18 Dec 2012 : Column WA285

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA285

Written Answers

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Accession Declaration and Coronation Oath

Questions

Asked by Lord Birt

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will consider revising the accession declaration for a new Monarch.[HL4027]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will consider revising the Coronation Oath and giving the revised oath statutory authority.[HL4028]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Government have no plans to revise either the Accession Declaration or the Coronation Oath.

Alcohol

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to communicate the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.[HL3977]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department's Start4life campaign provides advice to pregnant women on establishing healthy habits to give their babies the best start in life and reduce the risk of poor health in life. As part of this campaign, the department has recently launched a new leaflet that includes information on alcohol and the reasons why it is best avoided in pregnancy.

On 18 May 2012, the Government launched the National Health Service Information Service for Parents. This new, free digital service for parents provides regular NHS and other quality assured advice for both mothers and fathers on staying healthy in pregnancy, preparing for birth and looking after their baby, and includes advice on risks of drinking during pregnancy.

The emails, videos and text messages include content from NHS Choices, the Pregnancy and Baby Guide and the online Birth to Five Guide along with videos showing health professionals demonstrating practical advice and parents discussing their own experiences.

Since May, 85,000 parents have signed up to the service.

The Government are also committed to improving the labelling of alcoholic drinks, which would help make people more aware of how much alcohol they are drinking, what the guidelines are and what the risks are, including for those who are pregnant.

As, part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, alcohol retailers and producers have a responsibility to raise this awareness for those who drink and have committed to putting this information or the pregnancy warning logo, on 80% of labels on shelf by 2013.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA286

Banking

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will make further equity investments in Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland; and, if so, whether they have advised the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee accordingly.[HL3883]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government have been clear that Britain's banking system needs to be stronger and safer —that is why it is taking forward a number of reforms in the Financial Services Bill and the Banking Reform Bill.

Both Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have improved their stability including their funding, liquidity and capital positions. And they are continuing to do so.

LBG and RBS have made no proposals for equity increases; and the Government's position remains to sell the stakes in LBG and RBS when it represents value for money to do so.

Banks: HSBC

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 19 November (WA 303), whether HSBC Holdings plc is subject to financial services regulation in the United Kingdom or elsewhere; and whether the executives of that company are subject to fit and proper persons requirements in respect of their membership of the boards of subsidiary or affiliated companies, including in Mexico and the Cayman Islands.[HL3886]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): HSBC Holdings plc does not undertake regulated activities in the UK and is therefore not a person under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) supervises the HSBC Group on a consolidated basis and, for example, sets capital requirements for this consolidated Group as a whole. These requirements are imposed on the UK authorised firms within the HSBC Group and not directly on HSBC Holdings plc. The FSA has a number of powers that are exercisable directly in relation to HSBC holdings including the power to require HSBC to provide the FSA with information.

The powers of the regulator in relation to UK parent undertakings of authorised persons are being enhanced by provisions in the Financial Services Bill. The Bill provides the regulators with the power to direct the parent undertaking to take (or not take) specified action and to make rules requiring the parent undertaking to provide the regulator with information on a regular basis.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA287

Overseas operations of the HSBC Group are subject to a wide range of overseas regulatory regimes, which may have different scope to UK requirements.

A number of senior staff at HSBC Holdings are FSA Approved Persons because of their influence over HSBC Bank plc, which is an FSA regulated entity. FSA Approved Persons must comply with the ESA Approved Persons regime. This regime operates in relation to their influence over HSBC Bank plc.

HSBC Holdings plc is listed on the London, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges and is, therefore, subject to the relevant listing requirements.

Bill of Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether civil servants are engaged in preparing a Bill of Rights; and, if so, under whose authority and under what terms of reference the work is being done.[HL3982]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Civil servants are not engaged in preparing a British Bill of Rights. The Government look forward to receiving the final report from the Commission on a Bill of Rights before the end of this year and then carefully considering its contents.

