The information regarding payments in addition to salary is covered by the response to PQ 151144.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 678W

Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average length was of call waiting times for those telephoning HM Revenue and Customs from Barnsley Central constituency in 2012-13. [152203]

Mr Gauke: The information requested is not available. HM Revenue and Customs does not record call waiting times at a constituency level.

HMRC periodically publishes its performance statistics at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/bus-plan-qds.htm

Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last met the Cabinet Secretary for Finance in the Scottish Government; and what issues were discussed at that meeting. [152210]

Danny Alexander: Treasury Ministers and officials have regular discussions with the Scottish Government on a wide variety of topics.

Sovereign Grant

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sum is to be provided to the Royal Household's Sovereign Grant in 2013; and if he will make a statement. [151974]

Sajid Javid: The information requested is contained on page 3 of the Royal Trustees Sovereign Grant Report of 2013-14. A copy of which was laid before the House and is available at:

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/trustee_report_on_sovereign_grant.pdf

The Sovereign Grant for 2013-14 is £36.1 million.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

John Stevenson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether it is his intention to require sellers' national insurance details to be provided on the Stamp Duty Land Tax form. [151257]

Mr Gauke: The Government have no plans to require sellers' national insurance details to be provided on the Stamp Duty Land Tax form.

Tax Allowances

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of targeted tax relief for employers on employer interventions to help people to stay in or return to work; and if he will make a statement. [152295]

Mr Gauke: The introduction of a new targeted tax relief, as announced at Budget 2013, follows the DWP commissioned report “Health at work—an independent review of sickness absence” by Dame Carol Black and David Frost CBE which was published in November 2011. That report estimated that over 140 million days are lost to sickness absence every year.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 679W

The review also cited survey data showing 39% of employers said tax incentives would encourage them to invest more in health initiatives.

The Government will shortly be consulting on the introduction of this relief, including its impacts.

Tax Avoidance

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether his Department is taking steps to reduce the number of UK companies operating in developing countries and engaging in tax avoidance; [151372]

(2) what assessment he has made of how many UK companies operating in developing countries engaged in tax avoidance in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13. [151371]

Mr Gauke: The UK Government are taking the lead on international action, through the G20 and OECD, to tackle the issue of base erosion and profit shifting by multinational corporations, and are also speeding up their work to identify and challenge multinationals' transfer pricing arrangements.

The Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime requires avoidance schemes with certain hallmarks to be notified to HMRC along with the users of such a scheme. If a multinational was using such a scheme, then it would be notified to HMRC, but only to the extent that it affects UK tax liabilities.

Instead, the UK provides technical assistance to allow developing countries to benefit from tax information exchange and also assists these countries to develop effective tax systems of their own, so that they can build and protect their own tax base and access and act on tax information.

Tax Avoidance: Multinational Companies

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to ensure that large multi national companies do not avoid paying tax in the UK. [152518]

Mr Gauke: The UK Government have led the calls through the G20 for collective action to strengthen international tax standards. The UK, together with France and Germany, has contributed additional resources to the OECD to support rapid progress on its work to tackle profit shifting and the erosion of the corporate tax base at the global level.

At the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Moscow in February the Chancellor welcomed the initial report by the OECD, which confirmed this is an international issue that requires international action. The OECD will be presenting a comprehensive action plan for tackling these issues to the G20 in July this year.

Taxation

Steve McCabe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of income a household on average earnings will spend in taxes in (a) 2013-14, (b) 2012-13, (c) 2011-12 and (d) 2010-11. [151489]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 680W

Mr Gauke: In 2010-11, the Office for National Statistics estimated that on average, households contribute 34% of their gross household income in tax, of which 20% comes from direct taxation, and 13% through indirect taxation. This is the latest year for which data are available.

It is not possible to estimate the total tax contribution of a single household on average earnings, because the amount that a household contributes in indirect tax will vary according to household consumption. However, it is possible to estimate the amount of income tax and national insurance contributions, as a proportion of gross earnings, for individuals on median earnings (not income). Figures for 2013-14 are based on projections for average earnings from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

 2010-112011-122012-132013-14 (projected)

Median earnings (£)

25,900

26,100

26,500

26,700

Income tax and national insurance as a proportion of gross income (percentage)

24

23

22

21

Gross income is defined as market income, plus income from direct benefits in cash. Tax, as a proportion of household income, is taken from the Office for National Statistics's publication “The Effects of Tax and Benefits on Household Income (2010/11)”. Median earnings are taken from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (2010-11 to 2012-13), and rounded to the nearest £100.

Women and Equalities

Multiple Births: Leave

Mrs Moon: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities if she will introduce a right to unpaid leave for partners of those expecting a multiple birth in order to attend medical appointments; and if she will make a statement. [152171]

Jo Swinson: As part of the Children and Families Bill we intend to introduce the right to unpaid time off to attend two ante-natal appointments for the partners of all pregnant women.

Education

Level 6 SATs

16. Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the number of primary schools which have taken up level 6 SATs papers at Key Stage 2; and what proportion of pupils will take these tests this academic year. [152090]

Elizabeth Truss: Level 6 tests are made available to schools to stretch the most able pupils. In 2012, nearly 8,300 primary schools entered at least one pupil for the level 6 tests. More than 73,300 pupils were registered for a level 6 test in 2012.

For 2013, more than 11,700 schools have registered at least one pupil for the level 6 tests.

More 113,600 pupils have been registered for a level 6 test, which represents 21% of the cohort.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 681W

Primary School Places

18. Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of the availability of primary school places; and if he will make a statement. [152093]

Mr Laws: The Department collects pupil place data from all local authorities through the Annual Schools Capacity Collection. Using these data, we anticipate that 382,000 new primary places and 35,000 new secondary places will be needed over this Parliament. The latest data show that new places are being created at a good rate. Local authorities are keeping up with demand. We will have made a £5 billion investment in new places over this Parliament—doubling the previous Government's spending.

School Food Policy

21. Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what progress he has made on reviewing his Department's school food policy. [152096]

Elizabeth Truss: In July 2012, the Secretary of State commissioned Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, the co-founders of Leon restaurants, to undertake an independent review of school food.

The reviewers are examining school food in England and will produce recommendations about how it can be improved.

