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9 May 2006 : Column 167Wcontinued
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of the UK population aged 15 years and under that will be registered on the Information Sharing Index; 
(2) at what age children will be (a) added to and (b) removed from the Information Sharing Index; 
(3) for what period data on children will be held on the Information Sharing Index; 
(4) at what age children will be registered on the Child Population Register; 
(5) what the earliest date is on which the Child Population Register could be established; 
(6) what recent discussions his Department has had with the Home Office on (a) information sharing, (b) technology sharing and (c) information transfer between current and future databases operated by the Departments; 
(7) who will be responsible for providing data to the Child Population Register; 
(8) whether registration on the Child Population Register will be compulsory; 
(9) at what age individuals' data will be removed from the Child Population Register; 
(10) what estimate he has made of the likely change in the (a) set-up cost and (b) annual running costs of the Information Sharing Index to upgrade it to a Child Population Register; 
(11) what funds his Department has spent to date in connection with the Child Population Register, broken down by main budget heading; 
(12) what estimate he has made of the proportion of the population aged 15 years and under that will be included on the Child Population Register. 
Beverley Hughes: In relation to questions 67115, 67025 and 67026, the Information Sharing Index will contain records of all children in England. Current estimates from the Government Actuary's Department, giving 2006 projections based on 2003 figures, indicate that there are approximately 9.5 million children in England aged 15 and under, and approximately 11.5 million children in the UK aged 15 and under. We estimate therefore that the England index will contain records of approximately 82 per cent. of children aged 15 and under in the UK. Decisions on whether to establish an index in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are for the devolved Administrations.
An index record will be created for each child at birth and maintained until the child's 18th birthday. To help ensure that the transition from youth to adult services is managed smoothly, it may also be desirable to make provision to retain information on the index on an individual basis for young adults with multiple needs, (for example care leavers and young people with disabilities), beyond their 18th birthday, with their consent.
In line with the Data Protection Act, information will be retained on the index for as long as it is accurate and relevant, for example, practitioner contact details will be available for the period they are involved with the child and for a year beyond the end of that involvement. This will enable contact to be made with those practitioners currently and most recently involved with a child.
In relation to questions 67039, 67044, 67046, 67047, 67048, 67050, 67051 and 67052, the objectives of the index remain as agreed by Parliament when the Children Act 2004 was passed. These are to support the duties on local authorities and other partners to co-operate to promote the well-being of children and to safeguard and improve their welfare. There is, therefore, no provision for a Child Population Register in the funding we have made available for the index.
We have accepted the recommendation in the final report of the Citizen Information Project that we should consider the scope for a Child Population Register. That consideration will be informed by an assessment of whether there are sufficient additional efficiency and effectiveness benefits. No decision has been taken to establish such a register. A Child Population Register would have wider objectives than the index and would therefore require new primary legislation. A clear case would have to be made for it.
My Department has not undertaken scoping or design work in relation to a Child Population Register. There are therefore no proposals for the ages at which children might be registered and their details removed, when a register might be established, who would be responsible for providing data, whether registration would be compulsory or voluntary, or what proportion of the population aged 15 and under would be included. My Department has so far spent and allocated no funds in relation to a register.
In relation to question 67045, officials from my Department and the Home Office are in regular contact on a range of information sharing issues with the aim of improving efficiency and the effectiveness of public services. These include:
the cross-Government guidance for practitioners in children's services on information sharing in respect of children and young people, published on 6 April 2006;
securing cross-Government agreement to the way forward for implementing the Information Sharing Index on the basis of the objectives set out in the Children Act 2004, and confirming that there are no operational dependencies between plans for the index and for the National Identity Register;
how ID cards and the National Identity Register might be used to support business processes and improve customer services in the education and skills sector;
the establishment of the new vetting and barring scheme for people working with children and vulnerable adults which is set out in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill currently before Parliament;
how customer service in the student loans system could be improved through confirming the identity of students directly with the Identity and Passport Service; and
how projects in each Department are addressing the common technical challenges of large data systems, with a view to sharing learning.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much each local education authority spent on (a) excluded pupils and (b) pupils in (i) pupil referral units, (ii) behaviour support implementation programmes, (iii) inclusion, administration, assessment and co-ordination programmes, (iv) behaviour support plans and (v) other programmes intended to avoid exclusion of pupils in the last period for which figures are available. 
Jim Knight: The DfES does not hold the information requested, as details of expenditure on behaviour-specific measures are not collected centrally. However, the following table details planned spend for each local authority in 2005/06 on: excluded pupils; pupil referral units; behaviour support services; behaviour support plans; support for inclusion; and, SEN administration and assessment. The data are taken from Section 52 budget collections.
|The Education (Budget Statements) (England) Regulations 2005. Budgeted net expenditure by local authorities during 2005-06. Cash terms figures as reported by local authorities as at 27 April 2006.|
|LEA number||Local authority name||2.4.3 Excluded pupils( 1)||1.3.1 Pupil referral units( 2)||1.3.2 Behaviour support services( 3)|
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