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16 Jun 2009 : Column 242W—continued


Secondary Education: Qualifications

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what qualifications his Department deems to have equivalent status to GCSEs; and if he will make a statement. [280242]

Mr. Coaker: Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator, is responsible for accrediting qualifications in England and for determining their level. All Level 1 accredited qualifications (equivalent to GCSE grades D-G) and Level 2 qualifications (equivalent to GCSE grades A*-C) are listed on the National Database of Accredited Qualifications at:

Teachers: Resignations

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many teachers who have been subject to capability review procedures have left the profession in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [275036]

Mr. Coaker: The operation and outcome of capability procedures in schools is a matter for local determination. Accordingly, the information requested about the number of teachers who have been subject to capability reviews and have left the profession within the last five years is not held centrally.

Truancy

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many parents in (a) Crosby and (b) England have appeared in court on charges related to the unauthorised absence of their child from school in the last (i) six, (ii) 12 and (iii) 24 months. [277733]

Mr. Coaker: The Ministry of Justice collects and publishes data for England and Wales on prosecutions brought against parents under the Education Act 1996 for the offence under s444(1) of failing to secure their child's regular attendance at school; and for prosecutions under s444(1A), the aggravated offence of knowing that their child is failing to attend school regularly. It is possible, because of the way courts record data, that some data are also collected under the more general heading of various offences under the Education Act 1996.

The information on the number of parents prosecuted by local authorities in England and Merseyside which includes Crosby for failing to secure their children's regular school attendance between 2006 and 2007 (latest available data) is detailed in the following table. Data are collected on the basis of police force region and not constituency.


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The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences under the Education Act 1996 S.444, in the Merseyside police force area, and England, 2006 to 2007( 1,2)
Merseyside police force area England
Statute Offence description 2006 2007 2006 2007

Education Act 1996 s.444 (1)(8)

Failure to secure regular attendance at school

37

181

4,437

5,903

Education Act 1996 s.444(8)(la)(8a) added by Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 s.72

Parent knows that their child is failing to attend school regularly and fails without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend school

82

79

1,559

1,840

(1) The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Source:
Evidence and Analysis Unit—Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Ministry of Justice

Leader of the House

Legislation: Electronic Publishing

Mr. Watson: To ask the Leader of the House what recent discussions she has had with representatives of mySociety on methods of electronic publication of bills by the House; and if she will make a statement. [279360]

Barbara Keeley: My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant), had various discussions and correspondence with mySociety on this issue.

Treasury

Banks: Closures

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many bank branches have been closed in the last six months by banks in which the Government have purchased a shareholding in the last two years. [279434]

Kitty Ussher: The Government's shareholdings in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds) are managed by UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI), and for Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley they are currently managed by the Treasury. All shareholdings in these banks are managed on a commercial basis. The closure of branches is an operational decision for the board of each bank.

It is a matter for each bank to disclose this information.

Cheltenham and Gloucester

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions Lloyds TSB held with UK Financial Investments Ltd on its plans to close high street branches of Cheltenham and Gloucester; and what reports he received from his Department's representative on the Board of Lloyds TSB on the matter. [279470]

Kitty Ussher [holding answer 12 June 2009]: UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI) has been set up to manage the Government's investments in financial institutions as an active and engaged shareholder, operating on a commercial basis and at arms length from Government. This includes monitoring performance through maintaining an active and regular dialogue with investee companies' board to satisfy UKFI that the boards are operating effectively, and that companies' strategies protect and enhance shareholder value.

The framework document between HM Treasury and UKFI sets a requirement that UKFI will not intervene in the day-to-day management decisions of investee companies, with the companies retaining their own independent boards, which will manage the banks and determine their strategy. Closing branches is an operational decision for the Board of Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds).

As part of the recapitalisation scheme announced on 8 October last year, the Lloyds has announced two new independent non-executive directors on 2 February. The purpose behind their appointment is to strengthen the board of the bank and to provide independent oversight in respect of governance and other matters in the interests of all the shareholders of the bank. They are not representatives of the Government.

