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25 Oct 2005 : Column 206W—continued

Warm Front

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many households in Batley and Spen constituency have received assistance under the Warm Front Scheme in each of the last five years. [19653]

Mr. Morley: Between the launch of the Warm Front Scheme in June 2000 and the end of March 2005, the number of households assisted in each year in Batley and Spen are as follows:
Number of households assisted


Overseas Aid (Corruption)

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what benchmarking information his Department requires from those countries which receive aid from the UK on their progress in (a) controlling corruption and (b) improving governance. [21379]

Hilary Benn: Progress by developing countries in improving governance and controlling corruption is central to success in eliminating poverty. It is vital that we ensure that aid funds are used for the purpose intended, and are not misused through corruption.

Assessing overall progress on improving governance is central to our approach in allocating aid between countries, and planning our operations in each country. We draw on indices created by the World Bank and others, as well as conducting our own analysis.

When we are considering providing aid through countries' own budgets, we conduct a comprehensive fiduciary risk assessment, which includes an assessment of the risk of corruption and of the government's commitment to improving wider governance systems. In making these assessments we draw evidence from the partner government and other sources including audit reports, Public Accounts Committee reports, national
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public accounts, service delivery surveys, budget execution reports, financial tracking studies, poverty expenditure tracking surveys and poverty reduction strategy progress reports. DFID is supporting the development of stronger international benchmarks on public financial management through the Public Expenditure Financial Accountability Programme (PEFA).

Where it is not appropriate to provide resources through countries' own budgets, we may provide aid to governments in the form of projects (where DFID has greater control over procurement, expenditure and audit processes), or through non-government channels.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2005, Official Report, column 1045W, on the UN Convention Against Corruption, whether he expects the UK will ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption by the end of 2005; what the timetable is for the ratification; what the schedule is for introducing Orders in Council under Part Eleven of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002; what consultation has taken place with the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly in relation to corresponding orders being produced; what the schedule is for introducing these orders; and if he will make a statement. [21766]

Mr. Thomas: The UK anticipates we will ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption this year. The Department for International Development has not had any consultation with the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly in relation to corresponding orders as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is responsible for the overall ratification process and the Home Office is responsible for the Orders in Council in respect of Part 11 of the Proceeds of Organised Crime Act 2002.


Alcohol-related Crime

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Solicitor-General how many prosecutions for alcohol-related crime have been brought in Thames Valley in each year since 1997. [9979]

Hazel Blears: I have been asked to reply.

It is not possible to identify the number of prosecutions of alcohol-related crime, as the individual circumstances of the offence are not collected.

Handcuffs (Exports)

Lynne Jones: To ask the Solicitor-General pursuant to the answer of 10 October 2004, Official Report, column 3W, on handcuffs (exports), what criteria the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office used in making its decision that there should not be a prosecution. [20864]

The Solicitor-General: Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office used the criteria set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors in making its decision about prosecution in this case.
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The Code is a publicly available document, which gives guidance on general principles to be applied in determining whether cases should be prosecuted and the choice of charge.

The Code Test has two stages. The first stage is consideration of the evidence. If the case does pass the evidential stage, prosecutors must decide if a prosecution is needed in the public interest.

At the evidential stage prosecutors must be satisfied that there is enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction" against each defendant on each charge. They must consider what the defence case may be, and how that is likely to affect the prosecution case.

A realistic prospect of conviction is an objective test. It means that a jury or bench of magistrates or judge hearing a case alone, properly directed in accordance with the law, is more likely than not to convict the defendant of the charge alleged.

Prosecutors must consider the public interest in each case where there is enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. A prosecution will usually take place unless there are public interest factors tending against prosecution which clearly outweigh those tending in favour. RCPO will only start a prosecution if a case has passed both tests.


After-class Tutoring

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimates she has made of the percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary school teachers who participate in after-class tutoring (i) at their school of employment and (ii) at another venue. [20967]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not held centrally.

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which neighbourhood drop-in centres offer tutoring and homework help for primary school age children, in (a) London and (b) Kingston and Surbiton, broken down by those centres that are Government funded. [21043]

Phil Hope: The Department does not hold this information on neighbourhood drop in centres.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils have re-taken A-level modules (a) once and (b) more than once in each of the last five years, broken down by subject. [20586]

Jacqui Smith: The department does not hold information on the number of students re-taking modules at A Level.

Child Abuse

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidelines are available for teachers on how (a) to prevent and (b) to report child abuse; and if she will make a statement. [21073]

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Maria Eagle [holding answer 24 October 2005]: My Department has issued two guidance documents for all local authority education departments, schools (including independent schools) and FE colleges in England. Safeguarding Children in Education", explains the duty, roles and responsibilities placed upon them by sections 157 and 175 of the Education Act 2002 to carry out their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Safeguarding Children: Safer Recruitment and Selection in Education Settings" underpins on-line training introduced in response to Sir Michael Bichard's recommendation that head teachers and school governors should receive training to ensure that the process of appointing staff reflects the importance of safeguarding children.

Guidance on what action practitioners, including those in the education service, should take if they have concerns that a child is being, or is at risk of being, abused is contained in 'What To Do If You're Worried A Child Is Being Abused". In addition, Child Protection: Preventing Unsuitable People from Working with Children and Young Persons in the Education Service" sets out the circumstances under which people may be reported to the Secretary of State on grounds of misconduct.

The Government take the issue of child welfare and safety very seriously. We believe we need to make safeguarding everyone's business. Encouraging all organisations to have good systems and clear guidance in place forms a vital part of this. Local and national guidance for safeguarding and promoting welfare of children is based upon the provisions set out in the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004. We are currently consulting on the Government's main guidance 'Working Together to Safeguard Children" which sets out the overarching systems and roles that different agencies play in keeping children safe.
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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps she is taking to increase public awareness of child abuse; and if she will make a statement. [21288]

Maria Eagle: The Government's principal role is in increasing awareness of child abuse among people who work with children. Our guidance documents, 'Working Together to Safeguard Children' and 'What To Do If You're Worried A Child Is Being Abused' set out the roles and responsibilities of practitioners who work with children to promote children's welfare and safeguard them from harm. A range of voluntary organisations, including the NSPCC and ChildLine, play a vital role in increasing public awareness of child abuse.

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