some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page

12 Jan 2009 : Column 16W—continued


12 Jan 2009 : Column 17W

Schools: Admissions

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department has taken to reduce the school drop-out rate in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency. [245020]

Jim Knight: The Government have put in place a number of actions to encourage and support young people to remain in learning beyond compulsory schooling. These include:

The Learning and Skills Council has a specific responsibility to raise participation in each local area.

As a result of local and national action and support 78.7 per cent. of young people were in education and training at the end of 2007—the highest rate ever, whilst the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) reduced 1 percentage point from 10.4 per cent. in 2006 to 9.4 per cent. in 2007, the equivalent of 20,000 fewer young people NEET.

In the North East, 76 per cent. of 17-year-olds were in education and training at the end of 2006 (the latest date for which data are available). In 2007 the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the North East was 10.0 per cent. Data are not available for Tees Valley or Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland as the data cannot be broken down to area or constituency level.

Schools: Standards

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1865W, on schools: standards, to which national challenge school the answer refers. [244993]

Jim Knight: I will write to my hon. Friend with the information requested and will place a copy of my response in the Library.

Sex and Relationships Education Steering Group

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of each piece of written evidence that has been presented to the Sex and Relationships Education Steering Group; and if he will make a statement; [245205]


12 Jan 2009 : Column 18W

(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of each piece of research which has been commissioned by the Sex and Relationship Education Steering Group; what the cost was of each; and if he will make a statement; [245206]

(3) how much has been spent by the Sex and Relationships Education Steering Group in each year since its establishment; and if he will make a statement; [244885]

(4) what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had since January 2008 with the Roman Catholic church on material disseminated by his Department to Catholic schools on sex and relationship education; what views the Catholic church put forward in those discussions; and if he will make a statement. [244886]

Jim Knight: The Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) steering group was established in March 2008 and had its final meeting in October 2008, at which it signed-off its report and recommendations to Government. Steering group members were reimbursed travelling expenses, but were not paid a fee for participating in the review.

To inform its consideration of the issues, the steering group commissioned:

The total cost of the review was £18,630.

Presentations were made to the steering group, summarising the key findings of the on-line surveys and literature reviews. A copy of each presentation will be placed in the House of Commons Library. In addition, a number of individuals and organisations submitted evidence to an ‘SRE Review’ e-mail account that was established to allow those who were unable to be accommodated on the steering group itself, to submit views. These submissions were circulated to the SRE review steering group for their consideration. Copies of these submissions will also be placed in the House of Commons Library.

Oona Stannard, Chief Executive of the Catholic Education Service was a member of the SRE Review steering group and was in full agreement with the group’s report and recommendations. Other than the SRE guidance published in 2000, and the non-statutory programmes of study for Personal Well-Being issued in 2007, the Government have not issued guidance to Catholic or other schools on SRE delivery. The resources that schools use to support delivery of their SRE programmes are determined by each individual school.


12 Jan 2009 : Column 19W

The Government published their response to the report by the SRE review steering group on 23 October. A copy of both the group’s report and the Government response are available at:

Social Services: Complaints

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many complaints were made against social services departments in each local authority area in Yorkshire and the Humber in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [244691]

Beverley Hughes: This information is not collected centrally. However, local authorities are required to keep a record of:

Each local authority must produce an annual report drawing on this information. This report should not contain personal information that is identifiable about any individual complainant.

Young People: Mental Health

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department's policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing, with particular regard to those recommendations concerning young people and adolescents; and if he will make a statement. [244012]

Beverley Hughes: We welcome the Foresight report ‘Mental Capital and Wellbeing: Making the Most of Ourselves in the 21st Century’, published in October 2008. The report's broad analysis and recommendations are very much in line with the approach in the Children's Plan. In particular, we welcome the distinction made in the report between the development of positive well-being and tackling of mental health conditions.

We are already taking forward key programmes of work that are highlighted within the report such as work around parenting, children's social and emotional skills and the early years foundation stage.

In addition, the Government's initial response to the final report of the independent review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, ‘Children and Young People in Mind’, published on 18 November, set out a strong package of proposals and action that are directly relevant to much of the Foresight report's findings. We have set up a National Advisory Council for children's mental health and psychological well-being to advise us on implementing the recommendations of the independent review of CAMHS report and hold us to account on progress. Services for vulnerable children have been identified as a key priority area for the implementation of the CAMHS review's recommendations.


12 Jan 2009 : Column 20W

Work and Pensions

Child Support Agency: Pay

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans there are to pay bonuses to staff at the Child Support Agency in respect of the present year. [242173]

Kitty Ussher: The administration of the child maintenance system is a matter for the commissioner of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

Children: Maintenance

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consideration is made of the implications for child poverty in second homes when debts to the Child Support Agency are enforced. [241925]

Kitty Ussher: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:


12 Jan 2009 : Column 21W

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much uncollectable Child Support Agency arrears has been categorised as (a) probably and (b) possibly uncollectable, broken down by debt analysis type. [242175]

Kitty Ussher: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

Child Support Agency

£ billion

Total gross child maintenance debt outstanding at March 2008

3.8

Of which:

Possibly uncollectable(1)

0.1

Probably uncollectable(2)

2.2

Collectable(3)

1.5

(1) “Possibly uncollectable” debt refers to amounts outstanding which the debt analysis exercise revealed some uncertainty over whether it will be collected. The amounts are considered doubtful where, for example, payments have been infrequent or it has not been possible to establish an arrears agreement or impose a deduction of earning order.
(2) “Probably uncollectible” debt refers to the amount outstanding which the debt analysis exercise revealed is likely to be very difficult to collect due, for example, to the lack of contact with, or the personal circumstance of, the non-resident parent. In many of these cases, the Agency has suspended recovery action until such time as the individual’s circumstances change.
(3) “Collectable” debt refers to the amount outstanding which the debt analysis exercise revealed is likely to be collected. This takes into account factors such as regular contact with the non-resident parent, where regular payments are being made or an arrears agreement has been set up.
Notes:
1. Figures are taken from the Agency’s annual report and accounts and from table 22 of the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest £0.1 billion.

12 Jan 2009 : Column 22W

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many uncleared Child Support Agency applications there have been in each month since May 1997. [242190]

Kitty Ussher: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:


Next Section Index Home Page