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7 Jun 2010 : Column 42Wcontinued
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will make it a requirement for Academy schools to comply with the national curriculum; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will bring forward proposals to prevent Academy schools downgrading or removing from their curriculums any of the subjects of (a) geography, (b) history, (c) each of the sciences and (d) modern languages; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: We trust teachers and head teachers to run their schools. This will include giving academies freedom from following the national curriculum and enabling them to raise standards by tailoring the curriculum to the needs of their students. Academies will still be required to provide a broad and balanced curriculum.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent research he has evaluated on the effects on the examination results of Academy schools of concentration of resources by those schools on vocational courses instead of academic courses; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: It is for schools to decide the most appropriate range of courses and qualifications to offer to their students. There is no evidence that academies are concentrating resources on vocational courses instead of academic courses. The latest examination results for 2009 show that academies have seen a 5.0 percentage point increase in the proportion of pupils achieving at least five GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths (for those academies with results in 2008 and 2009), double the average national increase of 2.5 percentage points.
Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of progress on the academies programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Michael Gove: There are currently 203 academies open in 83 local authorities. More academies will open in September, with numbers continuing to grow each year now that the programme has been opened up to all schools. For the academies with results in 2008 and 2009 the increase in the proportion of pupils achieving at least five A*-C GCSEs including English and maths is 5.0 percentage points, an increase on last year's academy improvement rate of 4.3 percentage points and double the average national increase.
24. Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will visit Alnwick to discuss the rebuilding of the Duchess's high school. 
Michael Gove: I am currently reviewing the methods by which capital has been allocated to ensure we can build schools more effectively and cost-efficiently in the future. But I hope that I or one of the ministerial team will have the opportunity to visit Alnwick again in due course.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he plans to take to increase the number of 16 and 17 year-olds who (a) start and (b) complete apprenticeships; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: We intend to increase the number of apprenticeship places for people of all ages, and we are committed to improving the quality of apprenticeships to make them better suited to the needs of employers and learners.
We will seek ways to support the creation of apprenticeships, internships, work pairings, and college and workplace training places as part of our wider programme to get Britain working.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many complaints the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service has received about its services in each year since its inception. 
Tim Loughton: The number of complaints received by CAFCASS in its services is an operational matter for CAFCASS. The chief executive of CAFCASS, Anthony Douglas will write to the hon. Member and a copy of his response will be placed in the House Libraries.
I am writing to you in response to Parliamentary Question that you tabled recently.
The table below indicates the number of complaints received by Cafcass since its inception in April 2001.
|Number of complaints received|
|(1) 132 of these relating to work carried out prior to the establishment of Cafcass on 1 April 2001.|
January 2009 saw the introduction of a revised complaints procedure that was intended to enable a larger proportion of service users' feedback to be dealt with within the boundaries of the revised procedure. Thus, the figures for 2008/09 and 2009/10 are not directly comparable with those from earlier years.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how much his Department has spent on Tai-Chi programmes in schools in the last three years for which figures are available; which five companies or charities have received the largest sums in such funding; and how much each has received; 
(2) what recent assessment he has made of the value for money of his Department's expenditure on provision of Tai-Chi courses. 
Mr Gibb: Neither the Department nor its predecessor has spent any money directly on Tai-Chi programmes in schools in the last three years. Any Tai-Chi programmes in schools would be funded directly by the schools themselves. We do not collect data relating to the value for money of schools provision of Tai-Chi for their pupils.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make it his policy to include the history of the 20th century in the National Curriculum; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: We are currently considering our priorities for the national curriculum, including what it should cover. We will be announcing our plans in due course.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department has spent on singing programmes in schools in the last three years for which figures are available; which five companies or charities have received the largest sums in funding; and how much each has received. 
Mr Gibb: Tenders were invited in 2007 to provide support for the Singing Ambassador, Howard Goodall, in developing and delivering the national singing programme. The "Sing Up" consortium with Youth Music, the Sage Gateshead, Faber Music and Abbot Mead Vickers submitted a successful bid in July 2007. Funding to the "Sing Up" Consortium was £7.4 million in 2007-08, and £9 million in each of 2008-09 and 2009-10. In addition £1 million was paid in each of those years to the Choir Schools Association for the Chorister Outreach Programme, a part of the national singing programme.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to improve treatment of people with alcohol problems. 
Anne Milton: Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are responsible for arranging to meet the local needs of those with alcohol-related problems from their resources and for ensuring that services commissioned are of the required quality.