We expect the reviewers to produce their report, including their recommendations for Government, in early summer.

University Technical Colleges

23. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what support he is giving to the formation of university technical colleges; and if he will make a statement. [152098]

Matthew Hancock: Government support for UTCs grows. Before Easter we announced the approval of 13 new projects into the pre-opening stage. There are now five open and 40 preparing to open. We expect 12 to open this September.

This huge expansion of technical education demonstrates our commitment to ensuring young people gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life.

Child Care and Early Intervention

Debbie Abrahams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has for child care and early intervention provision; and if he will make a statement. [152094]

Mr Timpson: There is a consensus across this House that early intervention is both effective and necessary, and the Government is determined to build on this are with the Early Intervention Foundation, formally launched on 15 April, playing a powerful role in gathering information about what works. We already know that high-quality early education and child care can be a powerful early intervention, which is why we are extending early learning for two-year-olds from low income families.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 682W

Academies

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his policy is on falling rolls in academies; and if he will make a statement. [152092]

Mr Laws: One of the Government's priorities is to ensure that parents have access to high-quality education in a school of their choice. Academies are popular with parents, and many are oversubscribed. For example, ARK and Harris academies receive, on average, four applications for each place available.

We are clear that, in times of economic austerity, money should be spent on pupils who are actually in schools and not spent on funding empty places whether in academies or LA schools.

Academies are independent, autonomous organisations and it is the academy trust has responsibility for managing the fluctuations in pupil numbers and the resulting impact fewer pupils has on the funding available.

Education: Finance

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the aims of the F40 group with regards to his reform of the education funding formula. [138893]

Mr Laws: The Department has taken care to listen to the aims of the F40 group and I met representatives from the group on 19 November 2012 to discuss their concerns. The Department recognises that the current school funding system is unfair and out of date. Our aim is to move towards a fairer and more transparent funding system and the Secretary of State for Education, the right hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) announced in March 2012 that we plan to introduce a new national funding formula in the next spending review period. It is important that we reform the funding system at a pace which is manageable for schools.

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what consideration he has given to the specific circumstances of rural areas in his recently announced changes to education funding. [138911]

Mr Laws: The current school funding system is unfair and out of date. It has resulted in similar schools across the country receiving significantly different levels of funding.

We want a system which targets funding to pupils on a fair and transparent basis, regardless of where they go to school. This means that the majority of funding will be based on the needs of pupils and not the size or circumstances of schools. We are however committed to supporting successful rural schools and we know that they often play an important role in local communities.

In recognition that small schools, particularly those in rural areas, cannot meet some of their fixed costs through per pupil funding alone, local authorities are able to apply a lump sum of up to £200,000 for all schools in their local formula. This should provide enough flexibility to allow local authorities and schools forums to support successful small schools in meeting the necessary fixed costs.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 683W

The Department is carrying out a careful review of these arrangements. We are working with schools and local authorities; including those in rural areas, to explore their effect and to consider whether further changes need to be made in April 2014, in order to avoid unacceptable consequences for schools and to move us closer towards a national funding formula.

Free School Meals

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to ensure that children living in poverty in (a) the UK and (b) Leicester South constituency are receiving free school meals. [150849]

Mr Laws: The Government are committed to increasing the take-up of free school meals for all pupils who are entitled to them. We want disadvantaged pupils to benefit from a nutritious meal, and for their schools to receive extra funding through the pupil premium in order to help them to raise the attainment of these pupils. The pupil premium rises to £900 per eligible pupil in 2013-14, providing a strong incentive for schools to encourage their pupils to apply for free school meals.

We know that, nationally, 14% of entitled pupils choose not to claim their free school meal; in Leicester that figure is 15%. These figures are based on research conducted by the Department for Education, available on our website(1).

The Children's Food Trust has produced a ‘Free School Meals Matter Toolkit’, which provides schools with information and advice to help them to ensure that all pupils entitled to free school meals register for, and take, the meal:

The Department's on-line Eligibility Checking Service enables parents to apply for school meals without having to give the school information about their income from benefits or earnings. We are encouraging local authorities to increase their use of this resource to enable more parents to apply on-line.

A number of schools and local authorities have put in place cashless payment systems, which helps to ensure that those children who are receiving free school meals cannot be identified.

Overall, the number of children claiming free school meals rose to 18.2% in 2012 compared with 17.4% in 2010.

The Department is considering options for new eligibility criteria for free school meals once universal credit is

22 Apr 2013 : Column 684W

introduced. We will aim to ensure that those families on the lowest incomes are entitled to free school meals.

(1)( )https://www.education.gov.uk/ publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DFE-RR235

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he plans to take to ensure that the delivery of free school meals through universal credit on the basis of an income test will not constitute a disincentive to work. [150939]

Mr Laws: Universal credit will improve work incentives by allowing individuals to keep more of their income as they move into work and by introducing a smoother and more transparent reduction of benefits when they increase their earnings.

We are currently considering proposals for new entitlement criteria for free school meals under universal credit. We are working very closely with other Departments, including the Cabinet Office and the Department for Work and Pensions, to simplify free school meals criteria under universal credit, while ensuring that free lunches continue to be available to the families who need them most.

We have yet to finalise the new eligibility criteria, but we want to make sure that they are simple and that free school meals are available to those families on the lowest incomes, irrespective of the hours worked. Our priority is to make sure that the most disadvantaged children are able to get a nutritious meal at school, and that entitlement to benefits such as free school meals should not be a disincentive to work.

