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Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 24 November 2010, Official Report, columns 317-19W, to my hon. Friends the Members for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) and Portsmouth North (Penny Mordaunt).
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training his Department has provided for (a) fast jet, (b) helicopter and (c) multi-engine pilots overseas by (i) location, (ii) aircraft type, (iii) hours flown and (iv) cost in each of the last five years. 
Nick Harvey: All initial flying training for UK fast jets, helicopters, and multi-engine pilots takes place within the UK. However, training does not cease after pilots have completed their formal training but continues throughout their flying careers, because all operational flying includes an element of training. Small numbers of UK pilots are regularly posted on exchange tours overseas and this often involves conversion training to adapt to specific aircraft types. In addition, UK pilots regularly take part in flying exercises overseas with international partners. However, the information requested on location, aircraft type, hours flown and costs for these activities outside of the UK is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Nick Harvey: Following the Strategic Defence and Security Review, final decisions on the future of defence establishments across the UK will be made as quickly as possible. We plan to be as open as we can be. These decisions will require detailed investment appraisals and wider impact assessments. They will primarily focus on the military capability we require but will be sensitive to economic and social impacts and the needs of our personnel and their families.
Further to my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State's announcement on 19 October 2010, no further decisions have been taken in respect of the future of St Athan as a result of the Defence Technical Training Change Programme. This will build on the Defence Training Rationalisation (DTR) project for which the PFI procurement was cancelled on 19 October 2010.
Mr Robathan [holding answer 2 December 2010]: In accordance with the Public Records Acts, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) withholds from release to the public at the National Archives files that are over 30 years old, or extracts from them, if and for so long as their contents are judged to be sensitive. The MOD continues to work closely with the War Pensions Tribunal with a view to ensuring that all relevant documents relating to the war pensions appeals are disclosed to the Tribunal. Special security arrangements have been agreed with the Tribunal to ensure appropriate handling of any highly classified documents.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many passes have taken place at (a) RAF Holbeach, (b) RAF Tain and (c) the Cape Wrath Range by Tornado GR4s taking off from RAF Lossiemouth in each year since 2004. 
Nick Harvey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 16 November 2010, Official Report, columns 728-32W. Further information concerning the passes by Tornado GR4s from RAF Lossiemouth that have taken place at Defence Training Estate (DTE) Holbeach, DTE Tain and DTE Cape Wrath is held in different formats by each of the ranges so can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the letter of 23 September 2010 from his Department's Director of Performance to the Chief Executive of each strategic health authority, what information his Department has received from each strategic health authority in respect of (a) patient handover between ambulance and acute services and (b) service operation issues in each NHS trust; if he will place in the Library a copy of each such report received by his Department; and what the job title is of the designated Winter Lead in each strategic health authority. 
Information on service operation issues in each national health service trust is management information which allows the local NHS and the Department to gauge individual health economy operational problems. The Department is currently reviewing publication of this information.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on steps to improve the care of dementia since the meeting of the Ministerial Task Force for Dementia in September 2010. 
Paul Burstow: The Ministerial Advisory Group on Dementia Research is currently working via its subgroups on the key issues affecting dementia with the aim of suggesting practical ways to improve the volume, quality and impact of dementia research. The sub groups will report back on their progress to the final meeting of the ministerial group in March 2011. As reported in the Department's November Structural Reform Plan Monthly Implementation Update available at:
Most recently, at the end of September we published a new dementia outcomes focused Implementation Plan. This set out the Department's priority objectives for improving the care of those with dementia including a focus on early diagnosis and intervention for all, improved quality of care in general hospitals, living well with dementia in care homes and reducing the use of antipsychotic medication to treat people with dementia.
In support of the Implementation Plan a National Dementia Declaration was jointly launched in October by the Government and the Alzheimer's Society. This brings together a range of bodies, each setting out what they plan to do to support the implementation of the strategy. With respect to research, for example, the Alzheimer's Research Trust is launching a new strategy to increase their research spending and is supporting 37 new projects including pioneering work on diagnosis using brain scans, further research on unravelling the genetics of the disease, and research in the biomarkers which play a crucial role in diagnosis and understanding disease progression. They will also be undertaking a project working with scientists to better understand research capacity in the field looking at encouraging more people into this area.
