The assessment of future engineering skills needs is led by SEMTA, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies sector. SEMTA has produced sector skills agreements (SSAs) for the aerospace, automotive, electronics and marine sectors in 2005-06. Each SSA identifies current workforce development and skills needs, sets out future skills needs and key skills requirements. SSAs are supported by an action plan which identifies the proposed ways in which the needs will be met. Government are working with the SSC and many other delivery partners to take these actions forward.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 14 November 2007, Official Report, column 251W, on Export Credit Guarantees: Iran, what UK policy is on whether UN Security Council Resolution 1747 applies to the provision of export credit guarantees. 
UK policy is that UN Security Council Resolution 1747 does not apply to the provision of export credits. The UK has pressed, both at the UN and the EU, for constraints on the provision of new export credit support for Iran, since multilateral imposition would have the maximum impact. We were unable to secure an explicit reference to export credits in UN Security Council Resolution 1747 and, like
other countries, have concluded that export credits are not therefore covered by the Resolution.
We continue to press for multilateral constraints on new export credits to be among the sanctions options that may be included in a further UN Security Council Resolution and EU Common Position. Consistent with this stance, ECGD is reviewing its position on Iran and has stopped processing applications for new cover.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 14 November 2007, Official Report, column 251W, on export credit guarantees: Iran, what form the Export Credits Guarantee Department market review of Iran takes; what criteria are being assessed in the review; and when he expects a decision to be made. 
ECGDs formal risk assessment criteria for any sovereign risk includes the capacity and willingness of the country in question to meet its debt commitments (i.e. the risk of default) taking account of any uncertainties in its international relations; how long a default might last were it to occur (which informs our judgement on the risk of potential claims); and the likely loss that could be incurred. In addition, for riskier markets, ECGD reviews on an ongoing basis whether cover and premium policies and case handling arrangements remain appropriate.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which stakeholders the Cambridge university academics commissioned to conduct a study on information pricing by his Department (a) have met and (b) plan to meet. 
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many responses have been received to the six-week consultation over proposed post office closures in the Greater Glasgow, Central Scotland, Argyll and Bute Area plan. 
Mr. McFadden: This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, Managing Director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member. Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what consideration he has given to requiring academies to operate according to the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document; what recent representations he has received on this matter; and whether he plans to consult on it. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 29 November 2007]: Academies are independent schools. One of their key features is the freedom to be innovative in the way they reward and retain staff. That said, we know that many Academies base their pay and conditions on the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document. We have no plans to make that compulsory and have received few representations on the subject.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department and its predecessor spent on (a) business and (b) first class air travel in the last 12 months. 
Kevin Brennan: The spend on (a) business class flights in the 12 month period October 2006 to September 2007 for the former Department for Education and Skills was £241,936 and (b) first class flights in the 12 month period October 2006 to September 2007 for the former Department for Education and Skills was £24,658.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance has been issued to (a) local authority childrens services, (b) local authority children's homes and (c) privately run children's homes on their responsibility to provide personal individual support for looked after children exhibiting difficulty at school either in relation to bullying or educational matters. 
Kevin Brennan: Improving the education of children in care is the highest priority for the Government. The Children Act 2004 placed local authorities under a specific duty to promote the educational achievement of all children in their care. In 2005, we issued statutory guidance on the duty on to promote the educational achievement of looked after children, which set out how local authorities should meet this duty. This included guidance on how they should ensure childrens homes support the education of children in care.
The National Minimum Standards (NMS) for childrens homes make it clear that measures must be in place within local authority and privately run childrens homes to address bullying. In particular, there must be a policy on preventing and countering bullying which is known to staff and children. This includes bullying that may occur outside the home.
We recognise that the education of children and young people in care is not good enough. Care Matters: Time for Change, published in June 2006, set out a range of measures to improve the attainment of those in care and, in particular, personalise their learning in order to narrow the gap between children in care and all children. This work is underpinned by a public service agreement to narrow the gap in educational achievement between children from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers, and the provisions in the Children and Young Persons Bill.
Following the passage of the Children and Young Persons Bill we are committed to revising the Children Act 1989 guidance and National Minimum Standards for Childrens Homes. This will include guidance on how local authorities and childrens homes should support the education of children and young people in care and ensure that those experiencing difficulty receive the support that they need.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what reviews have been undertaken by external consultants of the security measures proposed for the ContactPoint database; and what recommendations were made in those reviews. 
