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1 Nov 2010 : Column 608Wcontinued
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish the business case and costings presented to his Department by the New Schools Network. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 6 September 2010]: A copy of the business case presented to the Department by the New Schools Network (NSN) has been placed in the House Libraries.
Certain redactions have been made to the business case in line with exemptions under sections 43 and 36 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what the 62 applications for free school projects were that his Department had received by 27 July 2010; 
(2) if he will publish each written agreement between his Department and the New Schools Network; 
(3) pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 6 September 2010, Official Report, column 4WS, on pupil place planning, on what date his Department received each of the 16 applications for free school status. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 13 September 2010]: We will make available information about successful proposals once we have made the decision on whether to progress the proposal to the next stage of the development process. Further details about the first 16 approved applications will be published shortly on the Department's website at:
The dates each of these 16 proposals was received are in the table.
The Department is currently working out the details of its written agreement with the New Schools Network.
|Date proposal received||Proposal|
Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals attained (a) five GCSEs at A* to C grades and (b) five GCSEs including English and mathematics at A* to C grades in the latest period for which figures are available. 
In 2009 there were 74,419 pupils(1) eligible for free school meals at the end of key stage 4. 48.9%
(36,368) of these pupils achieved five GCSEs at A* to C grades and 26.6% (19,778) achieved five GCSEs including English and mathematics at A* to C.
The provisional figures for 2010 are due to be published in the statistical first release 'GCSE Attainment by Pupil Characteristics, in England 2009/10 (Provisional)' in December 2010.
(1) These figures relate to GCSEs and equivalent examinations. They cover all pupils in maintained schools in England, including CTCs and academies at the end of key stage 4. The figures are based on final data.
Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many and what proportion of pupils of each ethnicity eligible for free school meals achieved a grade C or above in (a) history GCSE and (b) history A-level in the most recent 12 months for which figures are available; 
(2) how many pupils of each ethnicity were entered for (a) a history GCSE and (b) a history A-level in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and how many were eligible for free school meals. 
Mr Gibb: The information requested is given in the following tables:
|Number and percentage of pupils of each ethnicity eligible for free school meals who achieved a grade C or above in History GCSE or History A-level in 2009|
|( 1) Suppressed due to small numbers|
National Pupil Database (NPD)
|Number of pupils of each ethnicity entered for History GCSE or a History A-level and number and percentage of whom were eligible for free school meals in 2009|
|( 1) Suppressed due to small numbers|
National Pupil Database (NPD).
The GCSE figures relate to pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in maintained schools only.
The A level figures relate to students at the end of advanced level study in maintained schools and FE Colleges (including sixth form colleges).
Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many secondary school teachers with a history specialism there were in each of the last five years. 
Mr Gibb: The latest available information was published in Table 5.1.1 within the research report 'Secondary School Curriculum and Staffing Survey 2007', from the following web link:
The Secondary School Curriculum and Staffing Survey (SSCSS) was a survey which was carried out every four to six years. 2002 was the year prior to 2007 and the results of this were published in Table 24 within 'Statistics of Education: School workforce in England, 2003 edition (including teachers' pay for England and Wales)', available from the following web link:
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) whether any officials from his Department will be seconded to the New Schools Network (NSN) during the period of his Department's contract with NSN; 
(2) which Minister in his Department is responsible for his Department's contract with the New Schools Network; when the contract was agreed; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) whether there is a mechanism to ensure that the New Schools Network does not have any financial conflicts of interest relating to its work on behalf of his Department; 
(4) whether any companies other than the New Schools Network tendered for his Department's contract for advice to potential free school providers. 
Mr Gibb: There are currently no plans for officials to be seconded to New Schools Network (NSN). Lord Hill of Oareford is the Minister responsible for the policy on Free Schools. The formal grant agreement between the Department and NSN has not yet been finalised but it will include appropriate clauses on conflicts of interest and clear reporting requirements.
There was no contract let for advice to potential Free School providers and therefore there were no tenders from other companies.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when his Department plans to respond to the requests made by Clifford Singer on 6 July 2010 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the release of information relating to the New Schools Network. 
Mr Gibb: We expect to answer Mr Singer's Freedom of Information requests shortly.
Mary Macleod: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of primary and secondary school places required in (a) the London Borough of Hounslow and (b) Brentford and Isleworth constituency in the next five years. 
Mr Gibb: It is the responsibility of each local authority to manage the supply and demand for primary and secondary school places in its area and secure a place for every child of statutory school age who wants one. Ministers play no role in deciding primary and secondary school provision in individual authorities and constituencies but the Department allocates capital funding to enable local authorities to provide sufficient school places.
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to increase the uptake of the synthetic phonics method of teaching reading in primary schools. 
