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10 Jun 2008 : Column 234W—continued

Prisons: Worcestershire

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether any sites in Worcestershire are under consideration as a potential location for a Titan prison; and if he will make a statement. [210013]

Mr. Hanson: Searches for suitable sites for Titan prisons are currently under way. The priority search areas are London and the South East, the North West and the West Midlands.

Sentencing: Standards

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library copies of guidance issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council to judges about consistency of sentencing; and if he will make a statement. [209125]

Mr. Hanson: The purpose of the independent Sentencing Guidelines Council is to produce sentencing guidelines which, as all courts are required to have regard to them, encourage consistency in sentencing throughout England and Wales. Whilst no guidelines have been issued specifically to address consistency, the objective of achieving it is implicit in all the council’s work. The Library will now hold all definitive guidelines, which are also available on the Sentencing Guidelines Council’s website:

Young Offenders: Custodial Treatment

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 25 April 2008, Official Report, column 2379W, on young offenders: custodial treatment, how many children assessed as being at risk of (a) self-harm, (b) mental health problems, (c) drug dependency and (d) other risk factors were accommodated in (i) young offender institutions, (ii) secure training centres and (iii) secure children's homes at the latest date for which figures are available. [209988]

Mr. Hanson: The following table, based on data provided by the Youth Justice Board, shows the number of young people in custody aged between 10 and 17 who have known risk factors, as of 31 May 2008.

Many young people in custody have more then one risk factor and may therefore be included in more than one category. There is a wide range of other possible risk factors. Two of the most important, bullying and first experience of custody, are shown in the table.

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Secure children’s home Secure training centre Young offender institution

Self harm




Mental health




Drug dependency








First time in custody




Data drawn from the Youth Justice Board’s administrative systems

Children, Schools and Families

Children: Day Care

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of children attending (a) children's centres, (b) maintained nurseries, (c) private, voluntary and independent nurseries and (d) childminders are from black, minority or ethnic backgrounds. [210027]

Beverley Hughes: The estimated number and proportion of children of black or minority ethnic backgrounds attending child care settings, according to providers, is shown in Table 1. Data are taken from the 2006 Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey.

Table 1: Children attending child care provision of black or minority ethnic origin (provider estimates)
Number Proportion (percentage)

Full day care



Full day care in children's centres






Out of school clubs






Nursery schools



Primary schools with nursery and reception classes



Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1530W, on children: day care, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of childcare staff who are male. [210030]

Beverley Hughes: The Government are committed to increasing the diversity of the early years and child care work force, particularly increasing the proportion of men in the work force. We have tasked the Children’s Workforce Development Council in taking the lead in a national recruitment campaign that will highlight roles and encourage men into the children’s work force.

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of funding of all childcare settings received from local authorities which was spent on training staff in each year for which records are available. [210102]

Beverley Hughes: The Department does not routinely collect this information from local authorities. £440 million funding is being made available through the outcomes, quality and inclusion strand of the Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare grant between 2008
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and 2011 to improve the quality of early years provision, including raising the skills and qualifications of staff. It is up to local authorities to determine how to use this funding according to local needs and circumstances. In addition, funding of £305 million is also being made available over the same period through the Graduate Leader Fund to deliver an increase in the number of graduates leading practice in private, voluntary and independent sector full day care settings. £232 million of this is to support settings to employ the graduate leaders. This funding is to be passported onto settings who may use it to contribute to salary costs, provide continuous professional development for the graduate or to support an existing staff member in the setting to train towards becoming the graduate early years professional.

Children: Disadvantaged

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 4 June 2008, Official Report, column 949W, on children: disadvantaged, how much additional funding is being made available for (a) the training materials and courses of practitioners delivering outreach services and (b) practitioners delivering outreach services without other sources of funding. [210178]

Beverley Hughes: Pursuant to my answer of 4 June 2008, Official Report, column 950W, we have set aside £7 million across the three financial years 2008-11 to fund the project I outlined. At this early stage we have not allocated specific amounts for the individual elements of training materials, courses and subsidised places. However, we expect the majority of the expenditure will be incurred in the later years.

