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Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to implement its obligations arising from Article 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on participation in culture life, recreation, leisure and sport. 
Hugh Robertson: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport. This reflects our commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and in particular the obligations set out in Article 30.
A number of measures are being taken forward by DCMS and its arms length bodies. Examples include the Arts Council England's Disability Equality scheme to increase the visibility of disability equality in the arts and Visit Britain's "Accessible tourism: Making it work for your business", which sets out the business case for accessible tourism and the economic potential in providing better services and encouraging more tourism from disabled people. Another example is the London 2012 legacy for disabled people plan, which is designed to ensure that the Olympic and Paralympic games leave a lasting legacy for disabled people.
The UK Government will report to the UN in July 2011 setting out how implementation has been achieved across Government. DCMS officials are working with their counterparts at the Office for Disability Issues in preparing the report.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what range of savings in (a) cash and (b) percentage terms his Department has asked Telford and Wrekin Council to model for its Building Schools for the Future programme. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 2 December 2010]: We have asked Partnerships for Schools to work with each relevant local authority including Telford and Wrekin council and their private sector providers to identify any options to achieve efficiencies on each Building Schools for the Future scheme. This work will take full account of the specific needs and challenges of each project and does not assume that changes can or will be made or any savings identified in advance of this exercise. These discussions are expected to conclude by late December.
Mrs Glindon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to reduce the incidence of the suicide of children and young adults as a result of physical, mental and online bullying. 
Mr Gibb: Bullying can have negative effects on young people's lives well into their adulthood. This is why the coalition Government have made tackling bullying one of its key priorities. We are empowering schools to take a zero tolerance approach to tackling bullying. In our Education Bill next year, we will be giving heads and teachers a range of powers to instil discipline and promote good behaviour in and outside of school. We are also revising our current guidance on bullying to ensure that schools are given the right message about tackling bullying effectively and providing pastoral care for bullied children.
Together with the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), we are taking a number of measures to help combat cyber-bullying and online abuse such as revising existing good practice guidance for industry in moderating services used by children. The UKCCIS internet safety campaign "Zip it, Block it, Flag it" makes it clear that children should think about what they say and do online, block nasty messages and tell someone they trust if something online upsets them. We are also working to improve internet safety education in schools, including what children and young people should do if they experience cyber-bullying by helping children make responsible choices when online including avoiding and engaging in such behaviour.
Sarah Teather: The Government's programme to reform public bodies demonstrates our determination to ensure that all public bodies must serve a useful purpose and provide value for money. In this context, the Government are reviewing plans to establish a Child Poverty Commission, as required by the Child Poverty Act.
We have today launched a consultation on our approach to tackling child poverty and improving life chances and social mobility. We will consider in the light of the consulting findings and ahead of the publication of the Child Poverty Strategy how best to take forward plans for the Child Poverty Commission.
Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what progress has been made in establishing and appointing members of the Child Poverty Commission under the provisions of the Child Poverty Act 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government's programme to reform public bodies demonstrates our determination to ensure that all public bodies must serve a useful purpose and
provide value for money. In this context, the Government are reviewing plans to establish a Child Poverty Commission, as required by the Child Poverty Act.
We have today launched a consultation on our approach to tackling child poverty and improving life chances and social mobility. We will consider in the light of the consulting findings and ahead of the publication of the Child Poverty Strategy how best to take forward plans for the Child Poverty Commission.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will ensure that communication competency is used as a key performance indicator for children's development; what recent representations he has received on that matter; and if he will make a statement. 
We are determined to create an education system that delivers high standards for all children, and communication skills are an important part of this. All aspects of communication competence are built into the curriculum framework for English in primary schools and are subject to assessment at Key Stages 1 and 2. We have set out our plans for school reform in our Schools White Paper and we will be announcing plans for a review of the National Curriculum shortly.
In the early years, the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework sets out requirements for raising standards in learning and development of children aged from 0 to five through observation against developmental milestones which include communication, language and literacy. The department's key performance indicator for the early years is based on a summary of children's development at age five, which includes communication, language and literacy. A review of the Early Years Foundation Stage is currently being conducted by Dame Claire Tickell.