GCSE

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of pupils who did not have a statement of special educational needs in each centile of deprivation achieved (a) five A* to C grades including both English and mathematics at GCSE and (b) five A* to C grades including both English and mathematics at GCSE excluding equivalents in each year for which figures are available. [150137]

Mr Laws [holding answer 26 March 2013]:The requested information for the academic years 2007/08 to 2011/12 is given in Table 1 and Table 2. Information for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Table 1: Number and percentage of pupils without a statement of SEN(1, 2) at the end of Key Stage 4 achieving 5 or more GCSEs at grade A* to C or equivalent including English and mathematics GCSEs or iGCSEs by IDACI decile(3, 4 )of pupil residence—Years 2007/08 to 2011/12 (revised)(5, 6). Coverage: England(7), state-funded schools (including academies and CTCs)
 2007/082008/092009/10
IDACI decile(3,4)No. of eligible pupils(1)No. achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEsNo. of eligible pupils(1)No. achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEsNo. of eligible pupils(1)No. achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs

England

         

0-10% most deprived

64,574

20,343

31.5

63,822

22,333

35.0

62,781

25,881

41.2

10-20%

61,551

21,033

34.2

59,817

22,601

37.8

59,031

25,366

43.0

20-30%

58,290

22,591

38.8

56,935

24,035

42.2

56,246

26,601

47.3

22 Apr 2013 : Column 685W

22 Apr 2013 : Column 686W

30-40%

56,333

24,544

43.6

54,415

25,386

46.7

54,035

27,560

51.0

40-50%

55,904

27,222

48.7

53,610

27,780

51.8

53,885

30,065

55.8

50-60%

54,826

29,536

53.9

53,430

29,921

56.0

53,381

32,076

60.1

60-70%

54,810

31,781

58.0

52,463

31,633

60.3

52,945

33,873

64.0

70-80%

54,725

33,986

62.1

53,036

33,864

63.9

53,913

36,542

67.8

80-90%

55,045

36,109

65.6

53,214

35,879

67.4

53,345

37,935

71.1

90-100% least deprived

53,701

38,538

71.8

51,332

37,800

73.6

52,790

40,355

76.4

 2010/112011/12
IDACI decile(3, 4)No. of eligible pupils(1)No. achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEsNo. of eligible pupils(1)No. achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs

England

      

0-10% most deprived

62,749

28,576

45.5

62,910

30,025

47.7

10-20%

58,110

27,351

47.1

57,945

28,765

49.6

20-30%

55,763

28,627

51.3

55,418

29,292

52.9

30-40%

53,690

29,287

54.5

53,524

29,656

55.4

40-50%

52,830

31,065

58.8

52,560

31,215

59.4

50-60%

52,013

32,646

62.8

50,999

32,295

63.3

60-70%

52,480

35,155

67.0

51,626

34,467

66.8

70-80%

52,382

36,846

70.3

51,688

36,267

70.2

80-90%

52,216

38,513

73.8

51,424

37,693

73.3

90-100% least deprived

49,218

38,708

78.6

48,709

37,913

77.8

(1) Pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in each academic year. (2) Includes pupils with no identified SEN, SEN pupils without a statement (classified as School Action or School Action plus) and unclassified pupils. (3) Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index. Each Super Output Area (SOA) in England is given a score which ranks it between 1 and 32,482, 1 being the most deprived. (4) IDACI bands for 2010/11 and 2011/12 are based on 2010 IDACI scores. Care should be taken when comparing to IDACI band breakdowns for 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10, which are based on 2007 IDACI scores. Care should also be taken when comparing to IDACI tables for 2006/07 and earlier, which are based on 2004 IDACI scores. (5) Figures for 2007/08 to 2010/11 are based on final data, 2011/12 figures are based on revised data. (6) From 2009/10 iGCSEs, accredited at time of publication, have been counted as GCSE equivalents and also as English and mathematics GCSEs. (7) Only includes pupils who are resident in England. The residency of 3,050 children in 2007/08, 1,901 in 2008/09, 1,755 in 2009/10, 2,061 in 2010/11 and 1,329 in 2011/12 is unknown due to missing or invalid postcode information. These children are excluded from the figures in the table. Source: National Pupil Database (2007/08 to 2010/11) and Key Stage 4 attainment data (2011/12)
Table 2: Number and percentage of pupils without a statement of SEN(1 ,2 )at the end of Key Stage 4 achieving 5 or more GCSEs at grade A* to C excluding equivalents including English and mathematics GCSEs or iGCSEs by IDACI decile(3, 4 )of pupil residence. Years: 2007/08 to 2011/12 (revised)(5, 6). Coverage: England(7), state-funded schools (including Academies and CTCs)
 2007/082008/092009/10
IDACI decile(3, 4)No. of eligible pupils(1)No. achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalents% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalentsNo. of eligible pupils(1)No. achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalents% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalentsNo.of eligible pupils(1)No. achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalents% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalents

England

         

0-10% most deprived

64,574

18,354

28.4

63,822

19,543

30.6

62,781

21,171

33.7

10-20%

61,551

19,321

31.4

59,817

20,156

33.7

59,031

21,227

36.0

20-30%

58,290

21,068

36.1

56,935

21,968

38.6

56,246

23,116

41.1

30-40%

56,333

23,277

41.3

54,415

23,603

43.4

54,035

24,608

45.5

40-50%

55,904

26,055

46.6

53,610

26,199

48.9

53,885

27,407

50.9

50-60%

54,826

28,475

51.9

53,430

28,487

53.3

53,381

29,771

55.8

60-70%

54,810

30,805

56.2

52,463

30,336

57.8

52,945

31,754

60.0

70-80%

54,725

33,098

60.5

53,036

32,713

61.7

53,913

34,672

64.3

22 Apr 2013 : Column 687W

22 Apr 2013 : Column 688W

80-90%

55,045

35,261

64.1

53,214

34,821

65.4

53,345

36,146

67.8

90-100% least deprived

53,701

37,834

70.5

51,332

36,997

72.1

52,790

38,879

73.6

 2010/112011/12
IDACI decile(3, 4)No.of eligible pupils(1)No.achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalents% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalentsNo.of eligible pupils(1)No.achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalents% achieving 5+ A*-C grades inc. English and mathematics GCSEs excluding equivalents

England

      

