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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Women and Equalities

Business: Females

Priti Patel: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what recent progress she has made on her mentoring scheme to help women fulfil their potential in business. [91785]

Lynne Featherstone: In November last year the Home Secretary announced that funding would be provided to recruit and train 5,000 mentors as part of a package of support for women in business. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills subsequently announced that a further 10,000 mentors would be recruited to support entrepreneurs who are setting up or growing their business.

As of the second week in March over 7,500 mentors have joined the programme and, of the 4,000 mentors who have completed their training, 42% are women. We expect all 15,000 mentors to have been recruited and trained by the end of September 2012.

Fiscal Policy: Females

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what assessment she has made of the effects of the Government's deficit reduction plan on women. [99024]

Lynne Featherstone [holding answer 12 March 2012]: Reducing the deficit this Government inherited requires difficult decisions to be made as this is the only way back to a strong economy that creates opportunities for the next generation and supports world class public services. However, the Government are ensuring that economic reforms are implemented fairly, with the most vulnerable protected. For example:

Raising the personal tax free allowance will lift 2 million of the lowest-paid workers out of income tax altogether, more than half of whom (59%) are women;

Allocating an additional £300 million for child care support under universal credit on top of the £2 billion already spent under the current system will help around 80,000 more families with children to work their chosen hours; and

Extending the entitlement to 15 hours a week of free early education will benefit 260,000 of the most disadvantaged two-year-olds.

Beyond getting the public finances under control, the Government are also laying the foundations for a stronger, more prosperous Britain with women at the heart of the economy by:

Removing barriers for women in the workplace through improving transparency, extending the right to request flexible working, introducing flexible parental leave, and ensuring more women progress into the boardroom;

Providing resources to identify and train 15,000 new mentors to support anyone setting up and growing a business, including 5,000 specifically for female entrepreneurs, and providing £2 million over the next three years to support women entrepreneurs in rural areas; and

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Establishing a Women's Business Council to ensure Government get the best advice on how to maximise women's potential to drive economic growth.

In addition, because women's safety is a priority for this Government, we are ensuring that economic reforms do not compromise protection for victims. For example, we are:

Ring-fencing nearly £40 million of stable funding up to 2015 for specialist local domestic and sexual violence support services, rape crisis centres, the national domestic violence helplines and the stalking helpline;

Allocating £1.2 million over three years to improve services for young people affected by sexual violence and exploitation, including from gangs; and

Continuing to provide legal aid for the victims of domestic violence to apply for protective injunctions and continue to waive the financial eligibility limits in these cases.

Work Experience

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities pursuant to the answer of 7 June 2011, Official Report, column 221W, on departmental work experience, how many people (a) worked as an intern, (b) undertook a work experience placement and (c) worked as a volunteer in her Department in accordance with the hiring criteria set out in that answer in the last 12 months for which data are available; and how many such people were employed other than according to those criteria. [100729]

Lynne Featherstone: From 1 April 2011, the Government Equalities Office became part of the Home Office. Information relating to the Government Equalities Office is included in the reply of 21 March 2012, Official Report, column 790W, from the Minister for Immigration, the hon. Member for Ashford (Damian Green).

Northern Ireland

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2012, Official Report, column 491W, on departmental responsibilities, for what reason he does not disclose the dates of his and his ministerial colleagues' meetings with the Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive. [101997]

Mr Paterson: I and the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), meet regularly and often informally with Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive. These meetings and discussions take place in a variety of circumstances not all of which are recorded and it would therefore be misleading to provide a list of dates that I know is not comprehensive.

Police Service of Northern Ireland

Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2012, Official Report, columns 443-4W, on Police Service of Northern Ireland, for what reason he does not disclose the dates of his and his ministerial colleagues' meetings with the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. [101996]

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Mr Paterson: I and the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), meet regularly and often informally with the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. These meetings and discussions take place in a variety of circumstances not all of which are recorded and it would therefore be misleading to provide a list of dates that I know is not comprehensive.

Serious Organised Crime Agency

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 13 March 2012, Official Report, column 169W, on security and the answer of 19 March 2012, Official Report, column 444W, on the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), whether matters relating to SOCA work in Northern Ireland are reserved or a matter for the devolved Administration. [102051]

Mr Paterson: The Serious Organised Crime Agency is a reserved body under Schedule 3 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The work of the body is a mix of devolved and reserved matters.

Scotland

Media Monitoring

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what media monitoring services his Department has purchased in each of the last five years. [100905]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office has purchased media monitoring services from Press Data (press cuttings) in each of the last five years. In addition, it has purchased transcription services on an ad hoc basis from Newslink Scotland.

Wales

Devolution

Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent meetings she has had with members of the Commission on Devolution in Wales on the revised timetable for the report. [102007]

Mrs Gillan: I have regular meetings with Paul Silk, chair of the Commission on Devolution in Wales, to discuss the Commission's work programme.

Health and Social Care Bill

Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent meetings she has had with the Secretary of State for Health on the potential effects of the provisions of the Health and Social Care Bill on health bodies in Wales. [102008]

Mrs Gillan: I have regular meetings with Ministers in the Department of Health about a range of health matters relevant to Wales.

While the NHS in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Government, there has been close engagement between the Department for Health, the Wales Office and the

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Welsh Government to ensure that the changes the UK Government are making in the Health and Social Care Bill which relate to Wales will have a positive impact in Wales.

Public Sector: Pay

Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if she will have discussions with her ministerial colleagues on the potential effects of introducing regional pay for public sector workers in Wales. [101967]

Mrs Gillan: I will continue to have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a range of issues that affect Wales, including local pay reform.

At the 2011 autumn statement, the Government asked the independent pay review bodies (PRB) to consider how public sector pay can be made more responsive to local labour markets. At Budget 2012, the Government announced that they have provided evidence to the PRBs setting out the economic case for local pay reform, which is now available on the PRB website:

www.ome.uk.com

The PRB is expected to report on local pay reform in July.

Remploy

Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what meetings she has had with the Welsh Government to discuss devolving responsibility for Remploy. [101969]

Mrs Gillan: I have discussed a range of issues relating to the future of Remploy factories in Wales with both Welsh Government Ministers and ministerial colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions as the lead Department, particularly in light of the Sayce review recommendations last July.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts: Crime Prevention

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of the arts to reducing (a) racism, (b) homophobia, (c) disability hate crime and (d) anti-social behaviour; and what projects are planned to increase the arts' involvement in the prevention of these crimes. [101856]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 26 March 2012]: Arts Council England (ACE) has made no assessment of the contribution of the arts to reducing discrimination and hate crime. However, they do see the arts as haying a considerable contribution to make towards promoting greater tolerance, social cohesion, equality of opportunity and the reduction of discrimination in all walks of society.

