Public Expenditure - Children, Schools and Families Committee Contents

Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Department for Children, Schools and Families

Question 19 (Paul Holmes): Efficiency Savings

  Page 209 in the 2009 Departmental Report records that as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review settlement the Department agreed to deliver £4.5 billion of annual, net, cash releasing savings by 2010-11.

The consequential lead-up targets were £1.615 billion in 2008-09 and £2.937 billion in 2009-10.

In the Budget 2009 the Department committed to saving an additional £650 million by 2010-11 with a consequential saving of £209 million in 2009-10.

  Chapter 2 of the 2009 Autumn Performance Report gives details of the efficiency savings recorded to date for 2008-09 of £1.017 billion.

  Efficiencies continue to be sought and progress will be reported in the usual way in future Departmental Reports and Autumn Performance Reports.

Question 45 (Chairman): Expenditure on children's social care

  A breakdown of children's social care outturn expenditure for 2008-09 is currently being collected from local authorities and will be available in January 2010.

The detailed areas covered in that return are set out in the workbook in Table A1 (Children's and Young People's Services) at— localauthorities/section52/guidance/s52guidance

  The return includes the main categories of Youth Justice, Looked after Children, Children's Safety, Family Support Services and Asylum Seekers. The data will form part of the Department official statistics and will be published on the Department's website in the normal way. We will send details to the Committee. This will be the first time this data will have been collected alongside education and other local authority expenditure on children and young people services and should, for the first time, give an overall picture of local authority expenditure on the wider children services agenda.

  The Department has collected details of local authorities' budgets for children's social services for both 2008-09 and 2009-10, but as the Secretary of State mentioned during the hearing, this is a new return which is still being developed. More importantly we feel that outturn data is a more robust source of information on children's social care.

  In the past children's social care outturn expenditure has been collected by the Department of Health— services-expenditure-and-unit-costs:-england-2007-08

  Table 2.3 in the document Personal Social Services Expenditure and Unit Costs England, 2007-08 shows that gross current expenditure by local authorities on Children's and Families Social Services was £5.42 billion (26% of the total expenditure).

  There have been major reforms to the way Children's Services have been provided in recent years, which causes difficulties in providing consistent time series. The Department is looking at the best way of addressing this.

December 2009

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