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15 July 2009 : Column 477W—continued

Teachers: Rarely Cover Guidance

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what additional support he plans to provide to teachers to help facilitate the continuation of educationally valuable visits or trips in light of the rarely cover guidelines; [285910]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effect on the conduct of school trips of his Department's rarely cover guidance; [285912]

(3) what recent discussions he has had on the application of his Department's rarely cover guidance; with whom such discussions were held; and on what dates these discussions took place; [285913]

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance he has issued to schools on the requirement that teachers rarely cover for absent colleagues; what guidance he has issued to schools on the implementation of rarely cover guidelines for school trips; and what definition of rarely cover is used in the context of such guidance. [285722]

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Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what estimate his Department has made of the number of school excursions which were cancelled owing to a failure to provide sufficient levels of staff cover in the last 12 months; [286079]

Tim Farron: (2) what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the requirement that teachers rarely cover for absent colleagues does not adversely affect learning activities outside the classroom. [286081]

Mr. Coaker: The Secretary of State and my predecessor, the right hon. Member for South Dorset (Jim Knight) have discussed the issues of rarely cover individually with our social partners on the Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group on a number of occasions over the last few months.

General guidance on the rarely cover provisions was issued at the end of April. A copy of this has been placed in the House Libraries. It makes clear that teachers should, from September 2009, be required to cover for absent colleagues only rarely, in circumstances that are not foreseeable.

Since April, the Department has been working hard with social partners to produce additional guidance on the rarely cover provisions. This will include guidance on learning outside the classroom which is designed to help schools plan effectively for these activities, which we all agree are an important part of the curriculum. The additional guidance, which will be subject to a period of consultation, will be issued shortly and a copy will be placed in the House Libraries.

No estimate has been made of the number of learning outside the classroom activities that have been cancelled because of a lack of cover over the last 12 months and where schools take note of the new guidance, we do not anticipate that the rarely cover provisions will result in reduced opportunities for learning outside the classroom in the future.

Truancy: Yorkshire and the Humber

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many parents in each local authority area in Yorkshire and the Humber appeared in court on charges related to the unauthorised absence of their child from school in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [280689]

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 s444 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 Yorkshire and the Humber for failing to secure their children's regular school attendance between 2003 to 2007 (latest available data) is detailed in the table. Data are collected on the basis of police
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force regions and not local authority areas. Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences under the Education Act 1996 S.444( 1) , Yorkshire and Humberside region, broken down by police force area, 2003 to 2007( 2, 3)

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007







North Yorkshire






South Yorkshire






West Yorkshire






Yorkshire and Humberside






(1) Includes the following;
(a) Failure to secure regular attendance at school. (Education Act 1996 S.444 (1)(8)).
(b) Parent knows that their child is failing to attend school regularly and fails without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend school. (Education Act 1996 S.444(8)(1a)(8a) added by Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 S.72).
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
Evidence and Analysis Unit-Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Ministry of Justice

Youth Crime Priority Areas: Finance

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much additional funding has been allocated by his Department to the 69 local authority areas identified as Youth Crime Priority Areas; and over what period that funding will be provided. [285554]

Mr. Coaker: The Youth Crime Action Plan (YCAP), published in July 2008, sets out the Government's plans for tackling offending by young people. It is supported by close to £100 million over the three year period from 2008-09 to 2010-11, in addition to the existing investment in children's and youth services, to support local authorities in making inroads into youth crime locally.

69 local authority areas (and two in Wales) have been identified as "priority areas" under YCAP. In 2008-09, under YCAP, the 69 local authorities in England each received £65,000 to implement an intensive package of activity set out in YCAP.

Each of the 69 local authority areas in England will receive £350,000 this financial year (2009-10) and £350,000 in 2010-11 to deliver the intensive package of activity to help reduce youth crime. In addition, the two Welsh areas will receive £175,000 in each of the two years to fund those aspects of the intensive package that are not devolved.