Mr Simon Burns: The Department does not hold this level of detailed information. However, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Danny Alexander) announced a package of departmental measures in May that are designed to deliver efficiency savings of some £6 billion (across Government) in the current financial year. These measures include a freeze on communications, marketing and advertising, the definition of which includes expenditure on conferences.
In response to the introduction of these measures, the Department has implemented a range of controls, which includes the establishment of a 'Communications Control Panel' that scrutinises business cases from within the Department and its arm's length bodies. Beyond delegated limits, Cabinet Office approval has to be sought.
Paul Burstow: There are a range of factors which contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes; some of which are modifiable and appropriate interventions can reduce the risk of, or delay the onset of, the disease. However, as these interventions also reduce the risk of other diseases, it is very difficult to disaggregate those specifically aimed at diabetes prevention.
Paul Burstow: It is generally the responsibility of primary care trusts and local providers of diabetes services to ensure that patients have information about their condition. At a national level, NHS Diabetes, the national service improvement team, has produced five patient focused leaflets in the last three years at a total cost of £6,848.
Anne Milton: We do not have any information before 2009. The UK Foundation Programme Office has collected data on the proportion of foundation doctors who have dropped out of F1 or F2 for the last two years (2009 and 2010).
Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost was of providing integrated drug treatment systems to each (a) primary care trust and (b) prison in (i) total and (ii) by prisoner in each of the last three financial years. 
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions he has received representations from non-executive directors of (a) Bassetlaw primary care trust, (b) Doncaster primary care trust and (c) Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on (i) changes to the (A) treatment and (B) clinical outputs of his Department, (ii) the National Clinical Advisory Team, (iii) the strategic health authorities of each institution and (iv) other hospitals in the last 12 months. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department is not aware of any representations from any of the non-executive directors of the organisations named on changes to the treatment and clinical outputs of this Department, the National Clinical Advisory Team, the strategic health authorities of each institution, or other hospitals in the last 12 months.
Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much expenditure the NHS recovered from overseas patients who received treatment in West Reading constituency under non-reciprocal agreements in each of the last 10 years. 
Anne Milton: The information is not available in the format requested. Data are collected on income for overseas patients under non-reciprocal agreements in the primary care trust (PCT) and national health service trust audited summarisation schedules. These data are provided in the following table for the organisations that provide health care to the West Reading constituency. However these bodies also provide health care to other constituencies and the Department is unable to breakdown the data by constituency.
|Income from overseas patients under non-reciprocal agreements, 2003-04 to 2009-10|
1. The Department does not collect data from NHS foundation trusts. The Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals NHS Trust obtained foundation trust status on 1 June 2006, the data provided for 2006-07 are only for the part of the year the organisation operated as an NHS trust.
2. In 2006-07 Newbury and Community PCT, Reading PCT and Wokingham PCT merged to form the new Berkshire West PCT.
3. In common with many other public and private sector organisations the Department only holds accounting data at organisation level for seven years, and therefore data are only available for the financial years 2003-04 to 2009-10.
Audited Summarisation Schedules 2003-04 to 2009-10
Anne Milton: On 1 December, the Health Protection Agency published an interim report "Time to test for HIV: Expanded healthcare and community HIV testing in England" on their review of these pilots. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library. Findings show that expanding HIV testing in hospital/general practitioner/community settings is feasible, and acceptable to patients and staff. These findings from these pilots will add to our evidence base on increasing HIV testing especially in high prevalence areas. A full report will be produced early next year.
Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Tuberculosis, and Measures for its Prevention and Control (National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), 2006);
Tuberculosis Prevention and Treatment: a Toolkit for Planning, Commissioning and Delivering High-Quality Services in England (DH, 2007);
Recommended Standards for NHS HIV Services (2003);
HIV in Primary Care (2004); and
HIV for non-HIV Specialists (2008).
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms are in place to ensure that hospital consultants have adequate protected time for supporting professional activities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: The precise number and ratio of supporting professional activities in each consultant job plan are a matter for local determination, as part of the consultant job planning process. Job planning is based on a partnership approach. The job plan will be reviewed annually and the review will examine all aspects of the job plan including any possible changes to duties or responsibilities. The annual job plan review may result in a revised prospective job plan. An interim review of the job plan may also be conducted where duties, responsibilities, accountability arrangements or objectives have changed or need to change significantly within the year.
