over)
Year (1 April to 31 March) Gross current expenditure (£000)

2003-04(2)

21,900

2004-05

25,600

2005-06

27,500

2006-07

27,600

11 Oct 2011 : Column 353W

2007-08

27,600

2008-09

30,800

2009-10

32,439

(1) Gross expenditure includes income from client contributions, but excludes capital charges and certain income items which count as expenditure elsewhere in the public sector, such as contributions from primary care trusts. This is to avoid double counting within the aggregate public sector accounts of the money involved. (2) From 2003-04, additional funding was made available to CSSRs via the Supporting People grant. Source: R03 and PSS EX1 returns

(iii) Travel concessions

The statutory minimum travel concession, introduced in April 2008, gives those of pensionable aged and eligible disabled people free off-peak local bus travel in any part of England. The Government provide around £1 billion a year to fund the concession.

11 Oct 2011 : Column 354W

Travel concession schemes are provided through local authorities, which have flexibility to enhance their schemes to offer more than the statutory minimum, so there are local variations in what is offered and take-up of concessionary travel also varies from one area to another. Therefore it is not possible to quantify the value of the benefit in kind in a specific local authority area.

(iv) Television licences

Free television licences for people aged 75 or over were introduced in November 2000. TV Licensing, who administer free licences as agents for the BBC, are not able to provide geographical breakdowns of licences issued. However, figures, shown in the table below, are available for the number of households with at least one person aged 75 or over receiving winter fuel payments in York local authority. No equivalent data for 2003-04 are available. These people would be eligible for a free television licence.

York local authority area
    TV licences fees (£)

Number of households with someone aged 75 or over Colour Black and white

2004-05

11,685

121.00

40.50

2005-06

11,930

126.50

42.00

2006-07

12,070

131.50

44.00

2007-08

12,240

135.50

45.50

2008-09

12,180

139.50

47.00

2009-10

12,290

142.50

48.00

(v) Insulation

The Warm Front scheme is one of the Government's key programme for tackling fuel poverty in vulnerable households in the private sector in England. Warm Front provides grants for heating, insulation and energy efficiency measures. The following table displays the number of pensioner households that have received Warm Front assistance in the York local authority area since 2003, and the average spend on each of those households.


Number of single pensioner households assisted in York Average spend per single pensioner household assisted (£) Number of two pensioners households assisted in York Average spend per two pensioner household assisted (£)

2003-04

82

748.75

21

1,701.06

2004-05

87

693.71

22

1,596.59

2005-06

199

778.45

102

765.08

2006-07

364

753.92

252

657.25

2007-08

390

1,020.33

297

998.20

2008-09

199

1,741.24

155

1,612.50

2009-10

142

1,639.09

103

1,542.74

2010-11

96

1,425.91

70

1,617.70

In addition, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), an obligation on energy suppliers to deliver carbon savings in the household sector, is the primary existing driver of household energy saving measures—especially insulation. To ensure an equitable distribution of the benefits, the scheme requires a proportion of the carbon savings be achieved in the homes of ‘priority' lower income households (aged 70 and over or on certain means tested benefits). In the first two years of the scheme, between April 2008 and March 2010, 3,861 Priority Group households in York benefited from subsidised loft and/or cavity wall insulation under the scheme. CERT runs to December 2012.

Social Security Benefits

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the additional cost of welfare benefits attributable to the rise in unemployment announced on 14 September 2011. [72769]

Chris Grayling: No such estimate has been made.

The effects of recent changes in unemployment will be incorporated into the next Economic and Fiscal Outlook to be published by the Office for Budget Responsibility on 29 November.

11 Oct 2011 : Column 355W

Stress

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department plans to take to mark National Stress Awareness day. [72814]

Chris Grayling: DWP will mark National Stress Awareness day with internal intranet communications to highlight the support which is available within the Department to help employees and managers prevent, and deal with, stress.