Child Trust Fund: Castle Point

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many child trust fund vouchers have been issued to residents in Castle Point constituency; how many accounts have been opened by residents of the constituency; and what his estimate is of the value of those accounts. [280220]

Kitty Ussher: The most recent constituency level statistics on child trust fund accounts were published on 6 November 2008 and can be viewed on the HM Revenue and Customs’ website at:

HM Revenue and Customs does not have data on the value of child trust funds at constituency level.

Demos

Mr. Watson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has any contracts with the think-tank Demos. [279485]

Kitty Ussher: No.

Departmental Training

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) staff and (b) ministerial away days have been organised by his Department in each of the last five years; and what the cost of such events was in each year. [266210]

Kitty Ussher: For details of the cost of away days prior to 2007-08, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 220W, to the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond).

Disaggregated information on the number of away days held by (a) staff and (b) Ministers is not held centrally and could not be provided within the disproportionate costs threshold.

The following table shows total recorded spending on away days in 2007-08, the latest year for which audited figures are available.

2007-08 Treasury away days

£000

Core treasury

211

Group shared services(1)

68

Total

279

(1) HM Treasury, OGC and DMO established a Group Shared Services (GSS) function in 2007-08, including former OGC teams working from locations outside London.

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Departmental Work Experience

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many work placements his Department offered to (a) school pupils, (b) university students and (c) graduates in each of the last five years. [274477]

Kitty Ussher: The number of individuals employed as placement students in each of the last five years is as follows:

Number

2004-05

35

2005-06

31

2006-07

38

2007-08

28

2008-09

34


It is not possible to distinguish between the different categories of work placement.

EU Budget

Mr. Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the maximum liability that could arise for the UK as a result of the deployment of the balance of payments facility which allows the EU to borrow money in its own legal personality. [278842]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 9 June 2009]: The EC Budget and all member states take on a contingent liability as a result of lending from the balance of payments facility. The loan guarantee risk is borne by the Budget, but no specific budgetary allocation is made for this. Should costs arise from providing this facility, it would be for the Commission to propose, and Council and the European Parliament to agree, how that liability would be met from within the existing financial framework.

Excise Duties: Fuel Oil

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what revenue from road fuel duty has been raised from sales in Na h-Eileanan an Iar in each year since 2005-06; [279857]

(2) if he will make an estimate of the revenue from road fuel duty raised from sales in each region in 2008-09. [279858]

Kitty Ussher: Fuel duty revenues are not disaggregated by region, as fuel duty is paid by fuel producers and importers, not by end consumers. Historical fuel duty revenues for the whole UK are available on HMRC's UK Trade Info website at:

Excise Duties: Motor Vehicles

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was received by the Exchequer in (a) vehicle excise duty and (b) fuel duty receipts in each of the last five years. [280375]


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Kitty Ussher: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1675W, by my predecessor my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Angela Eagle) to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker).

The Treasury publishes details of tax receipts as a matter of routine in the pre-Budget and Budget reports. The most recent can be found in table C6 of the Chancellor’s 2009 Budget report at:

Financial Ombudsman Service

Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints were lodged with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in 2008-09; and how many of those making such complaints notified the FOS that they were not satisfied with the way in which their complaint had been handled. [279242]

Ian Pearson: The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is operationally independent of Government.

Information about the number of cases lodged with the FOS and the number of complaints about FOS' service is included in the FOS' Annual Review which is available on the FOS' website.

Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints were (a) upheld and (b) rejected by the Service Review Team of the Financial Ombudsman Service in 1998-99. [279243]

Ian Pearson: The Financial Ombudsman Service was not established until 1 December 2001.

Individual Savings Accounts

Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date persons under 50 years old will be eligible for the increase in the level of the annual maximum permissible investment for individual savings accounts. [280047]

Ian Pearson: At Budget 2009 the Government announced that from 6 October 2009 the ISA limits will rise for people aged 50 and over to £10,200, of which up to £5,100 can be saved in cash. From 6 April 2010 the ISA limits will rise to these new levels for all savers.

Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reasons the increase in the level of the annual maximum permissible investment in individual savings accounts was initially available only to persons aged over 50 years old. [280048]


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