0-10% most deprived

62,749

22,842

36.4

62,910

23,409

37.2

10-20%

58,110

22,614

38.9

57,945

22,985

39.7

20-30%

55,763

24,395

43.7

55,418

24,365

44.0

30-40%

53,690

25,737

47.9

53,524

25,352

47.4

40-50%

52,830

27,803

52.6

52,560

27,380

52.1

50-60%

52,013

29,885

57.5

50,999

29,050

57.0

60-70%

52,480

32,632

62.2

51,626

31,508

61.0

70-80%

52,382

34,604

66.1

51,688

33,753

65.3

80-90%

52,216

36,608

70.1

51,424

35,415

68.9

90-100% least deprived

49,218

37,190

75.6

48,709

36,187

74.3

(1) Pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in each academic year. (2) Includes pupils with no identified SEN, SEN pupils without a statement (classified as School Action or School Action plus) and unclassified pupils. (3) Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index. Each Super Output Area (SOA) in England is given a score which ranks it between 1 and 32,482, 1 being the most deprived. (4) IDACI bands for 2010/11 and 2011/12 are based on 2010 IDACI scores. Care should be taken when comparing to IDACI band breakdowns for 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10, which are based on 2007 IDACI scores. Care should also be taken when comparing to IDACI tables for 2006/07 and earlier, which are based on 2004 IDACI scores. (5) Figures for 2007/08 to 2010/11 are based on final data, 2011/12 figures are based on revised data. (6) From 2009/10 iGCSEs, accredited at time of publication, have been counted as GCSE equivalents and also as English & mathematics GCSEs. (7) Only includes pupils who are resident in England. The residency of 3,050 children in 2007/08, 1,901 in 2008/09, 1,755 in 2009/10, 2,061 in 2010/11 and 1,329 in 2011/12 is unknown due to missing or invalid postcode information. These children are excluded from the figures in the table. Source: National Pupil Database (2007/08 to 2010/11) and Key Stage 4 attainment data (2011/12)

Government Procurement Card

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether (a) he and (b) members of his private office hold a Government procurement card. [143609]

Mr Laws: The information is as follows:

(a) The Secretary of State for Education does not hold a departmental GPC card.

(b) Three members of staff in the Minister's private office hold a Government Procurement Card.

Literacy

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will mandate all schools to publish the literacy levels of their pupils on entry and exit from the school. [147357]

Mr Laws: The Department's School Performance Tables(1) already provide information on the distribution of levels attained by pupils at the end of Year 6 in reading and in writing; and on the proportion of pupils making at least expected progress in English between Key Stage 1 and the end of Key Stage 2. A value added measure also shows the progress pupils have made in English compared with those nationally of similar prior attainment.

We publish similar measures of attainment and progress in English for secondary schools.

Additionally, from 1 September 2012, the School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 required schools to publish specified information on the attainment and progress of their pupils and to provide a link to where this information could be found in the performance tables.

(1) www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance

Priority School Building Programme

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will place in the Library a copy of the criteria used by his Department during the assessment stage of the priority schools building programme to assign schools to either the capital or PFI stream. [148134]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 689W

Mr Laws: Following the announcement of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), the DFE invited responses from schools wishing to apply for funding. Those applications were assessed objectively as described in the letter which invited applications for the programme. Applications had to be supported by a building condition survey, and qualified surveyors visited every school to validate the accuracy of the data submitted. The prioritisation process compared the cost of addressing the current condition of the school with the rebuilding cost.

The condition needs of some of the schools within the PSBP is so severe that the Secretary of State decided urgent action was necessary. We have therefore made a limited amount of capital grant available to address the needs of the highest priority schools in the programme. Forty-two schools—those in the very worst condition

22 Apr 2013 : Column 690W

and all special schools included within the programme—were prioritised to be delivered through capital grant. It is right that the condition needs of special schools—where some of our most vulnerable children are educated—are met as quickly as possible.

Schools: Brigg

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment his Department has made of the level of literacy and numeracy of (a) primary school leavers and (b) secondary school leavers in Brigg and Goole constituency in each of the last five years. [150595]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 15 April 2013]: The information requested is provided in the following tables:

Primary school leavers
Achievements at the expected level(1) by pupils at the end of key stage 2 in Brigg and Goole parliamentary constituency(2).Years: 2008-12(3. )Coverage: Brigg and Goole constituency(4)
Percentage of KS2 pupils achieving expected level in:20082009201020112012(5)

English

82

80

79

81

83

Maths

78

78

77

81

83

(1) Includes pupils who achieved level 4 or above. Level 4 is the expected level of achievement for pupils at the end of key stage 2. (2) Parliamentary constituency figures are based on the postcode of the school. (3) Data are final data for academic years 2008 to 2011; 2012 is based on revised data. (4) Includes state-funded schools including academies. Figures do not include pupils recently arrived from overseas. (5) In 2012, English was calculated from reading test results and writing teacher assessment rather than from reading and writing tests as in previous years. English in 2012 is, therefore, not comparable to previous years. Source: National Pupil Database
Secondary school leavers
Percentages of pupils at the end of key stage 4 achieving A*-C grades in English and mathematics GCSEs(1) in Brigg and Goole constituency(2).Years: 2007-08 to 2011-12(3)Coverage: Brigg and Goole constituency(4)
Percentage of KS4 pupils achieving an A*-C grade in:2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

English

51.9

61.4

66.0

70.2

68.3

Maths

53.9

60.7

64.2

63.0

74.9

(1) Full GCSEs only have been included (Full GCSEs, double awards, accredited international certificates and their predecessor iGCSEs and AS levels). Figures from 2007-08 to 2008-09 exclude iGCSEs; 2009-10 figures onwards include accredited iGCSEs. (2) Parliamentary constituency figures are based on the postcode of the school. (3) Data are final data for academic years 2007-08 to 2010-11; 2011-12 is based on revised data. (4) Includes state-funded schools including academies. Figures do not include pupils recently arrived from overseas. Source: National Pupil Database (2007/-08 to 2010-11) and key stage 4 attainment data (2011-12)

Schools: Vocational Guidance

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will require all schools to publish what prospective pupils can expect in terms of careers advice, guidance and contact with businesses and work experience options. [148544]

Matthew Hancock: Since September 2012, schools have been legally required to secure independent careers guidance for year 9-11 pupils on the full range of post-16 education and training options.

The Department for Education has published statutory guidance which sets out expectations about the type and quality of careers guidance that should be made available to pupils under the new duty. The statutory guidance is clear that schools should consider a wide range of career activities to offer all young people insights into the world of work. This can include engagement with local employers and work experience, but schools should determine the most appropriate provision in accordance with the needs of their pupils.