Mr Gibb: We are committed to strengthening the teaching of reading in schools through systematic synthetic phonics. We have a wide range of plans in hand to promote this, and announcements relating to this area will be made in due course. Our aim is to ensure that no child who is capable of learning to read should leave primary education without a secure level of literacy.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent representations he has received on school transport in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: The Government have received four representations about school transport in rural areas: two in response to the 'Your Freedom', cross-Government consultation, launched by the Deputy Prime Minister in July; and two letters, one from a parent and one from a pupil.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to answer question 12028, tabled on 23 July 2010, on the New Schools Network. 
Mr Gibb: A response to the hon. Member has been issued today.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to respond to question 17883 on the Building Schools for the Future programme, tabled on 13 October 2010 for named day answer on 19 October 2010. 
Mr Gibb: A response was issued to the hon. Member on 26 October, Official Report, columns 284-285W.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the future funding of the Aimhigher scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The Government are considering the implications of the recent comprehensive spending review and the report from Lord Browne's Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance. We will make an announcement about the future of Aimhigher shortly.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills who represents his Department on the cross-Government working group to tackle anti-Semitism; whether any changes in that representation are planned during the next six months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: An official from the Department's Higher Education Directorate who covers policy on anti-Semitism as part of their remit attends the cross-Government working group. No changes are planned.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of the planned funding for broadband services in the Spending Review period will be allocated to (a) conventional and (b) superfast broadband services. 
Mr Vaizey: The Government have made universal broadband a high priority and have allocated funding of £530 million over the lifetime of this Parliament to stimulate private sector investment to deliver the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015. The Department has not yet decided how the money should be allocated between conventional and superfast broadband services. Decisions will be informed by the responses to the Universal Service Commitment theoretical exercises run by Broadband Delivery UK over the summer and by the pilot projects announced by the Chancellor on 20 October.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the proportion of the population who will have access to 2 megabytes broadband by the end of 2010. 
Mr Vaizey: The coalition Government have not made an estimate of the proportion of the population that will have access to a 2 Mbps service by the end of 2010. The Government have made universal broadband a high priority and has allocated funding of £530 million over the lifetime of this Parliament to stimulate private sector investment to deliver the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure the availability of high-speed broadband to people living in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: The Government have made universal broadband a high priority and has allocated funding of £530 million over the lifetime of this Parliament to stimulate private sector investment to deliver the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what timetable he has set for the proposed superfast broadband pilots in Wales. 
Mr Vaizey: On 20 October the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the spending review that there would be £530 million of funding for broadband rollout. He also announced the locations of the four superfast broadband pilot projects, which are situated in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Herefordshire, Cumbria and North Yorkshire.
While the pilots do not currently involve Wales, we are still in discussion with the Welsh Assembly Government and we hope that the Hereford Golden Valley Pilot could be extended to Wales.
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the future of the Charity Research Support Fund. 
Mr Willetts: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 21 October 2010, Official Report, column 866-67W, to the hon. Member for North Tyneside (Mrs Glindon).
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many (a) debt advice organisations and (b) credit unions have been funded through the Financial Inclusion Fund in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: There are around 250 debt advice organisations funded via the Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) Face-to-Face Debt Advice project. Participants include Citizens Advice Bureaux and other independent advice agencies which are members of Advice UK
The Department for Work and Pensions Growth Fund invests in the capacity of credit unions and other community finance organisations to offer access to savings, banking, insurance, budgeting and affordable credit services. Since 2006 144 credit unions and 14 other community finance organisations have received Growth Fund investment.
My Department does not have any figures on The Debt Advice in Prisons project which is run by the Legal Service Commission.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of people who have been given advice on debt and benefits through organisations funded by the Financial Inclusion Fund in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: In each of the last five years, the number of individuals receiving debt advice from the Financial Inclusion Funds (FIF) Face-to-Face Debt Advice project is as follows.
Many of these people will also receive advice on their benefits, but we do not require our projects to provide data on this.
The Debt Advice in Prisons project run by the Legal Service Commission is also funded from FIF, but we do not have total figures for the number of clients advised under that project.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department has undertaken of effects of levels of student debt on students' ability to obtain (a) mortgages, (b) small business loans and (c) other loans. 
Mr Willetts: Income contingent student loan borrowers are not required to pay back their loan until the April after they finish their course. Repayments are based on 9% of income above the threshold of £15,000 per annum (or monthly/weekly equivalent) and linked directly to a borrower's income and not the size of their loan.
The Council for Mortgage Lenders advise that a student loan is very unlikely to materially impact on an individual's ability to get a mortgage. However, the reduction in net income may result in a commensurate reduction in the amount a mortgage lender is willing to lend. Any increase in the repayment threshold will increase the amount of net income available to borrowers.
A student's ability to obtain a loan, such as a small business loan will depend on the bank or institution approached, and their terms and conditions.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what allowances and payments in addition to salary were available to officials in his Department and its non-departmental public bodies in each year since his Department's inception; and what the monetary value was of payments and allowances of each type in each such year. 