Our forthcoming Green Paper on special educational needs and disabilities will set out our plans for improving outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, including those with speech, language and communication needs.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of children in (a) Essex, (b) London and (c) England classified as having (i) minor and (ii) significant difficulties with speech or language who have entered school in each of the last three years for which information is available. 
Sarah Teather: The available information on pupils with speech, language and communications needs in maintained primary, state-funded secondary and special schools can be found in the following tables of the "Special Educational Needs in England" Statistical First Releases:
It is not possible to identify whether these speech, language and communications needs are minor or significant.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he made of the number of pupils in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools who had speech, language and communication needs in each of the last three years for which information is available. 
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much was paid to officials in his Department and its non-departmental public bodies in bonuses and other payments in addition to salary in each year since 1997; how many officials received such payments; and what the monetary value was of the largest 20 payments made in each such year. 
Tim Loughton: The Department for Education was created on Wednesday 12 May 2010 and will be responsible for annual pay awards from 1 April 2011. Information on the non-consolidated awards, in addition to salary, agreed in the pay settlements for the predecessor Department for Children, Schools and Families (2007-10), Department for Education and Skills (2001-07) and Department for Education and Employment (1997 to 2001) has been provided from available records but full information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The available information on non-consolidated performance awards and non-consolidated payments and the value of the largest 20 awards is set out in the following table.
|Non-consolidated performance awards to promote and reward high performance||Non-consolidated payments to support low paid staff|
|Performance year||Department||Payments (£ million)||Number of staff receiving a payment||Percentage of all staff receiving a payment||Payments (£000)||Number of staff||Value of largest 20 payments|
|(1) The information for the former Department for Education and Skills (DFES) and the Department for Education and Employment (DFEE), is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.|
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education 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 1997; and what the monetary value was of payments and allowances of each type in each such year. 
Tim Loughton: The Department for Education (DFE) was created on Wednesday 12 May 2010. Information on the allowances and payments available to officials, in addition to the agreed 1997 to 2010 salary settlements for the predecessor Department for Children, Schools and Families (2007-10), Department for Education and Skills (2001-07) and Department for Education and Employment (1997 to 2001) has been provided in the following table. The information provided is from readily available records and includes information on DFE from 12 May 2010. Full information prior to 2007 can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Department and award period||Payments available to staff in addition to salary||Total budget (£000)||Number of awards made|
|(1) The Instant Reward gift voucher scheme uses up to 0.2% of the pay bill to reward staff. The aim is to recognize and reward staff whose actions have significant impact on the departmental priority areas: Outcome and People Management; Collaborative working; Innovation; and Customer Service. The vouchers values are from £5 to £150.|
(2 )The Divisional Award Scheme rewarded staff. The scheme encouraged senior managers to recognize and reward achievements in their teams. Up to 0.2% of the pay bill was available.
(3) The information for the former Department for Education and Skills (DFES) and the Department for Education and Employment (DFEE), is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate costs.
(4 )Indicates brace.
Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of children from Travelling families who were not in full-time education in each year since 2001. 
Local authorities in England and Wales have had, since February 2007, a statutory duty to make arrangements to identify all children missing from education in their area. The duty applies in relation to children of compulsory school age who are not on a school roll, and who are not receiving a suitable education otherwise than being at school (for example, being educated at home, privately educated or in alternative provision).
It is important that schools and local authorities implement the systems and regulations and follow the
guidance in place around keeping registers, excluding pupils and removing pupils from the school roll. Schools must fulfil their requirement to inform local authorities when pupils are deleted from the school roll or have "disappeared" following 10 days unauthorised absence from the school. Notifying the local authority is important because the local authority can then attempt to trace the children and ensure that any pupils that are removed from the roll of a school are receiving a suitable education.
Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the educational achievement of children from Travelling families at each key educational stage compared to those of their peers with fixed addresses in each year since 2001. 