This support includes:

The Department’s Employee Assistance Programme which provides employees and managers with a range of support services including:

a 24-hour helpline

information and counselling

workshops and awareness on

preventing pressure becoming stress

developing strategies to cope with change

building resilience.

The DWP ‘live well work well’ well-being programme which provides employees with a wealth of on-site and online help and advice on identifying, and practical ways to reduce, stress.

The occupational health service which provides professional clinical advice to help employees manage their condition better at work or to return to work from sick leave.

Unemployment: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Warrington (a) under the age of 24 and (b) over the age of 50 have been unemployed for more than 12 months. [72658]

Mr Hurd: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated September 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people in Warrington (a) under the age of 24 and (b) over the age of 50 have been unemployed for more than 12 months. (72658)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles unemployment statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions. However, estimates of unemployment for the requested duration and geography are not available due to a small sample size. As an alternative we have provided the number of persons claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.

There were 35 people aged 16-24 and 105 people aged 50 plus resident in Warrington in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance for over 12 months in August 2011. These estimates are rounded to the nearest 5.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Unemployment: Young People

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to provide (a) training and (b) employment opportunities for young people who have been unemployed for more than six months in the West Midlands. [72338]

11 Oct 2011 : Column 356W

Chris Grayling: We are supporting young people into work by investing in flexible, personalised employment support, apprenticeships, work experience and training.

Jobcentre Plus advisers are now empowered to decide when and how to support claimants using a comprehensive menu of help including skills provision and job search support. The aim is to give individuals the right support at the right time rather than delivering set interventions at set times as in the past. District Managers have the flexibility to put in place the support appropriate to the local circumstances and needs of the unemployed young people in the West Midlands.

Work experience and apprenticeships are central to improving the prospects of young unemployed people across the country. This Government will deliver at least 250,000 more apprenticeships over the spending review period than the previous Government had planned and is funding 100,000 work placements over the next two years. Work Experience offers young people a placement with a local business for a period of two to eight weeks. Placements may be extended by up to four weeks where an employer offers the individual an apprenticeship and that offer is accepted. This extension will be one of the routes that will help to maximise the number of young people moving off benefits into the 40,000 extra apprenticeships, targeted at unemployed young people, that were announced in the Budget.

Sector-based work academies are being set up to offer pre-employment training, work placements and a guaranteed interview in sectors with high volumes of current local vacancies. They are available to people of all ages but will be particularly beneficial to young people.

We also have in place the Work programme for people who need further help to move into employment. Work programme providers will have complete flexibility to innovate and design support based on individual and local needs rather than having to follow a one-size-fits all approach. Young people aged between 18 and 24 years have priority access after nine months, however the most disadvantaged young people may enter even earlier after three months of unemployment.

Universal Credit: Birmingham

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of the introduction of universal credit on women living in Birmingham, Ladywood constituency. [72742]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is not available as sample sizes are too small to yield reliable results for the impact of universal credit at a constituency level.

The Department for Work and Pensions has published an equality impact assessment which assesses the impact of universal credit, as a whole, on women. This is available on the Department’s website at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/universal-credit-equality-impact-assessment.pdf

11 Oct 2011 : Column 357W

Work Capability Assessment: Atos Healthcare

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Atos approved health care professionals responsible for carrying out work capability assessments have been dismissed after being found guilty by the General Medical Council of (a) professional misconduct and (b) misconduct other than professional misconduct in the last year. [72712]

Chris Grayling: In the last year, one Atos approved doctor's contract was terminated by Atos for misconduct following a GMC investigation which placed conditions on the doctor's registration.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Atos approved healthcare professionals carrying out work capability assessments are under investigation by the General Medical Council for (a) professional misconduct and (b) misconduct other than professional misconduct. [72714]

Chris Grayling: There are no doctors currently carrying out work capability assessments who are under investigation by the GMC.

