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24 Apr 2006 : Column 951W—continued

Sunday Trading

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the possible effects on (a) parental involvement in children's education and (b) parent-child contact time of easing or removing Sunday trading restrictions. [64484]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The DTI issued a press and website notice in January asking for views and evidence on all aspects of Sunday trading.

Teacher Pensions

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the employer contribution rates to the teachers' pension scheme are; what assumed rate of return underlies those contribution rates; and what the contribution rate would be if the assumed rate of return was in line with current redemption yield on index-linked gilts. [61398]

Bill Rammell: The employer contribution rate, as established at the 2001 valuation of the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS), is 13.5 per cent.

The assumed rate of return methodology for the TPS is known as SCAPE (Superannuation Contributions Adjusted for Past Experience). Instead of tracking the returns of invested pension funds, the method of crediting investment returns to the notional fund is now based on a rate of return which the Government Actuary advises as being appropriate for the valuation of a public service pension scheme. For the purpose of the 2001 valuation, the Government Actuary used a real rate of return of 3.5 per cent. per annum.

It is not possible to estimate an employer contribution based on different rate of return assumptions because of the disproportionate cost.

Trust Schools

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the powers of the sponsor will be in relation to trust schools; and what the equivalent powers are in relation to academies. [64686]

Jacqui Smith: A trust school will be a maintained foundation school that has acquired a charitable foundation or trust to help it improve standards for its children. Trusts must be incorporated charities with specified objects and characteristics. The role of trust partners, who may be voluntary or private sector
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organisations and can include local authorities, will be to set up the trust in accordance with the legal requirements and appoint trustees to carry out the trust's functions. The functions of the trust will be to appoint governors to the school and to hold assets on trust for the school. The school's governing body—which will include representatives of parents, staff, the local authority and the wider community as well as governors appointed by the trust—will retain day-to-day responsibility for the school. A trust school will not have sponsors as such, as there is no requirement for trust partners to contribute financially to the capital costs of the school as academy sponsors do.

An academy is a state funded independent school set up as a company with charitable status. The academy principal sponsor is a member of the academy trust (company), appoints a number of further persons to the academy trust and also appoints sponsor governors, one of whom can be the principal sponsor him/herself. The maximum number of members of the academy trust and sponsor governors that can be appointed by the principal sponsor is specified in the academy's articles of association, in accordance with the funding agreement between the Secretary of State and academy trust,. The Governing Body has responsibility for running the academy on behalf of the academy trust.

World Cup (Complimentary Tickets)

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many complimentary tickets her Department has received for games taking place at the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany. [63913]

Maria Eagle: To date and according to our records, the Department for Education and Skills has not received any complimentary tickets for World Cup matches taking place in Germany this summer. Departmental Ministers do not intend to attend any of the FIFA World Cup matches in Germany this year in an official capacity.


Ambulance Services

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she is taking to ensure that when three-star ambulance trusts are merged with other ambulance trusts the standards of the merged trust are equal to those of the existing three-star trust. [62384]

Mr. Byrne: Should our proposals for reconfiguration of ambulance trusts proceed, the new ambulance trusts would still be required to meet national performance requirements. The new trusts would be expected to learn from and use best practice from the current trusts. Local innovations and successes would not only be preserved but also shared to benefit all patients.

Audiology Tests

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the average waiting time from a patient being referred by a GP to an audiologist and a hearing test taking place in the last period for which figures are available. [62053]

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Mr. Byrne: The data requested is not centrally available.


Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was from diagnosis to first treatment for people from York diagnosed with (a) breast and (b) all cancers in (i) 1997 and (ii) on the latest date for which figures are available. [64335]

Mr. Byrne: Average waiting times for the treatment of cancer patients are not collected centrally. A cancer waiting times standard of a maximum wait of 31 days from diagnosis to first cancer treatment was introduced for breast cancer from December 2001 and for all cancer patients from December 2005. Data for York Hospitals National Health Service Trust show that in the last quarter, October to December 2005, 100 per cent. of women with breast cancer and 97.2 per cent. of all cancer patients were treated within this standard. Data on cancer waiting times were not collected centrally in 1997.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent in improving cancer services in York since 1997. [64336]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not held centrally. Local health economies are responsible for determining how to use their resources to meet the health needs of their local population, including investment in cancer services. An exercise to track additional cancer investment carried out in 2005 showed that in 2003–04 there was new investment in cancer services across the Yorkshire cancer network of £2.669 million.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many specialist cancer (a) doctors and (b) nurses were employed by the NHS in York in (i) 1997 and (ii) in the latest year for which figures are available. [64338]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is shown in the table.
Hospital, Public Health Medicine and Community Health Services (HCHS): Doctors (38) working within the six main cancer specialties in North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire strategic health authority
England at 30 September each year    Number (headcount)

of which:
North and East Yorkshire and Northern
of which:
York Hospitals National Health Service
Selby and York Primary Care Trust5E202

(38)Doctors includes (among others) consultants, non-consultant career grades and doctors in training and equivalents.
NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre—medical and dental workforce census

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Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children in (a) Hull, North constituency and (b) Kingston-upon-Hull have had to wait more than (i) one month, (ii) two months and (iii)three months for an appointment with the child and adolescent mental health service in the last 12 months. [64091]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested is not held centrally.


Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the percentage of adults in West Lancashire with high cholesterol levels. [64112]

Mr. Byrne: The information is not available in the format requested. Data on cholesterol levels are available from the Health Survey for England (HSE). The most recent data available on cholesterol are for 2003, as this is the last year where the HSE focused on cardiovascular disease.

The results in the table show the mean total cholesterol levels for adults for England and the North West Government Office Region, broken down by gender for 2003.
Mean total cholesterol levels(39)of adults(40) (age standardised), by gender, England and North West Government Office Region, 2003
Aged 16 and over with a valid cholesterol measurement

Blood cholesterol (mmol/l)EnglandNorth West
Bases (weighted)

(39)Include people on lipid-regulating drugs.
(40)Adults aged 16 and over.
All blood sample data are weighted for non-response with a weight specifically applied to all those whose gave a blood sample.
Health Survey for England 2003. Department of Health

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