The consultants'' contract ensures that senior doctors' time is used in the best interests of patients, by providing flexibility in job planning agreements between individual doctors and trusts. The contract fully recognises the value of wider work in the interests of the national health service.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the average protected time per week a hospital consultant has for Supporting Professional Activities in each NHS trust. 
The consultants' contract ensures that senior doctors' time is used in the best interests of patients, by providing flexibility in job planning agreements between individual doctors and trusts. Job plans are agreed in partnership between individual consultants and their employers, and should be consistent with organisational objectives and patient and service needs.
The breakdown between direct clinical care activities, supporting professional activities and other duties in each consultant's job plan is a matter for local determination as part of the consultant job planning process.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made by the Information Sharing Implementation Group on the sharing of non-confidential information on firearm and knife injuries between hospitals and police forces. 
Anne Milton: As of March 2010 there were 198 hospitals with Type 1 Emergency Departments in England which could support violence reduction through non-confidential information sharing. We estimate that in March 2010 there were 108 hospitals collecting and sharing violent assault data in some format. Of these, we understand that 52 were collecting the minimum data and sharing it at least once per month. At this time 90 hospitals were not sharing data at all as of March 2010.
The Implementation Group has analysed the challenge of delivering the coalition commitment and agreed a programme of work to support delivery. One of the first actions of this programme was to delivering additional funding of £743,000 to various projects throughout the national health service in November 2010. The group will also oversee the establishment of a regular progress update on the number of hospitals collecting and sharing information-to commence early in 2011. The group will also be investigating the impact of information sharing on violence in England.
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence published guidelines on malnutrition in 2006, that recommended all hospital patients, on admission and all out-patients at their first clinic appointment, should be screened (weighed, measured, and have Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated). Also, nutrition support should be considered in people who are malnourished.
The guidelines also state that all acute hospital trusts should employ at least one specialist nutrition support nurse and establish a nutrition steering committee, while all health care professionals directly involved in patient care should be educated and trained on the importance of providing adequate nutrition.
Mary Macleod: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications were made for funding for treatment abroad under Article 49 (now article 56 of the Lisbon Treaty) in the last 12 months; and how many such applications resulted in reimbursement. 
Currently, the numbers of people travelling overseas for treatment are low. We know, for example, that less than 1,000 people travel each year under the arrangements enshrined in article 22 of Regulation (EEC) 1408/71-i.e. the S2 (formally E112 route).
Decisions relating to the application of fundamental rights under article 56 are made locally by national health service commissioners. Accordingly, there is currently no central data collection as to how many patients are requesting treatment via this route, whether the request is approved or refused (and on what grounds), what treatment is being requested or how much it costs.
However, primary legislation has been introduced in relation to EUROSTAT, the European Union (EU) organisation which collects and analyses data on a range of issues across the EU), this requires all member states to collect data on cross-border health care under article 56. Currently, we are awaiting the development of secondary legislation by the Commission before the United Kingdom (UK) can consider how to transpose these requirements.
Additionally, a European directive on patients' rights in cross-border health care is currently the subject of negotiations in Europe. The intention behind the directive is to clarify and codify patients' rights in this area, within a single legal instrument. Depending on the progress of negotiations, a directive may be adopted in spring 2011. We intend looking at article 56 data collection requirements as part of the work to transpose the directive into UK law and NHS systems.
Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people made the transition from child and adolescent mental health services to adult mental health services at the age of (a) 16 and (b) 18 in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10; 
(2) how many people aged 18 years and in receipt of support from child and adolescent mental health services did not make the transition to adult mental health services in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. 
Paul Burstow: The transition from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult services is a critical point for young people with complex mental health needs. The Government are developing support to help young people's and adult services improve these transitions to ensure that both the processes and the models of care meet the needs of young people and their families.
In response to the final report of the independent CAMHS review published in November 2008, which was critical of transitional arrangements, a number of pieces of work on the transition between children's and adult mental health care have been set-up. The Social Care Institute for Excellence, the National CAMHS Support Service and National Mental Health Development Unit are collaborating to produce a series of resources to support practitioners and commissioners to provide better care for adolescents and young adults.
Additionally the new commissioning arrangements proposed by the Government provide an opportunity to improve the commissioning of the full range of emotional wellbeing and mental health services, including transition from CAMHS to adult mental health services.
The Government announced in September that a new mental health strategy is being produced. The Government intends a wholesale shift in emphasis that puts mental health outcomes alongside physical health indicators in assessments of the quality of the national health service. The strategy will take a cross-Government and life course approach focussing on outcomes that are meaningful to patients and their families. The strategy is due to be published in the new year.
Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the merits of extending the application cut-off date for mental health patients pursuing industrial tribunals. 
We have not considered extending the time limits in this area. Employment tribunals already have discretion to accept an out of time application depending on the reason for the delay. In some jurisdictions, employment tribunals may consider claims made out of time where it was not reasonably practicable for a claim to have been submitted within the time limit. In others, late claims may be considered where it is just and equitable to do so. Responses to a public consultation in 2007 on time limits for making employment tribunal claims did not evidence any significant problems.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what rules are in place in relation to NHS appointments in respect of which those responsible for filling non-executive posts are (a) colleagues of and (b) have personal links with those seeking appointment. 
Mr Simon Burns: All candidates for national health service public appointments are interviewed by a selection panel which includes an independent public appointments assessor, who provides independent scrutiny of the selection process.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make an estimate of the effects on the number of organs available for donation annually of a scheme comparable to the organ donation system proposed by the Welsh Assembly Government; 
The Welsh Assembly Government has proposed in its legislative programme a Legislative Competence Order (LCO) to introduce an opt-out system
of organ donation in Wales. Officials from the Wales Office and the Welsh Assembly Government are working closely with the Department as these proposals are considered.
Government Ministers will comment as the process develops. This will include estimating the effects on the numbers of organs available for donation in Wales and for the United Kingdom as a whole. Should the LCO be agreed by Parliament and a presumed consent system subsequently introduced in Wales, Ministers will wish to monitor progress to assess its effectiveness.
Mr Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of exemptions from prescription charges for each class of condition and illness in the most recent year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department does not hold information about which medical condition or illness a patient claimed exemption under in relation to a particular prescription item. Therefore, it is not possible to provide an estimate of the cost to the public purse of exemptions from prescription charges for each class of condition or illness.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the use of savings to the public purse arising from the abolition of (a) primary care trusts and (b) non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department. 
Mr Simon Burns: The spending review announced that the costs of administration across the health system will be reduced by one third in real terms by 2014-15, delivering a recurrent annual saving of £1.9 billion. This includes savings from significantly reducing the number and cost of our non-departmental public bodies and from reforming and reducing the costs of administration in the national health service, including through the proposed abolition of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities.
These savings, along with all other efficiency savings, will be re-invested in services for patients. It will be the responsibility of local commissioners to determine, within their overall budgets, how best these savings can be invested in order to meet the needs of, and improve outcomes for, their local populations.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms his Department plans to use to ensure that funding for social care allocated as part of the comprehensive spending review is spent for that purpose by local authorities. 
The funding allocated for social care comes in three strands: the local government formula grant, grant funding from the Department to local
authorities, and funding provided from within the national health service to support social care services that also benefit health.
Money that goes to local authorities through formula grant forms the majority of social care allocations. This is unhypothecated, in order to give local authorities the freedom to respond to local needs and priorities.
Additional grant funding, rising to £1 billion by 2014-15, will be made available for social care. This funding will be allocated in addition to the Department's existing social care grants, which will rise in line with inflation. Total grant funding from the Department for social care will reach £2.4 billion by 2014-15. The Department has taken the decision to roll the additional £1 billion into formula grant supporting the localism agenda, so local authorities have the ability to spend money on local needs. This additional money will only go to local authorities responsible for social care.
Funding, rising to £1 billion by 2014-15, will be provided from within the NHS to support social care services which benefit health. The allocation of funding from the NHS will be outlined in the NHS operating framework, due to be released on 15 December 2010. This money is split in two.
Next year £150 million will be allocated to primary care trusts (PCTs) to commission re-ablement services and £648 million will be transferred via an agreement under section 256 of the 2006 NHS act to spend on social care services that also benefit health. PCTs will work with local authorities to jointly agree spend of the £648 million on services based on the local joint strategic needs assessment.
Mr Simon Burns: The NHS Information Centre collects Hospital Episode Statistics data which show the numbers of elective and non-elective finished admission episodes that had a main operative procedure or intervention.
Mary Macleod: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average length of stay was for patients undergoing an elective surgical procedure in each primary care trust area in each year since 2006. 