Sixth-form Education

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of (a) free schools and (b) academies recruited fewer sixth-form students than they were funded for by the Education Funding Agency in each of the last two years. [150141]

Matthew Hancock [holding answer 26 March 2013]: The number and percentage of free schools and academies which recruited fewer sixth-form students than they were funded for is as follows:

 2011/122012/13
 NumberPercentageNumberPercentage

Free schools

1

50

6

75

Academies

395

60

570

53

Maintained schools*

62

56

* Indicative figures for maintained schools are higher than those for academies.

16-to-19 funding is generally based on a lagged approach, where funding for each year is based on recruitment in the previous year. As a result, many institutions will

22 Apr 2013 : Column 691W

recruit a different number of students from the number on which their funding allocation was based (either above or below this figure), and their funding will reflect this change in the following year. For free schools and those academies which are not funded on a lagged basis, the Education Funding Agency recovers funding for under-delivery.

Student Wastage

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many people left (a) school, (b) sixth- form college and (c) further education college at the end of the first year of a two-year course in each of the last five years. [149897]

Matthew Hancock: Information is not available in the form requested and to carry out the analysis required would incur disproportionate cost.

Vocational Guidance

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to increase the careers advice available to pupils choosing (a) GCSEs, (b) AS levels and (c) university courses. [147652]

Matthew Hancock: Schools have a legal responsibility to secure independent careers guidance for year 9 to 11 pupils on the full range of post-16 education and training options. From September, we are extending the duty to years 8 to 13 and introducing an equivalent requirement through college funding agreements for 16 to 18-year-olds in further education.

This will help more young people to access the support they need at key transition points, promoting informed decision making about GCSEs, AS levels, university courses and other education and training options including apprenticeships. The Department will publish guidance to support schools and colleges to take on their new responsibilities.

We recognise that choices about higher education are particularly complex and want to improve the information available to students. The Key Information Set (KIS) was launched in September 2012 to provide comparable information on each university course. This can be found at unistats website on direct.gov.(1)

(1) http://unistats.direct.gov.uk/

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to improve the quality of careers advice supplied in the education sector. [147653]

Matthew Hancock: Helping pupils to progress from school successfully to the next stage of their education, and onwards into work, is a core function of schools. By introducing the careers duty, we have created a new legal basis for schools to secure independent and impartial careers guidance to meet the needs of their pupils.

The duty is underpinned by statutory guidance which sets expectations about the type and quality of support that schools should offer. We have also published a practical guide containing examples of policy and practice which schools can draw on. Schools can access high- quality support from careers providers who have achieved

22 Apr 2013 : Column 692W

a national quality standard for careers guidance. This quality standard will assist schools in making well-informed decisions about which provider to use.

An Ofsted thematic review of careers guidance, reporting this summer, will assess the impact of the new duty.

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the education sector regarding careers advice for people in secondary education. [147654]

Matthew Hancock: Ministers have had frequent and widespread discussions on careers advice. The Government also received 327 responses to a public consultation on extending access to careers guidance. The views of respondents, including schools and education sector representatives, have informed our decision to extend the duty on schools to years 8-13 from September 2013.

The House of Commons Education Committee scrutinised the impact of the new careers duty through its recent inquiry into young people's careers guidance. The Committee received written and oral evidence from a range of witnesses from the education sector. The Government will shortly respond formally to the Committee's report. Ofsted's forthcoming thematic review of careers guidance will inform future improvements in the quality of careers provision.

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations he has received on the difference in effectiveness between face-to-face careers guidance and online or call centre-based advice. [147655]

Matthew Hancock: Young people take on board information and advice in many ways and will require access to different sources of support at different stages. Schools should determine the most appropriate forms of careers guidance based on the needs and circumstances of their pupils.

To give effect to this policy, we have placed a duty on schools to secure access to independent and impartial careers guidance for their pupils. The legal provisions were scrutinised in the House of Commons and the House of Lords during the passage of the Education Bill. A wide range of stakeholders submitted evidence to inform debates, including on the appropriateness of different types of careers provision. Statutory guidance underpinning the duty places a clear expectation on schools to secure access to independent face-to-face careers guidance where it is the most suitable support for young people to make successful transitions.

We have published Education Destination Measures showing the percentage of students progressing to further education or training in a school, Further Education or sixth-form college, apprenticeship or Higher Education institution. This will show how effective schools are in supporting a successful transition into an appropriate and sustainable course, including through the provision of independent careers guidance.

Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to improve the (a) availability and (b) quality of careers advice offered to 16 to 18-year-olds. [147917]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 693W

Matthew Hancock: From September 2013 all schools will be under a legal duty to secure access to independent and impartial careers guidance for their sixth-form students. We are also placing an equivalent requirement on colleges through their funding agreements to ensure that 16 to18-year-olds in further education and sixth- form colleges can access the support they need.

We will shortly publish guidance to support schools and colleges to take on their new responsibilities. They will be expected to work in partnership, as appropriate, with external and expert careers providers. To support this, an online register of careers providers accredited to a national careers quality standard is available for schools to access.

Work and Pensions

Child Maintenance

Mr Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what steps his Department takes to collect older child maintenance debt; and what resources his Department allocates to this task; [151303]

(2) with reference to his Department's recently published Child Maintenance Arrears and Compliance Strategy, what steps he is taking to inform all affected parents with care who are legally owed child maintenance, that the collection of child maintenance arrears in respect of yesterday's children is being given a low priority. [151306]

Steve Webb: We have a wide range of collection and enforcement actions available to recover arrears of child maintenance and more than 2,000 people working within collection and enforcement teams, whose role is to collect as much in child maintenance arrears as possible.

While we have to make the most effective use of our resources and prioritise cases where children will benefit now, there are several proposed collection initiatives, both planned and under way, to tackle arrears in older cases.

We are committed to collecting as much of this debt as we can and are continuing to develop and consider options as to how this can best be achieved within the context of our overall priorities, which put the welfare of children first.