ACE ensure fairness and consistency in their decision making and undertake Equality Analyses (formerly equality impact assessments) both as a legal requirement and as a best practice tool and methodology. They have supported a wide range of organisations that specialise in working in the criminal justice system.

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Betting: Dormant Accounts

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with betting companies and their representatives on unclaimed winnings and dormant betting accounts. [101593]

John Penrose: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to him on 21 March 2012, Official Report, column 693W.

Broadband

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport with reference to his Department's Business Plan 2011-15, what steps his Department took to complete action (a) 5.1.i on examining external barriers to new providers seeking to invest in fibre optic networks and (b) 5.2.ii on delivery of super-fast broadband; and if he will make a statement. [102226]

Mr Vaizey: The main barriers to deployment were identified as part of the UK's broadband strategy “Britain's Superfast Broadband Future”, published in December 2010. Work to address these issues—such as ensuring the business rate regime is appropriate, and examining options for deploying new overhead infrastructure—is ongoing. As well as this, the Department has delivered a number of outcomes including the publication of the advice note on micro trenching and street works, published in November 2011. Where barriers exist, we are committed to working with industry to remove them where possible.

Regarding access to existing infrastructure, BT were required to offer access to their infrastructure as part of Ofcom's most recent ‘Wholesale Local Access Review', published in October 2010. Ofcom have worked closely with industry to bring these products to market and have been available for competitors to use since November 2011. The implementation of the EU Communications Regulatory Framework in May 2011 also gave Ofcom the power to impose infrastructure sharing on other telecoms infrastructure where proportionate. This will be entirely Ofcom's decision.

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport with reference to the Budget 2012, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of expanding high-speed internet infrastructure into rural areas as well as large cities. [102242]

Mr Vaizey: The Government recognise that bringing high speed internet to rural areas will help benefit local communities and businesses and that a good communications infrastructure is vital to the growth of the economy. McKinsey report that the digital economy accounts for 23% of all growth and Boston Consulting Group estimate that internet-driven businesses made up 8.3% of the UK's economy, rising to 12.6% by 2016. This is why we are investing £830 million in digital communications infrastructure that will deliver superfast broadband to 90% of the country, with a good level of service for everyone else, ultrafast broadband in 10 of our largest cities and an extra £50 million to support ultrafast broadband in smaller cities.

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Broadband: North East

Guy Opperman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent progress he has made on his plans to extend superfast broadband to the North East and Northumberland. [102032]

Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), approved, on 21 March 2012, the local broadband plan for Northumberland project area and the county council is now preparing for procurement using the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) Broadband Delivery Framework. Also on 21 March 2012, Official Report, columns 793-808, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), announced that Newcastle city will receive between £4 and £6 million from the Urban Broadband Fund. This money will help Newcastle to become a Super-Connected City, up-grading its fixed broadband infrastructure to ultrafast and providing wireless broadband connectivity across the city.

Leisure: Industry

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what his Department's definition is of the leisure industry; and whether his Department differentiates between the leisure industry and the tourism industry for purposes of data-gathering; [101778]

(2) how his Department measures the contribution of the leisure industry to the economy; and what metrics it uses to do so. [101779]

John Penrose: This Department has policy responsibility for a number of sectors which are counted within the leisure industry, such as gambling and entertainment. Metrics on these can be found in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) national datasets, for example using the Standard Industrial Code (SIC) ‘92.00 Gambling’.

The definition of tourism that is in use at this Department comes from the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), which is an ONS publication

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/tourism/tourism-satellite-account/2008---the-economic-importance-of-tourism/index.html

It is grounded in a definition of tourism that relies upon the principle of apportioning a share of activities such as accommodation, restaurants, or transportation that are used by individuals making trips to a main destination outside of their usual environment, for any main purpose other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited. This Department does not hold a comparable definition for the leisure industry and therefore does differentiate between the two industries for the purposes of data collection, although some elements of the leisure industry are included within the TSA.

Manpower

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many people are employed in interim posts by the Department, or a non-ministerial department or arm's length body controlled by his Department, through (a) Penna Consulting, (b) Reed Personnel Services and (c)

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Capita Resourcing Ltd (trading as Veredus); how many such people have been in post for over a year; and how many are full-time. [102111]

John Penrose: This Department does not have any people employed in interim posts through Penna Consulting, Reed Personnel Services or Capita Resourcing Ltd (trading as Veredus). We do not collate this information for our arm's length bodies. Accordingly, I have asked each chief executive to write to my hon. Friend the Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay) directly. Copies of the replies will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

Olympic Games 2012

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Olympic Delivery Authority's learning legacy website in sharing knowledge of and lessons learned from the construction of the Olympic Park; and what further steps he is taking to promote this objective across the UK. [101773]

Hugh Robertson: The Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) Learning Legacy website is a very valuable resource for capturing the positive learning from the construction of the park. It contains 250 case studies setting out the lessons learned and best practice developed by the ODA, its contractors and industry partners. It has had more than 15,000 visitors since its launch in October 2011.

In addition, more than 50 targeted events have been arranged with the relevant construction industry bodies, or have already taken place. The website is also promoted through industry journals and publications.

Radio Frequencies

Alun Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the cost to an individual of purchasing a femtocell to benefit from his Mobile Infrastructure Project. [101079]

Mr Vaizey: The Mobile Infrastructure Project is in the process of defining the areas worst affected by poor and non-existent mobile coverage, and the best means of addressing it in those areas. The role of femtocells in addressing coverage will become clearer through this process. Femtocells are currently commercially available at comparable prices to those for wireless internet routers.

Remploy

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) whether his Department has procured any goods from Remploy factories in the last three years; and what the value was of any procurements; [102146]

(2) what recent discussions his Department has had with Remploy on the procurement of goods. [102147]

John Penrose: This Department has not procured any goods from Remploy factories in the last three years, or had recent discussions concerning the subject.

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Sports

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what plans he has to increase participation in sport; and what targets he has set. [101595]

Hugh Robertson: We have not set a target for increasing participation in sport but through the Whole Sport Plans, and other programmes being delivered as part of the new strategy, we expect to see consistent year on year increases in participation. In particular, we want to raise the number of 14 to 25 year olds regularly playing sport.

Sports: Schools

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the likely effect of withdrawing targets for increasing participation in school sport on numbers of young people joining sports clubs set up under the 14 to 24 Sport England programme. [101594]

Hugh Robertson: The School Games and the new Youth Sport Strategy will create the opportunities for children and young people to participate in sport. Through the new strategy, every one of the 4,000 secondary schools in England will be offered a community sport club on its site with a direct link to one or more of the sports' governing bodies. This will complement curriculum physical education, and help address the drop off in the numbers of young people doing sport.