Mr Simon Burns: The NHS Information Centre collects Hospital Episode Statistics data which show the numbers of elective and non-elective finished admission episodes that had a main operative procedure or intervention.
|Average length of stay in days for patients undergoing a main elective procedure or intervention by primary care trust (PCT) of responsibility from 2006-07 to 2009-10: Activity in English national health service hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector|
|n/a = not available.|
PCT of responsibility is identified by establishing the postcode of the patient's general practitioner practice. "not applicable" is where the postcode cannot be derived; "unknown" is where the postcode has not been recorded.
Hospital episode statistics (HES), the NHS information centre for health and social care.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children subject to a care order, police protection order or emergency protection order left care in England in each year from 1989 to 2005. 
Tim Loughton: The number of children who were subject to a care order, police protection order, or emergency protection order that left care between 1993 and 2005 is shown in the following table. Information for the year ending 31 March 1992 is affected by the introduction of the Children Act on 14 October 1991 when a new system of legal statuses was introduced and so it is not possible to extract a full year's worth of data. Information prior to 1992 is not available.
|Children subject to a care order, police protection order or emergency protection order who ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31 March( 1,2,3,4)|
|Years ending 31 March 1993 to 2005|
|Number of children|
|(1) Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000, and to the nearest 10, otherwise.|
(2) Only the last occasion on which a child ceased to be looked after in the year has been counted.
(3) Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.
(4) Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials
(5) Figures are taken from the SSDA903 return which covered all children looked after.
(6) Figures are derived from the SSDA903 one third sample survey.
Tim Loughton: Most expenditure in support of looked after children (including children in care) is through local authorities. In 2007-08 local authority net expenditure recorded by them under the heading of children looked after amounted to £2,181 million, and in 2008-09 the figure was £2,453 million. Data for 2009-10 will be available in early 2011. These figures do not include other expenditure which contributes to supporting looked after children, such as expenditure on social worker salaries, on undertaking assessments of need or on delivering wider services such as school and leisure services. Over the last three financial years the Department itself has directly spent some £65 million in support of looked after children through the Care Matters programme budget; other departmental spending programmes have also contributed to improving outcomes for these children.
The cost to the Department since September 2008 of litigation in connection with looked after children, including in relation to care leavers and adoption, is in the region of £60,000. The cost of local authorities of litigation in respect of looked after children is not collected centrally.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Dundee East of 11 October 2010, Official Report, columns 12-13W, if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance issued to staff of his Department on the performance of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families in respect of (a) preparation of briefing, (b) preparation of speeches, (c) preparation of replies to official correspondence, (d) organisation of appointments and (e) conduct of meetings; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) whether the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families has provided guidance to his officials on the preparation of (a) preparation of (i) briefings, (ii) speeches and (iii) papers, (b) conduct of his meetings and (c) organisation of his diary; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether (a) the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families and (b) officials of his Department have had (i) meetings, (ii) discussions and (iii) correspondence with representatives of Classwatch since his appointment; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether (a) the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families and (b) officials of his Department have had (i) meetings, (ii) discussions and (iii) correspondence with representatives of RM since his appointment; and if he will make a statement. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 7 December 2010]: I can confirm that neither my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State nor I have held any meetings or discussions, and have not exchanged any correspondence with Research Machines (RM). However, officials within this Department have met with RM on numerous occasions since May 2010 and have sent RM one letter during that time.
have met with RM to take forward the integration of Research Machines with the OPEN suite of products. Meetings between RM and this Department have been regular weekly project meetings to look closely at timescales and the project milestones. 16 meetings have taken place since May 2010.
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department plans to take to encourage and support small and medium-sized enterprises and third sector organisations to compete for departmental contracts in line with value-for-money policy, UK regulations and EU procurement directives. 
Tim Loughton: The Department will fully comply with the package of support to open up Government procurement to help small and medium-sized enterprises and third sector organisations recently announced by the Cabinet Office.
This includes streamlining the procurement process to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and waste, improving the transparency of public procurement opportunities and ensuring the timely payment by contractors to sub-contractors.
In addition to those measures the Department already; advertises all suitable contracts on the supply2gov website (a website aimed at SMEs), flags up any contract advert placed in the Official Journal of the European Union if there may be sub-contracting opportunities for SMEs, uses simplified contractual documentation, encourages innovation through output based specifications, splitting requirements into smaller lots, encourages the use of
consortia, publicises tender documents on the Business Link website and supports new businesses through flexibility on qualifying documentation, eg financial accounts.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many staff of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have been offered enhanced early retirement packages in each of the last three years. 