British Overseas Territories

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of relations between the United Kingdom and each of the British Overseas Territories. [HL3994]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): This Government place a great deal of importance on their relationship with the British Overseas Territories. In our June White Paper we set out a positive vision for the Overseas Territories—of flourishing communities, proudly retaining aspects of their British identity and creating new opportunities for young and future generations. On December 4 and 5, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my honourable friend the Member for Boston and Skegness (Mr Simmonds), chaired the first meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council between UK Ministers and political leaders from the Overseas Territories. Eight other UK Ministers participated in this and related meetings. At our meeting we agreed a communiqué setting out joint priorities and action points (a copy is in the Library of the House). These include working together to promote trade and investment between the territories and the UK, to build the capacity of the territory public services, and to protect the environment. We will work in partnership with Territory Governments on these and report progress to the next Joint Ministerial Council and to Parliament.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA288

City Status

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect the next occasion will arise when towns and boroughs can apply for city status.[HL4014]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: City status is a civic honour granted at the Queen's pleasure as a mark of distinction. On 14 March 2012. the Deputy Prime Minister announced that Her Majesty the Queen had commanded that city status be granted to Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph; and Lord Mayoralty to Armagh to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

The Government have no current plans to conduct a further civic honours competition.

Crime: Alcohol-related Crime

Question

Asked by Baroness Howe of Idlicote

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what research they have undertaken on the impact of compulsory sobriety schemes on alcoholism or alcohol-related offending.[HL3930]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): We are currently running a proof of concept pilot testing a sobriety condition as part of an adult conditional caution. Under this pilot, the sobriety condition cannot be imposed on an offender; and the offender must admit guilt and agree to accept the condition. This pilot commenced in May 2012 in five criminal justice areas.

In addition, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, introduced a new alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement as part of a community order. We will establish a pilot, as required by the legislation, before making this available nationwide. The pilot will provide us with evidence of the likely scale of take-up of the requirement as well as information on the processes for running a sobriety scheme. We would also expect to collect data on compliance with the alcohol abstinence requirement during the pilot.

The noble Baroness asks about the impact of compulsory sobriety schemes on alcoholism. The requirement will only be able to be imposed in cases where alcohol has acted as a contributing factor to the offence committed. However, individuals who are considered to be alcohol dependent are specifically excluded from the requirement. For dependant drinkers, courts are able to impose an alcohol treatment requirement as part of a community order or a suspended sentence order. In these circumstances, the offender must have expressed a willingness to comply with the alcohol treatment requirement before the court can impose it.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA289

Criminal Justice: Re-offenders

Questions

Asked by Baroness Howe of Idlicote

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what research they have undertaken on the circumstances in which restorative justice has a positive effect on re-offending rates in England and Wales.[HL3928]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Ministry of Justice and Home Office jointly commissioned an evaluation of a number of restorative justice pilots1. When looking at these pilots together, they were effective in reducing the frequency of re-offending.

Further MoJ analysis suggests that restorative justice conferencing has the potential to be associated with a reduction in the frequency of re-offending of 14%2. Conferencing involves a meeting between the offender and victim with supporters present.

The evaluation also found that 85% of victims who participated in restorative justice conferencing said they were satisfied with the experience2.

1

Shapland, J., Atkinson, A., Atkinson, H., Dignan, J., Edwards, L., Hibbert, J., Howes, M., Johnstone, J., Robinson. G. and Sorsby, A. (2008) Does restorative justice affect reconviction? The fourth report from the evaluation of three schemes. Ministry of Justice Research Series 10/08. Accessed at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.justice.gov.uk/restorative-justice-report_06-08.pdf

2

Ministry of Justice. Green Paper Evidence Report. Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders. Accessed at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/consultations/green-paper-evidence-a.pdf.

Asked by Baroness Howe of Idlicote

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what research they have undertaken on the impact of youth conferencing on re-offending rates in England and Wales.[HL3929]

Lord McNally: Ministry of Justice and Home Office jointly commissioned an evaluation of a number of restorative justice pilots, some of which included young people'. When looking at these pilots together, they were effective in reducing the frequency of proven re-offending.

Further MoJ analysis suggests that restorative justice conferencing has the potential to be associated with a reduction in the frequency of re-offending of 14%2. Conferencing involves a meeting between the offender and victim with supporters present. Although the pilots include some young people, the results cannot be applied solely to young people.

The evaluation also found that 85% of victims who participated in Restorative Justice conferencing said they were satisfied with the experience2.

