Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make it his policy to impose a moratorium on secondary school closures until he has assessed the likely increased demand on secondary school places resulting from the extension of full-time education to 18 years; and if he will make a statement. 
School place planning is the statutory responsibility of local authorities (LAs) and the Secretary of State has no role. It is for each LA to determine whether to propose the closure of a secondary school and the final decision will be taken by the LA in most cases. An appeal to the schools adjudicator can be made in specific cases. Our modelling suggests that introducing compulsory participation for 16-year-olds in 2013 and 17-year-olds in 2015, does not require a big expansion
of places. We estimate that there will be around 15,000 more 16 and 17-year-olds in schools in 2015 than there are this year and all of this growth is accounted for by the already planned growth in academies, most of which will have sixth forms. In FE, we estimate that in 2013 13,000 additional places will be needed compared to this year, and in 2015 another 31,000 will be needed. Demographic changes will vary between local areas and local authorities will need to use their own projections to plan accordingly.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment and examination arrangements will be used to assess student attainment in (a) the foundation diploma and (b) the higher diploma; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The diploma is a composite qualification made up of new and existing qualifications and therefore a variety of approaches will be used to assess student achievement at all levels. Assessment and examinations arrangements will be appropriate to the nature of the learning being undertaken, rigorous, reliable and fair.
Given the applied nature of the diploma, there will be a strong emphasis on controlled internal assessment, as well as external testing. The National Assessment Agency are currently working closely with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to develop a standardised approach to controlled internal assessment, to ensure the professional expertise of local assessors and set standards for high quality, rigorous assessment practice.
The diploma is graded at all levels. To achieve the overall diploma qualification, students will need to pass all components within the diploma, including the functions skills and additional and specialist learning, much of which is exam-based and externally assessed. Awarding Bodies have set out requirements for assessment and examination arrangements both for the new components of the diploma qualification (i.e. principal learning and project) and for existing qualifications that make-up the diploma.
Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent discussions he has had with Kent county council (KCC) on its ring-fenced funding for Sure Start; whether his Department and KCC have agreed that funding; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that KCC spends that funding in accordance with criteria set down by his Department. 
Beverley Hughes: My officials wrote to local authorities in August this year giving details of the ringfenced Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare Grant (formerly the General Sure Start Grant) for the next three financial years. The letter explained that the grant contained ringfenced funding that must be used for
services in Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs), and centres based on SSLPs, and cannot be used for new children's centres.
I had previously discussed funding levels for SSLPs with Kent county council (KCC) and the hon. Member for Sittingbourne and Sheppey in July in advance of
these allocations being made. In December there was a conversation between a senior official in my Department and KCC in which it was confirmed that funding remains ringfenced to be used for SSLPs and children's centres based on SSLPs. The Grant has not yet been formally offered or accepted. A Memorandum of Grant will be issued to KCC for signature before the start of the next financial year that will set out the conditions attached to the Grant including details of the financial information that KCC are required to send to my Department. In addition the Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare Grant is audited annually by auditors appointed by the Audit Commission and audit returns are passed to my Department.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) primary and (b) secondary school teachers were employed in the London Borough of Enfield in each of the last 10 years. 
Jim Knight: The following table provides the full-time equivalent number of regular teachers employed in Enfield local authority maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools in each January between 1998 and 2007, the latest information available.
|Full-time equivalent regular teachers in local authority maintained schools in Enfield local authority, January of each year
|Nursery and primary
Annual survey of teachers in service and teacher vacancies, form 618g.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what discussions he has had with CEA and the District Auditor on Islington teachers salaries for the year 2003-04, notably their pension liabilities and related fiscal risks to the Government; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Secretary of State has not held any discussions with CEA or the District Auditor about Islington teachers salaries or pension liabilities and related fiscal risks to the Government for the year 2003-04. For the year in question, the District Auditor provided an unqualified certification in respect of the pension contributions payable to the Teachers Pension Scheme relating to teachers in Islington.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much his Department and its predecessor spent on Eurostar tickets to Brussels in each of the last 11 years. 
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether it is his Departments policy to use (a) incandescent light bulbs and (b) LED lights for festive decorations on departmental premises. 
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his Departments policy is on the selection of (a) real and (b) artificial Christmas trees for his Department 's festive decorations; and how real trees are disposed of. 
Mr. Thomas: My Department has four Christmas Trees on its Estate. Two of these trees are real and are recycled by our foliage company. One of the artificial trees is reused each year. The other artificial tree is hired from our foliage company and returned to them at the end of the hire period.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many staff were employed by the Defence Export Services Organisation; how many of those have been transferred to UK Trade and Investment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: At the end of November 2007 the Defence Exports Services Organisation had 445 staff. When transferred to UK Trade and Investment on 1 April 2008, it will initially comprise approximately 240 posts.
Mr. Thomas: Since 1999 the Government have published a list of all overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers costing over £500. Information for the last financial year was published on 25 July 2007. Details for the current financial year will be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year. From next year, the list will include details of overseas visits undertaken by all Ministers. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when the Minister for Postal Affairs will reply to the letter sent by Councillor Charles Kennedy of East Dunbartonshire Council on Kirkintilloch Post Office. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many staff work in his Department's parliamentary branch; and what proportion of their time is spent on dealing with (a) parliamentary questions and (b) correspondence from hon. Members and Peers. 
Mr. Thomas: Three members of staff in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform parliamentary unit work full-time dealing with parliamentary questions and it is estimated that the head and deputy head of the unit spend a combined 20 per cent. of their time on parliamentary questions when the House sits. Other staff within the Department handle correspondence work from hon. Members and Peers.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the Winter Supplementary Estimates (HC 29), if he will break down his Departments (a) main estimate and (b) winter supplementary estimate provision by subhead in (i) near cash and (ii) non-cash terms. 
Mr. Thomas: The total non cash included in the main estimate for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform was £225,378k and in the winter supplementary estimate, £293,636k. The breakdown between the near and non cash figures is included in the Part II Resource to cash reconciliation.
|Main estimate near cash (i) £000
|Main estimate non cash (ii) £000
|Winter supplementary estimate near cash (i) £000
|Winter supplementary estimate non cash (ii) £000