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|Number of households receiving pension credit and the average weekly amount of pension credit payments at February 2007|
|Pension credit household recipients||Average weekly amount|
| Notes: 1. The figures provided are early estimates. The preferred data source for figures supplied by DWP is the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS). However, the figures provided are the latest available figures, which are taken from the GMS scan at 2 March 2007. These are adjusted using the historical relationship between WPLS and GMS data to give an estimate of the final WPLS figure. 2. Caseloads are rounded to the nearest 10. 3. Households are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of a household. Source: DWP 100 per cent. data from the Generalised Matching Service (GMS) Pension Credit scan taken as at 2 March 2007.|
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about support provided for people signed off Incapacity Benefit and awaiting Jobseeker's Allowance. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Payments to people who transfer between benefits, without a break, including from Incapacity Benefit to Jobseeker's Allowance, are not normally subject to delay, providing they meet all the conditions for benefit entitlement. If there are delays customers can request an interim payment, or apply for a crisis loan payment from the Social Fund.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many EU citizens in the UK claiming (a) jobseekers allowance and (b) incapacity benefit have been in receipt of these benefits for more than (i) six months, (ii) 12 months and (iii) two years. 
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in City of York constituency were in receipt of each benefit administered by his Department (a) at the latest date for which figures are available and (b) on the same date in each of the previous 10 years; and how much was spent in the constituency on each benefit in each year. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the numbers of people both looking for work and available for work who are not claiming either unemployment or incapacity benefit. 
However, the Office for National Statistics publishes an estimate of the number of people unemployed on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition those who are not in employment but are actively seeking and available for work. This figure is derived from the Labour Force Survey, based on criteria set down by the ILO, and stood at 1.677 million in February to April 2007.
Mr. Andrew Turner:
To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many children in each local authority in England were (a) considered
and (b) successfully placed for adoption in (i) 2004-05 and (ii) 2005-06. 
(2) how many children in the age groups corresponding most closely to the age group (a) under 12 months, (b) one to four years, (c) five to nine years, (d) 10 to 14 years and (e) 15 to 18 years registered with Isle of Wight council were adopted in the last period for which figures are available. 
Kevin Brennan: Information on the number of children in each local authority in England who were considered for adoption is not collected centrally by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).
Information on the number of children in each local authority in England who were placed for adoption in (i) 2004-05 and (ii) 2005-06 has been placed in the House Library. The data are also available in table 4 of the Statistical Volume on Children Looked After By Local Authorities Year Ending 31 March 2006 on my Department's website at:
|Children looked after who were adopted in the year ending 31 March 2006( 1,2,3) , England|
|Age at adoption|
|All children||Under 1||1 to 4||5 to 9||10 to 15||16 and over|
|1. Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements. 2. Figures are derived from the SSDA903 return. 3. 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. Data at local authority level are rounded to the nearest 5. Where the number was 5 or less (other than 0) this has been suppressed and replaced with an asterisk *.|
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children were adopted in each local authority in England in each of the last three years; and what the target increases in adoption rates were in each case. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how much has been allocated for the employment of teaching assistants in each year since 2000; and what funding has been allocated for each of the next three years; 
(2) what average number of hours was worked per week by teaching assistants in (a) each government region, (b) each local education authority and (c) England, in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Research commissioned by the Department into the deployment and impact of support staff in schools has looked at a range of characteristics of support staff as well as their deployment and impact on pupils. The first wave of the study, conducted in 2004, estimated that teaching assistants work an average of 26 hours per week. The report of the first wave can be found at http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR776.pdf. The report of the second wave of the study, which will contain an updated estimate of average hours from fieldwork completed in 2006, will be published on Thursday 26 July.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what formal training is required for a person to obtain a post as a classroom assistant specifically working with special educational needs pupils. 
Support staffs, including teaching assistants, play an important role in schools, often working closely with pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. In recognition of this, the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), which has responsibility for the training and development of the whole school workforce, has developed national occupational standards for teaching/classroom assistants. These contain elements relevant to working with pupils with SEN or particular educational needs. National Vocational Qualifications at level 2 and 3 are based on these standards.
