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2 Apr 2009 : Column 1350W—continued

Mr. Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many requests for statements of special educational need were received in the last three years for which figures are available; and how many such requests were processed within 18 weeks. [267256]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department only collects figures on the number of new statements issued each year and the number of statutory assessments which were carried out but did not result in a statement. The figures for the last three available years are in the following table. We do not collect figures on the number of requests for assessments, where this request has been refused.

The Audit Commission has published figures on the percentage, rather than the number, of proposed statements issued within 18 weeks, both where permitted exceptions to time limits have been called upon and where they have not. The figures for the last three years are in the following table. This Audit Commission best value performance indicator has been replaced by an indicator in the national indicator set on the percentage of final statements produced in 26 weeks. The first set of figures will be available later this year.

Percentage of proposed statements of special educational needs issued by local authorities in a financial year and prepared within 18 weeks( 1)
Financial year Excluding exceptions Including exceptions










1 Figures available from:

Calendar year (a) Total children for whom a statement of special needs was made for the first time (b) Children assessed during the calendar year for whom no statement was issued( 1)










(1) Figures available from table 3a:

Special Educational Needs: Finance

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much funding his Department has provided to non-maintained special schools since 1997. [267309]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Data on the funding paid to non-maintained special schools back to 1997 are contained within the larger revenue and capital funding streams paid to the education sector as a whole. There would be a disproportionate cost in disaggregating this data to provide the information requested. However, data for the last three financial years can be provided from operational data that are currently available and are shown in the following table.

Financial year Capital funding Revenue funding Total













Strengthening Families Grant

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department allocated to local authorities through dedicated funding for outreach and family support in each of the last three years. [260044]

Beverley Hughes: Supporting families is a key priority for the Department for Children, Schools and Families and we are working closely with local authorities to strengthen their capacity to meet the full range of local family and parenting needs.

We are making £102 million available between 2008-09 and 2010-11 to expand parent support advisers who work directly with parents in a school context to all local authorities.

In addition over £150 million is being made available between 2009-10 and 2010-11 for targeted initiatives to support families with high levels of need, with particular focus on parenting skills. This will enable all local authorities to have Family Intervention Projects, the Parenting Early Intervention Programme and to each employ two expert parenting practitioners.

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We are continuing to invest heavily in Sure Start Children's Centres with over £3 billion being made available to local authorities over the three year period 2008-09 to 2010-11 and which includes additional funding to enable local authorities to fund two additional full-time outreach posts in Sure Start Children's Centres serving the most disadvantaged communities.

Teachers: Training

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of time taken training new teachers is spent on training on equality and diversity matters. [268167]

Jim Knight: The statutory requirements for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) require providers to design their provision to enable all trainees to meet the statutory standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Equality training must form an element of all programmes of ITT but the length of time studying the topic is not prescribed. In order to meet the standards for QTS, all trainees must demonstrate an awareness of equality matters, and understand how these contribute to the well-being of children and young people. They must demonstrate that they know how a variety of influences including social, religious, ethnic, cultural and linguistic affect child development. Trainees must demonstrate that they are aware of their responsibilities in relation to equality legislation and duties, and be aware of the range of policies that support school practice, for example those that relate to behaviour (including bullying), racial harassment and abuse.

Substantial guidance and relevant case study exemplification on equality issues accompany the Professional Standards for QTS and requirements for ITT.

Trust Schools

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what powers a local authority has in relation to admissions at a school that has attained trust status; and if he will make a statement. [266635]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: All local authorities are required to have in place a scheme each year for co-ordinating admissions arrangements for all maintained schools and academies in their area. Trust schools are maintained foundation schools supported by a foundation—a charity referred to as a "trust"—and as foundation schools they are their own admission authority. Nevertheless, as maintained schools, they must operate within the same legal framework as all other maintained schools, which means they must have an admissions policy in accordance with the School Admissions Code and they are not allowed to introduce any new selection by ability.

