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Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much funding was provided through the Family Fund in each of the last five years; what assessment he has made of the level of take-up of such funding by low-income families with one or more severely disabled children; and when he last met the Chief Executive of the Family Fund. 
Ms Diana R. Johnson: The Family Fund Trust (FFT) (England) provides grants to families with severely disabled children or young people under 18. Families are eligible to apply for grants if they have an annual income of less than £23,000 before tax. Over the last five years the FFT has received the following in grant funding from the Department:
As a result of commitments in The Children's Plan, the FFT was allocated an additional £8.4 million, payable over the current CSR period; with this additional funding the FFT changed the eligibility criteria for receipt of
grants to include families with disabled children/young people under 18. Prior to that grants were made to families with disabled children under 16. The additional funding has been reflected in the table above.
Since extending eligibility criteria, the FFT have awarded grants to an additional 2,586 16-year-olds in 2008-09. Their target for 2009-10 is to issue between 4,750 and 5,000 grants to 16 and 17-year-olds.
|Family fund trust-England|
|Number of families helped|
The FFT is required to provide the Department with annual accounts and details of its activities during the year, which is reviewed by officials. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families last meet with the chief executive of the Family Fund Trust on 16 April 2008.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he expects to reply to the letter dated 24 November 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Father Tom Connod. 
Ms Diana R. Johnson: The Department of Children, Schools and Families try to respond to all correspondence within 15 working days. We regret the delay in this matter. The Department has identified the letter in question and has sent a response on 20 January.
Dawn Primarolo: Jacky Tiotto, the Head of the National Safeguarding Delivery Unit is a qualified social worker by profession. She has held a number of senior positions in London local authorities, and as a practitioner specialised in work with vulnerable children and those in need of protection, working in residential, field and hospital services. Most recently she was the Director for Children and Learners at the Government Office for London, having previously worked for the Department for Children, Schools and Families where she had been seconded as a deputy director leading on performance and improvement and then as a professional adviser to Lord Laming on his progress report on safeguarding children in England. Earlier posts include senior national adviser for children and adult services at the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), and performance specialist at the Audit Commission. Her CV contains personal information and its disclosure would be likely to contravene the Data Protection Act.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what recent assessment his Department has made of the merits of non-formal learning; and if he will make a statement; 
Ms Diana R. Johnson: The Department believes that every young person should experience non-formal learning as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances. In 2008, through the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) manifesto, the Department funded 'Every Experience Matters'-an evidence-based review on the role of learning outside the classroom for children's whole development from birth to 18 years.
The report demonstrates the important role that LOtC could have in raising young people's engagement by drawing on research from around the globe and providing evidence that children achieve higher academically, have greater levels of physical fitness, increased confidence and self-esteem, show leadership qualities, and have greater engagement and motivation in learning. The report is available at
Where a child is educated at home on a full time basis the level of formality will vary according to the wishes of the parent and the needs of the child. Some parents will adopt a more child led approach to learning while others will prefer a more formal approach or something that takes in elements of a range of different approaches. In each case the education provided must be suitable to the age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs that the child may have. It will not always be possible to distinguish between formal learning and non-formal learning in this context.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on what dates his Department received drafts of Ofsted reports into Haringey children's services in November and December 2008. 
Dawn Primarolo: Ofsted published the report of a joint area review of services for children and young people in Haringey, undertaken with the Healthcare Commission and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, on 1 December 2008. The Department received a final draft of the report for information on 30 November 2008. Ofsted published a letter, informing Haringey local authority of its annual performance assessment of services for children and young people, on 17 December 2008. The Department saw no draft of the letter.
|Financial year||Amount (£)|
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what targets her Department has set for local authorities on the (a) administration and (b) collection of housing benefit. 
Helen Goodman: The Department for Work and Pensions does not set targets on housing benefit administration and collection. The Department encourages and supports local authorities to set their own targets to achieve and maintain an effective housing benefit service for customers and taxpayers.
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 28 January 2010]: The total number of mesothelioma deaths where the last residence of the deceased was recorded as being within the Government Office for London region(1) between 1998 and 2007 (the latest year for which data are available) was 1761 (source: HSE, British Mesothelioma Register). The great majority of these will be due to asbestos exposure but there is evidence to suggest a small number of cases have some other unidentified cause.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many death certificates mentioning mesothelioma as (a) primary cause of death and (b) secondary cause of death have been issued in each of the last 10 years. 
Jonathan Shaw: [holding answer 28 January 2010]: The number of mesothelioma deaths each year from 2001 to 2007 (the latest year for which data are available) where mesothelioma was recorded as (a) the underlying cause of death and (b) an associated cause of death, are shown in Table 1.
|Table 1: Mesothelioma deaths in Great Britain recorded as such in the underlying or associated causes of deaths, 2001-2007|
|2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006( 1)||2007( 1)|
Health and Safety Executive British Mesothelioma Register
It is not possible to separately identify from readily available data the number of mesothelioma deaths before 2001 in each category since mesothelioma was not included within the framework used for classifying causes of death before then. A small number of deaths occur each year where mesothelioma is mentioned on the death certificate but not recorded as either the underlying or associated cause of death.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) which guided busways are in service in each local authority area; on what date each commenced operations; and what the length of each is; 
|Name of scheme||Local authority||Date scheme opened||Length of guided bus section|
The Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, which includes 25 kilometres of guided busway, was given funding approval by the Department in 2006 and construction is now under way with the scheme expected to be completed and open for operation in 2010.
No assessments to date have been undertaken by the Department with regards to the safety of operation of guided busways. Guided busways are exempt from the requirements of the Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety Regulations) 2006 and it is, therefore, the responsibility of the promoter of the scheme to satisfy itself that safety systems are appropriate both prior to the system commencing and once in operation.
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