Work Capability Assessment: Health Professions

Margot James: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what minimum qualifications are required of approved healthcare professionals undertaking work capability assessments. [72283]

Chris Grayling: Doctors must be registered with the General Medical Council; nurses with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and physiotherapists with the Health Professions Council. All Healthcare Professionals must have three years broad-based clinical post-registration experience and achieve approval (post training) from the DWP chief medical adviser before undertaking work capability assessments.

Work Capability Assessment: Illnesses

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 7 September 2011, Official Report, column 681W, and to the answer of 19 July 2011, Official Report, column 856W, on work capability assessment: illnesses, whether in circumstances where insufficient information is available and an ESA50 form is sent to a claimant with a terminal illness, the special employment and support allowance rules prevent a person with a terminal illness receiving an ESA50; and what account he took of the possibility of a terminally ill person receiving an ESA50 form due to insufficient information when taking the decision not to modify the ESA50 questionnaire to include specific questions about terminal illness. [72657]

Chris Grayling: Individuals who are diagnosed with a progressive disease, where death is a likely consequence of that disease and where this is reasonably expected within six months, will be treated as having limited capability for work and limited capability for work related activity, and as such they are placed in the Support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) with the additional support which that entails.

11 Oct 2011 : Column 358W

Where an individual advises the Department, as part of their claim to ESA that they are terminally ill and wish to be considered under the ESA special rules, an ESA50 form will not be issued. This is unless upon receipt of further medical evidence from the individual's chosen healthcare professional or consultant terminal illness as defined, cannot be confirmed via paper based evidence. In these unusual circumstances, the individual would receive an ESA50 questionnaire and usually be invited to attend a face to face assessment.

The ESA50 was developed and designed in consultation with medical experts and groups representing disabled people. Workshops were also held with service users to get their views and suggestions on the questionnaire. Their comments were taken into account in the development of the form, as were those of the social security advisory committee.

We are committed to continuously improving the WCA to ensure that it is as fair and accurate as possible. As part of this the ESA50 is also regularly reviewed and refined.

Education

Antisocial Behaviour: Crime Prevention

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he has received representations on the (a) appropriateness, (b) ethics and (c) legality of the use of the mosquito device; and if he will make a statement. [69561]

Sarah Teather: The mosquito device has been criticised by a number of children's rights organisations on the grounds that it infringes children's right to peaceful assembly. In October 2008, within its concluding observations on the UK's implementation of UNCRC, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child asked the UK Government to

“reconsider the use of mosquito devices insofar as they may violate the rights of children to freedom of movement and peaceful assembly”.

In June 2010, the Council of Europe recommended that Governments and local authorities in member states ban the mosquito device. There has been no case taken to the European Court of Human Rights regarding the mosquito device, and none that have cited the Human Rights Act in the UK. Ministerial colleagues and I have made clear our opposition to the mosquito devices being used to discriminate against children and young people.

Building Schools for the Future Programme

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2011, Official Report, column 593W, on the Building Schools for the Future programme, if he will estimate the total cost to the public purse to date of the cancellation of Building Schools for the Future funding, including costs to local authorities of legal fees and contractual liabilities for cancellation of work already under way. [71647]

Mr Gibb: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education, has no plans to estimate the cost of cancelling the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

11 Oct 2011 : Column 359W

However, a review of each scheme's costs by the relevant local authorities and indexation savings has yielded £500 million in savings. Further efficiencies are being sought by applying new ways of delivering this investment that will maximise value for money, as set out in Sebastian James's review of schools capital. The benefits of this innovative approach to driving out greater efficiencies is already evident in the Campsmount project in Doncaster, which is being built at significantly lower cost than BSF schemes of the same size.

Computer Programming

Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the national curriculum in teaching computer programming. [71965]

Mr Gibb: Elements of computer programming can be taught within Information and Communications Technology (ICT) which is currently a compulsory subject within the national curriculum at key stages 1-4.

The Department is conducting a comprehensive review of the existing national curriculum. This review included a call for evidence to which stakeholders and the public were invited to contribute their views about curriculum subjects, including ICT. We received nearly 5,800 responses, including many from representatives of industry and commerce, and these are currently being analysed.