Mr Davey: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was formed through a Machinery of Government (MoG) change that occurred in June 2009. The Department was created by merging the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).
As BIS was only created in June 2009 we have not yet had the opportunity to harmonise the allowances available to staff within this Department. The following list includes all of the allowances that are available within BIS but most of them are only claimed by a small proportion of staff. The allowances available to an individual member of staff are dependent on which of the former Departments they worked for.
Night Duty Allowance
Night Duty Officers Allowance
On Call Allowance
Weekend Duty Press Officers
Foreign Language Allowance
Private Secretaries Allowance
Additional Housing Cost Allowance
Cost of Living Addition
Difficult Post Supplement
Home Working Allowance
Long Service Awards
The pay operations for both Departments were combined on 1 December 2009. The information provided in the following table includes payments made to all former BERR staff from 1 April 2009 until 30 November 2009 and payments made to all BIS staff from 1 December 2009 onwards. We regret that we are unable to provide details of payments made to former DIUS staff prior to 1 December 2009 as this could be done only at disproportionate cost.
|BIS payments and allowances (other than salary)|
|2009/10||2010/11 (to September)|
No payments have been made for allowances that are in the list but do not appear in the table.
The information for non-departmental public bodies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding his Department (a) allocated to the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme for 2010-11 and (b) plans to allocate to that scheme in 2011-12. 
Mr Prisk: The Enterprise Guarantee will facilitate up to £700 million of additional bank lending in 2010-11 and up to £600 million in 2011-12. The Government do not provide upfront funding for EFG but pay out to lenders on claims on the guarantee where a loan defaults.
However, the Government's liability is capped at a maximum of 9.75% of the overall portfolio, thus the maximise exposure to Government of the £700 million facility is almost £70 million, and of the £600 million facility almost £60 million.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will make it his policy to extend to all employees the right to request flexible working. 
Mr Davey: The coalition Government have committed to extending the right to request flexible working to all employees. I plan to consult on this in due course.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on increasing the number of providers in the higher education sector; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The Government want to make it easier for new providers who can offer excellent teaching and a high-quality experience for students to enter the higher education sector. However, this is one of a number of institutional issues in the wake of Lord Browne's independent review of higher education and student finance which requires thorough debate and consultation. We intend therefore to publish a Higher Education White Paper with detailed proposals to which experts from the sector can react, leading, subject to parliamentary time, to a Higher Education Bill in autumn 2011.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what provision he plans to make for (a) full-time and (b) part-time students of a higher education institution in circumstances in which that institution (i) closes and (ii) is obliged to close a course after such students have begun a course of study. 
Mr Willetts: The interests of the students, part time and full time, are always the main concern for the Government and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) when an institution is in difficulty. HEFCE operates a support strategy and has a track record of managed transition that has successfully protected the interests of students over a long period. The Government are considering the report of the Browne review at present and agrees that students will need to be protected as the HE system moves towards a different funding model.
On courses, institutions and not the Government are responsible for meeting their obligations to students, which would generally take the form of teaching out the remainder of the course for existing students or transfer to another institution, if a course for any reason was likely to close.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he plans to take to ensure that universities admit more students from disadvantaged backgrounds whose qualifications meet university admissions requirements. 
Mr Willetts: Admissions are a matter for universities as autonomous institutions.
The coalition agreement recognises the need to attract a higher proportion of students from under-represented groups into higher education. This is one of the criteria against which we are judging the proposals of Lord Browne's Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance. The Government have made clear their intention that access to higher education should be one the basis of ability, not ability to pay, and to this end we have already pledged £150 million to establish a new National Scholarship fund to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Government also have a key role to help young people obtain the information they need to make appropriate choices about their futures, and to help them gain the necessary qualifications. Our vision for education, including how to give young people access to high quality, expert careers guidance so that they are able to make well informed and successful choices for education and work, will be set out in a Schools White Paper, which we intend to publish later in the autumn.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he plans to carry out an equality impact assessment of the effects on women of the implementation of the recommendations of the Browne Review of higher education funding. 
Mr Willetts: I refer my hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Erith and Thamesmead (Teresa Pearce) on 25 October 2010, Official Report, column 135W.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what forecast he has made of the number of part-time students studying at
universities in England in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: We have no reliable basis to make such estimates. HEFCE-funded student places are allocated in full-time equivalent terms with the mix of students between full-time and part-time courses being an institutional decision. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will receive its annual grant letter for 2011-12 by January 2011. It will set out the number of funded places for that year. Plans for the longer term will be set out in the Higher Education White Paper this winter. We share Lord Browne's conclusion that we should extend the exemption from upfront fees to part-time students who have been unfairly discriminated against hitherto.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what change he expects in the number of private providers of higher education in the next five years in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The Government want to make it easier for new providers who can offer excellent teaching and a high-quality experience for students to enter the higher education sector. However, this is one of a number of institutional issues in the wake of Lord Browne's independent review of higher education and student finance which requires thorough debate and consultation. We intend therefore to publish a Higher Education White Paper with detailed proposals to which experts from the sector can react, leading, subject to Parliamentary time, to a Higher Education Bill in autumn 2011.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department has spent on services provided by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in the last 24 months. 
