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16 Mar 2005 : Column 299W—continued



Q9. Bob Russell: To ask the Prime Minister whether he plans to visit Colchester on official business before 5 May. [221840]

The Prime Minister: I have no current plans to do so.


Norman Lamb: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list guests entertained at public expense at (a) Chequers and (b) 10 Downing street in the period from 1 January to 25 February. [221026]

The Prime Minister: The list of guests entertained at Chequers is currently being considered as part of a request under the Freedom of Information Act. Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

It is a matter of public record that both my officials and I entertain guests at 10 Downing street. A list of guests is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate costs.


Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his Answers of 9 March to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, Official Report, column 514, and to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Mr. Llwyd), Official Report, column 516, what account he took, in his presentation to the Cabinet of the reasons for going to war with Iraq, of the requirements under the Ministerial Code when a summary of advice is given to Cabinet. [221891]

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Prime Minister whether he intends to make available to a succeeding administration the complete text of the advice of the Attorney-General reported orally to the Cabinet on 17 March 2003 under the Ministerial Code of Conduct. [221893]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Members to the letter from the Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith) to my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Clare Short), copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.


Black Male Pupils

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the Government plan to teach black male pupils in separate classes in an effort to improve their GCSE results. [221598]

Derek Twigg: Segregating pupils solely on the grounds of ethnicity is contrary to the Department's approach to inclusion and we have no plans to promote the segregation and teaching of black male pupils in separate classes.

The strategies we have put in place to tackle underachievement by minority ethnic pupils, including targeted work to support black pupils, are delivering
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year-on-year improvements in GCSE results for all ethnic groups. Black Caribbean boys' achievement has risen this year by almost twice the national average and black African boys' has risen even faster. These improvements are important; however, we are not complacent and recognise that there remains a great deal more to do.


Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what policies her Department has in place for supporting employees with cancer. [218589]

Derek Twigg: My Department takes the health and welfare of all its employees very seriously. Managers are responsible for day to day sickness absence management and work closely with personnel staff on individual cases to identify how best to offer help and support including keeping in touch arrangements for those on long-term sickness absence.

For employees with cancer, a range of support is available including: changed working patterns; approved discretionary special leave or paid time off for treatment; and, if appropriate, we will support applications for medical retirement.

In addition, we encourage the use of Department's Employee Assistance Programme for counselling and information. Staff and their managers can use of departmental occupational health advisers to provide advice on all areas where health may affect attendance and performance. Staff can also have membership of the Civil Service Benevolent Fund, one of the largest benevolent funds in the UK, who can provide help and assistance, including financial assistance and putting cancer sufferers in touch with specialist agencies.

Care Proceedings

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many care proceedings have been terminated after court proceedings have been initiated with the child in question remaining with the birth parent in each of the last 10 years. [222036]

Margaret Hodge: It is not possible to say in how many care proceedings the child in question remained with their birth parents, as information about the parties involved is not collected centrally. The following table shows the number of care proceedings which have been disposed of without a care order being made over the last 10 years:
Applications withdrawnOrders
Orders of
no order

Judicial Statistics (Table 5.2)

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Child Care Statistics

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the statistics relating to (a) child care and (b) looked after children and children in care, which, since 1997 (i) are no longer collected by her Department and (ii) have had the way in which the figures are compiled changed. [221796]

Margaret Hodge: My Department's Children's Day Care Facilities Survey collected data on numbers of child care providers and places classified according to type of provider: day nurseries, playgroups and pre-schools, childminders, out of school clubs, and holiday schemes, for each local authority, from local authority Social Service Departments on an annual basis until March 2001, when the survey was discontinued.

With the introduction of the National Day Care Standards and the transfer of responsibilities for registration and inspection of child care providers from
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Local Authority Social Service Departments to Ofsted in September 2001, data on child care providers and numbers of places were collected as part of the process of registration and inspection and child care providers and places were classified according to type of day care provided: full day care, sessional day care, childminder, out of school day care, and crèche day care.

My Department published figures on numbers of child care providers and places on an annual basis until March 2001 and Ofsted has published figures on numbers of child care providers and places on a quarterly basis since March 2003. There are no figures for March 2002. The two sets of figures are not entirely comparable because one set derives from local authority data classified according to type of provider and the other from provider data classified according to type of child care provided.

The following table summarises the changes made to the children looked after returns since 1997.
Year ending
31 March:


1997Children's homes statistical publication changed from annual to triennial publicationChildren's homes publication contains details on numbers of children's homes
1998CLA100 return introducedTo collect aggregate figures for children looked after by local authority. Introduced following a review in 1997 of the statistics on personal social services collected by DH to enable a fast turnaround of data providing more up-to-date summary figures than is possible from the detailed SSDA903 return.
1998SSDA903 return moves from covering all children looked after to a one-third sample surveyTo reduce the burden on local authorities following introduction of the CLA100 return. (The SSDA903 return is a child level return collecting detailed information on episodes of care). Aggregate figures were produced using the CLA100 totals (at 31 March, starters and ceased).
2000Last year of Children's Homes publicationsResponsibility for children's homes passed to CSCI
2001'Number of children starting to be looked after in year' discontinued from the CLA100 returnTo calculate an aggregate number of starters in the year the 31 March total was used in combination with the SSDA903 return. 'Number of children who ceased to be looked after in the year' was discontinued in the year ending 31 March 2002. It was decided to also use the 31 March total in combination with the SSDA903 return to calculate the aggregate number of ceased.
2001SSDA903 codes revised(27). Ethnic origin and 'Children in Need' code collected for the first time. 'Reason for being looked after' code discontinued. Most of the 'reason episode ceased' codes(28) were discontinued.Most of the pre-2001 codes can be mapped uniquely to the 2001 codes. However, at a detailed level some codes can not be uniquely matched.
'Children in Need' code replaced the 'Reason for being looked after' code.
2001CLA100 return codes revisedTo match SSDA903 codes
2004SSDA903 return moves to a censusMove to web-based data collection facilitates move to census.
2004CLA100 discontinuedThe result of the SSDA903 return move to census.

(27) In the year ending 2001 the codes used on the SSDA903 form, which had previously been numerical, were changed to alphanumeric pairs, in each case a letter followed by a number (except 'reason for new episode' which is a field of one digit in length. Further details on the changes can be found in a document titled 'Information only—new SSDA9Q3 codes introduced on 1 April 2000' which can be downloaded from
(28) Discontinued 'reason episode ceased' codes were emigration and reaching the maximum age appropriate to the legal status and placement. The detailed codes indicating that the child continued to be looked after following a placement or legal status change (or both) were summarised into one category, 'episode ceased and new episode begins on the same day, for any reason'.

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