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23 July 2007 : Column 838W—continued

Babies: Care Proceedings

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children under the age of one had care proceedings initiated for them in each of the last three years. [151068]

Kevin Brennan: Information on the initiation of care proceedings is not collected centrally. The information provided in the table relates to the number of children looked after who became subject to a care order and were aged under one year old at the time the care order became effective.

Children looked after during years ending 31 March, 2004, 2005, 2006 aged under 1 year old who became subject to a care order( 1, 2, 3 ) : England
Number
Year ending 31 March
2004 2005 2006

Number of children aged under one year

3,000

3,100

3,100

(1) Figures include children who started to be looked after during the year as a result of a care order being granted and children who started to be looked after under any other legal status, including Section 20 of the Children Act, and subsequently became subject to a care order during the year. (2) To maintain the confidentiality of each individual child, data at national level are rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000 to the nearest 10 otherwise. (3) Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials. Source: SSDA903

Building Schools for the Future Programme

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent estimate he has made of the (a) annual and (b) net present value costs of the Building Schools for the Future programme in each year between 2003-04 and 2020-21; and if he will make a statement. [150700]

Jim Knight: Currently we are investing around £2.2 billion a year through the Building Schools for the Future programme. An announcement about the level of investment over the next spending period 2008-09 to 2010-11 will be made later this year. Beyond that, future levels of investment will depend on the outcome of future spending decisions. My Department has made no estimate of the net present value of costs.


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Children in Care

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children have been (a) in care and (b) taken into care in each year since 1990-91; if he will place in the Library a breakdown of the reasons why children went into care; and if he will make a statement. [150155]

Kevin Brennan: The number of children who were looked after during the years ending 31 March 1991 to 2006 is shown in table 1.

The number of children who were taken into care during the years ending 31 March 2002 to 2006 is shown in table 2.

“Children taken into care” are children who started to be looked after under the following legal statuses: interim or full care orders, and police protection or emergency protection or child assessment orders. They exclude children freed for adoption or for whom a placement order was granted, they exclude children under voluntary accommodation and they also exclude children under youth justice legal statuses.

The remaining information requested can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Table 1: All children( 1) looked after at 31 March, 1991-2006( 1,2) , England
Number

1991(3)

59,800

1992(3)

55,500

1993(3)

51,200

1994(3)

49,500

1995(3)

49,900

1996(3)

50,800

1997(3)

51,400

1998(4)

53,300

1999(4)

55,500

2000(4)

58,100

2001(4)

58,900

2002(4)

59,700

2003(4)

60,800

2004(3)

61,200

2005(3)

60,900

2006(3)

60,300

(1) Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.
(2) Historical data may differ from older publications. In previous years' publications, this table used data from CLA100. To be consistent with tables elsewhere, data in this publication are now taken from the SSDA903 throughout, and the breakdowns may therefore differ slightly from figures in previous publications.
(3) Figures are taken from the SSDA903 return which in 1990-91 to 1996-97, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 covered all looked after children.
(4) Figures are taken from the SSDA903 one-third sample survey.


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Table 2: Looked after children taken into care during the years ending 31 March 2002 to 2006( 1,2,3,4,5,6,7) , England
Number
2002( 3) 2003( 3) 2004( 2) 2005( 2) 2006( 2)

England

7,400

8,100

7,500

7,700

7,600

(1) Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.
(2) Figures are taken from the SSDA903 return which in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 covered all looked after children.
(3) Figures are taken from the SSDA903 one-third sample survey.
(4) Only the first occasion on which a child was taken into care in the year has been counted.
(5) “Children taken into care” are children who started to be looked after under the following legal statuses: interim or full
care orders, and police protection or emergency protection or child assessment orders. They exclude children freed for adoption or for whom a placement order was granted, they exclude children under voluntary accommodation and they also exclude children under youth justice legal statuses.
(6) Historical figures may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials.
(7) To maintain the confidentiality of each individual child, data at national level are rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000 or to the nearest 10 otherwise.

Children in Care: Care Homes

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many looked after children are accommodated in independent children’s homes; [150331]

(2) how many independent children’s homes have been registered in each of the last five years; [150332]

(3) how many independent children’s homes have been de-registered in each of the last five years; and for what reasons. [150334]

Kevin Brennan: Data on the number of looked after children who are accommodated in independent children's homes are not available from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

Data on the number of independent children’s homes that have been (a) registered and (b) de-registered in each of the last five years are not held centrally by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average annual cost is of housing a looked after child in an independent children’s home. [150333]

Kevin Brennan: The average annual cost of a placement for a looked after child in an independent children’s home in England for 2005-06 (the latest year for which figures are available) was £120,000.