Mr Davey: During the period October 2008 to September 2010, the Department, and its predecessors, made payments totalling £160,735 to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people have been assisted by teams established to tackle illegal money lending funded by his Department in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: The Illegal Money Lending project has helped over 16,000 victims of loan sharks across the seven national teams established to tackle illegal money lending since 2004.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many convictions he estimates to have resulted from prosecutions for offences related to money lending initiated by teams established to tackle illegal money lending and funded by his Department in the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: There have been 171 convictions from prosecutions initiated by illegal money lending teams across the regions since the start of the project in 2004.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department has spent on teams established to tackle illegal money lending in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: Since the first two pilots in Glasgow and Birmingham in 2004 and the national roll out of the project in 2007, BIS has provided funding of £22 million to teams established to tackle the problem of illegal money lending.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for future funding from his Department of (a) teams established to tackle illegal money lending, (b) debt advice organisations and (c) credit unions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: Decisions regarding further funding for (a) teams established to tackle illegal money lending and (b) debt advice organisations will not be taken until Departments have considered the implications of the Spending Review.
Existing arrangements for funding credit unions through the Department for Work and Pensions Growth Fund are due to end on 31 March 2011. No firm plans beyond that date have been agreed.
Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his estimate is of the number of post office branches which derive more than (a) 25 per cent., (b) 35 per cent., (c) 45 per cent. and (d) 55 per cent. of their revenue from Royal Mail. 
Mr Davey: I have asked Paula Vennells, the managing director of Post Office Ltd, to respond directly to the right hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what organisations will be eligible to receive funding to support proposed investment in post offices; on what conditions; and for what purposes. 
Mr Davey: It is envisaged that funding to support investment in post offices will be channelled through Post Office Ltd to post office operators. Detailed terms and conditions for this support have not yet been determined.
Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the level of public subsidy required for the Post Office network beyond the 2010 Spending Review period to meet the commitment that no post offices will close. 
Mr Davey: We have made no detailed estimate of the level of funding required for the post office network beyond the 2010 spending review period.
Our expectation is that, as a result of the actions to be taken over the next four years, the level of public subsidy required will reduce over time.
Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the funding for post offices announced by him on 27 October 2010 is additional to his Department's settlement in the 2010 Spending Review. 
Mr Davey: The funding announced for the post office network by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on 27 October is included in the Department's settlement in the 2010 spending review.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the apportionment of residual liabilities of regional development agencies. 
Mr Prisk: As BIS is sponsor Department for the regional development agencies both the Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues at the Department for Communities and Local Government on issues concerning the RDAs and other matters. The approach to handling RDA liabilities is set out in the Local Growth White Paper published on 28 October.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the costs to his Department arising from liabilities of regional development agencies following their closure. 
Mr Prisk: Subject to passage of the Public Bodies Bill now before Parliament, the RDAs are expected to close in March 2012. The extent of residual liabilities remaining at that point will depend on the progress made on asset transfer and disposal during the course of the next 18 months. It is not possible at present to estimate the extent of costs arising at that point.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of the savings estimated to be made from the closure of regional development agencies by 2014-15 will be reallocated to his Department's programmes. 
Mr Prisk: Funding for future departmental programmes in the Spending Review discussions was handled independently of the costs of closure of the regional development agencies. As set out in the Spending Review document, my Department will provide £200 million a year by 2014-15 to support manufacturing and business development.
Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will discuss with Royal Mail the continued provision of services (a) in Edgworth, Rossendale and (b) other small rural villages. 
Mr Davey: The Government are committed to the provision of the six-day a week universal postal service throughout the UK at uniform, affordable prices and firmly believe it is an essential part of our society and economy.
The primary objective of the Postal Services Bill is to protect this service. The Bill contains new and stronger protections around the service than is currently the case.
The day-to-day provision and delivery of its services are an operational matter for Royal Mail and this is overseen by the regulator, Postcomm. Any concerns about services in specific areas should in the first instance be raised with the company.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what funding his Department plans to allocate for (a) knowledge transfer, (b) national academies, (c) the Government Office for Science and (d) capital expenditure from the science budget in 2011-12. 
Mr Willetts: In the recent spending review the Chancellor announced that the Government will spend £4.6 billion on science and research programmes in each of the next four years within a ring-fenced budget. Capital and administration spending on science and research have not yet been decided.
In the coming months, Ministers will make decisions on the balance of funding between research councils, HEFCE's research and knowledge transfer activities, the national academies and other programs. Detailed decisions on specific projects will be taken by funding bodies, in line with the Haldane Principle.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of expenditure channelled through regional development agencies by his Department was spent on support for science-based industry between 2007 and 2010. 