Mr Gibb: Information about the educational achievement of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children at the end of key stages 1, 2 and 4 since 2003 is set out in the following tables. The information is collected on the basis of self-identification of Gypsy, Roma or Traveller ethnicity in English primary, secondary and special schools. The Department does not collect data on pupil mobility or their residence.
|Key stage 1 assessment|
|Percentage achieving level 2+ in reading|
|Percentage achieving level 2+ in writing|
|Percentage achieving level 2+ in mathematics|
|Percentage achieving level 2+ in science|
|Key stage 2 assessment|
|Percentage achieving level 4+ in English|
|Percentage achieving level 4+ in mathematics|
|Percentage achieving level 4+ in science|
|Percentage achieving level 4+ in English and mathematics|
|Key stage 4 assessment|
|Percentage achieving 5+ A*-C grades|
|Percentage achieving 5+A*-C grades including English and math ematics|
Mr Gibb: The recently published schools White Paper, "The Importance of Teaching", sets out how schools will be freed from the constraints of central Government direction, including trusting the professional judgment of teachers to support all children to progress. The coalition Government have also ensured, through its spending review decisions for the period 2011-15, that more resources are devolved to schools; this will enable teachers, rather than central Government, to decide which resources will best meet the needs of their pupils.
Mr Gibb: The Government believes that learning a language is important to the social and economic future of the country and to help children understand the world in which they live. We will be announcing more details about a review of the National Curriculum shortly. This review will consider the status of languages at both primary and secondary level. We plan to consult a wide range of academics, teachers and other interested parties to ensure that our core curriculum can compare favourably with those of the highest performing countries in the world.
On 6 September, in a speech at Westminster Academy, the Secretary of State announced an English Baccalaureate, to include a modern or ancient language as one of the core academic subjects that children should learn at GCSE level, along with English, maths, science and a humanity subject. Further detail was included in the White Paper "The Importance of Teaching", published on 22 November.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2010, Official Report, column 570W, on personal, social, health and economic education, whether he plans to publish the Sex and Relationships Education Guidance to Schools, issued for consultation in January 2010; what assessment he has made of the compatibility of his proposals for sex and relationships education with proposed guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on sex and relationships education within personal, social, health and economic education; and if he will make a statement. 
Tim Loughton: We are considering the future guidance to schools on Sex and Relationships Education in the context of our announcement of an internal review of personal, social, health and economic education in the Schools White Paper, the Importance of Teaching, published on 24 November. We will make a further announcement about this review shortly.
Mr Gibb: There were 148 full and part-time advanced skills teachers of physical education employed in local authority maintained Schools in England in January 2009 which is the latest information available. This figure is a head count and does not include academies.
Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of the (a) availability and (b) standard of early years provision in (i) South Thanet constituency and (ii) England. 
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to update the school admissions code to better meet the needs of multiple birth families; which organisations he plans to consult on such proposals; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: The School Admissions Code allows admission authorities to give priority to siblings when schools are oversubscribed, and contains a presumption that provision for multiple birth families will be made when setting oversubscription criteria. It is for authorities to decide, in consultation with their local communities, which oversubscription criteria are most appropriate for the needs of families in their area.
Officials have begun talking to interested parties around the review of the School Admissions Code announced in the Schools White Paper, prior to full public consultation-meetings have included representation from the Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA).
Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment his Department made of the capacity of school sport partnerships to co-ordinate the work of national governing bodies of sport with schools in a local area prior to making the decision to end funding for school sport partnerships from April 2011. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 29 November 2010]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education has announced that he will fund secondary schools to release a qualified PE teacher from timetable for one day each week in the school years 2011/12 and 2012/13 so that more pupils can enter competitions run by the national governing bodies of sport. He has also lifted the many requirements of the previous Government's PE and sport strategy which prevented schools from getting on with providing competitive sport for their pupils. Taken together, these measures will give schools the freedom to concentrate on providing a truly rounded education for their pupils, which includes sport. The Government's new school games will provide further incentive to national governing bodies of sport to offer more attractive, deliverable competitions for schools.
Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what account his Department took of economies of scale for schools arising from school sport partnerships (SSPs) prior to taking the decision to end funding of SSPs from April 2011. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 29 November 2010]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education's objective in the spending review was to protect school budgets and introduce a pupil premium, at a time when cutting the budget deficit is an urgent national priority. The Government have now given schools the freedom to decide whether to belong to partnerships such as those for sport and we trust school leaders to take their own decisions. The Secretary of State has, in addition, announced that he will fund secondary schools to release a qualified PE teacher from timetable for one day a week in the school years 2011/12 and 2012/13 to embed good practice and organise more competitive sport.
Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate his Department made of the average level of funding provided to schools by school sport partnerships (SSPs) prior to its decision to end funding for SSPs from April 2011. 
[holding answer 29 November 2010]: There is no average level of funding for school sport partnerships. The level of funding for each partnership is based on the number of staff working within it, which varies significantly from area to area. The standard model for a school sport partnership is: a full-time partnership development manager; a school sport co-ordinator (two days per week) in each secondary
school; a primary link teacher (12 days per year) in each primary school; and an FE sport co-ordinator (two days per week) in each FE college.
Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment his Department made of the capacity of partnership development managers to co-ordinate voluntary sports clubs work with local schools prior to taking its decision to end funding for school sport partnerships from April 2011. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 29 November 2010]: The coalition Government's priority is to encourage more competitive school sport through the creation of a school games. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education's assessment is that the previous Government's PE and sport strategy is not effective or affordable for that specific objective. The school games will provide a clearer framework for national governing bodies of sport and local sports clubs to provide much more attractive competitions and support for schools. The development of better links between sports clubs and schools is the responsibility of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which intends to continue funding for this work.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the level of demand for school places in (a) West Ham constituency, (b) the London borough of Newham and (c) London in each of 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 will continue to provide capital funding and work with local authorities to ensure there are sufficient school places.
The Department does collect information from each local authority on school capacity in maintained schools through an annual survey, which includes LAs' own pupil forecasts. A copy of the most recent survey data relating to the position at May 2010 has been placed in the House Libraries. However, the level of demand for school places cannot be determined by pupil forecasts alone as other local factors do have an influence, for example, surplus school places and changes to school capacity; the forecasting of demand is a matter for local authorities to determine.
Mr Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his Department's most recent estimate is of the number of surplus places at maintained schools in (a) Reading East constituency and (b) England in each of the last five years. 
The Department collects information from each local authority on the number of surplus school places in maintained schools through an annual survey. The numbers of surplus places are reported at local authority level and not broken down by constituency.
As at May 2010, there were 1,596 surplus primary places (14% of total capacity) in Reading; at secondary level there were 977 surplus places (15% of total capacity).
Mr Gibb [holding answer 13 December 2010]: The Department for Children, Schools and Families issued question and answer guidance about the co-ordination of in-year school admissions on 7 October 2009.
Paragraph 3.22 of the School Admissions Code requires that applications made outside the normal admissions round are considered without delay. It is for local authorities to set a time scale within which they will process applications, although to take any longer than a week might be considered unreasonable in light of the requirement in paragraph 3.22.
In most cases, a decision will be easy to make. Except in the case of a grammar school, where a parent applies for a place and the school has places available the child should be admitted. There will be no need to refer to the oversubscription criteria. Even where one place is available and two children have applied, deciding which child should have priority will not normally require lengthy consideration. We believe most decisions could be made within five school days, but a small number of cases might be more complex. We think it would be reasonable for a local authority to allow admission authorities five school days to make a decision in the majority of cases, and a maximum of 10 school days in more complex cases.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what recent estimate he has made of the number of children attending schools with buildings in respect of which (a) dangerous and (b) high levels of asbestos have been identified; 
Mr Gibb: The latest estimate was that around 70% of school buildings contain some asbestos containing materials (ACMs). The estimate was made in 2007 based on a profile of the stock of school buildings which was based on earlier condition surveys of schools.