Children's Centres: Disabled

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many Sure Start children's centres are implementing the early support programme for young disabled children; and when that programme will be available in all Sure Start centres. [209987]

Beverley Hughes: My Department does not collect data on the number of children's centres implementing the Early Support Programme (ESP). ESP was developed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and Department of Health in partnership with a range of voluntary organisations and the central programme team has been based in the voluntary sector at the Royal National Institute for Deaf people (RNID) since 2002. The ESP Programme Team's report in October 2007 showed that 99 local authorities were implementing Early Support, 14 authorities were starting to implement it, nine authorities had not committed to start the programme, and no assessment could be made on the remaining 28 authorities due to insufficient information.

The Government have invested an additional £900,000 during 2008-09 to mainstream the ESP approach more widely. This funding covers continued regional consultancy to support and train LAs to implement and embed ESP, a national marketing campaign to raise the profile of
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ESP across LAs and health services and a new website which provides information for parents, professionals and service providers.

Children's Centres: Health Services

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of Sure Start children’s centres being used by primary care trusts to channel health services delivery. [209986]

Beverley Hughes: We now have over 2,900 Sure Start Children’s Centres providing access to a range of multi-agency support services for families with young children. We would expect all children’s centres either to be hosting a range of health services on site or to be working closely with their local primary care trust in the planning and commissioning of health services,

We do not collect national data on the level of primary care trust engagement with centres.

Connexions: Internet

Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether there are plans to update the Connexions Direct website. [209925]

Beverley Hughes: The Connexions Direct website is regularly updated to a planned monthly schedule, ensuring that the website and associated helpline continue to support departmental and wider government policies, remaining current, topical, responsive, up to date, and relevant to young people and their needs.

Departmental Equality

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether his Department met the Civil Service diversity targets set out on page 51 of Cabinet Office Annual Report 2007 by April 2008. [204700]

Kevin Brennan: The latest published statistics against overall civil service targets were at October 2007, and are available on the Civil Service website at

The final measurement against the targets will be published in Autumn 2008.

The position for the Department as at 31 March 2008 is set out in the following table:

Diversity Target Percentage

Women in the SCS


Women in top management posts


Ethnic Minority staff in SCS


Disabled staff in the SCS


Extended Schools

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what the extended schools allocation (a) was in 2007-08 and (b) is in 2008-09 in each English local education authority; [210018]

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(2) what the estimated extended schools funding per capita is for each child of (a) primary school age and (b) secondary school age in 2008-09. [210068]

Beverley Hughes: Information on local authority extended schools funding in 2007-08 and 2008-09 has been published, and all local authority allocations are available on the Teachernet website at

except Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare Grant 2008-09 allocations, which are available on the Sure Start website at

Other funding is also available to support extended schools, including money available to support personalised learning during and beyond the school day, and money available to support neighbourhood renewal.

It is for each local authority, in consultation with schools and other children's service partners, to develop a strategy for how this funding will be allocated to help schools develop extended services, based on local needs. It is therefore not possible to determine what the funding per capita is for each child of primary or secondary school age.

Family Law: Mediation

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will take steps to increase the number of family law mediation schemes in England and Wales. [208761]

Bridget Prentice: The Government are committed to encouraging greater use of family mediation. The Government believe that mediation can have considerable advantages over going to court in the settling of family disputes, especially where children are involved. We are working on a number of measures aimed at raising awareness, and at promoting the use of family mediation in appropriate cases.

We have established the Family Mediation Helpline and supporting website (0845 60 26 627 www.Familv sponsored a public awareness campaign, are facilitating judicial and court-staff awareness seminars, and are supporting in-court referral schemes.

There are already a number of in-court referral schemes, where family mediators work together with CAFCASS and the courts to refer appropriate cases for mediation.

When implemented, 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 rules and court forms, particularly in relation to disputes over children.

The Legal Services Commission's proposals to revise the family fee structure will remove the financial disincentives for solicitors to make referrals to mediation. Under the proposals, it would be in the interests of the solicitor to make a referral to mediation and to do so at an earlier stage.

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Members: Correspondence

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when his Department plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for West Chelmsford of 13 March 2008, concerning his constituent, Miss A. Fox which was transferred from the Department for Justice to his Department on 25th March 2008 (reference: 194104) and returned on 25 April 2008 (reference: 2008/0035703PO); and what the reason for the transfer of correspondence was. [209235]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 June 2008]: The reply has unfortunately been delayed because of an administrative error. My right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn (Mr. Hanson) the Minister with responsibility for prisons and I will write to him very shortly.

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