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The latest figures on the numbers and percentage of children subject to child protection plans or placed on the Child Protection Register were published in a Statistical First Release (SFR) 24/2008 Referrals, Assessments and Children and
71 per cent. of children referred to childrens social care received an initial assessment within seven working days.
5 per cent. of children whose child protection plan was discontinued were a subject of a plan for two or more years.
14 per cent. of children became the subject of a child protection plan for a second or subsequent time.
80 per cent. of core assessments for childrens social care were carried out within 35 working days of initial assessments in the year ending 31 March 2008, 78 per cent. in the year ending 31 March 2007 and 74 per cent. in the year ending 31 March 2006.
These figures have been taken from the statistical first release Referrals, Assessments and Children and Young People who are the subject of a Child Protection Plan, Englandyear ending 31 March 2008, which can be found at the following link:
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2008, Official Report, column 1114W, on children: protection, how many representations concerning child protection his Department has referred to the Commission for Social Care Inspection or Ofsted since its inception. 
Beverley Hughes: It is not possible to quantify the number of cases referred to inspectorates by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. The Department receives representations across a wide range of issues including on child protection, mostly in the form of correspondence. Some of these are shared with inspectorates for information whilst other matters may be passed to them on a more formal basis where specific action may be appropriate. In addition, local authorities are required in particular circumstances to notify Ofsted of the details of particular events, including those relating to serious incidents involving children or with respect to incidents occurring in settings for which Ofsted has regulatory functions. Other issues raised by correspondents with the Department may be pursued directly with local authorities or other agencies through the Department's regional Government office network.
Beverley Hughes: In April 2008, we announced a £73 million package of support for social workers who work with children and families. This package includes the Newly Qualified Social Worker pilot programme which will support social workers in their first year of practice including through improved supervision by their managers. Other pilot projects will seek to address the development needs of those in the second and third years of practice; to recognise and encourage more experienced and skilled social workers to stay in frontline posts; and to develop management and leadership skills. More information on this package of work which is being delivered by the Childrens Workforce Development Council can be found here:
In December 2008 we announced a Social Work Taskforce which will consider what makes a difference to outcomes for children in terms of social work practice. The taskforce will make recommendations to Government later this year.
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what research his Department is funding into effective child protection practice; and which such research it has funded in the last three years. 
Beverley Hughes: Under the Safeguarding Children Research Initiative DCSF, in partnership with the Department of Health, have commissioned a suite of studies to support the Government's programme of reform to improve early recognition and cost-effective interventions to protect children. The Safeguarding Children Research Initiative runs until 2010 and includes 11 studies covering three themes: recognition of neglect and emotional abuse; impact of interventions; and inter-agency working. In addition, the Department has commissioned various other projects to inform effective practice in safeguarding children.
|Table of Studies|
|Safeguarding Research Initiative|
Beverley Hughes: In response to Ofsted's judgment of 'inadequate' for 'Staying Safe' in Birmingham city council's 2008 Annual Performance Assessment (APA), officials from DCSF met with the Council on 17 December to identify what action is being taken to tackle the underlying causes of inadequate performance. Ministers will decide shortly the form of any intervention that may be necessary to bring about swiftly the required improvements to the service and improve outcomes for children and young people.
To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what progress has been made towards meeting the targets to provide every
child with the opportunity to participate in five hours of sport every week; and if he will make a statement. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The PE and Sport Strategy for Young People came into operation from September 2008. At its heart is a commitment to provide two hours of high quality PE and Sport each week within the school day, for all five to16-year-olds, and up to a further three hours of sporting opportunities beyond the school day for all five to19-year-olds. We expect to have data for the first year of the new strategy in autumn 2009.
The following table provides the full-time equivalent number of teaching assistants (TAs) and higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs) employed in local authority maintained schools in England, January 1997 to 2008 (from 2005 only for HLTAs).
|Full-time equivalent teaching assistants and higher level teaching assistants in local authority maintained schools , y ears: January 1997 to 2008 Coverage: England|
|Teaching assistants( 1)||of which Higher level teaching assistants|
(1.) Includes higher level teaching assistants (2005 onwards), nursery nurses, nursery assistants, literacy and numeracy support
staff, special needs support staff, minority ethnic pupil support staff and any other non-teaching staff regularly employed to support
teachers in the classroom.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
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