Mr Prisk: The Department allocates budgets to regional development agencies. The agencies determine which projects to support, subject to the terms of the Accountability and Financial Framework and their delegated financial authorities. RDAs' investments have been guided by the regional economic strategy and their corporate plans. The Department does not hold details of individual projects supported by the RDAs within their delegated financial authorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of students who would pay all or
part of their tuition fees from their own funds under the Browne Review proposals in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: Future levels of tuition fees and support available to students from Government will depend on the response to the Browne review of Higher Education and Student Finance. This is a substantial report and we shall consult further on some of the more detailed proposals before making specific recommendations to Parliament, with a view to implementing the changes for students entering higher education in autumn 2012.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will put in place contractual arrangements to guarantee the (a) level at which students will start paying back student debts and (b) rate of interest to be charged over the 30-year life of a loan. 
Mr Willetts: Currently all borrowers who receive a loan sign an undertaking on their application form which states that they will repay the lender any loans made to them with all and any interest, penalties and charges which apply. They also agree to provide the lender with all information required to ensure repayment. They sign to say that they have read and understood the booklet, "Student Loans; a guide to Terms and Conditions". This booklet clearly states that it provides information about the current terms of the loan and repayment and the regulations may change from time to time and this means the terms of the loan may also change.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will estimate the cost of means-testing parents of university students to determine student loan and student fee reduction eligibility in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. 
Mr Willetts: The total cost of processing student support applications for English students in the financial year 2009-10 was £38.3 million. We are not able to separately identify the cost of means testing household income to determine students' eligibility for support. The costs of processing applications in financial years 2010-11 and 2011-12 are not yet available.
Fee loans are not subject to means testing and are available for eligible students undertaking designated full-time courses.
Eligible full-time students are also entitled to apply for an up-front maintenance loan, 28% of which depends on their household income, and for a means-tested maintenance grant. Students who wish to apply for a maintenance loan but do not wish to provide their household income are entitled to apply for a non-means tested maintenance loan which is 72% of the maximum loan.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what mechanisms are in place to attract private investment in the proposed technology and innovation centres; 
(2) from what sources funding for the proposed technology and innovation centres will be drawn; 
(3) what funding he plans to allocate to the proposed technology and innovation centres in each year of the Comprehensive Spending Review period. 
Mr Willetts: The spending review will provide over £200 million of funding for technology and innovation centres over the next four years, and the annual breakdown of funding for these centres will be announced in due course.
The centres will be based on the model proposed by Hermann Hauser and James Dyson, which sees core public sector funding leverage significant contract funding from the private sector, alongside grant funding from EU and national research programmes, which in turn leverage funding from the private sector.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what funding he plans to allocate to UK Trade and Investment in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Prisk: UKTI has three main funding streams: its own directly funded UKTI programme vote, and funding contained within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
The planned funding in UKTI's own programme vote pays for front line activity including grants and business support services, and is set out in the spending review 2010 (SR10) settlement, reference CM7962, table A. 12. The net funding is:
2011-12: £83 million
2012-13: £79 million
2013-14: £75 million
2014-15: £72 million.
UKTI's administration funding is ring-fenced with the BIS SR10 settlement and pays for front line and support staff based in the UK. The planned funding is:
2011-12: £39 million
2012-13: £38 million
2013-14: £36 million
2014-15: £33 million.
UKTI's FCO funding is contained within the FCO vote, and the UKTI element is yet to be finalised. This funding pays for front line staff based overseas delivering key programmes.
The funding covers the next four years of the SR10 period. UKTI has not been allocated funding beyond this four-year timeframe.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many staff were employed by UK Trade and Investment (a) in total and (b) to work on each industry sector in each of the last 10 years; how many of these were based (i) in the UK and (ii) overseas in each such year; what estimate he has made of the likely equivalent figures in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Prisk: UKTI is not an employer in its own right; for the majority of its human resource requirements it draws on civil service staff employed by one or other of its two parent departments-the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). UKTI also has business people under contract to deliver UKTI services in the English regions.
Numbers of people working for UKTI
| Notes: 1. The overseas figures are expressed as full-time equivalents: (FTE). 2. The figures for March 2008, 2009 and 2010 include staff in the Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) which transferred to UKTI under a Machinery of Government change in 2008. 3. All figures in the table are rounded to the nearest 5. 4. The figures for the UK do not include the people working in the UKTI English regional network, the large majority of which are business people under contract to deliver UKTI services.|
Many UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) front-line staff work with companies across a wide range of sectors and information on the number of staff employed on each sector is therefore not available. They have done so for the last 10 years though sector priorities have changed during that time.