Since then a number of schools have been replaced under major capital building programmes. Buildings contain a range of ACMs, for example moulded or
preformed asbestos lagging used as thermal insulation on pipes and boilers; asbestos insulating board used for fire protection, thermal insulation, partitioning and ducts; and asbestos- containing floor tiles and textured coatings. The responsibility to assess the condition of ACMs in schools falls to the duty holder, under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, usually the local authority.
We have no plans to carry out a comprehensive programme of removal of asbestos across all schools. Asbestos must be managed in accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The danger from asbestos arises from the release of asbestos fibres. If schools are properly managed and maintained, there should not be dangerously high levels of asbestos fibres. Where asbestos is in a dangerous condition it must be sealed or removed in accordance with the Regulations.
Asbestos does not pose a serious risk if it is managed properly in accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not recommend the routine removal of asbestos. Its advice remains that, providing that ACMs are maintained in good condition, they can be left where they are and managed until a building reaches the end of its life and asbestos can be removed without risk of exposing building users to risks arising from significant disturbance.
Responsibility for prioritisation of specific asbestos removal projects rests with individual schools and local authorities. The Government are committed to ensuring there is a fairer, more effective and more efficient system for allocation of capital money; our priorities for the allocation are to meet the need for additional pupil places.
Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of the appropriateness of the qualification requirements in respect of non-HM Inspectorate of Education inspectors at Ofsted; and if he will make a statement. 
Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for response.
In addition to Her Majesty's Inspectors, Ofsted directly employs regulatory inspectors who inspect social care provision and undertake regulatory activities relating to that provision.
A recruitment campaign in May 2010 for regulatory inspectors set out the following qualifications and experience as essential requirements for applicants:
a recognised social work qualification or a professional qualification relevant to working with children which must be at a minimum level 4 (NVQ level 4 or equivalent);
significant knowledge of social care regulations and standards including a wider knowledge of social care practice and legislation;
a robust knowledge of child protection and safeguarding of children.
In addition to the HMI and social care regulatory inspectors who work directly for Ofsted, the Inspection Service Providers, who are contracted to Ofsted to undertake inspections, employ inspectors as follows:
(i) Additional inspectors inspect schools, learning and skills and initial teacher education providers. The contractual obligations on the Inspection Service Providers require them to ensure that all inspectors are fit and proper to inspect on Ofsted's behalf. They must have credibility and up to date professional knowledge and will normally have gained a degree or an equivalent qualification. They are expected to have appropriate experience, usually drawn from a number of years in a senior management position in an education or other relevant setting or service. In addition, they need to have competence in the use of information technology and a clear enhanced criminal records bureau check that is refreshed every three years. Prior to appointment, all inspectors must provide employers' references and participate in a medical assessment to ensure they are fit for the work they are to undertake.
(ii) Early years inspectors carry out inspections of providers of early years and childcare against regulations and quality standards for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Nearly all of the inspectors currently working for the Inspection Service Providers were until 1 September 2010 directly employed by Ofsted, They must have a full professional qualification in early education, care or regulatory work, or equivalent knowledge and experience. For those inspectors without a degree, Ofsted established a successful programme to assist in helping them study for one. This programme is being continued by the Inspection Service Providers and it is expected that all early years inspectors will have a degree by 2015.
A copy of this reply has been sent to Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Schools, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with which faith groups he expects to work on the proposals in the schools White Paper; what form he expects that work to take; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 6 December 2010]: The Department for Education works with a wide range of faith groups that have schools in the maintained sector (including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh groups) at official and ministerial level. We reaffirmed our commitment to work with these groups in the White Paper, "The Importance of Teaching".
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education for what reasons Stonewall is the only campaign group quoted in paragraph 4.29 of the Schools White Paper; which other campaign groups he plans to work with in developing his policy on sex and relationships education; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 9 December 2010]: The White Paper gave Stonewall as an example of a group that we will work with to make sure sex and relationships education encompasses an understanding of the ways in which humans love each other and stresses the importance of respecting individual autonomy. This is not the same as saying that Stonewall will be the only such group that we shall work with. We intend to work with key partners to ensure that sex and relationships education as a whole is of high quality and meets the needs of children and young people.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what qualifications in sign language are required by teaching assistants and communication support workers who work with deaf children who communicate primarily in sign language. 