Prime Minister

Early Intervention Foundation

Mr Allen: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer of 21 March 2012, on what date he expects the full tender document to be issued for an Early Intervention Foundation; and on what dates he expects a final decision on the winner of the tender process to be announced. [102009]

The Prime Minister: The full tender document for an Early Intervention Foundation was issued by the Department for Education on Thursday 22 March and the deadline for bids is midday Thursday 31 May.

Once bids have been received there are a number of procurement requirements that have to be met before an announcement can be made. It is expected that an announcement will be made by 31 July.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Dogs: Electronic Training Aids

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what rationale her Department used when permitting the participation of the Electronic Collar Manufacturers' Association in its commissioned research on the use of electronic shock devices on dogs; and what steps her Department has taken to ensure that any involvement of the Association in this research is independent and impartial. [102237]

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Mr Paice: DEFRA officials had sight of the memorandum of understanding between Electronic Collar Manufacturers' Association and the research group and did not consider it posed a risk to the independence of the research.

We are peer reviewing the outputs of this DEFRA-funded research using independent academic experts. As with all DEFRA-funded projects, we have encouraged publication of the results in scientific journals, which will involve further peer review for each element of the project that is published.

Food

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Food Standards Agency paid for the work commissioned from Imperial college London as part of its project on anecdotal reports of food tolerance associated with low calorie sweeteners; what scientific tests are being undertaken by Imperial college; what hypothesis is being tested by the college; and if she will place in the Library a copy of the protocol for that work. [101570]

Anne Milton: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Health.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has a contract with Hull university for this project, and they subcontracted part of the work to Imperial college London. The initial subcontract was for £137,000, however the additional recruitment referred to in my answer of 20 February 2012, Official Report, column 685W, will increase the costs of the subcontract. The FSA will be updating interested parties on this work shortly.

Imperial college are undertaking metabolomic profiling (the global analysis of small molecules generated by the process of metabolism) of blood and urine, using a range of complex analytical and computational techniques. This is part of the overall project to increase our knowledge of what is happening for those individuals who consider they react badly after consuming food or drink containing aspartame.

The protocol for the Hull university project entitled the “Determination of the symptoms of aspartame in subjects who have reported symptoms in the past compared to controls: a pilot double blind placebo crossover study” has been placed in the Library. The FSA does not hold a separate protocol for the subcontracted work.

Food: Exports

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the Budget 2012, what assessment she has made of the role of food and drink exports in the Government's export target for the next decade. [102240]

Mr Paice: Food and drink exports can play a key role in reaching the Government's export target for the next decade which will boost our economy and generate jobs. UK food exports grew for the sixth year in a row in 2010 to £15.8 billion. To take advantage of new opportunities in overseas markets DEFRA works closely

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with UK Trade and Investment, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The action plan, ‘Driving Export Growth in the Farming, Food and Drink Sector’, published in January, sets out how Government and industry will work together to open up and take advantage of key markets. It focuses on opening international markets for the food and farming sector, ensuring the right information and support is available to help companies succeed overseas, simplifying the process for food specific export paperwork, and strategically promoting the best of British food and drink overseas. In addition, UK Export Finance has new products which are available to exporters in the food and drink industry who are unable to obtain credit insurance or trade finance from the private market.

Manpower

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many employees of the Environment Agency are assigned to regulating the EU emissions trading system (a) full-time, (b) full-time equivalent and (c) part-time. [101275]

Richard Benyon: The number of Environment Agency employees assigned to regulating the EU emissions trading system (ETS) as of March 2012 is 39.4 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, composed of 37 full-time and four part-time staff.

This includes staff that provide registry services to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Northern Ireland Environment Agency, as the Environment Agency administers the EU ETS registry for the whole of the UK.

Nature Conservation: EU Law

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the outcome was of her Department's review of the implementation of the EU Habitats and Wild Birds Directives in England. [101972]

Richard Benyon: The report of the DEFRA-led Habitats and Wild Birds Implementation Review was published on 22 March by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman).

The report contains a strong, practical set of measures that DEFRA will be implementing over the coming months in partnership with other Government Departments, regulators, developers and environmental groups. These will help ensure that the directives are easier to implement on the ground without compromising their fundamental objectives.

The report is available on the DEFRA website and I am arranging for copies of it to be placed in the Libraries of the Houses.

Rural Areas: Broadband

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2012, Official Report, column 551W, on rural areas: broadband, what proportion of the £530 million budget is available to technologies which do not deliver superfast speeds. [102286]

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Mr Vaizey: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The Government aim to stimulate private investment to deliver superfast broadband to 90% of premises and universal standard of 2 Mbps for virtually all premises. There is no funding allocation for a specific technology. The technology solutions to deliver the Government's objectives will be determined by supplier responses to local authority procurements.

Schmallenberg Virus

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the costs and benefits of making the Schmallenberg virus notifiable. [102251]

Mr Paice: Our knowledge of this new virus and the UK disease situation is still evolving. We are satisfied that enough cases are being reported to enable us to build an accurate picture of how widespread the disease is in the UK.

Estimates of the cost to Government of making the Schmallenberg virus notifiable, depending on the measures put in place, are between £5 million and £20 million. Current weekly Government resource used is around £25,000. Compulsory notification would impose additional costs and burdens on sheep and cattle farmers at this busy time of year, with few disease control benefits to livestock farmers and the taxpayer.

DEFRA continues to work with industry representatives to promote voluntary reporting. Current indications are that Schmallenberg disease is not having a significant impact on lambing and calving and additional regulatory burdens are not warranted.

Taxis

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department spent on taxis for (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants between August 2011 and January 2012. [101418]

Richard Benyon: Taxi journeys are only used when no other option is available, and when it is appropriate to do so. Between August 2011 and January 2012, the costs for taxis were £1,132.99 for Ministers. In the same period Core DEFRA spent £28,858.73 on taxis for civil servants in the Department.

Attorney-General

Work Experience

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Attorney-General pursuant to the answer of 4 May 2011, Official Report, column 737W, on departmental work experience, how many people (a) worked as an intern, (b) undertook a work experience placement and (c) worked as a volunteer in the Law Officers’ Departments in accordance with the hiring criteria set out in that answer in the last 12 months for which data are available; and how many such people were employed other than according to those criteria. [100748]

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The Attorney-General: As part of the Whitehall Internship Scheme which aims to provide internships in every Whitehall department for under-represented groups, the Treasury Solicitor’s Department (TSol), Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) each offered a single placement to a year 12 student who was allocated a two-week placement in the respective organisation. As part of these placements, each of the three students were also allocated a one-day placement at the Attorney-General’s Office.