In addition, the TDA has also developed induction training materials for teaching assistants and introductory training materials for other support staff working in primary and secondary schools. Both sets of materials contain discrete modules covering inclusion, SEN and disabilities.
The professional standards for higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs), for which the TDA is also responsible, require HLTAs to know how to support learners in accessing the curriculum, in accordance with the SEN code of practice.
All schools can use their own budget to fund the training and development of their staff. They also receive a school development grant which they are able to use to support improvements in any aspect of teaching and learning. This can include sending teaching assistants on specialised training courses. Local authorities may retain a proportion of this grant, in certain circumstances, to provide specific training and development in relation to SEN and disabilities. The TDA also provides local authorities with grant funding to support candidates through the HTLA training and assessment process.
Jim Knight: The salaries for all support staff are for local determination and are set either by local authorities (in the case of community and voluntary controlled schools) or governing bodies (in the case of foundation and voluntary aided schools). Due to the many variations in local pay across the country it is not possible to give an average salary.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which of his Departments contracts have been rewritten since 27 June; and what estimate he has made of the resulting cost. 
Ed Balls: The Department does not maintain a central record of all contracts that have been or are about to be awarded. Contracts which are in the process of being awarded will have the name of the contracting authority changed from the Department for Education and Skills to the relevant new departmental title at little cost.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the annual value of private finance initiative projects within his responsibility was in each of the last five years, broken down by local education authority. 
Jim Knight: Information on schools private finance initiative contracts, including balance sheet treatment and unitary charges, is included in HM Treasurys PFI Signed Projects List, which is available through:
This is a working document containing information on current signed PFI projects. It is updated on a 6-monthly basis to reflect the updates HM Treasury receives from Departments at Budget and pre-Budget report.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department has spent on the Y Touring Groups DVD production, Every Breath; and how many DVDs are being produced. 
Jim Knight: The Department is working with the Y Touring Group, through the Central Office of Information, to produce a DVD version of their Every Breath play to be used as a teaching resource in schools. A total budget of £61,000 has been allocated to this project. An initial production run of approximately 2,000 DVDs is planned. These will be made available to schools via the Online Publication System. The level of demand will be monitored and stock managed accordingly.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether his Department will be the lead Department on the forthcoming Education and Skills Bill; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Education and Skills Bill will be a joint bill between the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. The Bill will include provisions to raise to 18 the minimum age at which young people can leave education or training, and to implement recommendations of the recent Leitch review of skills. The Department will be the lead Department on the Bill, but I will be working closely with my ministerial colleagues in DIUS.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what steps his Department is taking to encourage mediation in family disputes in (a) publicly funded cases, (b) privately funded cases and (c) cases in which only one party is publicly funded; and whether his Department has set targets for mediation; 
The Government believe that mediation can offer considerable advantages over going to court in the settling of family disputes, especially where children are involved, irrespective of how cases are funded. To support and encourage mediation, we have established the Family Mediation Helpline and supporting website. The Helpline telephone number is 0845 60 26 627 and the website address is www.FamilyMediation Helpline.co.uk. We have sponsored a public awareness campaign; are facilitating judicial awareness seminars and supporting in-court referral schemes.
Provisions of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 will enable the court to direct parties in child contact disputes to attend a meeting about mediation. Referrals will also be encouraged through changes to court forms, particularly in relation to disputes over children.
The Legal Services Commissions revised Family Fee scheme will remove the financial disincentives for solicitors to make referrals to mediation. Under the scheme, it will be in the interests of the solicitor to make a referral to mediation and to do so at an earlier stage.
The Ministry does not set targets for mediation because we do not think that a target in this area would be desirable. There are certain cases which are unsuitable for mediation because there is an imbalance of power between the parties. We do not wish to see such cases, which include those where one of the parties has been subject to domestic violence, forced into mediation. In addition, while we can advise parties about the benefits of mediation it would be a breach of the parties human rights to prevent them having their case heard in court.
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