Children in Care: East Sussex

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many newborn babies were taken into care in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex in the last 12 months. [151370]

Kevin Brennan: The number of newborn babies, aged seven days or less, taken into care in England for year ending 31 March 2006 was 670. Of these, 10 were the
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responsibility of East Sussex local authority. The corresponding number for Eastbourne is unknown as information is collected at local authority level.

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what representations he received on the number of newborn babies taken into care in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex in the last 12 months. [151371]

Kevin Brennan: The information requested can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Children: Adoption

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children have been adopted in each of the last 10 years, broken down by age. [150330]

Kevin Brennan: Statistical information on the total number of adoptions in England and Wales by age of child for the years 1995-2005 is included in table 6.2b in the Statistics Series “Marriage, divorce and adoptions”, volume FM2, published by the Office for National Statistics. A copy of this publication is available in the House Library and on the National Statistics website at

Statistics for 2006 have not yet been published.

Children: Care Orders

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of children subject to a care order attend (a) a community school, (b) a foundation school, (c) a specialist school, (d) a city technology college, (e) an academy, (f) a community or foundation special school, (g) a faith school and (h) a grammar school. [150743]

Kevin Brennan: The information requested is not available.

We are determined to improve outcomes for all children in care. Our recent White Paper Care Matters: Time for Change sets out specific proposals to improve their education. This includes: a £500 educational allowance for children in care at risk of falling behind at school; putting the 'designated teacher' on a statutory footing to improve the expertise in schools; appointing ‘virtual school heads’ to oversee their education; improving attendance and reducing exclusions; reducing mobility of school placements, particularly in the crucial years before GCSEs; and a bursary of a minimum of £2000 for all children in care who go on to university.

These proposals build on the measures already in place: a specific duty on local authorities to promote the educational achievement of children in care and a requirement to give them the highest priority in school admission arrangements.

Children: Databases

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in what circumstances sensitive material, as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998, will appear on the ContactPoint database. [150734]


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Kevin Brennan: ContactPoint will not hold detailed case information. In addition to basic identifying information for the child or young person, it will hold only contact details for the parent or carer, and for practitioners providing services to a child or young person. In the case of sensitive services—defined as sexual health, mental health or substance abuse—practitioner contact details will only be added to ContactPoint with informed, explicit consent. ContactPoint will also have the facility for practitioners to indicate to others if they are a lead professional and have undertaken a common assessment, in relation to a child or young person.

ContactPoint has developed a strong, collaborative relationship with the Information Commissioner's Office based on a shared desire to ensure that ContactPoint operates within the Data Protection Act. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner has recently written to the Project Director and confirmed that

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how the effectiveness of the ContactPoint Audit system will be monitored. [150746]

Kevin Brennan: ContactPoint will identify all users seeking access through a method of strong authentication involving physical security tokens, PIN numbers and passwords. Where access is mediated, ContactPoint will authenticate the identity of both the user and the mediator to the same high level. All ContactPoint activity will be audited, including the query parameters and the results returned.

User managers will regularly run analysis reports that will highlight potential inappropriate usage patterns for investigation. In addition, random samples of activity will be automatically extracted and analysed. The ContactPoint central team will monitor user managers to ensure that the audit reports are being run.

These measures provide a high level of assurance that the ContactPoint audit function is robust, and activity can be correctly attributed to an individual authorised user.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in what circumstances people will have access to ContactPoint without having first undergone a Criminal Records Bureau check. [150747]

Kevin Brennan: The only users who will be granted to access ContactPoint, without undergoing an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, will be authorised members or employees of a police authority, a chief officer of police for a police area in England, or officers of the British Transport Police Authority. Their access will be granted by virtue of the fact that all officers and staff undergo equivalent vetting and checks but not the enhanced CRB check itself.


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Children: Mental Health Services

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to improve access to mental health services for children; and if he will make a statement. [150750]

Jim Knight: The CAMHS Standard of the Children’s National Service Framework for England (published September 2004) set out a 10 year programme of improvements for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). The aim is that all children and young people, from birth to their eighteenth birthday, who have mental health problems and disorders, will have access to timely, integrated, high quality multidisciplinary mental health services to ensure effective assessment, treatment and support, for them, their parents or carers, and other family members.

This commitment to improve CAMHS has been backed by significant additional funding, over £400 million in the last four years, to local authorities and the NHS. We will continue to build on these improvements and ensure that the promotion of children’s mental health and emotional well being remains a priority for schools and children’s services.


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