TSol also recruits legal trainees via the Government Legal Service legal trainee scheme and at any given time has about 18 people on the scheme. In advance of commencing their training contracts, TSol offers work experience to the trainees so that they have some familiarity with the organisation and the wider GLS.

The Treasury Solicitor’s Department (TSol), Attorney-General’s Office (AGO) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) have not operated any other work experience or vacation placement schemes in the last 12 months.

During the 12 months to March 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service provided 356 work experience placements.

Since May 2011, the SFO have placed two interns from the university of Bath as part of their BSc Business Administration and MSc Advanced Management Practice programmes, and provided five work experience posts.

Apart from the employment of permanent staff, and the hiring of temporary agency staff and contractors, TSol, AGO and HMCPSI have not employed people other than according to those in the criteria outlined in the earlier answer of 4 May 2011, Official Report, column 737W.

None of the Law Officers’ Departments has engaged anyone in a voluntary capacity during the last 12 months.

Education

Academies: Pensions

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when his Department plans to issue guidance to local authority pensions managers on academies pooling with their former local authority. [100107]

Mr Gibb: The first edition of informal guidance about academies and the local government pension scheme (LGPS) was issued to LGPS pension managers by the Department of Communities and Local Government on 29 February 2012. The guidance was developed in consultation with the Department for Education. A second edition will be issued shortly, dealing with the implications of an academy's LGPS arrangements being pooled with their local authority.

Catering

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department spent on complementary refreshments for (a) staff and (b) visitors in the latest period for which figures are available. [101449]

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Tim Loughton: The Department does not hold this information centrally.

Hospitality for official meetings is provided where appropriate. Hospitality is not provided for internal DfE meetings unless it is proven to be cost-effective, or in the interests of good business to do so.

Children’s Centres: Leeds

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much funding he has allocated to Sure Start children's centres in (a) Leeds North West constituency and (b) Leeds for 2012-13; and whether such funding will be ring-fenced. [101562]

Sarah Teather: In April 2011 the Department for Education introduced the Early Intervention Grant (EIG). The grant is un-ringfenced in order to give local authorities greater freedom and flexibility in how they spend their funding, enabling them to make judgments based on local needs and what works best. Subject to that local decision making, the EIG can support a full range of services for children, young people and families including Sure Start children's centres.

Leeds City Council has been allocated £32,723,512 through the Early Intervention Grant for 2012-13. It is up to the authority to decide how best to spend this funding. It is important to note that this amount may change during the year in respect of funding for pilot activities.

Citizenship: Education

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to improve citizenship education in schools. [102061]

Mr Gibb: Ofsted reported in 2010 that citizenship education is improving. Our reforms are designed to build on this by giving greater autonomy to schools. The National Curriculum Review is aiming to establish a core of essential knowledge in key subjects that all children need to learn. This will leave teachers free to use their professional judgement and expertise to design curricula that best meet their pupils' needs. We are also committed to empowering young people to become active citizens. The National Citizen Service will support 30,000 young people to develop the skills and attitudes they need to become responsible citizens.

Our recent publication, “Positive for Youth”, will help to ensure that local areas give young people genuine and wide ranging influence. We are establishing an advisory group of young people to advise on national policy across Government. Finally, we have awarded grant funding of £850,000 to the British Youth Council to support youth participation in England, both nationally and locally, including support for the UK Youth Parliament.

Day Care: North East

Guy Opperman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many families will receive the extension of 15 hours of childcare to the poorest families in (a) the North East and (b) Hexham constituency. [101923]

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Sarah Teather: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the right hon. Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), announced in the autumn statement that the early education entitlement for two-year-olds will be expanded to cover more children. The Government intend to take a phased approach to the implementation of the new entitlement. Around 130,000 two-year-olds will be eligible from September 2013. From 2014, the entitlement will be extended to around 260,000 two-year-olds.

We have recently consulted on a proposal that two-year-olds who meet the criteria for free school meals, and looked after children, will be eligible in the first phase of the entitlement. This would mean that around 7,900 two-year-olds in the North East, including 600 in Northumberland, would be eligible for the entitlement in 2013. Our analysis goes down to local authority level, and not to areas within local authorities such as Hexham. These figures are derived from a sample and are indicative only.

We will publish further proposals in due course about eligibility criteria to reach 40% of two-year-olds from 2014. We will carry out further analysis on what this means for the numbers of eligible children in local areas.

Departmental Expenditure: Drinks

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his private Ministerial office spent on (a) tea and coffee, (b) wine, (c) alcoholic refreshments other than wine and (d) bottled water in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [97324]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 29 February 2012]: We do not hold separate information for each ministerial office. During the 12 months from February 2011 to the end of January 2012, the total expenditure for all five ministerial offices was as follows:

(a) £14,003 on tea, coffee and other refreshments for meetings, and

(b) £508 on wine.

There was no expenditure on other alcoholic refreshments or on bottled water.

All expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

English Baccalaureate

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of pupils were (a) entered for and (b) passed the English Baccalaureate in 2010-11 in each parliamentary constituency. [101388]

Mr Gibb: The information requested has been placed in the House Libraries.

English Language: National Curriculum Tests

Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his policy is on the weight given to the internally-assessed writing element of Key Stage 2 English in setting the level of achievement. [102228]

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1031W

Mr Gibb: Following Lord Bew's independent review of key stage 2 testing and assessment, interim arrangements will apply to the assessment of writing in 2012. A pupil's writing result will be a teacher assessment judgment of their work across year 6. This will be informed by, but not be limited to, their results in a national test. Schools have been able to choose whether to administer the test at a time of their choosing and mark it internally, or to administer it on 9 May and have it externally marked.

A pupil's teacher assessment result will be reported to parents, along with their results in the externally marked tests for reading and mathematics.

Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many primary schools have opted for an external assessment for the writing element of the Key Stage 2 English assessment in the latest period for which figures are available. [102229]

Mr Gibb: Following Lord Bew's independent review of key stage 2 testing and assessment, interim arrangements will apply to the assessment of writing in 2012. A pupil's writing result will be a teacher assessment judgment of their work across year 6, which will be informed by and take account of their results in a national test. Schools have been able to choose whether to administer the test at a time of their choosing and mark it internally, or to administer it on 9 May and have it externally marked.

A total of 2,762 schools have opted to have their KS2 English writing test externally marked this year. This figure does not include the 1,500 schools that were selected to participate in the key stage 2 writing sample test which will be used to monitor national standards.

In line with Lord Bew's recommendations, the teacher assessment of writing will be subject to external moderation in 15 to 25% of schools.

Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment criteria will be issued to primary schools for Key Stage 2 English writing assessments. [101854]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 26 March 2012]: Lord Bew's independent review of key stage 2 testing, assessment and accountability recommended significant changes to the assessment of writing, which the Government accepted.

Those recommendations will be implemented in full in 2013, but in 2012 interim arrangements will apply to the assessment of writing. A pupil's English writing result will be a teacher assessment judgment of their work across year 6 against the National Curriculum level scale. Teachers' judgments will be informed by and take account of pupils' results in a national test. Schools have been able to choose whether to administer the test at a time of their choosing and mark it internally, using a mark scheme that has been provided, or to administer it on 9 May and have it externally marked.

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1032W

In line with Lord Bew's recommendations, the teacher assessment of writing will be subject to external moderation in 15 to 25% of schools.

Free Schools

Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many free schools due to open in September 2012 have secured sites. [99756]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 13 March 2012]: Around half of the free schools due to open in September 2012 have confirmed sites, and negotiations on a preferred site are under way for the large majority of the other projects. At the same stage last year, under half of free schools had confirmed sites.

Free Schools: School Meals

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many (a) academies and (b) free schools are adhering to his Department's regulations on school food standards. [102022]

Sarah Teather [holding answer 26 March 2012]:The Department does not hold this information.

Free schools and new academies which have been set up from September 2010 are not required to comply with the school food standards. Academies that signed their funding agreements before July 2010 are still required by those agreements to meet the nutritional standards, but they can move to the new funding agreement if they wish to do so.

Schools that have converted to become academies will already have been complying with the school food standards. There is no reason to believe that they would stop doing so on conversion. In order to assess any changes in school food provision in schools which have converted to academy status, the Secretary of State for Education, the right hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), has asked the School Food Trust to undertake a qualitative study to look at the approach taken by academies and free schools to providing healthy school food. The results are expected to be published in late spring 2012.

GCSEs: GCE A-Levels

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many children were awarded A*-C grades in GCSE (a) mathematics and (b) English in (i) Kent and (ii) Dartford constituency in each of the last five years; [101944]

(2) how many children were awarded A-C grades in A-level in (a) mathematics and (b) English in (i) Kent and (ii) Dartford constituency in each of the last five years. [101945]

Mr Gibb: The information requested can be found in the following tables. A* grades at A level have been included for the 2009/10 and 2010/11 academic years.

Numbers and percentages of pupils (1, 2, 3) achieving A*-C grades in mathematics and English GCSEs (4, 5) in Dartford constituency (6) , Kent local authority (7) and England (8) —Years: 2007-11 Coverage: England
Numbers and percentages of KS4 pupils achieving A*-C grades in : 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11

Mathematics :

         

Dartford (Number)

864

846

852

931

960

Dartford (Percentage)

62.1

61.4

64.4

67.9

72.6

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1033W

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1034W

Kent (Number)

9,473

9,895

9,989

10,671

10,731

Kent (Percentage)

56.0

58.1

59.8

63.5

66.4

           

England (Number)

323,044

335,453

339,196

360,532

368,911

England (Percentage)

54.0

56.3

58.8

62.6

65.3

           

English:

         

Dartford (Number)

914

902

870

975

990

Dartford (Percentage)

65.7

65.5

65.8

71.1

74.8

           

Kent (Number)

10,052

10,167

10,194

11,223

11,077

Kent (Percentage)

59,4

59.7

61.0

66.8

68.5

           

England (Number)

349,086

357,983

358,136

382,870

392,117

England (Percentage)

58.3

60.1

62.1

66.5

69.4

(1) Percentages are based on all pupils at end of key stage 4 in each area. (2) Figures do not include pupils recently arrived from overseas. (3) Figures include all maintained schools (including CTCs and academies). (4) Full GCSEs have been included (Full GCSEs, double awards, accredited international certificates and their predecessor iGCSEs) and AS levels. Figures from 2006/07-2008/09 exclude iGCSEs, 2009/10 and 2010/11 figures include accredited iGCSEs. (5) Including attempts and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years. (6) Parliamentary constituency figures are based on the postcode of the school. (7) Local authority figures are based on the local authority maintaining the school or in the case of CTCs and Academies the local authority in which the school is situated. (8) England figures are the sum of all local authority figures. Source: National Pupil Database (2006/07 to 2009/10 final data, 2010/11 revised data)
Numbers and percentages of students aged 16-18 (1, 2, 3 ) achieving A*-C (4) grades in mathematics (5) and English (6) A levels (7) in Dartford constituency (8) , Kent local authority (9) and England (10) —Years: 2007-11 Coverage: England
Numbers and percentages of students achieving A*-C grades in : 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11

Mathematics:

         

Dartford (Number)

62

74

69

93

65

Dartford (Percentage)

5.6

6.5

5.1

6.1

4.1

           

Kent (Number)

863

992

1,038

1,087

1,083

Kent (Percentage)

10.4

11.8

11.1

10.8

10.9

           

England (Number)

30,707

33,547

37,605

40,764

42,989

England (Percentage)

10.9

11.4

11.9

11.9

12.8

           

English:

         

Dartford (Numbers)

137

141

118

118

127

Dartford (Percentage)

12,5

12.4

8.7

7.7

8.0

           

Kent (Number)

1,552

1,616

1,645

1,578

1,631

Kent (Percentage)

18.7

19.2

17.6

15.6

16.4

           

England (Number)

48,315

50,805

53,509

52,686

52,520

England (Percentage)

17.1

17.2

17

15.4

15.6

(1) Percentages are based on all 16-18 year old students in each area. (2) Age at the start of the academic year, for example 31 August 2010 for the 2010/11 academic year. (3) Figures include all maintained schools (including academies and CTCs) and further education (FE) sector colleges. (4) A* grades have been included from 2009/10 onwards. (5) Includes pupils achieving an A-C grade at A level in at least one of mathematics, pure mathematics, statistics, additional mathematics or further mathematics. (6) Includes pupils achieving an A*-C grade at A level in at least one of English, English language or English literature. (7) Includes cumulative results obtained in the previous academic year. (8) Parliamentary constituency figures are based on the postcode of the school or college. (9) Local authority figures are based on the local authority maintaining the school or college or in the case of CTCs and Academies the local authority in which the school is situated. (10) England figures are the sum of all local authority figures. Source: National Pupil Database (2006/07 to 2009/10) final data, 2010/11 revised data)

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1035W

Intellectual Property

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether his Department has a role in intellectual property policy development. [101252]

Tim Loughton: The overall policy lead for Intellectual Property is held by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills via the Intellectual Property Office. Many Government Departments have an interest in intellectual property, and the policy making process, including collective ministerial consideration of proposals, reflects those interests.