Neither research applies specifically to youth conferencing which is sometimes considered as part of a restorative justice approach. The Ministry of Justice has not undertaken any specific research on the impact of youth conferencing on re-offending rates to date.

1

Shapland, J., Atkinson, A., Atkinson, H., Dignan, J., Edward F., Hibbert, J., Howes, M., Johnstone, J., Robinson, G. and Sorsby, A. (2008) Does restorative justice affect reconviction?

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA290

The fourth report from the evaluation of three schemes. Ministry of Justice Research Series 10/08. Accessed at: http://webarchive. nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.justice.gov.uk/restorative justice-report_06-08.pdf

2

Ministry of Justice. Green Paper Evidence Report. Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders. Accessed at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/consultations/green-paper-evidence-a.pdf.

Asked by Baroness Howe of Idlicote

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many reviews of community punishment, the probation service and re-offending rates there have been since 1980; and what actions were subsequently taken. [HL3931]

Lord McNally: A number of reviews have looked at community punishment, the probation service and re-offending rates since 1980. The Green Papers Punishment, Custody and the Community (1988) and Supervision and Punishment in the Community (1990); and the White Papers Crime Justice and Protecting the Public (1990) and Justice for All (2002), together with other major reviews and consultations, resulted in changes to legislation and practice.

The statutory basis for the current arrangements for probation provision is the Offender Management Act 2007. The intention behind that Act was to open up provision of probation services to a wider range of potential providers. To give full effect to that aim, and to address the high rate of re-offending, in 2010 the Government set out proposals in our Green Paper Breaking the Cycle: Effective. Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders. We followed this, in March 2011, with two punishment and reform consultation papers: Effective Probation Services and Effective Community Sentences. We have considered in detail the responses we received to those consultations and will shortly publish a paper setting out our detailed approach.

Criminal Records Bureau

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are considering proposals to simplify the system of Criminal Records Bureau checks by relating the checks to individual persons rather than to the activities they are being checked for.[HL4126]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Since 1 December 2012, the functions previously undertaken by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have been carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

A criminal records certificate can sometimes be used for different roles, but many employers choose to request an up-to-date certificate.

In order to make the system more efficient, DBS will introduce an online update service in spring next year. The update service allows an applicant to permit

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA291

employers and other recruiters who have the legal ability to check certificate information to make a simple online check which will confirm whether or not the certificate presented is up-to-date. The update service will remove the need for unnecessary repeat applications for a new certificate.

Education: Free School Meals

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they will support young people eligible for free school meals who are required to stay in education to age 17 from 2013 and elect to do so in a further education college where free school meals are not provided. [HL3259]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Students from poor families in further education colleges are not eligible for free school meals, whereas their peers in schools are eligible to apply for free school meals, which the school is then required to provide.

Both schools and colleges currently receive funding which takes account of their pupil population, including the extent of deprivation. Schools must meet the costs of free school meals from their funding whereas FE colleges have discretion about whether to subsidise meal costs. We estimate that it would cost between £35 million and £47 million in year one, and between £31 million and £42 million thereafter, to fund colleges to provide free meals to all eligible 16-18 year-old students. These figures do not include any capital costs which may be incurred by colleges in setting up their provision.

We are keeping this issue under review.

Education: School and College Leavers

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the preparedness of school and college leavers for employment.[HL3965]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Professor Alison Wolf's ground breaking Review of Vocational Education found that young people leaving school and or college are not adequately prepared for employment. In conjunction with that, we have identified from recent employer surveys that young people leaving education and entering employment lack the standard of English and maths that employers expect.

From September 2013 we are reforming the post-16 curriculum and funding arrangements through the framework of 16-19 study programmes that will include work experience, enterprise education and English and maths and this combination of key features will better prepare young people for employment.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA292

Energy: Renewables Obligation Certificates

Question

Asked by Lord Teverson

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have assessed the timescales for the award to small- and medium-sized businesses of their renewable transport fuel certificates following their claim; and, if so, whether the times comply with their payment policies to companies of that scale.[HL3851]

Earl Attlee: The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) is a trading scheme which incentivises the supply of renewable transport fuel though the award of renewable transport fuel certificates (RTFCs). It does not of itself provide payment to suppliers directly. The value of RTFCs is realised through either (i) their redemption by a supplier meeting its obligation, (ii) their sale on the open market to another supplier wishing to meet its obligation, or (iii) through their surrender to gain a portion of any “buy-out fund” generated by suppliers who do not meet their obligation with RTFCs.

