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Benefit Fraud

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many suspected cases of (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit fraud there were in the financial year 2001–02; how many of these led to a prosecution; and how many of these prosecutions were successful. [88203]

Malcolm Wicks: The information is in the table.

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Fraud investigations conducted by local authorities (LAs) 2001–02

Cases referred to the LA fraud/investigation section for further action380,000
Cases referred to the LA fraud/investigation section for further action that were investigated310,000
Cases referred by LAs for prosecution2,800
Successful prosecutions(9)1,700

(9) Data from local authority subsidy returns has been used to provide a count of successful local authority prosecutions. This data is returned by all local authorities and is audited. Subsidy data may differ from management information data at local authority level; however, analysis shows a high level of consistency between the two data sources at national level.


1. The data refers to households, which may be a single person or a couple.

2. Management information data is not available for all local authorities. The figures include estimates for local authorities that have not responded. These estimates are based on historical and regional data. This type of estimate is standard practice in reporting totals where there have been non-respondents. The figures have been rounded to 2 significant figures.


Housing Benefit Management Information System Quarterly Administration Returns and local authority subsidy returns


Education Formula Spending Share

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of the 2003–04 Education Formula Spending Share funding each local education authority is passported directly to its schools. [105575]

Mr. Miliband: The Education Formula Spending Share is divided into two main funding blocks: one for Schools and one for LEAs. Earlier this spring, the Department carried out an exercise to obtain information on how much of the increase in schools funding had been passported into the Schools budget, which covers all provision for pupils including under-fives education and provision for pupils with special educational needs outside the maintained sector. 124 authorities passed on the increase in funding in full or more. A further six did so when allowance is made for the fact that they are affected by the ceiling for increases in revenue support grant. The remaining authorities did not passport in full. Following intervention by the Secretary of State in two authorities, the amount of funding being passported to their Schools Budgets was increased.

The division of the Schools Budget between the Individual Schools Budget and centrally retained items is a decision for local education authorities, after consultation with their schools forum. Local education authorities have until 31 March 2003 to submit their actual budgets to the Department for 2003–04.

Education Targets

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimates he has made of how

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many schools will achieve the target of 85 per cent. of children attaining level 4 at Key Stage Two by 2004. [102294]

Mr. Miliband: There is no Public Service Agreement (PSA) target for the number of individual schools achieving 85 per cent. The Spending Review 2000 set a target to increase the percentage of children who achieve level 4 in each of the Key Stage 2 English and maths tests to 85 per cent. This PSA has been rolled forward as part of Spending Review 2002, with a view to sustaining this level of performance to 2006. In the 2002 tests, 75 per cent. of pupils nationally achieved level 4 or above in English and 73 per cent. did so in mathematics.


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the guidance he gives on how teachers should assist children with enuresis. [105809]

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Mr. Stephen Twigg: All schools in England were made aware, in June 2000, of the guidance in the Department of Health's publication "Good Practice in Continence Services" ( The joint publication by my Department and the Department of Health on "Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs—A Good Practice Guide" ( gives more general guidance for schools.

Foreign Language Teaching

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 3 March, ref 99605, how many students sat the (a) GCSE and (b) A Level exam in (i) French, (ii) German and (iii) Spanish in each year since 1995. [102156]

Mr. Miliband: The number of students who sat French, German and Spanish at GCSE and A level in each year since 1995 are set out in the following table:

GCSE A level

(10) 2002 A level figures are not currently available.

Information Technology

Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has for an increase in the number of Government-funded training schemes for IT jobs. [105973]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Government are currently undertaking a Review of the Funding of Adult Learning. The Review is exploring how to best use Government funded provision to ensure that it meets the business needs of different sectors. The outcome of the Review will be set out in the Government's Skills Strategy to be published in June. Our recent statement "14–19: opportunity and excellence" announced the introduction (from 2004–05 onwards) of an entitlement for all young people to continue studying up to age 19 until they reach the standard of a good GCSE or the corresponding Level 2 key skill qualification in IT skills.

The Government are supporting the teaching and development of the skills required for IT jobs in a variety of ways, including a wide range of further education provision and specific Modern Apprenticeships. We are seeking to put employers at the heart of meeting skill needs through the establishment of Sector Skills Councils (SSCs). The new bodies will help to ensure that government funded learning opportunities meet particular sectoral needs. A recent joint initiative of Jobcentre Plus and the National Employment Panel has been the Ambition programme designed to engage industry expertise in the design of demand-led programmes to get unemployed and disadvantaged jobseekers into good jobs that pay well and have real career potential. Participants in the Ambition: IT programme train for work primarily in the areas of systems support and software development.

National Grid for Learning

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much National Grid for Learning funding has been granted to schools in the Buckingham constituency in 2002–03. [106008]

Mr. Charles Clarke: National Grid for Learning funding is allocated to local education authorities and information is not kept on a constituency basis. In 2002–03 schools in Buckinghamshire LEA have benefited from a total allocation of £2,852,279 (including LEA match funding).

Buckinghamshire LEA was also allocated £794,205 (including LEA match funding) to provide high speed broadband connectivity to schools within the LEA through their membership of the South East Grid for Learning.

Senior Civil Servants

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the turnover of senior civil servants within his Department. [105822]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: My Department seeks to ensure a turnover of senior civil servants which is consistent with bringing in a diverse range of skills and talent, developing and refreshing the senior management group, and delivering our business.

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The overall turnover of senior civil servants in posts funded by the Department for Education and Skills, and the former Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) for each of the years from 2000 to 2002 was:


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