The Department's Alcohol Improvement programme supports the NHS to help PCTs commission improvements in prevention and treatment, through:
Regular data from the National Alcohol Treatment Monitoring System on improvements in treatment in each PCT and local alcohol profiles for England to help PCTs understand local need in relation to alcohol harm;
Publication each quarter by PCT of the vital signs indicator on alcohol-related hospital admissions, to show how local improvements in prevention and treatment are reducing harm;
Guidance on effective commissioning and treatment, for example "Models of care for Alcohol Misusers" (2006) and "Signs for Improvement-commissioning interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm" (2009); and
A national support team for alcohol, which supports PCTs and their partner organisations in areas with the highest rates of alcohol related hospital admissions to review their commissioning and delivery systems for alcohol harm reduction and identify what improvements can be made.
Alcohol is a major public health issue. We intend to ensure a proper focus on public health within the NHS. This will include prevention of alcohol-related illness. We are also determined to help the NHS effectively commission services, with a focus on good outcomes from treatment, including treatment for alcohol dependence. We will set out our plans in more detail through announcements in the coming months.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent progress has been made on the Adult Autism Strategy; what guidance he plans to provide to (a) the NHS and (b) local authorities on implementation of
that strategy; what (i) short and (ii) long-term targets he plans to set as part of that strategy; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Burstow [ holding answer 2 June 2010]: The Government are committed to addressing the needs of people with autism and their families. The Autism Strategy for adults with autism in England-"Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives-was published on 3 March 2010 and copies placed in the Library.
To assist the national health service and local authorities to implement the strategy locally, the Department will fulfil the commitment set out in the Autism Act 2009 and consult on and publish guidance in December 2010. Consultation will begin in the next few weeks.
The Autism Programme Board, which includes health professionals, third sector voluntary organisations and people with autism, has been established and will meet quarterly to monitor progress of the strategy and determine if targets are required. This board will be co-chaired by me as the Minister of State for Care Services, and Mr David Behan, the Director General for Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships.
Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review the Government's policy on provision of compensation for NHS patients with haemophilia who were infected with hepatitis C through treatment with contaminated blood products. 
David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what support he plans to provide for those people who were infected with hepatitis C as a result of receiving contaminated blood in the 1970s and 1980s. 
Anne Milton: The national health service provides treatment for patients diagnosed with hepatitis C, in accordance with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommendations.
Individuals who were inadvertently infected with hepatitis C by NHS supplied contaminated blood and blood products are also eligible to receive financial assistance from the Skipton Fund. We are carefully considering policy in this area, and we will announce a decision in due course.
Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will undertake a review into the funding and provision of residential care for the elderly for the purposes of assessing the merits of different mechanisms for allocating the funding of such care. 
Mr Burstow: "Freedom, Fairness, Responsibility", the Coalition's Programme for Government, set out plans to establish a commission which will consider how to ensure responsible and sustainable funding for long term care. The Commission will be established as soon as possible and report within a year.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly primary care trust to reach its target level of funding; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the dates on which (a) the first and (b) the last primary care trust to reach target funding will do so. 
Mr Simon Burns: We have guaranteed that health spending will increase in real terms in each year of the Parliament. However, health care spend will also be looked at as part of the next Spending Review. This will inform the speed at which primary care trusts move towards their target revenue allocations.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) plasma and (b) LCD televisions there are in ministerial offices in his Department. 
Mr Simon Burns: There are no plasma televisions and seven LCD televisions in Ministerial Private Offices in the Department.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) grants and (b) other funding made available for (i) joint working between central and local government and (ii) local government-led services will be affected by his Department's planned spending reductions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Burstow: With regards to local government grants, no Department of Health grants for adult social care will be reduced in 2010-11. So, in 2010-11, the Department will fund over £1.4 billion of grants to local government for adult social care, as planned.
The Department for Communities and Local Government will shortly be announcing the Government's detailed proposals for local authorities.
With regards to other funding made available for joint working between central and local government, health funding is protected from the £6.2 billion of cross Government spending reductions announced recently. Efficiency savings identified in 2010-11, for example from programme budgets which are not consistent with the Government's priorities, will help ensure we protect front line services.
Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many specialist in-patient (a) drug and (b) alcohol detoxification beds were available on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Anne Milton: Data on the total number of in-patient detoxification beds available in England across national health service and independent sector settings are not available centrally.
However, local drug partnerships will have information on their arrangements for inpatient detoxification, including specialist treatment centres. Contact details for each partnership can be found via the Home Office website:
Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were waiting for access to in-patient detoxification facilities in each National Treatment Agency region on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Anne Milton: Published national drug treatment statistics, recorded by the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System, record the number of people who wait under and over three weeks for their first and subsequent drug treatment. They do not report waiting times for specific treatments.
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