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Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures she has taken to improve the (a) service and (b) efficiency of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service; and what savings have been made as a consequence. 
Maria Eagle: Measures to improve the service and efficiency of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) and the savings that are expected to be realised are set out in its 2005/07 Business PlanTransforming ServicesTransforming the Organisation". This is published on the CAFCASS website, at http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/English/Publications/reports/05Dec19BusinessPlan2005.pdf, and a copy will be placed in the Library.
We will be measuring efficiency gains from a range of specific initiatives which contribute to my Department's Gershon efficiency target, including those secured through efficiency savings made by CAFCASS. These are set out in our Efficiency Technical Note, and a copy will also be placed in the Library. In most cases, the gains are recyclable to frontline services rather than being clawed back by the Department. The Department is reporting progress towards our overall efficiency target through existing departmental reporting processes. We reported progress towards our target in the Department's Autumn Performance Report and will report further progress in the Departmental Annual Report which we expect to publish in April.
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures she has taken to reduce central management costs of the Children's Fund; and what savings have been made as a consequence. 
Beverley Hughes: As part of my Department's aim to achieve 2.5 per cent. annual efficiency gains across the three years (200506 to 200708) Children's Fund partnerships have been asked to achieve savings by either reducing management costs by 2.5 per cent. of their allocation each year and redeploying these to front line services or achieving a net annual increase of 2.5 per cent. in the number of children and young people receiving regular support from the Children's Fund. Each partnership was required to set out in its delivery plan or in discussions with the Department how the efficiency gains would be achieved and how it would demonstrate their achievement.
An initial analysis undertaken at the mid year point of 200506 indicated that savings of £3.8 million in Children's Fund Management costs were planned to be made by the end of the year. The actual savings made during 200506 will not be known until after the end of the year (around June 2006) when partnerships have had time to close off their accounts and establish their actual expenditure for the year.
We will be measuring efficiency gains from a range of specific initiatives which contribute to our Gershon efficiency target, including the reduction of Children's Fund central management costs. These are set out in our Efficiency Technical Note. In most cases, the gains are recyclable at the frontline into other activities rather than being clawed back by the Department. The Department is reporting progress towards our overall efficiency target through existing departmental reporting processes. We reported progress towards our target in the Department's Autumn Performance
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Report and will report further progress in the Departmental Annual Report which we expect to publish in April.
Beverley Hughes: In 200405, children's fund grant totalling £160 million was allocated by the Department for Education and Skills to the 149 children's fund partnerships based in each local authority area in England. This grant was used to fund a range of preventative services aimed at children aged five to 13 addressing social exclusion amongst children, young people and their families. Children's fund partnerships are responsible for setting priorities, making funding decisions and commissioning services according to the needs and priorities of the area. The three most commonly targeted groups were children with behaviour difficulties", self-esteem problems" and those exhibiting antisocial or criminal behaviour".
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many national and regional training sessions, seminars and conferences were held with social care, education and healthcare providers in connection with the Integration of Children's Services during 2005; which Government representatives attended these events; and what the cost of each event was. 
Beverley Hughes: In 2005 my Department arranged nine regional conferences on Every Child Matters and the integration of children's services and a number of principle events, details are given as follows:
|9 Every Child Matters: Delivering Change for Children two day regional events.||DfES officials||569,608|
|ECM : Change for Children conference for Chief Executives||Minister and DfES officials||44,839|
|ECM Sure Start and Extended Schools National conference||Minister and DfES officials||84,351|
|Implementing Every Child Matters in two-tier Authorities||DfES officials||20,109|
|The children's trust pathfinder whole systems trust event||DfES officials||4,100|
|9 Safeguarding Regional conferences||Minister (one event) and DfES officials||119,000|
In addition, DfES officials attended and supported a range of other events on topics relating to Every Child Matters organised by a range of the Department's agencies and stakeholders and other Government Departments. They included a conference on Integrating Services for Disabled Children (delivered in partnership with the Council for Disabled Children); Extended Schools regional briefings (delivered in
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partnership with the National Remodelling Team); a conference on ECMBeing Active (delivered in partnership with Sport for England); a series of regional learning projects on workforce issues within children's services (delivered in partnership with the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate and Department of Health).
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the estimated costs are to (a) her Department and (b) Government agencies of the establishment of each children's trust, broken down by (i) pathfinder trusts and (ii) non-pathfinder trusts. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 16 February 2006]: The Department has paid grants to pathfinder authorities amounting to £9.1 million over the three years 200306 to help with the establishment of children's trusts. Non-pathfinder local authorities received unhypothocated funding of £15 million from my Department's local authority Change Fund grant in 200406 to help them fund various projects, including establishing their children's trusts arrangements. Information on the costs to other Government agencies is not available.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average class size was in (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools in (i) England, (ii) Lancashire and (iii) West Lancashire constituency in the last year for which figures are available. 
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