Suppliers have until the 15th of each month to apply for RTFCs. RTFCs will only be issued when the Department for Transport is satisfied that the fuel in question meets the requirements of the RTFO order, including that duty has been paid. The department uses fuel excise duty returns from HMRC both to validate the volume of fuel that the supplier is claiming, and to demonstrate that fuel excise duty has been paid. The department may also consider third party evidence that would demonstrate that duty has been paid.

Where the department is satisfied, it will issue RTFCs on the 15th of each month following the approval of an application.

EU: Balance of Competence Review

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Statement by Baroness Northover on 6 December (WS 75–6) concerning the European Union Balance of Competence Review, from which organisations they are seeking evidence; how they intend to inform the public of the consultation; and whether they will publish in one document all the government departments involved in consultations, together with the dates on which such consultations begin and end.[HL4060]

Baroness Northover: DfID is seeking evidence from a range of organisations including European Union (EU) institutions and member states, aid donor countries outside the EU, countries receiving United Kingdom and EU aid, non-governmental organisations, think tanks, research institutions, international organisations, private sector organisations, devolved administrations and the relevant parliamentary committees.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA293

DfID has informed the public of its call for evidence by announcing it on the DfID website, via an e-bulletin and on Twitter. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website also announced DfID's call for evidence, along with those of other ministerial departments responsible for reports in the review.

The entire review will run from autumn 2012 until autumn 2014. DfID's call for evidence will end on l March 2013 and the Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid report will be published in June 2013. The dates of other calls for evidence in the review are available on the relevant government departments' websites, or will be decided at a later stage by the relevant government departments.

The list of participating government departments is available on the FCO website http://www.fco.gov. uk/en/global-issues/european-union/balance-of-competences-review/.

EU: Salaries

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the total salary bill of the European Commission and other EU institutions; and of the level and total amount of personal taxation levied on those salaries.[HL3798]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): EU institutions' staff members are not subject to national income tax. Instead, salaries paid by the Commission to its officials are subject to a community tax which is paid directly back into the EU's budget. An additional levy is also in place for EU officials. These taxes result in around €700 million in revenue for the EU budget each year. The total salary bill of the European Commission and other EU institutions totals €4.5 billion every year.

Gaza

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to Oxfam’s “Beyond Ceasefire” briefing note, published on 6 December.[HL4075]

Baroness Northover: The loss of life during the recent conflict has shown the urgent need for a return to negotiations on a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This remains one of the UK's top international priorities. We have taken note of Oxfam's report and its recommendations.

The priority now is to build on the ceasefire and to address the underlying causes of the conflict. This means tackling weapons smuggling and the illicit tunnel economy into Gaza. It also means lifting the Israeli restrictions on movement of goods and people which, as I saw again in my recent visit, make the economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza unsustainable. The UK, together with our EU partners, is ready to support regional parties' efforts in this regard.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA294

Health: Staff and Patient Personal Security

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to discuss with the relevant parties measures to rationalise (1) hospital security, and (2) telephone systems, to ensure patient and staff protection in hospitals.[HL4100]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Individual National Health Service organisations are responsible for their security and telephone arrangements in accordance with locally assessed business requirements and risks. The department provides guidance and free e-learning resources to support local bodies and their staff and will ensure that the importance of safeguarding the interests of both patients and staff when determining local arrangements is flagged appropriately to NHS organisations. We will also raise the issues with the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service and request that they send a similar message to private healthcare providers.

HGV Road User Levy Bill

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the net effect of the HGV Road User Levy Bill coming into effect after the various costs involved have been defrayed.[HL4096]

Earl Attlee: The Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) road user levy introduces charges to be paid by all operators of HGVs weighing more than 12 tonnes for using the UK road network. The levy is a new tax, and will be introduced in April 2014.

