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19 Nov 2008 : Column 631W—continued


Renewable Energy: Finance

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what funding has been identified to give effect in the UK to the European Council's decision to promote a number of carbon capture and storage demonstration projects in member states. [234429]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Government are committed to supporting a demonstration of the full chain of CCS technologies (capture, transport and storage) on a commercial scale coal fired power plant in the UK. The Government are keen to see progress made towards the construction and operation by 2015 of up to 12 demonstration plants of commercial power generation with carbon capture and storage, as agreed by the European Council in spring 2007. The Government hope that the UK's CCS demonstration will participate in the EU's knowledge-sharing demonstration programme, once it is established. The UK has been working hard to tackle the main barrier to progress on demonstrations, lack of funding, by seeking an EU funding mechanism for CCS projects. June European Council Conclusions called on the Commission "to bring forward as soon as possible" such a mechanism, but to date, no source of EU funding has been identified for CCS demonstrations. However, as part of the ongoing negotiations on the 2020 climate change and energy package, the European Parliament has proposed an amendment to the EU ETS Directive to allocate 500 million allowances from the new entrants reserve to support CCS demonstration projects. The UK Government support this amendment
19 Nov 2008 : Column 632W
as the best opportunity of agreeing a funding mechanism this year. From DECC and European Commission analysis there are sufficient allowances (the Commission has proposed 5 per cent. of the total) in the new entrants reserve to support both new entrants and CCS demonstrations. The UK is working with other member states, the French presidency and the European Commission to try to reach agreement on this proposal.

River Severn: Tidal Power

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 29 October 2008, Official Report, column 1104W, on River Severn: tidal power, whether the shortlist of options for a Severn tidal power scheme will contain both tidal-stream and tidal-range solutions. [234658]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Subject to internal review the shortlist of options to generate energy from the tidal range of the Severn Estuary will be published in January 2009. It is not possible at this stage to say what options on the shortlist will be. In developing the shortlist we will consider the long list of options published in July 2008, which includes a tidal fence proposal based on the use of tidal stream turbines.

Sellafield

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library a copy of the letter of 27 October 2008 from the Minister for Energy to the hon. Member for Newport West on nuclear indemnity for the new Sellafield Parent Body Organisation. [234100]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I will place a copy of my letter of 29 October in to the Libraries of the House. It should be noted, however, that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's letter of 3 November to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee provides a more recent account of events. The letter stated that BERR's intention was clearly to place a copy of the letter from my right hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North (Malcolm Wicks) to my hon. Friend and the Departmental Minute in the Libraries of the House. The purpose was to make Parliament aware that it was seeking the approval to the Sellafield indemnity of the chairs of the relevant Parliament Committees, in the interest of openness and transparency. I regret that, due to an administrative error, this was not done and that it was only noticed when the Departmental Parliamentary Unit was asked on 15 October to check that the letter had been laid. It was deposited in the Libraries of the House on that same day.

Severn Barrage: Nature Conservation

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what work the Severn Tidal Feasibility Study has undertaken to quantify and identify compensatory habitats in the Severn Estuary as required under the EU Habitats Directive. [235339]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: A high level review of the feasibility of a number of possible compensation and mitigation measures has been undertaken in this first phase of the feasibility study. This review will be published as part of
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a public consultation early in the new year, subject to an internal review of the feasibility study.

Should the decision be taken to go ahead with the second phase, then more work is anticipated within the study next year on the scope to mitigate environmental impacts through the construction and operation of tidal power scheme options, and on compensatory measures for impacts that cannot be mitigated.

Solar Power

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his estimate is of the percentage of output from the UK’s solar photovoltaic manufacturing facilities which was exported in the most recent period for which information is available. [228490]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department does not hold this information.

Children, Schools and Families

Children: Databases

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answers of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 482W, and 11 November 2008, Official Report, column 1068W, on children: databases, whether he plans to issue guidance to local authorities to the effect that information on the children of hon. Members should be (a) excluded from and (b) shielded on the Contact Point database. [236478]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 17 November 2008]: There are no plans to issue such guidance relating to hon. Members’ children. ContactPoint will hold basic identifying information on every child and each participating young person ordinarily resident in England—there will be no exclusions.

Guidance has been issued to all local authorities to help them work with their local partners to identify which of their child records require shielding according to the provisions set out in the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007. In making such decisions, all local authorities are under a duty to consider the views of the person to whom the record relates, the views of their parent or carer and of any schedule 4 or schedule 5 body (as specified by the regulations) working with that child or young person.

The guidance sets out that records of children whose circumstances mean that they, or others, are at increased risk of harm (for example, those fleeing domestic violence), may be subject to ‘shielding’. The effect of this will be that any details which could give an indication of their whereabouts will be hidden from users’ view.

