|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
The Deputy Prime Minister: I met with the South Korean Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Foreign and Trade Minister, who is Secretary General designate of the United Nations. These meetings covered bilateral, regional and international issues which, of course, included discussion of the relationship with North Korea. The hon. Member may also be aware that I had an opportunity to lay a wreath in honour of UK soldiers who died during the Korean war both at the War memorial of Korea, as well as at the site of a significant battle involving British soldiers in Gloster valley.
The Deputy Prime Minister: The UK is on course to meet and go beyond its Kyoto target of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by 12.5 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2008-12. The 2006 UK Climate Change Programme contains a package of measures and commitments that will help reduce the UKs emissions of greenhouse gases to about 23.6 per cent. below base year levels.
10. Danny Alexander:
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the future
of the post office network since May 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many Freedom of Information Act requests his Office has received since the recent machinery of government changes; how many (a) are in train, (b) are concluded and (c) were answered within 20 working days.
The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the freedom of information statistics published on a quarterly basis by the Department for Constitutional Affairs. These are available in the Library for the reference of Members.01Wednesday 1 November 2006Duchy of Lancaster0.7Duchy of LancasterSocial Exclusion11. Kali Mountford: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the personalisation of public services on social exclusion. Hilary Armstrong: Nowhere is personalisation of public services more important than in addressing the needs of the most socially excluded. The Government are stepping up efforts to personalise services for the most excluded in the form of individual budgets, budget-holding lead professionals, and health-led parenting support projects. These initiatives will provide more tailored support, empower the service user, and better enable coordination of services. Civil Service12. David Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when she last reviewed the code of conduct on propriety and ethics for the civil service. Mr. McFadden: A new civil service code was issued on 6 June 2006. It is the result of a review undertaken by the Cabinet Office and the Civil Service Commissioners and took account of comments made in an extensive consultation exercise. Copies of the new code, which sets out the core values of the civil serviceintegrity, honesty, objectivity and impartialityare available in the Library for the reference of Members.Social Exclusion UnitTim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to her answer of 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 99W, on the Social Exclusion Unit, where within Government the 47 staff in the former Social Exclusion Unit have been re-deployed; and if she will make a statement. Mr. Woolas: I have been asked to reply.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will introduce a vocational training accident reporting procedure as part of (a) the teacher training curriculum, (b) classroom teaching and (c) placement officer training. 
Jim Knight: Schools and colleges are responsible for arranging placements and introducing students to general health and safety issues at work. They also have a general duty of care towards students on placements, and organisers of work experience placements have particular responsibilities under health and safety legislation to place students in a healthy and safe environment. The provisions of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) apply to students on work experience. Where an accident occurs on the premises of a work experience provider, the responsibility for reporting it and informing the school lies with the provider.
For school teachers, the qualified teacher status standards already require all newly qualified teachers to manage teaching and learning safely and effectively. In further education it would be expected that as part of their training and education in their own specialism, teachers will have health and safety awareness and knowledge of appropriate procedures specific to their area of vocational expertise. In both sectors they must also be aware of, and work within the statutory frameworks relating to teachers responsibilities, and these frameworks include those relating to safety.
There are no current plans to introduce specific mandatory training on vocational training accident reporting procedures as part of core ITT qualifications in either the schools or further education sectors.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if his Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its workforce, (b) negotiate an age management policy with trade unions and employees to eliminate age discrimination and retain older workers, (c) identify and support training needs and offer older staff flexible working to downshift towards retirement and (d) extend to over-fifties the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department believes that everyone should have an equal opportunity to meet their aspirations, realise their full potential and improve their life chances. To that end, we regularly equality monitor our HR policies and processes, and have a clear understanding of the impact of those polices/
processes on different age groups within the Department, this includes access to development. We also take action if the monitoring shows any adverse impact on groups of staff.
When detailed guidance was produced by ACAS on implementing the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 a project team was set up to consider and review the implications of the regulations on our existing HR policies and procedures. This found that most of our policies and procedures were age compliant. The exception was our age retirement arrangements, and we have now negotiated an agreement with our trade union side so that from the 1 October 2006 here is no mandatory retirement age and people can choose when they retire provided they continue to meet the normal fitness and effectiveness standards that apply to all staff.