Literacy: Teaching Methods

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools have applied for match funding to purchase phonics material; and which providers they have indicated they will be purchasing from. [101998]

Mr Gibb: Schools can apply for matchfunding by purchasing phonics resources from a catalogue ‘The Importance of Phonics’. The catalogue includes resources from a range of providers that meet the Department's criteria for a systematic synthetic phonics programme. By 16 March 2012 around 6,710 schools had purchased phonics materials from all of the publishers included in the catalogue.

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools have applied for match funding to purchase phonics material; and from which providers such materials will be purchased. [102260]

Mr Gibb: Schools can apply for matchfunding by purchasing phonics resources from a catalogue ‘The Importance of Phonics’. The catalogue includes resources from a range of providers that meet the Department's criteria for a systematic synthetic phonics programme. By 16 March 2012 around 6,710 schools had purchased phonics materials from all of the publishers included in the catalogue.

Pupils: Disadvantaged

Guy Opperman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools and pupils have received the pupil premium in (a) the north-east and (b) Hexham constituency. [101922]

Sarah Teather: The following table shows the number of schools and pupils benefiting from the pupil premium in 2011-12 in the north-east and Hexham constituency.

  North-east region Hexham constituency

Number of schools

1,068

51

Number of pupils

75,190

679

These figures do not include looked after children and service children in these areas as the final figures are not currently available.

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1036W

Remploy

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent discussions his Department has had with Remploy on the procurement of goods. [102145]

Tim Loughton: The Department has not had any recent discussions with Remploy.

Schools: Admissions

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many (a) applications have been received and (b) places were available for the 2012-13 academic year in (i) free schools and (ii) all state schools. [101387]

Mr Gibb: There were a total of 585,825 places in England for admission in 2012-13. We do not collect separate information for free schools. These statistics can be viewed at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/STA/t001061/index.shtml

I have placed a copy of my written ministerial statement of 22 March 2012, Official Report, columns 69-70WS, relating to the statistical release, in the House Libraries.

Schools: Birmingham

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the (a) demand for and (b) supply of school places in Birmingham in the next five years. [101849]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 26 March 2012]: It is the responsibility of each local authority to manage the supply and demand for primary and secondary school places in their area and secure a place for every child of statutory school age who wants one.

The Department does collect information from each local authority on school capacity in maintained schools through an annual survey, which includes local authorities’ own pupil forecasts (five years for primary places and seven years for secondary places). The most recent survey data relates to the position at May 2011 and is available on the Department for Education’s website.

In this financial year (2011-12), we have made available £1.3 billion to fund school places in England. Birmingham’s share in 2011-12 is £17.8 million. We will continue to provide capital funding and monitor the situation with all local authorities to increase the supply of school places.

Schools: Fire Extinguishers

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will issue guidance to free schools on the installation of fire sprinkler systems in new school premises. [101077]

Mr Gibb: We have no plans to issue guidance specifically for free schools. Free schools, like all schools, need to comply with current premises and building regulations, including the need to meet fire protection standards. A consultation on proposed changes to school premises regulations that will apply to all schools ended in January 2012. Once the results of that consultation have been thoroughly assessed, revised guidance for all schools (including free schools) will be published.

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1037W

Schools: Inspections

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he expects to publish the Education (Exemption from School Inspection) (England) Regulations under section 5 of the Education Act 2005, as amended by section 40 of the Education Act 2011. [101697]

Mr Gibb: We will be publishing the Education (Exemption from School Inspection) (England) Regulations under section 5 of the Education Act 2005, as amended by section 40 of the Education Act 2011, in the summer term 2012.

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what additional costs he estimates will arise for (a) Ofsted, (b) his Department and (c) local authorities as a consequence of changes proposed in the Ofsted consultation, ‘A good education for all’; and how such cost will be funded. [101698]

Mr Gibb: Ofsted's consultation, ‘A good education for all’, has not yet closed, and accordingly decisions have not yet been taken on the final form of changes to school and college inspection proposed for introduction from September 2012.

Schools: Sanitation

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment has been made of the standard of school toilet facilities; and whether an assessment has been made of any relationship to the incidence of continence problems in young people. [101835]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 26 March 2012]: A number of organisations have carried out studies in these areas and sent details of these among the responses to the consultation on the proposed new school premises regulations. All responses are currently being analysed by officials and relevant evidence will be taken into account when finalising the requirements for school toilet and washing facilities.

Teachers: Trade Unions

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether local authorities can re-charge schools for the employment costs of teachers engaged in trade union activities. [101356]

Mr Gibb: It is a matter for local authorities in consultation with their Schools Forums to decide what funding, if any, should be made available to support the cover needed for teachers engaged in trade union activities.

Teachers: Training

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of people recruited to initial teacher training courses for secondary schools in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12 trained as teachers in (i) art, (ii) citizenship, (iii) English, (iv) drama, (v) geography, (vi) leisure and tourism, (vii) history, (viii) mathematics, (ix) modern foreign languages, (x) classical languages, (xi) religious education, (xii) science, (xiii) vocational subjects/diploma subjects,

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1038W

(xiv) sociology/social studies, (xv) psychology, (xvi) media studies, (xvii) business studies, (xviii) dance, (xix) performing arts, (xx) textiles and (xxi) food technology. [101386]

Mr Gibb: The percentages of people recruited to secondary initial teacher training in (a) 2010/11 and (b) 2011/12 in the subjects listed are shown in the following table:

Initial teacher training: Proportions of all secondary recruits training to teach specified subjects—Academic years 2010/11 and 2011/12 Coverage: England
Percentage
Subject 2010/11 2011/12

Art

3.0

2.2

Citizenship

1.4

1.1

English

11.4

13.1

Drama

1.8

1.9

Geography

3.7

4.1

Leisure and Tourism

0.2

0.1

History

3.3

4.1

Mathematics

14.4

17.0

Modern Foreign Languages

7.9

8.8

Classical Languages

0.2

0.2

Religious Education

4.4

2.9

Science

17.8

20.0

Vocational/Diploma Subjects

2.1

1.4

Sociology/Social Studies

0.6

0.5

Psychology

0.6

0.4

Media Studies

0.3

0.1

Business Studies

2.9

2.0

Dance

0.6

0.6

Performing Arts

0.0

0.0

Textiles

0.2

0.1

Food Technology

1.0

0.6

Other subjects

22.0

18.6

Total

100.0

100.0

Notes: 1. Includes all postgraduate, undergraduate, college-based and employment-based routes of initial teacher training (ITT). 2. Includes trainees on both secondary and combined key stage 2 and 3 ITT courses. 3. Recruitment figures for 2011/12 are based on data at 1 January 2012 and are provisional. 4. The proportions shown are of all secondary ITT recruits for the period in question. 5. Science includes Biology, Chemistry, Physics and General Sciences. 6. Vocational/Diploma Subjects include Applied Information and Communications Technology, Applied Art and Design, Applied Business, Applied Science, Engineering, Creative and Media, Health and Social Care and Society Health and Personal Development. 7. Other subjects comprise Design and Technology, Graphics, Information and Communications Technology, Music, Economics, General Studies and Physical Education.