Tim Loughton: Under the Civil Service Compensation scheme the Department can offer early retirement packages in circumstances prescribed by the Civil Service Management Code. Information on the number of departmental staff who received approved early release package for the last three full financial years is set out in the following table:
|Flexible and compulsory early retirement||Approved early retirement|
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many external training courses were attended by staff of his Department in the last 12 months; and what the cost to the public purse was of each such course. 
Tim Loughton: Information about how many external training courses were attended by the Department's staff and associated costs is not held centrally-funding for the majority of learning and development opportunities is held and managed by individual business areas. Consequently this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Sarah Teather [holding answer 7 December 2010]: I am very pleased to report that following our spending review I have been able to secure the funding that will enable the 2011 training cohort to go ahead. You will appreciate that this is only a temporary solution because the current funding scheme is not sustainable. I am determined to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the Green Paper on SEN and disabilities to consider options for placing the training of educational psychologists on a more secure footing.
Tim Loughton: The latest national adoption figures show a disappointing fall in the number of children being adopted and also a significant variation in local authorities' performance, both in terms of the number of looked after children who are adopted and in the timeliness of placements.
The 'Adoption Research Initiative' has also highlighted variations in local practice, particularly in relation to permanence planning and decision making, family finding and matching, the provision of adoption support services, the use of resources and the allocation of budgets.
I want all local authorities to perform to the level of the best. That is why I have set up a Ministerial Advisory Group on Adoption to provide expert advice on a range of practical proposals to remove barriers and reduce delays.
On 18 November I wrote to directors of children's services and lead members to ask that they do everything possible to increase the number of children appropriately
placed for adoption and to improve the speed with which decisions are made. I also intend to issue, in January, revised statutory guidance on adoption.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2010, Official Report, column 728W, on the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which contracts his Department had with the IFS between 2002-03 and 2010-11; what the monetary value was of each such contract; and what tender process was undertaken in each case. 
Tim Loughton: DfE contracts with the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) are research contracts and shown in the following table are details of contracts for the period 2002 to 2011. All of these contracts were awarded by competitive tender.
|Reference||Project title||Contract period||Tender process||Monetary value of the contract (£)|
|(1 )To date no work has been awarded to IFS under this framework agreement.|
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what consideration he has given to the merits of reviewing the safeguarding requirements for those providing education guardianship and host family services to overseas students. 
Tim Loughton: There are no plans to review specifically the current arrangements for those providing education guardianship and host family services to overseas students. The Government are, however, currently reviewing the criminal records and vetting and barring regime, with the intention of scaling it back to common-sense levels.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the School Linking Network project; and what plans he has to review the operation of that project. 
Mr Gibb: In 2009 DfE commissioned NFER to conduct an evaluation of the Schools Linking Network (SLN) programme. The evaluation involved in-depth case study visits with participating schools to collect evidence on the take up and delivery of the programme, taking into account the views of school leaders, teachers, and local authorities. The evaluation also includes a robust assessment of the impact of the programme on pupils' attitudes and behaviour, using a quantitative survey of secondary pupils to compare changes over time in the attitudes and behaviour of SLN participants against a comparable group of non-participants. A full report on the evaluation findings will be published in early 2011. No decision has yet been taken on whether to continue funding SLN in future years.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's Interfaith School
Linking Network Project; when he next plans to renew the Project's performance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: In 2009 DfE commissioned NFER to conduct an evaluation of the Schools Linking Network (SLN) programme. The evaluation involves in-depth case study visits with participating schools to collect evidence on the take up and delivery of the programme, taking into account the views of school leaders, teachers, and local authorities. The evaluation also includes a robust assessment of the impact of the programme on pupils' attitudes and behaviour. The evaluation covers school linking on the basis of racial, socio-economic, or faith differences, and does not specifically focus on the interfaith aspect of the School Linking Network's work. The Department currently has no plans to conduct a separate evaluation of Interfaith School Linking. A full report on the current evaluation findings will be published in early 2011.
Mr Gibb: The Language Assistants programme, which is managed for the Department by the British Council, will continue. The programme supports departmental and Government priorities by exposing pupils in our schools to mother-tongue speakers of other languages through the intake of foreign language assistants; and provides an opportunity for undergraduates from our universities to immerse themselves in a foreign language while working as an English language assistant in a school abroad.