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9 Jan 2008 : Column 664W—continued


Secondary Education: Closures

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. [175779]

Jim Knight: 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
9 Jan 2008 : Column 665W
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.

Specialised Diplomas: Assessments

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. [176974]

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.

Sure Start Programme: Finance

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. [177243]

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

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
9 Jan 2008 : Column 666W
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.

Teachers: Enfield

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. [177028]

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 Secondary

1998

1,140

1,310

1999

1,130

1,350

2000

1,270

1,300

2001

1,180

1,310

2002

1,300

1,250

2003

1,270

1,430

2004

1,300

1,460

2005

1,310

1,520

2006

1,350

1,560

2007

1,370

1,550

Source:
Annual survey of teachers in service and teacher vacancies, form 618g.

Teachers: Pay

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. [176856]

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.


9 Jan 2008 : Column 667W

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Departmental Travel: Brussels

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. [175435]

Mr. Thomas: Details of the amount spent by BERR, and previously by DTI, are only available for the period from June 2002 to date.

£

June - December 2002

289,185

January - December 2003

529,566

January - December 2004

493,277

January - December 2005

624,281

January - December 2006

452,617

January 2007 to date

389,186


Christmas

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether it is his Department’s policy to use (a) incandescent light bulbs and (b) LED lights for festive decorations on departmental premises. [173507]

Mr. Thomas: My Department uses incandescent lights for its festive decorations at the moment.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his Department’s 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. [173534]

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.

Defence Export Services Organisation: Manpower

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. [175370]

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.


9 Jan 2008 : Column 668W

Departmental Aviation

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much has been spent by his Department on international flights since it was established. [174354]

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.

Information in respect of flights taken by officials could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Correspondence

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. [175605]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 7 January 2008]: We believe that the last letter Councillor Kennedy wrote to this Department on Kirkintilloch Post Office was dated 20 April. We replied on 3 May.

Departmental Manpower

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many (a) EU foreign nationals and (b) non-EU foreign nationals are employed by his Department. [168133]

Mr. Thomas: The information is not easily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Parliamentary Questions

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. [174962]

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.

Departmental Public Expenditure

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 Department’s (a) main estimate and (b) winter supplementary estimate provision by subhead in (i) near cash and (ii) non-cash terms. [174990]


9 Jan 2008 : Column 669W

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.


9 Jan 2008 : Column 670W

All expenditure on the main estimate for RfR2 was near cash; the breakdown of the RfRl resource expenditure subheads between near cash and non cash is shown in the following table:

Sub head 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

A1

498

7,401

A2

266,157

32,455

A3

23,189

4,977

11,206

B2

118,502

126,280

B3

37,791

555

40,553

555

C2

5,438

5,438

C3

1,109

1,109

D2

20,135

11,719

D3

69,800

69,800

E2

35,492

36,955

35,737

36,955

E3

15,950

54,502

20,246

34,502

F2

950

950

F3

33,000

28,233

G1

33,546

382

33,546

382

H2

55,992

1,760

53,135

1,760

H3

80

80

I1

10,582

22,011

I2

96,504

165,056

14,600

I3

1,631

1,631

J1

4,933

4,933

J2

401,790

-10,054

467,441

-10,054

J3

2,365

17,143

2,365

22,543

K2

191

191

K3

51,200

55,200

L1

251,247

14,312

258,058

21,713

L2

6,657

305

6,657

28,595

L3

5,211

5,211

M3

4,191

N3

391,184

391,184

O3

35,000

35,000

P2

68,000

48,421

125,821

P3

14,633

14,633

Q3

2,263

2,567

R3

38,311

38,311

S3

10,700

10,700

T3

6,500

U3

1,841,472

1,799,482

V3

392

2,010

W3

1,875,171

3,091,032

X3

3,000

3,000

Total

5,824,493

225,378

6,798,441

293,636


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