Teachers: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions he has had with Ministers in the Welsh Government on the transfer of responsibility for the pay and conditions of teachers to the Welsh Government. [102193]

Mr Gibb: The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), has not had any discussions with Ministers in the Welsh Government on the transfer of responsibility for the pay and conditions of Welsh teachers to the Welsh Government.

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1039W

Truancy: Leeds

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many days of truancy were recorded in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in the City of Leeds in each of the last three years. [101566]

Mr Gibb: The closest measure we have to truancy is unauthorised absence. However, this includes family holidays not agreed, late arrival, "other unauthorised circumstances", and "no reason given", not all of which is truancy.

Information on unauthorised absence in 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10 is shown in the table.

Maintained primary and state-funded secondary schools (1, 2) : Pupil absence by type of school. Academic years 2007/08 to 2009/10 (2.5 terms). England and Leeds local authority
  Unauthorised absence
  Maintained primary schools (1) State-funded secondary schools (1, 2)
  Number of days missed (3, 4) Percentage of half days missed (5) Number of days missed (3, 4) Percentage of half days missed (5)

2007/08

       

England

2,847,740

0.57

6,553,900

1.49

Leeds local authority

40,360

0.57

153,420

2.48

         

2008/09

       

England

3,178,660

0.64

6,501,070

1.49

Leeds local authority

52,430

0.74

156,500

2.61

         

2009/10

       

England

3,332,700

0.67

6,297,870

1.45

Leeds local authority

58,660

0.82

160,920

2.67

(1) Includes middle schools as deemed. (2) Includes city technology colleges and academies. (3) Number of sessions missed due to unauthorised absence divided by two. (4) Number of days missed has been rounded to the nearest 10. (5) The number of sessions missed due to unauthorised absence expressed as a percentage of the total number of possible sessions. Source: School Census

The latest data on absence for the whole year (2.5 terms) is published as Statistical First Release 03/2011 ‘Pupil Absence in Schools in England, Including Pupil Characteristics: 2009/10' at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000994/index.shtml

Information for the 2010/11 academic year will be published on 28 March 2012 in Statistical First Release 04/2012 ‘Pupil Absence in Schools in England, Including Pupil Characteristics: 2010/11' at

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001060/index.shtml

Unauthorised absence rates (percentages of half days missed) will be available in Table 7.1.

Young People: Alcoholic Drinks

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to reduce alcohol consumption by 11 to 15-year-olds who drink regularly. [101931]

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1040W

Sarah Teather [holding answer 26 March 2012]: Although most school-age children have never had an alcoholic drink, and the numbers who have done so are declining, the levels of binge drinking among 15 to 16-year-olds in the UK still compare poorly to other European countries.

The Government’s Alcohol Strategy was published on 23 March 2011. It announced a number of further measures to tackle the issue of excessive alcohol consumption which will encourage children to delay the age at which they have their first alcoholic drink and minimise the amount of alcohol they consume if they do start drinking.

The strategy outlines the action to be taken to improve alcohol education for children and young people, raise their awareness of the harms, and ensure that parents are aware of their own responsibilities and the chief medical officer for England’s guidance on alcohol consumption and young people. We will also work with regulators and industry to ensure the controls on alcohol advertising, marketing and retail continue to provide appropriate levels of protection for children and young people. As increases in the price of alcohol are linked to decreases in alcohol consumption, particularly among those who regularly drink heavily and young drinkers under 18, we will consult on the level to be set for a minimum unit price for alcohol and a proposed ban on multi-buy discounts in supermarkets and off-licences. We are also doubling the maximum fine for persistently selling alcohol to a person under 18 to £20,000 and making it easier to close down premises found to be persistently selling alcohol to young people.

Work and Pensions

Action for Employment

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether any new contracts have been let by his Department to A4e between 28 February and 27 March 2012. [102112]

Chris Grayling: There have been no new contracts awarded to A4e between 28 February and 27 March 2012.

Apprentices: Pay

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average wage paid to apprentices undertaking one year workplace-based apprenticeships is. [100285]

Mr Hayes: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Education.

We do not have pay broken down by apprenticeship duration. The length of an apprenticeship varies depending on prior skills levels of the apprentice, the qualification being obtained and industry sector. Generally, apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete.

However, research commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, taken from a survey of Apprentice Pay(1) undertaken between June and July 2011, of apprentices who therefore typically began their

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1041W

apprenticeships in 2008, 2009, and 2010, shows that the average (median) gross hourly rate for paid apprentices in England was £5.83.

(1 )BIS Survey of Apprentice Pay 2011, published 15 March 2012.

Consultants

Mr Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2011, Official Report, column 113W, on consultants, what (a) reports on implementation of universal credit and (b) other reports have been received by his Department from (i) management consultancy and (ii) audit firms since 1 January 2010. [85544]

Chris Grayling: The Department has not commissioned any report on the implementation of universal credit from management consultancy and audit firms since January 2010.

I have placed a list of all consultancy and audits projects commissioned (a) in 2010 before May, and (b) from May 2010 onwards in the Library.

Disability

Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to work with disabled people and disability organisations to ensure that the Disability Strategy is co-produced and not only consulted on. [101821]

Maria Miller: Before publishing our discussion document “Fulfilling Potential” on 1 December 2011 we regularly met a variety of disabled people and their organisations to co-produce the discussion exercise.

“Fulfilling Potential” has generated over 500 written responses and the Office of Disability Issues has funded around 100 events run by disabled people's organisations. We estimate over 5,000 disabled people have had the opportunity to put forward practical ideas for making a real difference to their lives.

We are continuing to work together with disabled people and disability organisations, for example, in bespoke groups, through the Independent Living Scrutiny Group, the Disability Charities Consortium and Equality 2025, and they will be helping to analyse and take forward the responses received.

Disability Living Allowance

Alun Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many decisions have been made by his Department to end disability living allowance in respect of children in (a) each of the last five years and (b) 2012 to date; and in what proportion of such cases an appeal was made in respect of the decision in each such year. [101075]

Maria Miller: The Department does collate information relating to decision outcomes on disability living allowance claims but currently cannot provide this information in respect of children. Published information on disability living allowance decision outcomes and appeals can be found on the following link. I will place a copy of this information in the Library.

