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Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of successful pension tranches (a) conducted in each of the last 10 years and (b) that will be conducted in 2008. [174805]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information is in the following table.

Successful Pension Traces: 2005-08
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08




43,036 (to end of November 2007)

1. Figures before April 2005 are not available as prior to this the Pension Tracing Service was carried out by the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA).
2. The Pension Service is on course to achieve the PSA target of 60,000 successful traces during 2007-08.
Data source:
Pension Tracing System

Personal Income

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of families have an annual income of less than (a) £60,005 and (b) £25,000, broken down by constituency. [178436]

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Caroline Flint: The information requested is not available below the level of Government office region.

Social Security Benefits: Employment

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on training Jobcentre Plus personal advisers to carry out the Better Off Calculations; how many hours of training are required before a personal adviser may carry out a Better Off Calculation; how many personal advisers have been so trained; and if he will make a statement. [178295]

Caroline Flint: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 23 January 2007:

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the smallest sum of money lost by his Department through fraud in respect of which a prosecution was mounted in each of the last five years. [180979]

Mr. Plaskitt: This information is not centrally collated and would be available only at disproportionate cost.

For overpayments under £2,000, cautions or administrative penalties are generally issued.

Social Security Benefits: Islington

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the take-up rate was for claimants in Islington North constituency of the newly returned to work benefit in the last 12 months. [176882]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 7 January 2008]: From November 2006 to October 2007, the latest period for which data are held, 80 people in Islington North constituency began a claim for in work credit.

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State Retirement Pensions: Females

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many divorced women over state pension age were receiving (a) a basic state pension at the full rate, (b) a partial basic state pension and (c) no basic state pension in the latest period for which figures are available. [175577]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 7 January 2008]: Information on the numbers of divorced women in receipt of state pension is not available. It is not required for payment of benefit on the Pension Service computer system and is often not completed on forms that collect the data.

Children, Schools and Families

Children in Care: Teenage Pregnancy

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many looked after girls under the age of (a) 16 and (b) 18 years gave birth in 2007; [179404]

(2) how many mothers aged 16 to 19 years were not in education, employment or training in the most recent period for which figures are available. [179410]

Kevin Brennan: There were 360 children looked after aged 12 to 18 years and over who were mothers at 31 March 2007. Of these:

However 130 mothers looked after at 31 March did not report the date of birth of their first child and some could have been born in 2007. Note that figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

The proportion of young mothers aged 16 to 19 years who are in education, employment or training (EET) is very low compared with 16 to 19 years old as a whole. The Teenage Pregnancy Strategy consequently includes a target to increase the proportion in EET to 60 per cent. by 2010. 23 per cent. of teenage mothers were in EET for the period 1997-99. This rose to 32 per cent. for the period 2005-07.

Children: Autism

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has for specialist schools for children with autism. [180092]

Kevin Brennan: The Government recognise the important and continuing role special schools for children with autism play in making provision for this cohort of children. Decisions on whether to open schools for children with autism are taken by local authorities and voluntary and independent organisations. The “Good Practice Guidance” on autistic spectrum disorders, which the Department published in 2002, and the guidance on “Planning and Developing Special Educational Provision” (2007) both recommend to local authorities that there should be a range of provision to meet the range of children’s needs, including special schools which provide for children with a particular type of special educational need.

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Children: Health Services

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families where the Nurse Family partnership pilots are taking place; which programmes of this type Ministers have visited in the US; when the pilots will start and when they are planned to end; what estimate he has made of the cost of the pilots; when the (a) first and (b) final evaluation of the pilots will be made; how longer term outcomes from the pilot will be assessed; how many families he estimates will be involved in the pilots; and what additional training and recruitment of health visitors is taking place as part of the pilots. [177197]

Beverley Hughes: We are piloting the Family Nurse Partnership (called “Nurse-Family Partnership” in the US) on 10 sites in England—Barnsley, Derby City, County Durham and Darlington, Manchester, Slough, Somerset, Southend, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Walsall.

From 4 to 11 December 2006, the then Cabinet Office Ministers, Hilary Armstrong MP and Pat McFadden MP, visited the Prevention Research Centre, Denver, Colorado, to learn about the Nurse-Family Partnership and similar initiatives.

The 10 Family Nurse Partnership Pilot sites began operating from March 2007 and will run as Pilot sites until 31 March 2009.

A budget of £7 million was allocated across 2006-07 and 2007-08 to support and deliver the pilot project. From this sum, direct allocations to sites totalled £248,395 in 2006-07 and £3,171,342 in 2007-08.

An interim evaluation report of the Pilot Project’s first year will be published this spring. The final evaluation report of the Pilot is expected to be available in spring 2009, although evaluation of the second year of the pilot has not yet been commissioned.

From 2008-09 to 2010-11 the Government will be implementing a research study to assess longer term impacts of the pilot programme.

The 10 pilot sites were required to recruit a total of 1,025 families within the first eight months of operation. Over the two years of the Pilot Project a larger number of families are likely to receive services for all or part of the pilot period, as some families leave and new ones are recruited in their place. Therefore, it is not possible to estimate the total number of families who will be involved in the Pilot Project.

Practitioners delivering the programme are trained in use of the Family Nurse Partnership materials and the theory of the intervention. In addition, they are being provided with training in developing therapeutic relationships and motivational interviewing. The total number of practitioners delivering the Family Nurse Partnership (family nurses and supervisors) is 57. There has been no additional recruitment of health visitors to support delivery of the Pilot Project.