Mr Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that, following Child Support Agency (CSA) case closure, arrears of CSA maintenance which are currently being collected via a deduction from earnings order, a deduction order or following a liability order, a charging order or order for sale, will continue to be collected, without interruption or new charges being placed on the parent with care who is owed the maintenance. [151304]

Steve Webb: There will be some cases subject to case closure, where compliance has only been secured due to enforcement action we have taken, such as a deduction from earnings order or a deduction order. We are conscious that in these cases we must do everything possible to minimise any disruption caused as a result of case closure and not jeopardise hard won compliance.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 694W

On this basis, we are currently considering options as to how these cases can be managed in a way that has as little impact on clients as possible and once the approach has been finalised, this will be made public.

I can confirm that we will continue to seek to collect arrears, where the parent with care wants us to do so, where arrears have arisen on the legacy schemes, after the closure of these schemes, whether or not a new case is opened through the 2012 scheme. No collection charges will be levied for this service.

Mr Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to his Department's recently published Child Maintenance Arrears and Compliance Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all parents with care who are owed child maintenance arrears are informed of decisions which have been taken regarding collection and enforcement of arrears, including of decisions made not to pursue debt recovery and the reasons why these cases are not being pursued. [151305]

Steve Webb: We generally update parents with care about significant events on their child maintenance case; and this will continue in respect of those parents, who are owed child maintenance arrears which arose when they had a case on the legacy schemes. This is particularly important in relation to what they can expect to be paid, and when, and we will make all reasonable efforts to keep parents updated in these circumstances.

In the limited circumstances where debt is impossible to collect, for example, where the parent who owes the money has died and the arrears cannot be collected from their estate; or where there are reasons why a parent wants to write off the debt, for example, if they have reconciled with their former partner, full consultation will take place with the client(s) prior to any such action being taken.

Mr Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans that (a) the pathfinder new statutory child maintenance scheme will be extended to parents with care with two or more children who share the same non-resident parent, (b) the new statutory maintenance scheme will be extended to cover all new applicants for statutory child maintenance and (c) phase 2 of implementation of the statutory scheme, including charging parents for use of the statutory scheme and the phased closure of existing Child Support Agency cases, will begin. [151647]

Steve Webb: We introduced the new 2012 statutory maintenance scheme using a pathfinder approach to clients with four or more children in December 2012. We are currently monitoring progress and plan to open the 2012 scheme to applications for two or more children, and subsequently all new applications, later in 2013.

Once the 2012 system has been opened to all applicants, and is seen to be working well, we will introduce charging and begin closing 1993 and 2003 scheme cases.

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department carries out checks on the educational attendance records of qualifying children to ensure they meet the criteria for child maintenance payments to be made; and whether

22 Apr 2013 : Column 695W

punitive action is taken in respect of maintenance payments where a qualifying child is found not to be attending education. [151661]

Steve Webb: A “child” for child maintenance purposes is defined in legislation as one who is:

Under 16

Under 20 and receiving full time, non-advanced education

Between the ages of 16 and 20 and for whom child benefit is in payment.

Therefore if a person falls within at least one of these groups, they remain a child for the purposes of the payment of child maintenance.

If a child is under 16, regardless of whether they are in education or not, child maintenance will still be payable, as long as they remain habitually resident in the UK.

If a child is under 20 and receiving full-time, non-advanced education, child maintenance is still payable. If a parent disputes whether their child is in education, the other parent will be asked to provide evidence to show they are. As part of a dispute, the Child Support Agency will also check whether child benefit is in payment and if it is, as outlined above, the qualifying child remains a child for child maintenance purposes and therefore the liability to pay will remain in place unless there are other grounds that mean the child is no longer eligible for maintenance.

Any concerns a parent may have as to whether child benefit is correctly in payment for a child should be raised with HM Revenue and Customs in the first instance. Following any HMRC decision to end payment, where the agency is notified of the terminal date of child benefit, the agency will remove the child in question from the child maintenance calculation, provided that they do not continue to fit the definition of a “qualifying child” for child maintenance purposes on other grounds.

If child benefit is ended retrospectively this may result in an overpayment of child maintenance having been paid by the non-resident parent. In such cases if the child removed from the case is not the last qualifying child, future maintenance payments made by the non-resident parent will be reduced until the overpayment has been satisfied. However, if it is the last child that has been removed, a sum equal to the overpaid maintenance will generally be repaid to the non-resident parent and consideration will be given to recovering any maintenance paid out from the other parent. If a parent with care seeks to defraud the non-resident parent in their case through knowingly providing false information, we can consider prosecuting them for any crime they may have committed in doing so.

Mr Bacon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether child maintenance arrears which accumulate under a direct pay arrangement will be liable for collection via the statutory collection service if the case is transferred into the collection service as a result of non-payment. [152288]

Steve Webb: If the non-resident parent fails to pay in full and on time under a Direct Pay arrangement, we will seek to collect any outstanding arrears through the statutory collection service, if the parent with care asks us to do so.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 696W

Electronic Government

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of his Department's staff have received training to help with the administration of the website Universal Jobmatch; and what the cost has been of any such training to date. [151775]

Mr Hoban: The total number of staff that received training on Universal Jobmatch is approximately 35,000. The online learning products were accessed via the Department's intranet and made available for staff at all times. The learning was managed locally within normal business hours at no additional cost.

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many tenders his Department received for the Universal Jobmatch website contract; and what the criteria were for judging bids. [151776]

Mr Hoban: DWP originally received four tenders for the Universal Jobmatch service, however at the final evaluation stage one was withdrawn. A document explaining the criteria for judging bids will be placed in the Library.

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much in consultancy fees his Department paid out in respect of the Universal Jobmatch website (a) before and (b) after it became active. [151780]

Mr Hoban: The Department did not pay any consultancy fees in respect of the Universal Jobmatch website either before or after it became active.

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many jobseekers have opted (a) in and (b) out of authorising his Department to view their (i) user account, (ii) job search activity, (iii) feedback and (iv) notes since the launch of the Universal Jobmatch website; and if he will make a statement. [152293]

Mr Hoban: Over 2.4 million jobseekers have registered on Universal Jobmatch; of these over 1.5 million have given permission for DWP to view their account. The total number of active jobseeker accounts is nearly 1.2 million; of these nearly 815,000 have given permission for DWP to view their account.