Computer Science

Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to (a) make computer science a core subject in the curriculum and (b) adapt the curriculum in respect of digital and high technology subjects. [71966]

Mr Gibb: We are currently reviewing the national curriculum to focus it on the essential body of knowledge in key subjects which all children need to learn in order to succeed in education and in life, and to give teachers greater flexibility beyond that to design and teach a curriculum which best meets the needs of their pupils.

We have confirmed that English, mathematics, science and physical education will remain compulsory at all four key stages within the national curriculum. We are currently considering which of the other subjects that are currently part of the national curriculum, including information and communication technology, should remain so in future, and intend to announce proposals in the new year.

Free Schools

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many free school applications have been rejected on the grounds of the extreme views of the sponsors. [72269]

Mr Gibb: The Department does not publish details of unsuccessful applications.

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many staff there are in his Department carrying out checks on the suitability of free school sponsors. [72270]

11 Oct 2011 : Column 360W

Mr Gibb: Three members of staff work exclusively on carrying out due diligence checks on the suitability of those who have applied to establish free schools. A further 8.6 full-time equivalent members of staff are involved in assessing the suitability of free school proposers alongside other responsibilities. The Department is also able to draw on other sources of expertise, including the police and other agencies, in order to ensure the suitability of people to set up and operate free schools.

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department has spent on the establishment of free schools. [72318]

Mr Gibb: Current estimates are that the total capital costs for the 24 free schools opening in 2011 will range from £110 million to £130 million. The Department will publish the full financial information for approved free schools once final costs have been agreed.

International Baccalaureate: Dorset

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools in (a) Bournemouth, (b) Dorset and (c) England offer the International Baccalaureate. [72613]

Mr Gibb: We do not hold information on the number of schools which offer the International Baccalaureate to their students. In the 2009/10 academic year, there were no schools in Bournemouth which entered post-16 pupils for the International Baccalaureate; three schools in Dorset entered post-16 pupils for the International Baccalaureate (one voluntary-aided school and two independent schools); 131 schools and Further Education colleges in England entered post-16 pupils for the International Baccalaureate. Information on 2010/11 academic year entries for the International Baccalaureate will be available in October.

New Schools Network

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will place in the Library copies of all correspondence between (a) his Department and the New Schools Network and (b) his Department and other bodies concerning the New Schools Network; [70499]

(2) what the cost to the public purse was of resources awarded to the New Schools Network since May 2010; [70500]

(3) whether his Department has awarded funding to the New Schools Network since 31 July 2011. [70501]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 7 September 2011]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education, has no plans to publish copies of all correspondence relating to the New Schools Network (NSN) beyond what has already been published. On 18 June 2010 the Department agreed to enter into a grant agreement with NSN; the agreement was formally signed on 8 November 2010. No payments have been made after 31 July 2011.

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what conditions were attached to the grant from his Department to the New Schools Network in respect of performance indicators; [70743]

11 Oct 2011 : Column 361W

(2) to which events his Department has invited representatives of the New Schools Network since May 2010; [70744]

(3) what meetings with civil servants in his Department Dominic Cummings attended whilst receiving payment from the New Schools Network; [70746]

(4) if he will place in the Library a copy of each item of correspondence between his Department and the New Schools Network since May 2010; [70747]

(5) what conditions were attached to the grant awarded to the New Schools Network by his Department in July 2010; and what assessment criteria were in place to measure compliance with these conditions; [70748]

(6) what feedback his Department has received from potential providers of free schools on the service the New Schools Network provides under its agreement with his Department; [70749]

(7) what requirements his Department has placed upon the New Schools Network to report on its activities in relation to the grant it receives from his Department; [70750]

(8) if he will place in the Library a copy of the grant agreement reached between his Department and the New Schools Network in November 2010. [70751]

Mr Gibb: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education, currently has no plans to publish every item of correspondence, or the grant agreement, between the Department for Education and the New Schools Network (NSN). The agreement contains standard

11 Oct 2011 : Column 362W

conditions covering the grant only being used for the purposes it was given; financial management including audited accounts, costed plans and budgets; due regard to the Compact with the third sector; and conflicts of interest.

