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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department plan to attend the Beijing Olympic Games; to what purpose in each case; and what estimate he has made of the cost. 
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 6 June 2008, Official Report, column 1174W, on pre-school education, whether his Department has commissioned research on the developmental appropriateness of early years foundation stage in the last three years. 
Beverley Hughes: The Department has not commissioned specific research on the developmental appropriateness of the early years foundation stage in the last three years. It has consulted publicly on the EYFS, and drew on evidence such as the effective provision of pre-school education (EPPE) project. The EYFS carries forward the early learning goals from the existing curriculum guidance for the foundation stage. We have already made it clear that the EYFS will be reviewed as a whole in 2010, once it has had time to bed in. We will consider, as part of that review, whether further research needs to be commissioned.
Kevin Brennan: The Education Act 1996 provides that school aged children have a learning difficulty if they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities generally provided for children of the same age, or if they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age. Children who have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them, have special educational needs.
In 2005, in partnership with the Council for Disabled Children, we produced guidance entitled Including Me to help local authorities, schools, early years settings and health providers develop policies and procedures to ensure that children with complex health needs can access education and child care. This includes
an example of a child experiencing severe episodes of epilepsy having a need identified for a trained Learning Support Assistant at school.
My Department has not commissioned or evaluated research on the effects of co-morbidity of epilepsy and learning difficulties on educational achievement. However, the Education Act 1996 requires all schools to use their best endeavours to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many staff of his Department were seconded to the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit at the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what account the Government take of changes in the retail price index when deciding pay increases for teachers; 
Jim Knight: It is for the independent School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) to make recommendations on teachers' pay. It will consider the retail prices index (RPI) among other factors before giving its recommendations.
The STRB also considers the appropriateness of teachers' pay structures if directed by the Secretary of State to do so. In its most recent report for example it has recommended changes to pay scales for unattached teachers and future work on teachers' roles and responsibilities to ensure they remain appropriate.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what arrangements have been put in place for ensuring the continuity of careers advice services during the period of transition from Connexions to local authorities. 
Beverley Hughes: Funding and responsibility for Connexions services, including careers advice, passed to local authorities on 1 April 2008. Local authorities will be performance managed in their delivery of Connexions in accordance with the arrangements outlined in the 2006 Local Government White Paper Strong and Prosperous Communities. Local authorities will be judged on outcomes and within this will have the freedom and flexibility to deliver services as they see fit in their particular area.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much was spent in (a) Castle Point and (b) Essex on careers guidance for young people in each of the last five years. 
Up until 1 April 2008, Connexions funding for Essex was allocated to the Connexions Essex, Southend and Thurrock Partnership, which covered Essex, Southend on Sea and Thurrock LEAs. From 1 April 2008, Connexions funding is being allocated directly to each local authority. The following table shows the amount of central Government funding allocated to the Connexions Service in Essex, Southend and Thurrock in each of the last five years.
Information on the amount spent on careers guidance is not collected centrally. However, an independent study undertaken in 2006 concluded that, on average, around 42 per cent. of a Connexions Partnership's expenditure was on information, advice and guidance. The remainder was for targeted support for young people to address specific needs.
|Connexions service (£ million)|
|(1) Allocated to the Connexions Essex, Southend and Thurrock Partnership, covering Essex, Southend on Sea and Thurrock LEAs.|
(2) Allocated to Essex county council (the figure represents Essex's share of a total £14 million allocated to the three local authorities in the Essex, Southend and Thurrock Partnership area).
Beverley Hughes: The Department for Children, Schools and Families has committed to funding social worker posts within young offender institutions until March 2009. Future funding arrangements for these important posts is being discussed with the Association of Directors of Children Services.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much funding his Department and its predecessors provided to the London borough of Enfield for youth services in the last 10 years; and how much of the funding was spent in Enfield North constituency in each of those years. 
The Government do not set a budget for spending on youth services. Local authorities decide what should be spent, taking into account Government policy and local needs. We do not hold information on spending on youth services below
local authority level as that is a matter for the authority. The following table shows how much Enfield has decided to allocate in the last nine years, in both cash and real terms. Data are not available from before 1999-2000.
|Budgeted net expenditure by Enfield on youth services( 1)|
|Cash terms||Real terms|
|(1) Cash terms figures are converted to real terms (2006-07 prices) using the December 2007 gross domestic product (GDP) deflators.|
(2) 2007-08 data remain provisional and subject to change by the local authority.
Angela Eagle: A consultation on The Stamp Duty Land Tax (Zero-Carbon Homes relief) Regulations 2007 which contain the definition of a zero carbon home, ran from mid June 2007 to the end of July 2007. This was an informal consultation with over 200 organisations on technical issues. The Government are committed to conducting an interim review of the stamp duty relief in 2010 which will examine the effectiveness of the relief in stimulating the innovation necessary to ensure that all new homes are built to a zero-carbon standard from 2016.
Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 6 May 2008, Official Report, column 818W, on council tax: valuation, how many dwellings in Wales moved up one or more bands as a result of council tax band amendments subsequent to the 2005 council tax revaluation. 
Shona McIsaac: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of trends in economic activity in (a) Cleethorpes constituency and (b) Great Grimsby constituency since 1997. 
Angela Eagle: Since 1997, the Yorkshire and Humber region has benefited from the economic stability that this Governments policies have delivered and has grown by 4.8 per cent. on average in nominal terms. In Cleethorpes, since 1997, claimant count unemployment has fallen by 60 per cent. and long-term unemployment by 94.1 per cent. In Great Grimsby, since 1997, the claimant count has fallen by 46.2 per cent. and long-term unemployment by 90 per cent.
Angela Eagle: The OGC Gateway Process is mandatory for procurement, IT-enabled, and construction programmes and projects in central civil Government. Financial value is only one of the factors considered when deciding on the level of risk faced by a programme or project.
Historically OGC reviews have been carried out on programmes and projects with contract values ranging from several thousand pounds to several billion. This value may increase or decrease over the lifecycle of a project.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the Government projects which have received a (a) red and (b) amber/red rating in the Gateway reviews in each of the last two years. 
Angela Eagle: An OGC Gateway Review is conducted on a confidential basis for the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) and ownership of the report, including its associated RAG (Red, Amber or Green) status, rests with the SRO. OGC does not, therefore, make this information routinely public.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the Government projects which have been cancelled as a result of the findings of Gateway reviews in each of the last five years. 
Angela Eagle: The Gateway process is intended to provide independent expert advice to the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) of a programme/project on achieving successful delivery; it is not designed to recommend the cancellation of projects.
Angela Eagle: Yes. The Office of Government Commerces Property Benchmarking Service has been mandated from 1 April 2008 for all government office property occupations over 500 sq m (net internal area).
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