UKTI's funding for next four years is set out in the spending review 2010. UKTI is currently working through detailed business planning processes, with both BIS and the FCO, to set out its future priorities. This will include sector priorities.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Gillick ruling on abortion rates between December 1984 and October 1985; and if he will make a statement. 
Anne Milton: As conceptions data files for 1984 and 1985 are archived, extracting this data to provide figures for this specific period could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
There was little difference on the number of conceptions, which led to an abortion for every 1,000 women aged 13 to 15 between 1984 and 1986. The rate was 4.8 in 1984, 4.8 in 1985 and 4.8 in 1986.
Figures on conception are estimated based on the number of live births, stillbirths or legal abortions. Figures are based on the women's age at estimated date of conception. Figures for women under the age of 16 between 1984 and 1986 are given in the following table:
|Number of conceptions||Resulting in maternity||Resulting in an abortion|
Office for National Statistics
Annual abortion rates for the same period remained constant at 3.7 for women aged 16 and under, resident in England and Wales.
For under 16s seeking an abortion, guidance from the Department emphasises that health professionals should discuss the benefits of the young woman involving her parents. Where she cannot be persuaded to do so, every effort should be made to find another adult to provide support, for example another family member or specialist youth worker.
In 2005, the Department asked for a snapshot survey to be undertaken to look at the level of parental and other adult support for under 16s having abortions. The survey results showed a high level of parental involvement (around 65% ), and that only 5% did not have another adult provide support.
Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of treating patients attending accident and emergency units in 2009-10. 
Mr Simon Burns: Information on the cost to national health service providers of treating patients attending accident and emergency units is collected annually as part of NHS reference costs. 2009-10 costs have not yet been published. Details of previous year's costs are available on the Department's website at
Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the future of the accident and emergency department at the (a) Whittington Hospital and (b) North Middlesex Hospital in North London. 
Mr Simon Burns: It is the responsibility of the local national health service to plan and provide health services to meet local needs. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has outlined four tests that proposals for significant NHS service changes must now meet. Change must improve patient outcomes; consider patient choice; have support from general practitioner commissioners; and be based on sound clinical evidence. Local NHS organisations will need to make sure any plans for change meet these tests.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which (a) hospital trusts and (b) primary care trusts have indicated their intention to undertake an acute services review which will involve reconfiguring services since May 2010. 
Mr Simon Burns: Responsibility for the design and organisation of local health services lies with the national health service locally. Therefore this information is available from the local NHS, not the Department.
This Government are committed to devolving power to local communities; to the people, patients, general practitioners (GPs) and councils that are best placed to determine the nature of their local NHS services. The Government have pledged that, in future, all service changes must be led by clinicians and patients rather than driven from the top down.
In May 2010, the Secretary of State for Health outlined new strengthened criteria that he expects decisions on NHS service changes to meet. Decisions must:
focus on improving patient outcomes;
consider patient choice;
have support from GP commissioners; and
be based on sound clinical evidence.
The Department has asked the local NHS to look at how ongoing schemes meet these new criteria by the end of October 2010. Strategic health authorities will review the evidence provided to assure themselves that the four criteria are met. Any proposals for reconfiguration of services will also need to be assessed against the four criteria. We are clear that services should be driven by the need to improve patient outcomes.
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to the public purse has been of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease in each of the last three years. 
Paul Burstow: Drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease are classified in the British National Formulary, section 4.11 Drugs for dementia. The drugs are Donepezil, Galantamine, Rivastigmine and Memantine. These together with the unlicensed drug Idebenone, comprise the figures in the tables below. Figures are for the latest available three years.
|Table 1: Community cost: Net ingredient cost (NIC) of prescription items written in the UK or the Isle of Man and dispensed in the community, in England|
NIC is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income.
Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system.
|Table 2: Hospital cost: Estimated cost of hospital usage in England|
1. Figures based on a sample and costed using standard price lists, either the Drug Tariff or, if the drug is not listed, the drug manufacturer's price list. The figures therefore do not necessarily represent the actual amounts paid by the hospitals.
2. Data includes all drugs dispensed in NHS hospital regardless of patient, so will include drugs dispensed to private patients in private wards within NHS hospitals as long as they have been dispensed via the hospital pharmacy. The extent of this varies from hospital to hospital.
Hospital Pricing Audit Index (HPAI) database.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when a performance review was last undertaken of the ambulance service in Bassetlaw; what reports were made on that review; who was informed of the outcomes of that review; and when he expects the next such review to be undertaken. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England, and licenses health and adult social care providers if they meet essential quality and safety standards. The CQC has registered and therefore licensed East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust to provide services.
The latest published national health service performance framework data (quarter four 2009-10) shows that East Midlands Ambulance Service is rated as "Performing"-the highest rating a trust can achieve (the other ratings being "Performance under review" and "Underperforming"). This data was published in "The Quarter" on 14 October 2010 which has been placed in the Library, and is available on the Department's website at:
Quarter one 2010-11 results are scheduled be published in the week commencing 15 November 2010.