My Department, through its Equality and Diversity Deliver/Plan, is committed to supporting a range of flexible working patterns, including part-time working, job sharing and home-working. Any member of staff can negotiate a change in working pattern in addition to standard flexitime arrangements. In addition, people at age 60 can apply to take their pension and continue in employment either by reducing their hours of work or by downgrading without any financial detriment.
Finally, all members of staff are encouraged to develop the blend of skills and experience that will enable them to be effective in their current post and to progress, if that is what they want to do. In April 2006 we launched an initiative under the Professional Skills for Government framework so that everyone in the Department can identify and develop the blend of skills and experience they need to be able to design and deliver customer-focused policies for the 21st century.
Jim Knight: Many of the recommendations in the Ofsted report Towards Consensus? Citizenship in secondary schools are for schools and colleges. The DfES is considering how we can best support schools to implement these recommendations. The report recommends that the number of initial teacher training (ITT) places for citizenship is increased. We currently make available 200 ITT places per year and this compares favourably with other national curriculum subjects. In addition to this, the DfES is funding 1,200 continuing professional development places over the next two years. Ofsted will monitor progress in following up their recommendations in subsequent Ofsted reports on citizenship.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many redundancies there were in his Department in each year since 1997; what
the cost of such redundancies was in each year; how many temporary staff were employed in each year; and how many staff were seconded by outside organisations to posts within the Department in each year. 
Mr. Dhanda: The information is not available in exactly the same way as sought. There have been no redundancies in my Department since 1997 and we remain committed to minimising recourse to compulsory redundancies. Nonetheless, there have been voluntary early releases. From the 1997-98 financial year to the end of the 2005-06 financial year, the total number of such releases and the total cost to my Department, arising from the provisions of the Civil Service Compensation scheme, were as follows:
|Financial year||Number of releases||Total cost to DfES|
|Calendar year||Temporary staff employed|
|(1) Information not available|
Data relating to inward secondees to my Department prior to July 2003 is not available. From July 2003 data until the end of the financial year 2003-04 and subsequent financial years 2004-05, 2005-06 is as follows:
|Financial year||New inward loans from other Government Departments||New inward secondments from outside organisations||Total new inward loans and secondments|
| Notes: 1. Figures reflect relevant sub-blocks of education formula spending (EFS) settlements and include the pensions transfer to EFS and the Learning and Skills Council. 2. Total funding also includes all revenue grants in DfES departmental expenditure limits relevant to pupils aged 3-19 and exclude education maintenance allowances (EMAs) and grants not allocated at LEA level. 3. The pupil numbers used to convert £ million figures to £ per pupil are those underlying the EFS settlement calculations. 4. Some of the grant allocations have not been finalised. If these do change, the effect on the funding figures is expected to be minimal. 5. Both figures are in cash terms, including the pensions transfer.|
With the introduction of Dedicated Schools Grant in 2006-07, there is no longer a separate funding spilt between primary and secondary schools but the following table gives a breakdown of the available data. The guaranteed unit of funding does not include an amount for specific grants as shown in the table above:
|2006-07||Guaranteed unit of funding (£)|
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what grant schemes are available in all education authority areas for primary schools; and which schools have taken advantage of those schemes; 
Jim Knight: The following table shows the recurrent grants available to local authorities for schools in 2006-07 across both the primary and secondary sectors. The grants in the table are those made available to schools over and above their delegated school budgets. The amounts available for primary schools and for secondary schools are shown for those grants where this information is held centrally. School standards grants, school development grant and the devolved school meals grant are allocated to all maintained schools. The distribution of the other grants to schools is determined locally after discussion with the local schools forum.
Local authorities and their schools have also been allocated £12.3 billion for capital investment in schools across the current financial year and the next. Havering and its schools have been allocated funding of £23.7 million for capital investment in schools across the current financial year and the next. This is available for investment in
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|