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12 Jun 2008 : Column 458W—continued

Schools: Transport

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of pupils below the age of eight years use school-provided transport, broken down by county. [210201]

Jim Knight: The available information held centrally relates to mode of travel to school, and does not separately identify school-provided transport.

The Department does not hold complete data relating to mode of travel to school. Provision of this information is only compulsory for those schools with an approved travel plan. The scope of collection includes: maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools, city technology colleges, academies and special schools.

In the spring 2007 School Census, mode of travel data were supplied for almost 70 per cent. of pupils. The available national level information relating to pupils aged less than eight is provided in the table. An analysis at county level could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

Updated information relating to spring 2008 is expected to be available by the end of June 2008.

Nursery, primary, secondary and special schools( 1) : number of pupils aged less than eight by mode of travel( 2, 3) , As at January 2007, England
Pupils aged less than 8( 2)
Number Percentage










Car share



Public service bus



Dedicated school bus



Bus (type not known)









London underground



Metro/tram/light rail



Boarding pupil—not applicable






Mode of travel—not collected






(1) Includes middle schools as deemed. Includes city technology colleges, academies, maintained and non-maintained special schools.
(2 )Includes pupils aged less than eight as at 31 August 2006. Includes pupils with sole and dual (main) registration.
(3 )Where a pupil uses more than one mode of travel for each journey to school, the longest element of the journey by distance should be recorded.
Pupil numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.
School Census.

Special Educational Needs

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effect of the Government's inclusion agenda on special educational needs schools. [210088]

Kevin Brennan: The Government Response to the Education and Skills Select Committee report on Special Educational Needs (October 2006) said that inclusion is about the quality of a child's experience and providing access to a high quality education which enables them to make progress in their learning and participate fully in the activities of their school and community. We see a vital and continuing role for special schools as part of an inclusive education system, meeting children's needs directly and working in much closer partnership with mainstream schools to build expertise throughout the
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system. We signalled our commitment to this by bringing special schools within the Department's specialist schools programme.

Some 26 special schools had already been designated as SEN specialist schools by October 2006, with funding and a specific brief to provide outreach to mainstream schools. As of 1 June 2008, there were 87 special schools designated as SEN specialist schools.

Our guidance entitled Planning and Developing Special Educational Provision: A Guide for Local Authorities and other proposers (published in March 2007) encourages local authorities to plan and commission a flexible range of provision to meet children's needs. This guidance reaffirms special schools' important role in meeting children's needs directly and in providing outreach to other schools. The guidance also reminds maintained mainstream schools that they must make provision for children on their roll who have SEN and make reasonable adjustments for disabled children.

Ofsted's survey Inclusion—does it matter where pupils are taught? (2006) said that children with SEN can do well in all types of school—access to high quality, specialist teachers and a commitment by leaders to create opportunities to include all pupils are keys to success. We are asking Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools to review progress on SEN in 2009.

Specialised Diplomas

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government has taken to prepare teachers for the introduction of new diplomas. [209943]

Jim Knight: We provided £45 million of funding in 2007-08 and have been working with a number of partner organisations to ensure there has been a wide range of support available for those who are involved in delivering the Diploma from this September. This has included a package of blended support, comprising face to face training supplemented by a combination of materials, on-line resources and access to local teacher development networks.

Sure Start Programme: Finance

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department spent on childcare grants awarded to Sure Start and children's centres in each year since 2001; how much he expects to spend on such grants in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. [210618]

Beverley Hughes: The Department does not award child care grant to Sure Start Children's Centres. The Department grants local authorities a revenue allocation for the operation of Sure Start Children's Centres.

Expenditure by local authorities on Sure Start Children's Centres each year since 2001 is provided in the following table. We have allocated £885 million, £1,023 million, and £1,135 million respectively in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 which includes funding for Sure Start Children's Centres. No plans have been made for subsequent years.

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Funding for children’s centres (£ million)













Expenditure data from local authorities for 2007-08 are not yet available.