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he sought the advice of (a) the Information Commissioner and (b) his Department's data protection officer on the compatibility of the option on the Universal Jobmatch website to authorise his Department to view (i) a user's account, (ii) job search activity, (iii) feedback and (iv) notes with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998; and if he will make a statement. [152300]

Mr Hoban: Consultation has taken place with the Information Commissioner and DWP data protection officers during the overall development of Universal Jobmatch. Universal Jobmatch is compliant with the Data Protection Act.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 697W

DWP staff can only view the claimant's Universal Jobmatch activity if they actively give DWP permission to view their Universal Jobmatch account by ticking a box within their profile.

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the longest period is that a claimant has waited for a decision on a mandatory reconsideration of appeal against refusal of an employment and support allowance claim; [151951]

(2) how many employment and support allowance mandatory reconsideration appeals had not been reprocessed within (a) one month, (b) two months and (c) three months in the latest period for which figures are available; [151952]

(3) what the average time taken in mandatory reconsideration of appeals against refusal employment and support allowance claims was in the last six months. [151953]

Esther McVey: Mandatory reconsideration does not currently apply to employment and support allowance claims. The Department's current plans are to apply mandatory reconsideration to employment and support allowance (ESA) decisions made on or after 28 October 2013.

Mandatory reconsideration at present only applies to personal independence payment (PIP) decisions (from 8 April 2013) and will apply to universal credit decisions (from 29 April 2013).

Employment Schemes: Scotland

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Scotland were involved in the Mandatory Work Activity benefit scheme in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what the average number of working days worked was. [151793]

Mr Hoban: Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) began in May 2011. Official statistics are available for the period May 2011 up to and including August 2012. The table shows the number of starts and referrals in Scotland by financial year.

Table 1: Mandatory work activity starts and referrals in Scotland by financial year for the period May 2011 up to and including August 2012
Financial yearReferralsStarts

2011-12

4,850

1,770

2012-13

2,710

1,180

Total

7,560

2,940

Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Source: Mandatory Work Programmes Official Statistics.

These figures are based upon official Mandatory Work Programmes Statistics which can be found here:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/pwp/mwa_aug12.pdf

Data on the average number of 'working days worked' are unavailable.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 698W

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Scotland were involved in work experience under the sector-based Work Academies benefit scheme in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what the average number of working days worked was. [151796]

Mr Hoban: Sector-based work academies (SBWA) were introduced in England from August 2011 and in Scotland from January 2012 as part of the Get Britain Working measures. In Scotland, some testing took place prior to the official launch date for which the figures are included.

The latest available figures for the number of work experience placement starts under SBWA in Scotland, between August 2011 and November 2012, are presented in the following table.

 Number of SBWA work experience placement starts in Scotland

2011

10

2012

2,170

Total

2,180

Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 Source: DWP LMS opportunities and Client evaluation databases December 2012.

Data on the number of working days worked are unavailable due to unreliable data recording.

Fraud

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has lost to fraud in each of the last five years. [152289]

Mr Hoban: The estimated amount of money lost through benefit fraud in Great Britain can be found on the DWP National Statistics Fraud and Error in the Benefit System webpage:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd2/index.php?page=fraud_error

For the last five years the estimated level of benefit fraud was as follows:

 Amount (£ billion)Percentage of benefit expenditure

2011-12

1.2

0.7

2010-11

1.2

0.8

2009-10

1.1

0.8

2008-09

1.0

0.8

2007-08

0.8

0.6

Northern Ireland fraud and error estimates, which are comparable to the above Great Britain statistics, can be found at:

http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/publications/annual_reports/publications-ssa-annual-reports.htm

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on counter-fraud activities in each of the last five years. [152290]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 699W

Mr Hoban: Spend on counter-fraud activities for the last five years is shown in the following table:

 Cost (£)

2008-09

95,622,194

2009-10

98,568,789

2010-11

94,273,555

2011-12

98,114,560

2012-13

91,103,606

Data source: Jobcentreplus/DWP Operations Activity Based Management models.

The above figures do not include any spend on non-fraud activities carried out in the fraud organisation.

Spend for the year 2012-13 is for the year to February.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many full-time equivalent staff in his Department worked on counter-fraud activities in each of the last five years. [152291]

Mr Hoban: Staffing figures for those staff undertaking counter fraud activities is shown in the following table:

 FTE

2008-09

2,795.2

2009-10

2,750.7

2010-11

2,726.1

2011-12

2,813.9

2012-13

2,787.1

Data source: Jobcentreplus/DWP Operations Activity Based Management models.

The above figures are full-time equivalent and do not include any non-fraud activities carried out by staff in the fraud organisation.

The figures are taken as at the end of the operational year with the exception of 2012-13, which is as at the end of February 2013.

Funeral Payments

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the total cost was of awards made towards funeral costs in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11, (c) 2011-12 and (d) 2012-13; [152306]

(2) how many claims resulted in the award of a payment towards funeral costs in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11, (c) 2011-12 and (d) 2012-13; [152307]

(3) how many claims were made for help towards funeral costs in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11, (c) 2011-12 and (d) 2012-13. [152308]

Steve Webb: The following table provides the number of applications, awards, and total expenditure of the funeral payment scheme for years 2009-10; 2010-11; 2011-12; and 2012-13.

Funeral payment scheme applications, awards, and gross expenditure for years 2009-10 to 2012-13
 2009-102010-112011-122012-13

Funeral payment applications

68,000

69,000

69,000

66,000

Funeral payment awards

39,000

38,000

38,000

35,000

     

22 Apr 2013 : Column 700W

Annual gross expenditure (£ million)

47.1

46.5

46.7

43.1

Notes: 1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using Official/National Statistics but in this case we only have Management Information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as Official/National statistics and there are some issues with the data; for example, it does not include applications which were processed clerically and have not yet been entered on to the Social Fund Computer System. 2. The applications and awards figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000. The expenditure is rounded to the nearest £100,000. 3. These figures relate to the number of awards and applications, not people. Individuals can apply for and receive more than one of these payments in any given year.

Housing Benefits: Social Rented Housing

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of cancer patients who will be affected by the under-occupancy penalty. [152622]

Steve Webb: This information is not available.

For cancer patients who receive overnight care from a non-resident carer or team of carers, an additional bedroom will be allowed when determining the number of bedrooms they need.

Independent Living Fund: Wales

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals in each local authority area in Wales have received Independent Living Fund payments in each of the last five years. [152448]

Esther McVey: The information requested is in the following table.