Local authorities retain a range of powers in respect of all maintained schools in their area, including those that are their own admission authority. For example, local authorities now have a duty to report annually to the Schools Adjudicator on all admission arrangements in their area, including those of own-admission schools. The Schools Adjudicator can act on any information included within these reports. This is in addition to the local authority duty to refer objections to the Schools
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Adjudicator if they consider or are made aware of any admission arrangements by any other admission authority that are unlawful or do not comply with the mandatory requirements of the Code, or that appear unfair, subjective, unclear or encourage social segregation.

Local authorities also have powers in respect of children in care and children with statements: when a LA directs an admission authority to admit a child in care, the governing body must admit the child at any specified time in the year, even if the school is full. Equally, a maintained school must admit a child if the LA names that school on the child's statement.

Trust schools are required to play their full part in taking hard to place pupils, having fair admissions and working with other schools in admissions forums and co-ordinated admissions arrangements.

Energy and Climate Change

Climate Change

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on what dates (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have met officials of (i) the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and (ii) the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit to discuss energy and climate change policy. [266713]

Joan Ruddock: The Secretary of State for DECC and officials work closely with the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and the Strategy Unit on a number of issues and there have been many meetings between the units and my Department since DECC’s inception in October.

Particular areas where they have collaborated include the assessment of Public Service Agreement PSA 27 (to lead the global effort to avoid dangerous climate change), delivery of insulation measures and carbon budgets.

In addition, the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit is present at relevant meetings of the Delivery and Strategy High-Level Board for the Climate Change and Energy Programme.

Departmental Absenteeism

Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many staff of his Department were recorded absent for non-medical reasons on (a) 2 February 2009 and (b) 3 February 2009; what estimate he has made of the (i) cost to his Department and (ii) number of working hours lost as a result of such absence; and what guidance his Department issued to staff in respect of absence on those days. [260580]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Centrally held records relate to absences for medical reasons and also cover absences such as maternity leave. Beyond this special leave may be granted by line managers in accordance with centrally issued guidelines, e.g. for family bereavement. These are not recorded centrally and to do so would incur a disproportionate cost, although the Department does put arrangements in place in the event of industrial action.

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Guidance was issued in respect of the adverse weather of the 2 and 3 February, 2009. Staff were advised to make alternative arrangements such as different means of transport or working from home. Staff were also advised to contact their line managers, without delay, to agree the most appropriate course of action. Managers had a range of options available to ensure business continuity, such as:

Departmental Buildings

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 16 December 2008, Official Report, column 705W, on departmental buildings, how many staff have been moved into 3 Whitehall Place since his Department was created; and how many have yet to be moved there. [255956]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: A total of 376 DECC staff had moved into the Department's London headquarters at 3 Whitehall Place as of 23 March 2009. Approximately 530 London staff have yet to move.

Departmental Energy

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much (a) electricity, (b) gas and (c) other fuel has been used by his Department since its inception. [267335]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: As at 30 March 2009, the Department has used approximately 1,066,912 kWh of electricity and 570,944 kWh of gas since its inception. This is based on average daily usage.

Departmental Responsibilities

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what projects for which his Department is responsible have undergone a gateway review in the last two years. [266628]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change is responsible for the following projects which have undergone a Gateway review in the last two years:

Departmental Standards

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of measuring compliance with its targets under its public service agreements since its inception. [266561]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: Since the creation of DECC, there has been a small additional cost in terms of officials’ time to monitor compliance with PSA27: Lead the global effort to avoid dangerous climate change. The work has involved developing information on performance indicators, completing self-assessments and reviewing progress, which has been discussed at meetings of the Delivery and Strategy High-Level Board for the Climate Change and Energy programme.

Departmental Training

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what training courses were (a) available to and (b) taken up by (i) civil servants and (ii) Ministers in his Department in the last 12 months. [266276]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department of Energy and Climate Change delegates responsibility for booking individuals on training programmes to its various business units and does not, therefore, maintain central records. To compile a central record would incur a disproportionate cost.

Much of the Department’s learning is provided through the DECC school, which aims to provide everyone within the Department with formal and informal opportunities to develop a detailed understanding of energy and climate change policies, industries, markets and key technologies. It also aims to develop the specific skills needed to carry out particular roles in our new Department.

The school has four work streams:

Through the DECC school staff can achieve credits towards vocational and professional qualifications on the basis of business need.

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