For the longest and heaviest vehicles, there will be charges ranging between £10 per day and £1,000 per year. Foreign operators will be able to pay the charge on a daily, weekly, monthly, six-monthly, or annual basis. To reduce the administrative burden, UK hauliers will pay the levy with their vehicle excise duty as a single payment, and will therefore be able to pay either six-monthly or annually.

For foreign hauliers, our calculations indicate that we will get £18.7 million to £23.2 million of net revenue per annum. However this sum could vary, as foreign hauliers could decide to purchase more annual and fewer daily passes than expected, which would lead to lower revenues, or vice versa, which would lead to higher revenues.

Foreign hauliers currently form around 6% of the UK haulage market, and the introduction of charging may have an impact on the numbers coming into the UK due to the increase in costs they face. The Road Haulage Association estimates the average daily cost of running a 44 tonne HGV (just over the average weight of foreign vehicles visiting the UK) to be around £300.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA295

A daily charge of £10, as we have planned, would represent a cost increase of around 3%. Using a mean elasticity of -1.07, based on Graham and Glaister's 2004 literature review, which considers 143 price elasticity estimates of the demand for road freight and finds “the majority of estimates fall between -0.5 and -1.3” (p268). Based on this we have calculated that 3% increase in price could lead to a decrease in haulage by foreign-registered vehicles in the UK of 3.21%. This in turn is likely to have a positive impact on the UK haulage market.

Justice: Community Orders

Question

Asked by Baroness Howe of Idlicote

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how often during the most recent financial year for which figures are available a fine was attached to a community order.[HL3927]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The number of offenders issued a community order within the financial year 2011-12 was 170,022, of which 417 were also issued a fine alongside.

The figures given on court proceedings relate to persons for whom the offences which received a community order were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Overseas Conflict: Sexual Violence

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Wakefield

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to consult churches and faith-based organisations in conflict-affected countries that have context-specific technical knowledge and expertise on the effective prevention of sexual and other forms of gender-based violence.[HL3953]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): On 29 May, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative. The initiative aims to replace the culture of impunity with one of deterrence, by increasing the number of perpetrators brought to justice both internationally and nationally, but strengthening international efforts and co-ordination to prevent and respond to sexual violence and by supporting states to build national capacity. During the UK's presidency of the G8 we will run a sustained campaign to build a stronger global partnership to prevent sexual violence in conflict.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA296

Governments, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and faith groups must work together to shatter this culture of impunity. We have consulted churches and faith based organisations during the development of the initiative and we will continue to do so. Their experience in this issue, such as through the “We Will Speak Out” coalition of faith-based groups and aid agencies which coordinates church-based action to combat sexual violence and provides care and support for victims, is hugely important. For this reason, the Church of England is represented on the external Steering Board which advises the Foreign Secretary on the initiative. This engagement is also reflected at country level where we work with local communities, including faith groups, in conflict-affected areas as part of our wider community engagement approach.

Railways: Fares

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 6 December (WA 183), whether they retrospectively monitor the fare increase regulatory mechanisms; if so, for how long that has been the case; and whether the results of that monitoring are made public.[HL4049]

Earl Attlee: The Department for Transport monitors fares baskets at each of the three annual fares setting rounds (January, May and September), after the train operating companies have set the fares. This allows time for any issues to be addressed before the fares are made available for sale. Such monitoring has taken place since 2004.

As stated in my earlier written response on 6 December, the checks on regulated fares are not made public because the contents of fares baskets are commercially confidential.

Schools: Bullying

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what advice they offer to schools to support pupils diagnosed with serious illnesses with specific regard to bullying. [HL3981]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Bullying of any kind and for any reason is totally unacceptable and it is important that when bullying occurs, schools take effective action to ensure it does not happen again.

The Government do not provide specific advice to schools on how they should tackle particular types of bullying. Instead, in our updated advice on bullying, we provide schools with effective strategies they can adopt to tackle and prevent bullying, and a range of actions schools can consider when determining their approach. The advice also provides schools with a list

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA297

of further information and support from specialist organisations that they can approach for help on particular issues.