Officials have been in regular contact with NSN throughout the grant period, discussing performance in all areas of NSN's remit under the terms of the grant. A more formal discussion took place in the spring during which officials and NSN assessed delivery against the key performance indicators published in the Department's letter to the NSN of 18 June 2010 and a similar discussion will take place later this month.

Representatives of NSN have been invited to a number of meetings and events since last summer. Dominic Cummings attended some meetings as part of the NSN representative group prior to his employment as a special adviser but the Department does not hold any details about his financial arrangements with NSN.

The Department has received positive feedback about the NSN from free school proposers, in relation to both the quality and timeliness of the service it provides.

Pupils: Disadvantaged

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children received free school meals in (a) Ashfield, (b) Nottinghamshire and (c) England in (i) 2008, (ii) 2009, (iii) 2010 and (iv) 2011. [72394]

Mr Gibb: The available information on the number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals is shown in the tables.

Number and percentage of pupils (1, 2 ) known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals, January each year
Ashfield constituency
  Maintained nursery and state-funded primary schools (3, ) (4) State-funded secondary schools (3) (, ) (5) Special schools (6)

Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals

2008

7,466

1,328

17.8

5,853

855

14.6

113

37

32.7

2009

7,325

1,430

19.5

5,685

868

15.3

114

36

31.6

2010

7,275

1,576

21.7

5,604

895

16.0

119

38

31.9

2011

7,246

1,651

22.8

5,517

916

16.6

125

40

32.0

  Pupil referral units (7) Maintained nursery, state-funded primary (3, 4) , () state-funded secondary (3, 5) , special schools (6) and pupil referral units (7)

Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals

2008

13,430

2,220

16.5

2009

13,125

2,335

17.8

2010

0

0

0.0

13,000

2,510

19.3

11 Oct 2011 : Column 363W

11 Oct 2011 : Column 364W

2011

0

0

0.0

12,890

2,605

20.2

Nottinghamshire local authority area
  Maintained nursery and state-funded primary schools (3, ) (4) State-funded secondary schools (3) (, ) (5) Special schools (6)

Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals

2008

56,679

7,092

12.5

46,087

5,316

11.5

705

196

27.8

2009

56,351

7,569

13.4

45,101

5,571

12.4

693

191

27.6

2010

56,012

8,204

14.6

44,219

5,632

12.7

697

197

28.3

2011

56,352

8,720

15.5

43,197

5,553

12.9

702

199

28.3

  Pupil referral units (7) Maintained nursery, state-funded primary (3, 4) , () state-funded secondary (3, 5) , special schools (6) and pupil referral units (7)

Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals

2008

103,470

12,605

12.2

2009

102,145

13,330

13.1

2010

176

59

33.5

101,105

14,090

13.9

2011

154

63

40.9

100,405

14,535

14.5

England
  Maintained nursery and state-funded primary schools (3, ) (4) State-funded secondary schools (3) (, ) (5) Special schools (6)

Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals

2008

3,837,680

637,170

16.6

2,913,725

413,365

14.2

78,265

25,705

32.8

2009

3,825,475

652,305

17.1

2,883,245

417,970

14.5

78,030

26,245

33.6

2010

3,838,680

711,405

18.5

2,864,345

441,145

15.4

78,335

27,325

34.9

2011

3,873,175

743,255

19.2

2,837,825

450,275

15.9

79,030

28,830

36.5

  Pupil referral units (7) Maintained nursery, state-funded primary (3, 4) , () state-funded secondary (3, 5) , special schools (6) and pupil referral units (7)

Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals Number on rol l Number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meal s Percentage known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals

2008

6,829,670

1,076,240

15.8

2009

6,786,750

1,096,525

16.2

2010

15,140

5,050

33.3

6,796,500

1,184,920

17.4

2011

13,725

4,745

34.6

6,803,755

1,227,110

18.0

(1) Includes sole and dual (main) registrations. In pupil referral units also includes pupils registered with other providers and further education colleges. (2) Includes pupils who have full-time attendance and are aged 15 or under, or pupils who have part-time attendance and are aged between five and 15 (age as at 31 August). (3) Includes middle schools as deemed. (4) Includes primary academies. (5) Includes city technology colleges and academies, including all through academies. (6) Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools. Excludes general hospital schools. (7) Comparable information for pupil referral units is not available prior to 2010 (when the collection became pupil-level). Note: National numbers and totals across school categories have been rounded to the nearest five. Source: School Census.

11 Oct 2011 : Column 365W

The latest information, for January 2011, on free school meal eligibility and other school and pupil information can be found in the “Schools, Pupils and their Characteristics: January 2011” Statistical First Release at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001012/index.shtml

Schools: Admissions

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which individuals and organisations (a) he and (b) the Schools Minister has met to discuss the Draft Code on Admissions since its publication. [72265]

Mr Gibb: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education, and I have met a significant number of groups and individuals to discuss a range of topics during the period of the consultation. While a number of these groups would have raised admissions in the margins of those meetings, there were no meetings specifically to discuss just the admissions and appeals codes. A full list of consultation respondents will be published in due course.

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to publish the new Schools Admissions Code. [72266]

Mr Gibb: The consultation closed on 19 August and we received a significant number of responses, particularly from parents. We are now finalising the draft School Admissions and Appeals Codes, taking account of the results of the consultation and the views expressed. It remains our intention to bring the new Codes into force in early 2012 in time for the September 2013 intake process. We shall publish a revised draft, as soon as possible, to assist schools and local authorities that are their own admission authorities develop their local arrangements in good time. Until the new Codes are brought into force, all admission authorities must comply with the existing Codes.

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many of the respondents to his Department's consultation on the Admissions Code were (a) in favour and (b) not in favour of offering priority to the children of school staff for admission to the relevant school. [72267]

Mr Gibb: The consultation closed on 19 August and we received a significant number of responses, particularly from parents. We are now finalising the draft School Admission and Appeals Codes, taking account of the results of the consultation and the views expressed. We shall publish a revised draft set of codes, as soon as possible, to assist schools and local authorities that are their own admission authorities, to develop their local arrangements in good time. Alongside the revised draft codes, we intend to publish a detailed breakdown of the consultation, including the information requested on children of staff, together with our response to the consultation. Until the new codes are brought into force, all admission authorities must comply with the existing codes.

11 Oct 2011 : Column 366W

Teachers: Pensions

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when his Department last received a valuation of the Teachers Pension Scheme. [72411]

Mr Gibb: The latest valuation of the Teachers' Pension Scheme was published in November 2006. This was the Actuarial review of the scheme as at 31 March 2004.

Cabinet Office

Air Travel

John Mann: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what (a) contractual obligations and (b) other processes his Department uses in respect of travel management companies to ensure the best value is achieved when purchasing airline tickets. [72696]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office is committed to minimising travel costs and reducing our carbon footprint. In order to take advantage of the best rates Cabinet Office has entered into a Buying Solutions framework contract with Carlson Wagonlit (CWT).

From 2012 we will be moving to the new Government Procurement Service contract.

Chief Scientific Adviser

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what his policy is on requiring his Department's (a) agencies and non-departmental public bodies and (b) contractors to have a written code of practice or protocol relating to the provision, conduct and quality assurance of scientific evidence and advice. [72441]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office is committed to handling science and engineering advice in accordance with the Government Chief Scientific Adviser's “Guidelines on the use of science and engineering advice in policy making”.