Kevin Brennan: ContactPoint has been subject to scrutiny at key stages throughout its development. My Departments own Chief Security Officerexternal to and independent from the project, has checked the Security Policy, the security architecture, and our risk assessment, and found them to be appropriate.
The news on 20 November of the loss of large volumes of child benefit data from HMRC has raised questions about the safety of large scale personal data in other Government systems, including ContactPoint. ContactPoint will not contain any financial information (such as bank details) or case information (such as case notes, assessments, medical records, exam results or subjective observations).
On 20 November, the department conducted an assessment of how personal data are stored and protected in the Department. As a result of that assessment, I am confident that we have very robust procedures in place.
On 21 November, the Prime Minister confirmed this approach when he asked all departments to check their procedures for the storage and use of data. In light of the security breach at the HMRC, we are continuing to check our procedures to ensure standards are as high as they can be. To this end, on 20 November, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families decided to commission an independent assessment of its security procedures. This will be undertaken by Deloitte.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) if he will place in the Library copies of the regulations, guidance and directions, on the operation of databases made under section 9 of the Children Act 2004; 
Kevin Brennan: In relation to question 170208, The Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations (SI2007/2182) and the accompanying explanatory memorandum are available from the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website:
The Department consulted on draft ContactPoint Guidance between 4 May and 27 July 2007. I am arranging for a copy of the consultation draft of the ContactPoint Guidance to be supplied to the Library. We plan to publish the Guidance in June/July 2008 in advance of deployment to the Early Adopter local authorities in September/October 2008.
Section 12 of the Children Act 2004 provides for the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to establish and operate a database (to be known as ContactPoint) and to make regulations and issue guidance and directions in relation to its establishment and operation. The Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007 were approved by affirmative resolution in this House on 23 July 2007, and in another place on 18 July 2007, and have been in force since 1 August 2007. No directions have been issued under Section 12 of the Children Act 2004.
In relation to question 170209, the number to be used for identifying child records on the ContactPoint system will be an entirely new and unique number generated from the child reference number by electronic code book encryption.
This new number will thus be based on, but entirely different to the child reference number, which underpins the child benefit system, such that the unique link between the two numbers will be securely and separately held. This is the strongest form of such encryption, and no pattern or link can be made between these two numbers.
Beverley Hughes: Local authorities are required to complete by 31 March 2008 assessments of the sufficiency of child care in their areas in relation to children of all ages, covering supply of places, demand for places and gaps between the two. Their assessments will provide the basis for their duty to secure sufficient child care for all working parents from 1 April 2008.
The Government do not collect this data centrally because child care markets are essentially very local, and local authority level assessments aggregated nationally would be potentially misleading. Sufficiency, of course, is not just about numbers but about a host of criteria including accessibility, flexibility and affordability, as well as quantity.
Secondary schools, as part of the development of extended services, are expected to provide young people access to a varied menu of activities in a safe place to be, before and after school from 8 am to 6 pm and during the school holidays in response to demand. At present, 1,720 secondary schools are providing access to the full core offer of extended services.
The core offer in secondary schools comprises: a varied menu to activities in a safe place to be, parenting support, swift and easy access to a wide range of specialist support services and community access to school facilities.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment his Department has made of the merits of integrating the Communication Trusts Speech, Language and Communication Framework into the Childrens Workforce Development Councils Integrated Qualifications Framework. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department has not made an assessment. It is for those awarding bodies developing qualifications for inclusion on the Integrated Qualifications Framework (IQF), in conjunction with sector bodies, such as the Childrens Workforce Development Council (CWDC), to determine what skills and knowledge is covered by qualifications. The Integrated Qualifications Framework (IQF) is currently in its testing phase and will not be fully operational until 2010.
CWDC and the Childrens Workforce Network are working together to consider how best to meet the needs of children and young people with a range of disabilities, including speech, language and communication.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what contracts his Department has with external consultants; what the total value, including all VAT and disbursements, of these contracts are for the current financial year; how long each contract lasts; and what the forecast total value is of each contract. 
Kevin Brennan: Our records show the total number of live contracts with external consultants as at 1 October 2007 was 256; the estimated value of these contracts for the current financial year is £40.5 million; and the estimated value of these contracts over their contractual period is £89.9 million.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many breaches of data protection security there were in his Department in each of the last five years; and if he will provide details of each breach; 
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