Sarah Teather [holding answer 15 November]: There are no mandatory qualifications for teaching assistants or support workers who work with deaf children and communicate primarily in sign language. Head teachers when recruiting and deploying a teaching assistant in this context should ensure the member of staff possesses the appropriate skills to carry out the role.
[holding answer 12 November 2010]: The Government's policy is to improve the way parents of children with statements can express their preferences for the schools they wish them to attend, whether that it
is a mainstream or special school. The forthcoming Green Paper on special educational needs and disabilities will include more information on this.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many Sure Start places there were in (a) the UK and (b) each region in each of the last 10 years; and how many such places he expects there to be in each of the next five years. 
Sarah Teather: Figures for the number of children and their families attending and using Sure Start Children's Centres are not collected nationally. Local authorities in England are responsible for arranging sufficient provision of children's centres to meet local need.
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of the number of fully-qualified teachers who are unemployed. 029421
Estimates of unemployment are taken from the Labour Force Survey. For the three month period ending September 2010 it is estimated that 49,000 people who hold either a teaching qualification to degree level, a first degree that provides qualified teacher status or a post graduate certificate in education, are unemployed.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many rural schools had unfilled teaching vacancies in each local authority area in the latest period for which figures are available. 
The November 2010 School Workforce Census will provide the number of teacher vacancies in each school for the first time and therefore it will be possible to identify those in rural schools separately. This information will be available in spring 2011.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of young people in each (a) local authority area and (b) constituency went to university in (i) 1991, (ii) 1997 and (iii) 2010. 
The numbers of young (aged under 21) undergraduate entrants, from each local authority and constituency in England and Wales, to UK higher education institutions are shown in Tables 1 and 2, which will be placed in the Libraries of the House. Figures are provided for the 1997/98 and 2008/09 academic years. Information for 1991 and 2010 is not available. The Department does not collect information on the number of residents in a particular area who are not in higher education, which would be necessary to calculate a proportion. It is, therefore, not possible to calculate the proportion of young people in each local authority and constituency who enter higher education.
Information on entrant numbers for the 2009/10 academic year will become available from the Higher Education Statistics Agency in January 2011. Figures provided in Tables 1 and 2 have been calculated using updated postcode information and are, therefore, not comparable with local authority and constituency level data which may have been published previously.
Mr Gibb: We intend to restore a focus on specialist expertise in careers guidance for young people based on the core principles of independence and professionalism, and will establish an all-age careers service by April 2012. We are reviewing legislative provisions with a view to focusing on schools' responsibility to secure independent, impartial careers guidance for all pupils, while removing unnecessary burdens in order to give schools the freedom to decide how best to do this.
Tim Loughton: A written ministerial statement confirming capital funding for youth facilities planned under the myplace programme was published on 7 December 2010, Official Report, columns 13-14WS. That same day I wrote to all myplace project leaders, copied to local MPs and Directors of Children's Services to confirm the Government's priorities for the programme, and in tandem the Big Lottery Fund wrote individually to projects to explain the way forward.
Mr Hayes: Table 1 shows the number of apprenticeship starts in Harlow parliamentary constituency from 2005/06 to 2008/09, the latest year for which final year data is available. 2005/06 is the earliest year for which we have apprenticeship starts based on the new parliamentary constituency boundaries which came in to effect in May 2010.
|Table 1: Apprenticeship programme starts, 2005/06 to 2008/09|
|Harlow parliamentary constituency|
1. Figures for Harlow parliamentary constituency are rounded to the nearest ten.
2. Figures are based upon the home postcode of the learner and on constituency boundaries which came in to effect in May 2010. Historic information on apprenticeship starts and achievements under the previous parliamentary constituency boundaries can be found at:
Individualised Learner Record
Information on the number of Apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR), this includes information by parliamentary constituency. The latest SFR was published on 16 November 2010:
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effects of the utilisation of superfast broadband on levels of economic growth; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: I have made no specific assessment, but various studies suggest superfast broadband will have a substantial positive effect on economic growth. This is why the Government are investing £530 million to support broadband rollout. The evidence obtained from studies of the economic impact of the rollout of first generation broadband shows that communities with broadband grew faster than those without it.