Analysis of ILF service users in Wales in payment by local authority and year—Date of report 18 April 2013
 Year
Country/Local authority2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

Wales

2,088

2,118

2,048

1,936

1,837

      

Anglesey County Social Services

43

46

47

46

45

Blaenau Gwent County Borough SSD

39

40

39

37

34

Bridgend County Borough Social Services

90

95

91

86

83

Caerphilly County Borough SSD

58

82

80

78

75

Cardiff County Council SSD

158

154

140

126

115

Carmarthenshire County Social Services

218

217

213

206

199

Ceredigion County Social Services

42

45

42

40

39

Conwy County Borough Council

88

93

93

86

85

Denbighshire County Social Services

63

65

64

62

57

Flintshire County Social Services

127

123

121

114

105

Gwynedd Social Services

141

135

133

130

123

22 Apr 2013 : Column 701W

Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council SSD

51

53

51

49

47

Monmouthshire County Social Services

34

32

30

27

27

Neath and Port Talbot County Borough SSD

88

89

84

77

74

Newport City Social Services

88

81

84

79

70

Pembrokeshire County Social Services

104

105

97

90

85

Powys County Social Services

83

89

87

84

78

Rhondda/Cynon/Taff County Borough SSD

169

175

172

168

162

Swansea County Social Services

107

111

106

97

92

Torfaen County Borough Social Services

97

91

85

80

76

Vale of Glamorgan Borough Council SSD

59

59

58

52

50

Wrexham County Borough Social Services

141

138

131

122

116

Jobcentre Plus

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance his Department has issued to Jobcentre Plus staff on the quality, scope and comprehensiveness of advice to be given to claimants in respect of entitlement to benefits and access to additional services; and if he will place a copy of any such guidance in the Library. [151907]

Mr Hoban: A key departmental objective is to ensure that each time a member of the public engages with DWP they are provided with the most relevant and accurate information, advice and guidance. It is for managers to ensure Jobcentre Plus staff provide claimants with the best possible service, including accurate information, advice and guidance tailored to individual need. Underpinning this is the Department's Accuracy of Information framework and a range of operational products to equip staff to provide claimants with relevant and accurate information, advice and guidance, e.g. procedural guidance, learning and development and quality assurance frameworks. I will arrange for a copy of the Accuracy of Information Framework to be placed in the Library.

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when his Department last undertook mystery shopping to assess the quality, scope and comprehensiveness of advice given by Jobcentre Plus staff to claimants; and if he will place in the Library a copy of any report on the findings of the most recent inspection exercise. [151908]

Mr Hoban: The Department for Work and Pensions last undertook a mystery shopping exercise in 2010. Findings from the 2010 exercise were never intended to be published externally as they had the potential to identify individuals through our network of jobcentres, benefit centres and contact centres. The DWP terminated its mystery shopping contract in December 2010.

22 Apr 2013 : Column 702W

The DWP claimant service and experience survey uses satisfaction and other experience measures as a metric for service performance, which allows the Department to understand which areas of the service most impact upon customer and claimant satisfaction and experience, and to direct improvement activity accordingly.

A link to the 2012 published research report is provided:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/report_abstracts/rr_abstracts/rra_831.asp

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy to ensure that Job centre Plus staff offer comprehensive advice to claimants on their entitlement to benefits and access to additional services and the benefits and services available to claimants entering work. [151909]

Mr Hoban: It is the policy intent that Jobcentre Plus staff offer comprehensive advice to claimants on their entitlement to benefits and access to additional services and the benefits and services available to claimants entering work.

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which Jobcentre Plus centres (a) he and (b) ministerial colleagues have visited in the last 12 months. [152444]

Mr Hoban: The answer to the question is contained in the following table:

MinisterJobcentre Plus Centre

Secretary of State

Wellingborough Benefit Centre

 

Wellingborough JCP

 

Bootle Benefit Centre

 

Upton JCP

 

Leicester JCP

 

Tottenham JCP

 

Basildon JCP

 

Basildon Benefit Centre

 

Yate JCP

 

Hull Benefit Centre

 

Easterhouse JCP

 

Dartford JCP

 

Ashton under Lyne JCP

 

Oldham JCP

 

Stratford Benefit Centre

 

London Bridge JCP

 

Musselborough JCP

 

Wallsend JCP

 

Waltham Forest JCP

  

Ministerial colleagues

Hounslow JCP

 

Dartford JCP

 

Haverhill JCP

 

Chatham JCP

 

Darlington JCP

 

Nottingham JCP

 

Wolverhampton JCP

 

Hammersmith JCP

22 Apr 2013 : Column 703W

 

City Tower JCP

 

Grimsby JCP

 

Morriston JCP

 

Leicester JCP

 

Wood Green JCP

 

London Bridge JCP

 

Loughton JCP

 

Gloucester Benefit Centre

 

Runcorn JCP

 

Bootle Benefits Centre

 

Peel Park Model Office

 

Stretford JCP

 

Eastgate JCP

 

Derby Contact Centre

 

Folkestone JCP

 

Wigan JCP

 

Warrington JCP

Jobcentre Plus: Digital Exclusion

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance his Department has issued to jobcentre branches on prevention of digital exclusion. [152333]

Mr Hoban: Jobcentre Plus staff who deal directly with our customers have received guidance, training and communications on how to support customers in using DWP's digital services.

This ranges from training for personal advisers on how to help customers looking for work online, to support packages for all staff so they will be confident in demonstrating to customers how to use the service.

Staff have also been trained in how to identify the level of support the customer may require to access our services online, including identifying where an online transaction may not be appropriate. For vulnerable customers we continue to provide a telephony or face-to- face service.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in how many parliamentary constituencies more people claimed jobseeker's allowance at the end of 2012 than at the end of 2010. [151654]

Mr Hoban: Statistics on jobseeker's allowance by parliamentary constituency and date can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

Guidance for users is available at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/tabtools/guidance.pdf

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to reply to the letter of 8 March 2013 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr Thomas Turner. [152848]

22 Apr 2013 : Column 704W

Mr Hoban: The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), replied to the right hon. Member on 17 April 2013.