It is for primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to work with NHS organisations to ensure they are providing an appropriate and improving level of high quality care for patients.
Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment has been made of the (a) standard and (b) consistency of (i) ongoing and (ii) specialist care for rheumatoid arthritis patients. 
Paul Burstow: It is currently the responsibility of primary care trusts as commissioners of health care services to ensure that their populations have access to the services that they require.
In 2009, the Department developed a good practice commissioning pathway for inflammatory arthritis. This provides information to illustrate the type of services that could be commissioned and provided in different levels of care.
The Department expects local health communities to be mindful of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance when commissioning services for people with rheumatoid arthritis. A NICE commissioning guide, "Services for the diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults", was published in December 2009 to assist commissioners in implementing "NICE Clinical Guideline 79: the management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults" locally, including consideration of access to care for people with established rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr Phillip Lee: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 his Department has received on the contamination of NHS blood products during the 1970s and 1980s since the entry into force of the Act; and how many such requests (a) were rejected, (b) are outstanding, (c) have been answered in part and (d) have been answered in full; 
(2) what requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 his Department has received on the contamination of blood products during the 1970s and 1980s; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each such request. 
Anne Milton: The available information requested is contained in the following table:
|Freedom of Information Requests 2005-10( 1)|
|(1) Data identified from the Department of Health correspondence database, and cover requests made from 1 January 2005 to 26 October 2010.|
The Department will place a copy of these requests in the Library and also publish them in due course on the Department's website at:
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will take steps to encourage women over the age of 70 years to take part in breast cancer screening; 
(2) if he will review the 50 to 70 age range for breast cancer screening with the aim of extending eligibility for such screening to women under the age of 50 years. 
Paul Burstow: The Cancer Reform Strategy included the commitment that the NHS Breast Screening Programme (NHS BSP) would be extended to women aged 47 to 73. In June this year, we confirmed in the "Revision to the NHS Operating Framework 2010-11" that all local breast screening programmes should begin the extension in 2010-11. Based on the latest information, 14 of 82 local screening programmes have extended.
Women over the age of 70 can request free three-yearly screening and should receive the leaflet "Over 70? You are still entitled to breast screening" to advise them of this fact when they leave the NHS BSP. NHS Cancer Screening Programmes has commissioned research to examine if more can be done to raise awareness of this right.
The extension of breast cancer screening includes inviting women age 47-49, which will guarantee every woman her first breast screening invitation by the time
she is 50. NHS BSP has undertaken research into screening women under 50. This research, the 'Age Trial' began in 1991, screening women from the age of 40 and 41. The results, published in December 2006, did not suggest that screening from this age would have a significant impact on the number of deaths from breast cancer. The women who participated in this trial continue to be followed up.
Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date he plans to establish the Cancer Drugs Fund; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Burstow: The Cancer Drugs Fund will be established from 1 April 2011 providing an additional £200 million a year for cancer drugs over the next three years. On 27 October we launched a three month consultation on the operation of the Cancer Drugs Fund. The consultation document has already been placed in the Library and is available on the Department's website at:
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average interval is between (a) Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections of a care home and (b) an inspection and the publication on the CQC website of the final report of that inspection. 
Paul Burstow: The following information has been provided by the Care Quality Commission.
Under the Care Standards Act 2000 the average number of days between the most recent two inspections of care homes up to 1 October 2010 was 336 days, (this figure includes annual service reviews which are not site visits but are desk based reviews/assessments).
The average number of days between the most recent two key inspections of care homes up to 1 October 2010 was 527 days.
The average number of days between the end of the site visit for care homes and the publication of the most recent key inspection report up to 1 October 2010 was 69 days.
These figures are based on care homes which were registered under the Care Standards Act 2000 as at 30 September 2010.
The new system under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 was introduced for care homes on 1 October 2010. It is too early to provide meaningful figures.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of the inspection reports on care homes on the Care Quality Commission website were produced prior to November 2008. 
Paul Burstow: The following information has been provided by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
CQC holds 119,347 adult social care reports published prior to November 2008. All these reports are available via the CQC website at:
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many care homes the Care Quality Commission regulates. 
Paul Burstow: The following information has been provided by the Care Quality Commission (CQC):
At 30 September 2010 there were a total of 18,075 adult social care homes registered with the CQC under the Care Standards Act 2000.
Updated figures under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 will be available in due course.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of voluntary organisations to support for carers; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Burstow: Many carers and former carers are leaders and key players in voluntary organisations and their experience and knowledge is invaluable. This Government value the contribution and innovative work of the voluntary sector, both nationally and locally. 'Building a Stronger Civil Society Strategy' sets out how government will support charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises to maximise the opportunities arising from the power shift from central Government to local services, that underpins the Government's agenda.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to bring forward proposals to establish an independent scientific committee to oversee research on myalgic encephalopathy; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: I have been asked to reply.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is a non-departmental public body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
MRC established, in 2008, an expert group to advise it on research into chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME). The Government have no plans to set up a group to oversee this type of research.
Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received on the inappropriate prescription of anti-psychotic drugs for dementia patients. 
Paul Burstow: Inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia is completely unacceptable. Antipsychotics should only be prescribed when they are absolutely necessary. We have received representations from a range of interested parties about this issue since it was first raised. The Government are committed to achieving overall a two-thirds reduction in the use of these drugs by November 2011.
This is a key priority as signalled in the new outcomes focused implementation plan for the National Dementia Strategy, which was published on 28 September. Professor Burns, the Department's national clinical director for dementia, is leading this work. He is supported by an advisory group, which includes representation from across health, social care, the independent sector and relevant national organisations.
Mr Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the number of dental (a) practice advisers and (b) consultants in dental public health required to commission dentistry for local populations; 
(2) what discussions he has had with consultants in dental public health on the implications for them of his Department's White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS'; 
(3) what role dental practice advisers will have in commissioning dentistry under the proposals in his Department's White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS'. 
Mr Simon Burns: The White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' refers to creation of a NHS Commissioning Board and a new Public Health Service, to integrate and streamline existing health improvement. The NHS Commissioning Board will take on responsibility for commissioning national health service primary dental services, whilst the primary care trusts' (PCTs) responsibilities for local health improvement will transfer to local authorities.
Local authorities will employ the Director of Public Health jointly appointed with the Public Health Service. To discharge their functions and responsibilities, both the Public Health Service in local authorities and dental service commissioners will need appropriate advice and input from dental public health consultants, dental practice advisers and their teams, working with local clinicians.
There have been no direct discussions between Ministers and the United Kingdom consultants in dental public health group but departmental officials have met with the group on a regular basis. The group has also formally responded to the White Paper consultation and their views will be taken in to consideration.
The 'Improving oral health and dental outcomes: Developing the dental public health workforce in England' report recommends a half time appointment for a consultant in dental public health and two sessions per week for a dental practice adviser as best practice within each organisation PCTs. In light of the White Paper proposals, we may need to reconsider estimates once the new commissioning arrangements become clear.
Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether any new commissioning body will continue the practice of withholding money from dental surgeries which do not accept NHS patients. 
Mr Simon Burns: A dental practice which is not willing to accept any national health service patients will have no entitlement to an NHS contract or payment for NHS services.
Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on charging for NHS dental care at the point of delivery; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: We think it reasonable to continue the long standing policy that those who can afford it should make a contribution to the cost of national health service dental care. Children, pregnant and nursing mothers, and adults on certain benefits or low incomes do not have to pay charges.
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether he has made a recent estimate of the proportion of parents being treated for depression whose children are on the autistic spectrum; 
(2) if he will take steps to help parents on medication for depression and stress whose children are on the autistic spectrum to have respite care; and what estimate he has made of the provision of such care in 2011-12. 
Paul Burstow: This Government recognise that breaks from caring is very important for carers in terms of the sort of support they want-carers have reiterated this in their response to our recent call for views on what our key priorities should be over the next four years. We are currently updating the previous Government's Carers Strategy and this will be published before the end of the year and will remind health and social care services in England of the importance of breaks to all carers, including carers of children with autism.
No formal estimate has been made specifically on the proportion of parents being treated for depression whose children are on the autistic spectrum. The Government are committed towards improving the lives of both individuals with autism and their families, and recognise the importance of providing more support to families and carers to achieve this goal.
Additionally, more and more people across England are getting access to psychological therapies for the most common mental health problems, including depression. About 140 new psychological therapy services are now up and running around the country and by March 2011 60% of primary care trusts will have an improving access to psychological therapies service, meaning many more people suffering from depression will be seen in these services.
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to bring forward proposals to amend legislation implementing the appropriate EU directives so as to allow the administration of a language test to medical professionals qualified in other EU member states who wish to practice in the UK. 
Anne Milton: Current domestic legislation provides for employers and contracting bodies to be able to undertake checks on the language knowledge of all doctors, including European Economic Area doctors, which can include administering a test.
The Department is discussing Directive 2005/35/EC with the General Medical Council.
The terms of the Directive are to be reviewed in 2012 and the Government will be providing evidence to the Commission ahead of the review.
Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) F1, (b) F2, (c) ST1 and (d) ST3 category doctors are currently working in hospitals in (i) Devon and (ii) Cornwall. 
Mr Simon Burns: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the following table:
|Hospital and Community Health Services: Medical and dental doctors in training within selected organisations, as at 30 September 2009|
|Doctors in training||Registrar group||Senior house officer||Foundation year 2||House officer and foundation year l|
|(1) denotes zero|
The NHS Information Centre for health and social care (Medical and Dental Workforce Census)
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