This year, building on the success of the Home Office enforcement campaign in 2008/09 we will provide funding to the 69 areas to develop a co-ordinated plan of activity to tackle alcohol related youth crime. Areas will
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be provided with a grant of up to £20,000 (£1.4 million in total) to kick start activity to begin before the summer and last at least throughout the summer holidays.


Banks: Iceland

John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings his Department's officials have had on the recovery of local authority investments in Icelandic banks since 1 May 2009. [286393]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings and discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, the Government do not disclose the outcome or results of all such meetings and discussions.

Departmental Data Protection

Jenny Willott: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many attempts were made to gain unauthorised access to each (a) database and (b) ICT system run by his Department in 2008-09; and if he will make a statement; [286558]

(2) how many successful attempts were made to gain unauthorised access to each (a) database and (b) ICT system run by his Department in 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. [286559]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: It is not in the interests of the UK's national security for Departments to confirm information on the number of attempts, successful or otherwise, to gain unauthorised access to departmental systems or databases. Such disclosure could undermine the integrity and security of departmental systems and thereby expose them to potential threats.

HM Treasury is bound by the mandatory requirements of the Security Policy Framework in relation to information security, including managing the risk of unauthorised access to ICT systems.

Departmental Training

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what training courses have been attended by special advisers in his Department in the last 12 months; and at what cost. [279390]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: There is no central provision for training special advisers.

Financial Services: Regulation

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies on the banking and financial services sector of the paper presented on 8 May 2009 to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Conference on reforming financial regulation by the executive director for financial stability of the Bank of England. [286815]

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Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Government's approach to reforming regulation of financial services is set out in the Government's paper 'Reforming Financial Markets', published on 8 July 2009.

Hedge Funds

Harry Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the oral statement of 8 July 2009, Official Report, columns 969-87, on reforming of financial markets, what his definition is of systematically important hedge funds; and which hedge funds fall into this category. [286628]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: A financial institution can be said to be of systemic importance when its failure could cause serious disruption to the financial system. In order to more closely monitor the systemic impact of hedge funds the Government are working with the Financial Services Authority to put in place a system of enhanced surveillance that can gather relevant and timely information on the funding, leverage, investment strategies and, in some cases, investment positions of individual funds managed from the UK.


Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Milton Keynes South West, Official Report, column 677W, on Interpal, whether he has received evidence from the US Administration on the basis for the allegations made against Interpal in its press notice of 22 August 2003. [284469]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: As set out in the Treasury's written answer of 12 May 2009, Official Report, column 677W, HM Treasury officials are in discussions with their US counterparts about how to facilitate legitimate charitable work, while protecting against the abuse of charities by those involved in terrorist finance. As part of this, HM Treasury continue to discuss the specific case of Interpal with the US authorities.

Members: Correspondence

Ann Winterton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to respond to the letter of 5 March 2009, ref 6/00178/2009, on the banking industry and pensions from the hon. Member for Congleton on behalf of her constituents Mr. and Mrs. Brian Evans. [280715]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: A reply has been sent to the hon. Member.

Operational Efficiency Programme: Met Office

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with which other public sector bodies the Operational Efficiency Programme project team plans to work in its review of the Met Office. [284655]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 7 July 2009]: As part of the joint work on the Trading Funds Review which preceded the Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP), the Met Office has had initial engagement with public sector bodies including the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Department for Environment, Food
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and Rural Affairs, and the Natural Environment Research Council. The Met Office OEP review team is currently reviewing which further public sector bodies to consult with as part of the next phase of work.

Pay: North East

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the rate of average earnings growth was in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside and (c) the North East in each year since 1997. [286343]

Angela E. Smith: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated July 2009:

Annual percentage change of median gross weekly earnings for full-time employee jobs( 1)

Jarrow parliamentary constituency South Tyneside local authority North East













































(1 )Full-time employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence.
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics. 1998 to 2008.

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