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15 Jan 2009 : Column 937W—continued

Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning Programme

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of schools has implemented a Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning programme. [247413]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Data collected in July 2008 by National Strategies showed that about 80 per cent. of primary schools and about 30 per cent. of secondary schools have implemented a Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) programme. The Department expects that by July 2009 about 90 per cent. of primary schools and about 45 per cent. of secondary schools will have implemented a SEAL programme.

Social Workers: Training

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he expects the review of training and continuing professional development of the social care workforce under the National Minimum Standards review to be completed. [247278]

Beverley Hughes: The Care Matters White Paper sets out our plans for improving the training and support to foster carers and residential care workers. This commitment is also being taken forward by the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) who introduced training, support and development standards to support foster carers from approval through the first two years of service. These give fostering providers a framework for their foster carers’ training and professional development. CWDC are currently working with stakeholders to develop a professional development framework for social care workers, this will incorporate the foster care training support and development framework. CWDC are also developing core standards specific to residential care workers that will raise the quality of care and support a child can expect to receive in the home. We will be linking this work to the National Minimum Standards (NMS) as part of our review of the NMS. We will be consulting on changes to these during 2009.

Specialised Diplomas

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he expects diploma courses in (a) business, administration and finance, (b) hair and beauty, (c) hospitality, (d) environmental and
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land-based studies, (e) manufacturing and produce design, (f) public services, (g) retail, (h) sport and leisure and (i) travel and tourism to become available. [247241]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Diplomas in Business, Administration and Finance; Hair and Beauty Studies; Hospitality; Environmental and Land-Based Studies; and Manufacturing and Product Design will all be available for first teaching from September 2009.

The Diplomas in Public Services; Retail Business; Sport and Active Leisure; and Travel and Tourism, will all be available for first teaching from September 2010.

Teenage Pregnancy

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in meeting its objectives; and if he will make a statement; [247256]

(2) what progress his Department has made against its target to reduce the under 18 conception rate by 50 per cent. by 2010; and if he will make a statement. [247468]

Beverley Hughes: The latest annual data (for 2006) show that since the 1998 baseline year, the under-18 conception rate has fallen by 12.9 per cent. to its lowest level for over 20 years. The 2007 annual data will be published in February 2009.

While I welcome the steady decline in England’s teenage pregnancy rate, we need to accelerate progress if we are to achieve our challenging target to halve the under-18 conception rate by 2010. Consequently, we have issued guidance to all local authorities and PCTs, which sets out what is working in the most successful areas (some of whom have achieved reductions of over 30 per cent.) and encourages all areas to refresh their strategies to incorporate these findings.

At a national level, our focus is on:

Young People: Education

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many 17-year-olds participated in education and training in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08. [247478]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Estimates of participation in education for those aged 16-18 are published annually by the Department in a Statistical First Release (SFR) each June and can be found on the Department's website (http: // html). We estimate the numbers of 17-year-olds participating in education and training at the end of 2006 and 2007 were 537,400 and 555,100 respectively.

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Communities and Local Government

Admiralty House

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the right hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East paid rent in respect of his residence in Admiralty House during the period of time he resided there while not holding ministerial office. [246041]

Mr. Watson: I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to him on 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 117W, and the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 4 July 2007, Official Report, column 1023W.

The right hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) was not charged rent during the short period of time finalising arrangements to move and recovering from his illness.

Asylum Seekers: Homelessness

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) asylum seekers and (b) failed asylum seekers are registered as homeless in (i) Leeds and (ii) the UK. [247884]

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Mr. Iain Wright: Communities and Local Government does not collect information on asylum seekers or failed asylum seekers who are homeless. Communities and Local Government collects data from all local housing authorities in England about their activities under the homelessness legislation (part 7 of the Housing Act 1996), including the number of applicants accepted as statutorily homeless, but these data do not identify whether those accepted as statutorily homeless may be asylum seekers. Asylum seekers who claimed asylum after 2 April 2000 are not eligible for assistance under the homelessness legislation; neither are failed asylum seekers.

Community Relations: Departmental Coordination

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff in each Government Office work on cohesion and integration related issues; and what the cost of employing these staff is expected to be in (a) 2008-09 and (b) each of the two subsequent years. [245520]

Mr. Khan: The following table shows the number of staff in each Government office working on the cohesion and integration agenda over the next three years with the related staff costs.

GO 2008-09 2009-10 (est) 2010-11 (est)


GO South West







GO South East







GO London







GO East







GO West Midlands







GO East Midlands







GO North West







GO Yorkshire and the Humber







GO North East







GO Network total







Council Housing

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to allocate any surplus in the housing revenue account subsidy system in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11 to housing for council tenants. [243888]

Mr. Iain Wright: The cost of running council housing varies across the country, and so we have a system which redistributes surpluses in some authorities to deficits in others. We have this system to ensure that rents remain affordable.

In recent years the system of council housing subsidy has been in deficit throughout the country, with the Treasury making up the shortfall. It is only from 2008-09 that the position has reversed with the overall system moving into surplus. In this financial year the Treasury plans to allocate around £5.9 billion in total for housing expenditure, considerably more than the resources flowing back to Treasury.

Communities and Local Government, jointly with the Treasury, is currently conducting a Review of Council Housing Finance, including looking in depth at key issues such as the cost of running council house stock, rents, management and maintenance costs, redistribution and the use of surpluses. The Review will report to Ministers in spring 2009, and will inform the next spending review with consultation thereafter .

Departmental Official Engagements

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the official engagements of (a) the Minister for London, (b) the Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) the Minister for the South East in their role as regional ministers were from 1 December to 31 December 2008. [247732]

Mr. Khan: The information requested is tabled as follows:

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Rt Hon Tony McNulty: Minister for London
Date Outline of visit Location

1 December 2008

Speech at the London PREVENT Network

Riverwalk House, Westminster

4 December 2008

OSCT Regional Event on PREVENT

Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, Westminster

8 December 2008

Association of Colleges (AoC) visit

Harrow College, Harrow

11 December 2008

London Community Safety Partnership (LCSP) Summit

New Scotland Yard, Westminster

15 December 2008

Speech at Celebrating Colleges Contribution to London event

House of Commons, Westminster

16 December 2008

Launch of the MPS announcement on work with retailers on knife sales

New Scotland Yard, Westminster

18 December 2008

Visit to JTAC (Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre)

Millbank, Westminster

18 December 2008

Meeting with the Metropolitan Police

New Scotland Yard, Westminster

Rosie Winterton MP: Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber
Date Outline of visit Location

4 December 2008

Meeting with John Blevins Lead Union Learning Representative, BT/CWU Learning Centre in Northallerton


5 December 2008

Attend Regional Responses to the Economic Downturn Event


8 December 2008

Attend Yorkshire and Humber Economic Development Group


10 December 2008

Attend London 2012 Yorkshire and the Humber Parliamentary briefing


12 December 2008

Attend the Association of Colleges (AoC) Yorkshire and the Humber Principals and Chairs Forum


15 December 2008

Meeting with LloydsTSB


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