Schools: Teachers

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many teachers that (1) joined, and (2) left, the profession in the past five years, were employed in (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) sixth-form colleges respectively.[HL3979]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The following table provides the best estimate of the headcount number of qualified full and part-time regular teachers entering and leaving service in publicly funded primary and secondary schools in England in each year from 2005-06 to 2009-10. No similar information is available for sixth-form colleges.

Full and Part-time1 qualified regular teacher entrants2 and leavers3 in publicly funded primary and secondary schools.
England
2005-06 to 2009-10
PrimarySecondary4
EntrantsLeaversEntrantsLeavers

2005-06

22,000

19,300

24,700

21,500

2006-07

21,400

18,900

23,500

21,400

2007-08

22,300

18,500

24,000

20,300

2008-09

22,500

18,800

25,000

19,800

2009-10(p)

21,400

18,400

23,400

19,800

Source:

Database of Teacher Records

1.

Part-time entrants and leavers are estimated to be undercounted by around 10 to 20%.

2.

Entrants include teachers already in service in a publicly funded school who have gained qualified teacher status during the year.

3.

Leavers exclude those moving to other publicly funded schools of other types and moves from full to part-time service.

4.

Secondary includes sponsored academies of all phases. Other academies are included by phase as appropriate.

(p)

Provisional figures which are subject to revision.

Slovakia

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have received from the ambassador and Government of Slovakia about the frequency of Slovak children being put into care in the United Kingdom; and what was their response.[HL4057]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The Minister for Europe, my right honourable friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington), has discussed this matter with his Slovak counterpart and with Slovakia's ambassador to London. Officials from the Department for Education as the department responsible for child protection

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA298

issues, and officials from the Ministry of Justice have also met the ambassador and his staff. In all these discussions, the British Government have emphasised that they are not in a position to discuss individual cases, which are a matter for the courts. We will continue to assist the Slovak authorities on this issue where possible.

Syria

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have given assistance to the British medical charity, Hand in Hand for Syria, in delivering medical aid to victims of the conflict in Syria; and what medical relief they have been able to deliver to Syria thus far.[HL4026]

Baroness Northover: The UK has no current plans to provide humanitarian funding to Hand in Hand for Syria. The UK is a leading donor in Syria, providing £53.5 million to date. The majority of UK aid is channelled through the UN-led appeals in order to ensure a co-ordinated and prioritised response to the crisis, that meets the needs of as many people as possible.

The UK is providing medical support in Syria. In areas controlled by the Assad regime, UK support has already provided medical care to over 10,000 people. In contested areas, UK support has funded the specialised trauma training of over 250 doctors and helped establish a series of field hospitals, mobile clinics and 130 first aid points. To date, this support has enabled nearly 30,000 sick and wounded Syrians to receive medical care.

Voluntary Organisations: Healthcare

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to consult voluntary organisations such as the Women's Royal Voluntary Service about healthcare policy.[HL3967]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department values and recognises the support and expertise that voluntary sector organisations and social enterprises can contribute. They have a vital role to play in improving health and wellbeing outcomes as providers of services, providing advocacy and voice and informing the development of health and social care policy.

The department has well-established working relationships with charities and voluntary organisations. Working with and consulting partners and stakeholders in the development of policy is a matter of routine and good practice.

The Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner Programme provides a departmental wide framework for systematic and accountable voluntary sector involvement in policy and programmes where charities may have specific insight and expertise to offer.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA299

In addition, many condition specific and patient group charities lend their support in specific policy areas.

Young People: Self-harm and Suicide

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to reduce the number of instances of self-harm and suicide attempts amongst young people.[HL3976]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Our Suicide Prevention Strategy, launched in September, identifies children and young people as a group for whom a tailored approach to mental health is needed in order to reduce their suicide risk.

18 Dec 2012 : Column WA300

We have made it clear that mental and physical health have to be seen as equally important. This means that public health approaches to promote mental well-being and so prevent poor mental health, as well as effective services, are critically important. This is why the Government are funding the development of an e-portal for children and young people's mental health, to support all those working with children to understand the importance of good mental health and have skills to help build it. It is also why we are rolling out a programme to improve access to psychological services across the country. For services, it also means effectively managing mental health aspects in line with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on self harm, published in 2004, when young people who have self-harmed come to accident and emergency.