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20 Mar 2006 : Column 92W—continued

Western Shoshone People

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what
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representations he has made to (a) members and (b) representatives of the US Administration concerning the treatment of (i) the Western Shoshone people, (ii)Western Shoshone land and (iii) Western Shoshone livestock; and if he will make a statement. [59593]

Ian Pearson: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not made any representations to the US Administration on these issues.


School Funding (North Yorkshire)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on funding for schools in North Yorkshire for 2006–07. [59011]

Jacqui Smith: I refer the hon. Member to my statement of 7 December 2005, which set out the arrangements for school funding for North Yorkshire and all other local authorities in England. Further details may be found on the Teachernet website at:


Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the compulsory requirements are for a student undertaking an A-level course of study. [58993]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 16 March 2006]: There are no compulsory requirements for students undertaking an A-level course of study. However, schools and colleges do set minimum requirements for 16–19 year olds embarking on A-level programmes to ensure that they will cope with the programme.

Care Leavers

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what support services relating to the financial and practical aspects of independent living are available to young people leaving care in Essex. [59178]

Maria Eagle: Services to care leavers who are the responsibility of Essex county council are provided directly by the local authority through its Leaving and After Care Service, which is part of the Children and Young People's Service. The service operates four local teams, based in Colchester, Chelmsford, Harlow and Rochford. They comprise personal advisers (PAs) who are responsible for planning and providing support for all individual care leavers for whom Essex has a responsibility. There is, in addition, a county-wide Accommodation Team which has the remit of providing accommodation to meet care leavers' specific needs, ensuring that any accommodation they are allocated has the necessary support, to enable young people to develop their independent living skills.

Every care leaver is required to have a pathway plan, which is based on an assessment of their personal needs, setting out the services that will be necessary to support them towards greater independence. The exact level of
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financial support provided to any care leaver will be recorded in this plan. Up until the age of 18, the local authority will usually be his/her primary source of income. Essex, as is the case for other local authorities, is responsible for funding accommodation, maintenance and other expenses (e.g. travel and leisure costs). Once care leavers reach 18, they are then entitled to have access to the same mainstream arrangements for obtaining financial help as other young people. It is the personal adviser's role to assist them to access this help. However, Essex, as the responsible local authority, has a continuing duty to provide assistance, for as long as they remain in an approved programme, with the costs of education or training.

Child Protection

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer to question 47462 on school bus drivers, how many bus drivers are included on List 99; whether bus drivers have been permitted to carry on working with children following convictions for sexual offences against minors; and what measures are in place to check taxi and minicab drivers who drive special needs children to school. [58050]

Maria Eagle: The Department does not hold the detail of how many bus drivers are on List 99. The Department for Education and Skills' guidance to local authorities on home to school transport arrangements for children with special educational needs states that criminal record checks are essential for escorts, and, where they are in sole charge of children, for taxi drivers and minicab drivers.

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill includes a requirement for bus drivers, taxi drivers, minicab drivers, and escorts who care for, or have a supervisory role over children, to be checked.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her Department's policy is on employing persons on (a) the Register of Sex Offenders and (b) List 99 in jobs involving working with children. [47438]

Ruth Kelly: My statement and accompanying report to Parliament on 19 January outlined the Government's analysis of, and response to, issues concerning child protection and List 99 together with the action we are currently taking. A further update on progress was provided on 1 March.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps she takes to ensure that individuals on List 99 are informed of their inclusion on the list; what estimate she has made of the number of individuals who are included on List 99 who are not aware of their inclusion; and in what circumstances an individual can be removed from List 99. [49856]

Ruth Kelly: Individuals included on List 99 are informed of their inclusion by means of a letter. Further detail on the procedures followed can be found in the guidance on 'Child Protection: Procedures for Barring or Restricting People Working with Children in Education' available on the DfES website at Any prospective
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employer should undertake the necessary pre-appointment checks before employing an individual. This would include checking List 99.

You will find detail of the circumstances in which an individual can appeal against inclusion on List 99 in 'A guide to the appeals process and procedures of the Care Standards Tribunal' which can be found on the Care Standards website at In addition the terms by which appeals can be heard are detailed in the report laid before The House of Commons on 19 January 2006 by the Secretary of State at paragraphs 15–18 which can be found at:

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the review of the criteria for inclusion on List 99. [42093]

Ruth Kelly: I have already announced that I will review the decision-making processes surrounding such cases and any immediate policy implications including how the closest possible alignment can be secured between List 99, the Sex Offenders Register and other data sources.

Following the Bichard Report the Government are already committed to implementing Sir Michael Bichard's recommendations to tighten the system for vetting and barring those who wish to work with children and vulnerable adults and to bringing forward legislation in this session of Parliament.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people have been taken off List 99 in each of the last 10 years. [42106]

Ruth Kelly: We do not hold information for the last 10 years.

The numbers removed from List 99 include individuals originally placed on List 99 for a range of reasons, including in relation to a person's health, on the grounds of misconduct, on the grounds of unsuitability, Protection of Children Act cases, disqualification orders, cases concluded in Northern Ireland or Scotland and abeyance cases. The vast majority have been removed through death or old age.
Number removed from List 99


Further information about the arrangements for including and removing people from List 99 is given in my statement of 19 January.

Education Maintenace Allowance (West Lancashire)

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children in West Lancashire constituency have received the education maintenance allowance. [52783]

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Maria Eagle: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council, who operate Education Maintenance Allowances for the DfES and hold the information about take-up of the scheme. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, has written to my hon. Friend with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 14 February 2006:

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