Combined Heat and Power: Finance

Steve Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to provide incentives for capital investment in combined heat and power technology when the existing exemption expires in 2012; and if he will make a statement. [210390]

Kitty Ussher: State aid approval for the exemption of supplies of CHP-generated electricity made by licensed utilities expires on 31 March 2013, and the Government will make an announcement on the decision to seek an extension in due course. The Chancellor keeps all taxes and associated exemptions under review.

In addition to climate change levy exemptions, the Government provide support for combined heat and power (CHP) via a number of mechanisms. For example:

The Government will continue to assess the level of support provided to CHP in light of ongoing reviews by BERR, DEFRA and Ofgem.

Excise Duties: Motor Vehicles

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect his proposed vehicle excise duty charges for band G vehicles will have on the use of such vehicles for agricultural purposes in upland rural areas. [210074]

Kitty Ussher: Vehicles used solely for agricultural purposes are exempt from vehicle excise duty.

Income Tax: Tax Allowances

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the number of PAYE coding notices that will need to be reissued as a result of his decision to increase income tax personal allowances in 2008; [206651]

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(2) what estimate he has made of (a) the time required to process new PAYE coding notices required as a result of his decision to increase income tax personal allowances for basic rate taxpayers, (b) the resulting staff costs and (c) the resulting stationery and postage costs; [206652]

(3) what estimate he has made of the likely IT costs to HM Revenue and Customs of implementing his decision to increase income tax personal allowances in 2008. [206640]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 19 May 2008]: The changes announced by the Chancellor on 13 May are being implemented using the established mechanisms for Budget changes which are designed to minimise costs as far as possible for HMRC and for employers. HMRC is working through the detailed plans for implementation, in consultation with employers, and the costs of implementation will be established as a result of that work.

Minimum Wage: Prosecutions

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 28 April 2008, Official Report, columns 143-4W, on minimum wage: prosecutions, what the average length of time taken by employers to pay minimum wage arrears was in the latest period for which figures are available. [203862]

Jane Kennedy: The requested information is not available.

Tax Credit Office: Correspondence

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will arrange for a reply to be sent to the letter of 8 April sent to the Tax Credit Office in Preston by the hon. Member for Walsall, North regarding a constituent. [208586]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 5 June 2008]: Tax Credit Office wrote to my hon. Friend on 2 May 2008 in response to his letter and one from his constituents, both of which were received in April 2008.

Taxation: Pensioners

Tim Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many pensioners in receipt of the state pension are UK income tax payers; and what percentage of the overall national income tax revenue was attributable to pensioners in the latest period for which figures are available. [208867]

Jane Kennedy: There are an estimated 5.0 million taxpayers of state pension age or above for 2008-09. It is not possible to calculate exactly how many individuals in receipt of the basic state pension are taxpayers. Their income tax liability accounts for around 8.8 per cent. of estimated total income tax liability for 2008-09.

Unemployment Benefits

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the minimum income is for each family in table 4.1 of Budget 2008 who are claiming workless benefits. [194794]

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Jane Kennedy [holding answer 17 March 2008]: The minimum out of work income for the families in table 4.1 of Budget 2008 can be derived from DWP press notice of 5 December 2007 and HM Treasury press notice of 18 October 2007 (PN109), and are set out in the following table. Figures are rounded to the nearest pound and, consistent with table 4.1, do not include housing or council tax benefit:

October 2008 (£)

Couple family with one child


Lone parent with one child


Single person, no children, 25


Couple, no children, 25 or over


Calculating the minimum out of work incomes for the equivalent disabled persons as those in table 4.1 is not feasible due to there being many different rates.

Tax Credits: Hemel Hempstead

Mike Penning: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims there were for tax credits from taxpayers in Hemel Hempstead constituency in each month since the scheme’s inception; and how many were (a) overpaid and (b) underpaid. [210137]

Jane Kennedy: Estimates of the number of families with tax credit awards, including information on overpayments and underpayments by constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes, for the years 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 are available in the HMRC publications “Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Annual Awards. Supplement on Payments. Geographical Analyses”, for each relevant year. These publications are available on the HMRC website at:

This information is not available on a monthly basis.

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