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Nursery Voucher Scheme

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment she has made of the advantages of extending the nursery voucher scheme to include child minding facilities. [38407]

Mr. Robin Squire: My noble Friend the Minister of State and I recently met the National Childminding Association. We are presently considering the association's framework document with the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Office for Standards in Education.

Modern Apprenticeships Scheme

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many persons are presently on the modern apprenticeship scheme (a) nationally and (b) by training and enterprise council area; and if he will list for each subject area the number of modern apprenticeships and in each training and enterprise council area the percentage taking each subject area. [38784]

Mr. Paice: As the reply will consist of a large amount of data, I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my reply in the Library.

Schools (Expenditure)

Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much money was spent in state

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schools and colleges in 1995-96 per pupil or student in (a) nursery classes, (b) primary classes, (c) secondary classes and (d) further education funding council colleges in (i) North Yorkshire and (ii) England. [38871]

Mr. Robin Squire: Information on spending in maintained schools in 1995-96 is not yet available and information on the spend per student in further education colleges is not available in the form requested.

Schools (Statutory Duties)

Mr. Sutcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many complaints were made under section 99 of the Education Act 1944 in each of the years 1990 to 1996; in respect of how many of these complaints she was satisfied that a local education authority or school governing body had failed to discharge a statutory duty; and in how many cases she made an order declaring the local education authority or the governors to be in default of that duty. [38667]

Mrs. Gillan: My right hon. Friend receives many representations about the functions of local education authorities and governing bodies of schools and they are followed up where it seems appropriate to do so. The Department does not maintain a register of all complaints.

Departmental Budget

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to the answer of 12 July, Official Report, column 330, what factors led to a running cost underspend of £94,889,000 in the Department of Education and Employment. [38812]

Mr. Squire: The Department for Education and Employment has an entitlement to end-year flexibility on running costs of £94.9 million. This amount comprises underspends from 1995-96 and previous years.

The 1995-96 underspend was £55 million. Of this amount, £36 million was the result of reducing work loads in the Employment Service, largely because of falling unemployment.

The main factors giving rise to the balance of the 1995-96 underspend were payments falling due later than expected and the early achievement of some efficiency savings planned for 1996-97.

Employment Service

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will make a statement on the work of the Employment Service in 1995-96; and if she will make a statement. [39237]

Mrs. Gillian Shephard: I am pleased to announce that the Employment Service--ES--achieved excellent results in 1995-96. It has met or exceeded all but two of its targets this year, giving record levels of help to unemployed people. I have today placed a copy of the ES's annual report and accounts in the Library. It shows that over 1.93 million unemployed people were placed into work, of whom almost 566,000 had been out of

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work for six months or more. They exceeded their targets for placing people with disabilities and people in inner cities.

I want the ES to continue to work as hard this year, as it has an important part to play in the successful delivery of the jobseeker's allowance. I have set the ES targets for 1996-97 that will require it to build on last year's extremely good performance; in the light of the introduction of the jobseeker's allowance in October, they will be especially challenging.

The targets include placing 1.97 million unemployed people into jobs, over 580,000 of whom will have been out of work for six months or more.

Medical Teaching and Research

Lady Olga Maitland: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the total allocation for 1996-97 of the service increment for teaching and research in England; and what proportion is allocated to the costs of general practice teaching in each medical school and university. [38395]

Mr. Malone: I have been asked to reply.

In 1996-97, £458 million has been made available through the service increment for teaching in England to support the clinical teaching of medical and dental undergraduates in trusts and general practices. It is for regional offices to agree with each medical school dean an indicative budget and to agree what proportion of this will be used to support teaching in general practice.

Information is not yet available centrally on the proportion of medical SIFT which has been used to support clinical teaching in a general practice setting.


Housing Benefit

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps he is taking to ensure that housing benefit will continue to be available to provide staff and support services to residents of local authority sheltered housing. [38256]

Mr. Roger Evans: We have recently commissioned an interdepartmental review of the funding of services in supported accommodation. This will consider whether it is appropriate that housing benefit should meet charges for personal services in sheltered housing. We will consider the position when the review is complete.

Benefit Fraud (Nottingham)

Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much has been spent on commercial advertising for the campaign "Help Us Pick Out Nottingham's Benefit Cheats"; and how much has been spent nationally on the campaign. [33873]

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Mr. Heald: Forecasted expenditure is £26,000 locally and £440,000 nationally for this financial year.


Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list those benefits which have

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fallen in real terms since 1979; and if he will list (a) the size of each shortfall and (b) the number of people currently claiming each benefit now and in 1979. [35647]

Mr. Roger Evans [holding answer 4 July 1996]: The information is set out in the table:

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BenefitCurrent rate (£)November 1979 rate at April 1996 pricesDifference between the two ratesNumber in receipt in 1979Latest available numbers in receiptDate of latest available numbers
Child Special Allowance(26)(28)11.1517.986.83825551 January 1996
Child Dependency increases--Retirement Pension, Widows Benefit, Unemployment Benefit(27)(28)11.1517.986.83192,87063,520 (RP and WB only)30 September (RP and WB only)
Guardians Allowances(26)(28)11.1517.986.833,6692,1471 January 1996
One Parent Benefit(26)(28)6.306.330.33381,000941,00031 December 1994
Retirement Pension Age Addition0.250.630.381,467,0002,294,00030 September 1995
Christmas Bonus10.0025.3315.339,159,000 RP/WB 729,000 IVB/SDA9,995,000 RP/WB 2,015,000 IVB/SDANote 4
Maternity Adult Dependency Increase(30)28.5529.000.451,000----
War Pensions:
Unemployment Allowance Increase for 1st child(28)9.9017.988.08n/an/an/a
Unemployment Allowance increase for other children(28)11.1517.986.83n/an/an/a
WWP increase for 1st child(28)14.1025.3311.23n/an/an/a
WWP increase for subsequent child(28)15.3525.339.98n/an/an/a
Orphans Pensions increase for 1st child(28)15.8526.8511.00(31)n/a(31)n/a(31)n/a
Orphans Pensions increase for subsequent child17.10(28)26.859.75(31)n/a(31)n/a(31)n/a

(26) The figures are for the number of families who receive the benefit.

(27) Current figures for Unemployment Benefit Child Dependency Increases (UB CDI) recipients are not available. The 1979 figures are produced from an average of May 1979 and November 1979 based on a 5 per cent. sample of unemployed claimants. UB CDIs were abolished for claimants under pensionable age in November 1984. Consequently, the numbers receiving a CDI are very small and cannot be identified separately.

(28) The formula used for calculating these allowances takes account of the Retail Prices Index and any increase in Child Benefit. Child Benefit, however, is paid in addition to the allowances.

(29) Source for Retirement Pension/Widows Benefit recipients of the Christmas Bonus is the biannual enquiry using a 10 per cent. sample in November 1979 and a 5 per cent. sample in September 1995.

Figures for Invalidity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance recipients are based on a 1 per cent. sample in June 1979 and April 1995. They do not take into account entitlement conditions i.e. the residence test, the effect of overlapping benefits, or the number of adult dependants as they are purely numbers of beneficiaries at the given dates.

(30) The rate of the Maternity Allowance Adult Dependency Increase was abated by 5 per cent. at November 1980 reflecting the intention to make Maternity Allowance taxable. The 1979 figure includes the 12 months to 31 March 1980 rounded to the nearest thousand. No reliable data exists for the latest period.

(31) Individual figures are not available. However, the combined total of orphans pensions in payment to both first children and subsequent children was 400 in 1979 and 528 on 31 March 1996.

n/a = Figures are not available.

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