Children: Day Care

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent representations he has received regarding changes in the number of childminders; and if he will make a statement. [236732]


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Beverley Hughes [holding answer 17 November 2008]: The introduction of the Early Year Foundation Stage has generated some correspondence from child minders but the National Childminding Association (NCMA) has made clear that it sees it as a positive development, and as representing what good child minders already do. I recently met Liz Bayram, chief executive of the NCMA, to discuss the issues and challenges faced by child minders in their role as part of the wider child care work force. Child minding has, by its nature, always been a profession whose numbers have varied over time. The Government believe, however, that child minders have a vital role to play, and that they are used and valued by many parents for the unique type of child care they provide.

It is true that child minding numbers have fallen overall, but it's important to remember that by its nature child minding has always been a profession whose numbers vary over time, for a number of reasons. For instance, Ofsted has recently carried out an exercise to remove child minders who are no longer actively looking after children from its register, which will have reduced the numbers.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much was spent by his Department on the education maintenance allowance in each year since its introduction, broken down by income decile of recipient's parents. [234911]

Jim Knight: Education maintenance allowance (EMA) applications are income assessed, based on the learner's total household income, with the maximum income to be eligible in 2007-08 of £30,810.

The following table shows EMA expenditure for the weekly payments split by income band for each academic year since national rollout (not including bonuses and admin costs):

£ million
Band 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

£30

195.8

282.2

345.2

363.0

£20

17.3

24.3

27.7

27.7

£10

9.4

11.3

12.2

12.2

Total

222.5

317.9

385.1

402.9


The following table shows EMA expenditure on the bonus payments paid out for each academic year since national rollout:

£ million

2004-05

44.7

2005-06

80.7

2006-07

97

2007-08

100.5


Information on the income decile of recipients' parents is not available. Information on the household income bands that recipients have been assessed in for EMA purposes is given in the following table. If the learner fully meets the criteria of the scheme they are entitled to receive weekly payments as follows:


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Household income per annum
Weekly EMA paymen t 2004-05 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08

£30

Up to £19,630

Up to £20,817

£20

£19,631 to £24,030

£20,818 to £25,521

£10

£24,031 to £30,000

£25,522 to £30,810

Nil

Over £30,000

Over £30,810


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of 16 to 18 year olds were entitled to (a) the full, (b) a partial and (c) no education maintenance allowance in the most recent year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [234915]

Jim Knight: Education maintenance allowance (EMA) is available to learners aged 16 to 19. There are three EMA weekly payment bands of £10, £20 and £30 paid directly to the young person depending on household income.

Figures for the proportion for 16 to 18-year-olds who are entitled to EMA are not available. The Department does not hold information on the household income of all participants in education and training.

However, (provisional) figures are given in the following table for the percentage of 16 to 18-year-olds in full time education in England who are receiving EMA, broken down by payment band.

Table 1: Percentage of 16 to 18-year-olds in full time education receiving EMA by band in 2007/08 (provisional figures)
Weekly payment band Household income per annum Percentage of 16 to 18-year-olds in full time education receiving EMA (provisional)

£30

Income up to £20,817

38

£20

Income of £20,818 to £25,521

4

£10

Income of £25,522 to £30,819

4

Total

46


Approximately 54 per cent. of 16 to 18-year-olds in full-time education did not receive EMA in 2007/08. This figure includes those who were not entitled to EMA and those who were entitled but decided not to apply for EMA.

General Certificate of Secondary Education

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of pupils in the maintained, mainstream sector achieved five GCSEs including a modern language at A* to C in each year since 2004. [234602]

Jim Knight: The information required is given in the following table:


19 Nov 2008 : Column 636W

Number of pupils achieving achieving 5 A*-C GCSE grades (including equivalents) including a modem foreign language Percentage of pupils achieving 5 A*-C GCSE grades (including equivalents) including a modern foreign language

2004

180,929

31.1

2005

175,095

30.4

2006

162,309

27.7

2007

154,676

26.1

2008

153,394

26.0

Note:
Figures relate to 15-year-olds (age at start of academic year (i.e. 31 August) in maintained, mainstream schools.

Nurseries: Standards

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of (a) maintained and (b) private, voluntary and independent full day childcare settings (1) were deemed (i) outstanding, (ii) good, (iii) satisfactory and (iv) inadequate by Ofsted in each of the last five years; [234129]

(2) have had to close following Ofsted inspections resulting in a rating of inadequate in each of the last five years. [234130]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 10 November 2008]: These are matters for Ofsted. The chief inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and copies of her replies have been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 13 November 2008:


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