Employment: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what information his Department holds on the number of jobs which were created in Scotland in the (a) public and (b) private sector in each of the last five years. [72969]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated October 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for the number of jobs which were created in Scotland in the (a) public and (b) private sector in each of the last five years (72969).

As this matter is the responsibility of Scottish ministers I would advise that you write to the Scottish Government.

11 Oct 2011 : Column 367W

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices: Devon

Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships were taken up in (a) Devon and (b) Newton Abbot constituency in each of the last 12 months. [72677]

Mr Hayes: Table 1 shows a quarterly breakdown of apprenticeship starts in Devon local education authority and Newton Abbot parliamentary constituency, in the first nine months of the 2010/11 academic year, from August 2010 to April 2011, based on provisional data.

The Statistical First Release is used for the latest apprenticeship figures. Monthly apprenticeship data are not available.

Table 1: Apprenticeship starts in Devon local education authority and Newton Abbot constituency, between 1 August 2010 and 30 April 2011 (provisional)
Provisional

August 2010 to October 2010 November 2010 to January 2011 February 2011 to April 2011 August 2010 to April 2011

Devon local education authority

2,330

1,560

1,390

5,280

Newton Abbot constituency

320

170

160

660

Notes: 1. All figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Geography information is based upon the home postcode of the learner. Source: Individualised Learner Record

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 23 June 2011:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Credit

Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills by what date his Department expects to announce a winning tender for its proposed research into the likely effects of caps on the cost of credit; by what date such research is due to be completed; and by what date the results of the research will be announced. [72207]

Mr Davey [holding answer 10 October 2011]: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills expects to make an announcement on the outcome of the tendering process on carrying out research on the impact of a cap on the total cost of credit that can be charged in the short to medium-term fixed rate high cost credit market at the end of October.

Rather than a cap on the total cost of credit, research commissioned by the previous Administration considered the impact of flat rate interest rate caps in the high cost credit market. This research found that interest rate caps would in all likelihood be detrimental to those consumers who rely on this market for credit, reducing

11 Oct 2011 : Column 368W

access to licensed credit and potentially forcing them to have to borrow from unlicensed illegal lenders.

The Department will give an update on the progress of the research in the spring and anticipates that the research will have been completed and the findings announced by summer 2012.

Small Businesses

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the contribution of small and medium-sized businesses to the economy. [72780]

Mr Prisk: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make a very significant contribution to the UK economy. Statistics released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show that at the start of 2010, there were an estimated 4.5 million SMEs, accounting for 99.9% of all UK private sector enterprises. SMEs also contributed more than half of all private sector employment (13.3 million or 59.1%) and almost half of all private sector turnover (£1,600 billion or 48.6%). Other data produced by the Office for National Statistics estimate that in 2009, SMEs contributed almost half (48.3%) of all UK private sector output as measured by gross value added (GVA).

Small Businesses: Billing

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will assess the effects of late payments on the productivity of small and medium-sized businesses. [72781]

Mr Prisk: There are no robust data about the impact of late payment upon the productivity of small and medium-sized businesses but we do know that late payment creates a climate of uncertainty in the supply chain, inhibiting investment and innovation and stifling growth.

That is why Government have worked hand in hand with the UK's leading business representative organisations, finance bodies and banks to develop a multi-faceted strategy for addressing what is a long-standing and widespread culture of late payment.

A critical issue in this regard is supporting business to better manage customer relationships: the majority of UK transactions currently take place with no pre-agreed payment terms and Barclays data show that only one in 10 suppliers regularly credit checks customers.

The guides on managing cash flow, developed by the Institute of Credit Management and supported by all the UK's leading business organisations, finance bodies and banks, have proven to be very popular. They provide a simple checklist on a variety of cash flow actions, including agreeing payment terms and invoicing correctly.

While changing a long-standing culture takes time, the latest data we have on late payment across the UK economy (sourced from Experian) show speed of payment improving in the second quarter of 2011 and better than the same period in 2010.