Children: Performing Arts

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what rights of appeal an individual has against a refusal to grant a licence under the Children (Performances) Regulations 1968;
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when these regulations were last reviewed; and what plans he has to review the regulations. [181188]

Beverley Hughes: There is a right of appeal under section 39(6) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 to a magistrates court against the refusal to grant a performance licence. Some limited reviews took place in the late 1990s which resulted in the passing of amending regulations in 1998 and 2000. There are no immediate plans to review or amend these regulations further, but the Government do plan to make available clear guidance on these issues and on the regulation of child employment more generally, in the course of this year.

Children: Poverty

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his responsibilities are in relation to the Joint Child Poverty Unit; and what arrangements are in place for liaison with other Departments on the work of the Unit. [178425]

Beverley Hughes: The Child Poverty Unit brings together officials from both the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Children, Schools and Families. It will report to Ministers in both Departments and to a child poverty board comprised of senior officials from across Whitehall. At ministerial level, this board will report to the Cabinet Committee on Domestic Affairs (Families, Children and Young People).

The Unit will play a lead co-ordinating role, as the Government pursue their multi faceted child poverty strategy which includes transport, health and regeneration as well as employment, skills and the tax and benefit system, on the way towards making our ambitious but vital goal of eradicating child poverty by 2020 a reality.

The Unit works closely with the Treasury, who are the lead Department for the 2010 child poverty target delivery agreement, with officials from the Unit and Treasury in regular dialogue.

The Unit is also currently setting up working groups with officials across a number of Government Departments and local government offices.

Children's Centres

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many Sure Start children’s centres are open; and how many he expects to be open by (a) 31 January, (b) 29 February, (c) 31 March, (d) 30 April, (e) 31 May and (f) 30 June 2008. [180886]

Beverley Hughes: There are 1,934 operational children’s centres as of 18 January. Local authorities are responsible for the provision of Sure Start children’s centres in their areas. Local authorities are currently reporting to the Department’s delivery partner, Together for Children, on their estimated dates for designation of further children’s centres during 2008. TfC’s own estimate, based on their work with local authorities, is that 2,500 centres will be open by 31March.

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Phase 3 of the Sure Start children’s centres programme begins in April 2008 and ends in 2010. Some of these centres will not involve major capital work and have much shorter lead times. Local authorities have not yet been asked to report their estimates for the total number of centres to be open by the end of April, May and June.


Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department spent on (a) Christmas cards and (b) postage of Christmas cards in 2007. [176907]

Kevin Brennan: The Department spent £2,653 on Christmas cards, and £307.52 on postage.

Dyslexia: Screening

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) whether his Department has any plans to provide dyslexia screening for all school children; [180074]

(2) whether his Department has assessed (a) the cost and (b) the merits of providing dyslexia screening for all school children. [180058]

Kevin Brennan [holding answer 21 January 2008 ]: All local authorities, schools, and early years settings must have regard to the special educational needs code of practice which provides advice on carrying out statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision for pupils’ special educational needs. Children with dyslexia should have their needs identified and support put in place in the same way as children with any other type of special educational need (SEN).

To identify and disseminate best practice in improving outcomes for children with dyslexia, we are working with the British Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia Action, Xtraordinary People and the Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties on the “No to Failure” Project. This project is supporting schools in three local authority areas to be “trailblazers”, where children are being screened for dyslexia and individual specialist tuition is provided to those who are identified as having dyslexia. The impact of this approach on outcomes is being evaluated. The project is also evaluating the cost and the impact of providing specialist dyslexia training for teachers, developing examples of good practice which can be extended nationally, and raising awareness of dyslexia as a learning difficulty. We are providing up to £900,000 funding over three years to support this project.

As set out in the Children’s Plan (cm 7280), we will develop a pilot which will evaluate the impact of additional intensive reading tuition for children identified as needing this through the ‘Every Child a Reader’ programme. If specialist provision demonstrates significant impact, we will look at how assessment and specialist dyslexia support could be rolled out nationwide as best practice.

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Education: Standards

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) for what reasons the 2004 Public Service Agreement Target 1 on children's social and emotional development was revised in light of the 2005 Foundation Stage Profile Results; and what the revised target is; [176989]

(2) for what reasons the 2004 Public Service Agreement Target 2 on the use of formal childcare in low income families was revised; and what the revised target is. [176990]

Beverley Hughes: The technical notes that accompanied the 2004 PSA White Paper and the 2005 DFES autumn performance report, which set out the Department’s progress towards its public service agreement targets, made clear that the levels for targets 1 and 2 were provisional. The 2005 report stated that the final target levels for PSA 1 would be confirmed when the 2005 results were available and the level for PSA 2 would be confirmed in spring 2006.

Progress on PSA1 is measured through Foundation Stage Profile results which was introduced in academic year 2002-03 and was expected to take a number of years to bed in. The provisional PSA1 target was for 50 per cent. of children reaching a good level of development by age five; and no level was set for the inequalities element of the target. The decision to use 2005 results to set the baseline was to allow time for teachers to develop experience in carrying out the observational assessment and for moderation arrangements to be developed. The final target levels for PSA1 were set in April 2006 as 53 per cent. of all children reaching a good level of development and the gap between children living in the 30 per cent. most disadvantaged areas and the rest closing by four percentage points from 16 per cent. to 12 per cent.

The provisional PSA 2 target, used the DWP Family Resource Survey (FRS) as a baseline, and stated that

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