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding he plans to allocate to Broadband Delivery UK for the roll-out of superfast broadband; and from which budgets this funding will be drawn. 
Mr Vaizey: £530 million was allocated in the spending review to support broadband rollout up to 2015. This is made up of £230 million from the underspend of the Digital Switchover Helpscheme up to 2013 and £150 million per annum from the TV licence fee settlement from 2013-15.
Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 13 December 2010, Official Report, columns 588-89W, on broadband: Scotland, when he expects the West Dunbartonshire local authority area to benefit from greater availability of superfast broadband as a result of the UK Government's policies. 
Mr Vaizey: We have so far identified four pilot projects, and announced our intention to select a further wave of projects in 2011. We have not made any decisions about locations beyond the initial four areas. When West Dunbartonshire will benefit will depend on how its circumstances compare to those of other areas. In particular, it will be important that the local authority, alongside the Scottish Government, is able to demonstrate the extent of the need for intervention in the local area and provide support for a project.
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the media industry on the News Corporation bid for BSkyB; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no such discussions about the proposed merger. However, prior to taking his decision to intervene on public interest grounds, he did receive written representations on the matter from various media sector enterprises. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is due to receive a report from Ofcom by 31 December on the potential for the merger to impact on the public interest and will take this into account in deciding whether or not to refer the merger to the Competition Commission for a full investigation.
Mr Davey: None. However, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State did receive substantive representations from News Corporation's legal advisers prior to taking his decision to intervene in this merger on public interest grounds.
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Olympics and Sport on News Corporation's bid for a majority holding in BSkyB. 
Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has had discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the likely effects on small businesses of the proposals of the Financial Services Authority to implement the recommendation of the Retail Distribution Review. 
Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. It is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such discussion.
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many staff on fixed-term contracts his Department has employed since May 2010; what the average salary was of such staff; and what the total expenditure was on salaries for such contracts. 
Mr Davey: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has employed 12 people on fixed-term contracts since May 2010. The mean salary for these staff was £53,833 and the total annualised expenditure on salaries for these contracts will be £645,998.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 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. 
Mr Davey: Under the Civil Service Compensation scheme, Departments and agencies can offer early retirement packages in circumstances prescribed by the Civil Service Management Code. These are on either flexible or compulsory early retirement (FER or CER) terms (where pensions are based on enhanced service); or approved early retirement (AER) terms (where pensions are not reduced for early payment).
I have approached the chief executives of the Insolvency Service, Companies House, the National Measurement Office, the Intellectual Property Office and the Skills Funding Agency and they will respond to my hon. Friend directly.
Thank you for your parliamentary question asking how many staff have been offered enhanced early retirement packages by the Skills Funding Agency (the Agency) in each of the last three years.
The Agency (and its predecessor, the Learning and Skills Council) has offered enhanced early retirement packages to six employees in the last three years. These include one employee leaving between November 2007-November 2008 (0.03 per cent of headcount) and five employees leaving between November 2009-November 2010 (0.15 per cent of headcount).
The Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has asked me to reply to your question how many staff of (a) his Department and (b) his agencies have been offered enhanced early retirement packages in each of the last three years.
The Insolvency Service is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Senior Civil Servants employed by The Insolvency Service are dealt with by its parent Department, BIS.
Responsibility for all Insolvency Service staff below Senior Civil Service Level has been delegated to The Service. In respect of staff employed by The Insolvency Service and falling within its responsibility, the Insolvency Service has not offered enhanced early retirement packages to any member of staff in each of the last three years.
I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 01/11/2010, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
In the last three years, staff offered early retirement packages are as follows:
|Number of staff|
I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office (formerly National Weights and Measures Laboratory) to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 1 November [reference 2010/2068] asking how many staff have been offered enhanced early retirement packages in each of the last three years.
No staff in NMO, or its predecessor, have been offered enhanced early retirement packages in the last three years.
I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 1 November 2010, UIN 22019 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Six staff have been offered enhanced early retirement packages in the last three years. These were all offered in the year 2007/08.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many staff employed by his Department were not paid at a rate equivalent to or above the London living wage in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent estimate he has made of the effect of the increase in the standard rate of value added tax on his Department's annual expenditure. 
Departmental spending review settlements are set on a tax-inclusive basis, including the increase to the standard rate of VAT. Departments can recover VAT that they incur on certain contracted out services.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many members of the Senior Civil Service his Department has recruited in each year since its inception; at what cost to the public purse that recruitment was undertaken in each such year; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) was created in June 2009. In 2009 we recruited 10 senior civil servants at a cost of £104,661.43 and in 2010 we recruited two senior civil servants at a cost of £66,529.83.
Nine of the senior civil servants were recruited from the private sector to work in the Shareholder Executive. In addition we recruited the BIS Director of Finance, the Managing Director, Marketing Group in UK Trade and Investment and the Chief Economic Adviser.
Mr Davey: Training budgets are not held centrally but delegated to line managers and business units. Decisions are made locally on how the money is spent and this information is not held centrally. This could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will estimate the proportion of monies recovered by the administrators of Farepak that was paid to (a) former customers of Farepak and (b) the administrators. 
Mr Davey: Total receipts during the period of the administration of Farepak, from 13 October 2006 to 4 October 2007, were £6,721,572. No monies were paid to customers and total fees and disbursements paid to the administrators were £654,926 which equates to 9.74% of total receipts.
The company subsequently entered into creditors' voluntary liquidation on 4 October 2007. The most recent receipts and payments account to 3 October 2010, shows total receipts of £10,779,201 in the liquidation, which sum includes £3,784,589 transferred from the administration. The liquidators estimate that there will be sufficient funds available for a dividend in the region of 15p in the £1. Following a court judgment, £246,180 has been paid to certain creditors whose funds were subject to a trust which equates to 2.28% of the total receipts in the liquidation. Total fees and disbursements paid to the liquidators were £504,413 which equates to 4.68% of the total receipts in the liquidation.
Mr Davey: There are no plans to consolidate the legislation regulating the sale and use of fireworks. The Government believes that the current package of fireworks regulations offers robust measures to regulate the supply, possession and use of fireworks which are generally widely understood.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many students domiciled in Wales he expects to study in English universities in (a) 2012, (b) 2013 and (c) 2014. 
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effects of new university funding arrangements on Higher Education Funding Council for England-funded initial teacher training for university teachers; and if he will make a statement. 
No such assessment has been made. The Higher Education Funding Council for England does not directly fund initial teacher training for university teachers. Academic staff are employed by higher education institutions which are responsible for determining and
providing for the training of their staff. The Higher Education Academy has developed, and is currently consulting on enhancements to, the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education. This is a framework through which institutions can develop approaches to initial and continuing professional development for staff who teach and support student learning. It underpins much of the initial teacher training and continuing professional development in UK higher education.
Mr Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which Ministers of his Department have visited the North East since their appointment; and what the (a) date and (b) purpose was of each such visit. 
Mr Davey: On 5 August my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State visited Corus in Redcar, attended a Growth Finance Roundtable at Teesside University with members of the North East Chambers of Commence and Northern Business Forum and also the National Renewable Energy Centre at Blyth.
On 17 June my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Universities and Science visited the Student Loans Company processing centre in Darlington and Northumbria university's 'Graduate Design Show' and the Centre for Life in Newcastle.
John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which parties (a) requested and (b) were granted extensions to the deadline for Ofcom's Implementing Geolocation consultation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: Ofcom's "Implementing Geolocation" consultation opened on 7 November 2010 and closed on 7 December 2010. 30 responses were received within the consultation period. Eight organisations requested extensions and all were granted in full, as follows:
|Organisation||Extension requested||Extension granted|
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