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2011/analysis_of_disability_living_allowance_DLA_awards.pdf

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1042W

The Department has recently implemented improved processes for dealing with child claims and should be in a position to provide information on decision outcomes and appeals for children in the next two years.

Alun Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many decisions have been made by his Department to end disability living allowance in respect of those aged 16 to 18 in (a) each of the last five years and (b) 2012 to date; and in what proportion of such cases an appeal was made in respect of that decision in each such year. [101078]

Maria Miller: The Department does collate information relating to decision outcomes on disability living allowance claims but cannot provide this information in respect of 16 to 18-year-olds. Published information on disability living allowance decision outcomes and appeals can be found on the following link:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2011/analysis_of_disability_living_allowance_DLA_awards.pdf

I will place a copy of this information in the Library.

Fuel Poverty

Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent progress he has made on reducing fuel poverty. [102184]

Gregory Barker: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

DECC is committed to helping people, especially low-income vulnerable households, heat their homes more affordably.

Since 2000, the Warm Front scheme has assisted 2.3 million households, providing energy efficient heating and insulation measures to households vulnerable to fuel poverty. We expect the scheme to assist a further 90,000 households between April 2011 and March 2013. In addition, the Government have introduced the Warm Home Discount scheme which requires the six largest energy companies to provide discounts on energy bills. The scheme is worth up to £1.1 billion and will run from April 2011 to March 2015, helping around two million low income and vulnerable households per year.

The Government also provides winter fuel payments to pensioner households and cold weather payments to eligible households during periods of cold weather. This winter, the Government have made 5,166,900 cold weather payments totalling £129,172,500.

Housing Benefit

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the numbers of people in work who are claiming (a) housing benefit and council tax benefit, (b) housing benefit alone and (c) council tax benefit alone. [102274]

Steve Webb: The economic status of all housing benefit/council tax benefit (HB/CTB) recipients is not available. Information is only available for those HB/CTB recipients whose claim is not passported: for those who do not receive either income support, jobseekers

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1043W

allowance (income-based), employment and support allowance (income-based), or pension credit (guaranteed credit).

A small proportion of the passported cases will be in part-time employment.

The available information is shown in the following table:

Housing benefit and council tax benefit recipients, non-passported, in employment, Great Britain—December 2011
  Total Non-passported (standard claims) in employment

Housing benefit only

576,220

234,520

Council tax benefit only

1,501,370

114,900

Housing benefit and council tax benefit

4,376,030

630,690

Notes: 1. The data refers to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple. 2. Recipients are as at second Thursday of the month. 3. This data incorporates the local authority changes from 1 April 2009. 4. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns. The data is available monthly from November 2008 and December 2011 is the most recent available. 5. Passported status does not include recipients with unknown passported status. 6. These data refer to people receiving housing benefit and/or council tax benefit not in receipt of a passported benefit and are recorded as being in employment if their local authority has recorded employment income from either the main claimant, or partner of claimant (if applicable), in calculating the housing benefit award. People receiving passported benefits who are working part-time cannot be identified and are therefore not included in this analysis. 7. For those claiming both housing benefit and council tax benefit, the claimant's passported and economic status have been taken from the housing benefit data. 8. Data is rounded to the nearest 10. Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE).

Intellectual Property

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department has a role in intellectual property policy development. [101249]

Chris Grayling: The overall policy lead for intellectual property is held by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills via the Intellectual Property Office. The Department for Work and Pensions becomes involved insofar as intellectual property issues require collective ministerial consideration.

New Enterprise Allowance

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the level of take-up has been of the (a) New Enterprise Allowance and (b) New Enterprise Allowance Loan in Birmingham, Ladywood constituency since its introduction. [101832]

Chris Grayling: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer to parliamentary question 101191 which I gave on the 21 March 2012, Official Report , column 711W.

Occupational Pensions

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the (a) cost and (b) administrative burden of introducing auto-enrolment for the agency worker sector. [101784]

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1044W

Steve Webb: This information is not available by sector.

Our approach to assessing the cost and burden of automatic enrolment on business was to look at the impact on business as a whole, including the agency worker sector.

The total contribution costs for all employers are estimated to be £3.3 billion each year in 2011-12 earnings terms once contributions are fully phased in.

The estimated total administrative cost to all employers is £446 million in year one and £126 million in ongoing years in 2011-12 earning terms.

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will assess the financial effect of the implementation of auto-enrolment on the agency worker sector. [101785]

Steve Webb: The Department is committed to a full evaluation of the impact of the workplace pension reforms on different sectors of the economy. A copy of the workplace pension reform evaluation strategy can be found here:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2011-2012/rrep764.pdf

I am placing a copy of this document in the Library.

Pay

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had on the introduction of regional pay in his Department. [102195]

Chris Grayling: The DWP entered the pay freeze in 2010 and will exit it this year. We are actively engaged with the Cabinet Office and other Government Departments regarding principles for reform and an agreed view of the market rates and metrics for different roles in different locations. We will then develop our strategy for local market facing pay, as set out in the pay guidance issued by the Treasury.

Personal Income

Debbie Abrahams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) median and (b) mean income was of households with (i) no children, (ii) one child, (iii) two children, (iv) three children, (v) four children, (vi) five children and (vii) more than five children on the latest date for which information is available. [101761]

Maria Miller: The Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series uses household income adjusted (or ‘equivalised’) for household size and composition, to provide a proxy for standard of living. The HBAI data are sourced from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) and can be used to estimate mean and median income of households of differing compositions. For 2009-10, the most recent year for which statistics are available, median and mean weekly equivalised (Table 1) and unequivalised (Table 2) incomes are shown for households with different numbers of children.

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1045W

Table 1: Median and mean weekly equivalised household incomes Before Housing Costs by number of children in the household, United Kingdom, 2009-10
£
  Median Mean

No children

415

512

One child

408

509

Two children

384

482

Three children

331

474

Four children

291

440

Five children or more

246

260

Source: Family Resources Survey 2009-10, DWP
Table 2: Median and mean weekly unequivalised household incomes Before Housing Costs by number of children in the household, United Kingdom, 2009-10
£
  Median Mean

No children

362

482

One child

502

641

Two children

544

698

Three children

540

797

Four children

551

830

Five children or more

531

565

Notes: 1. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data sourced from the 2009-10 Family Resources Survey (FRS), available at: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=hbai_arc This uses disposable household income, adjusted using modified OECD equivalisation factors for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 2. The income measure used in Table 2 is unequivalised, i.e. it has not been adjusted for household size and composition. This is because the groups requested are based on household size and composition, and in this specific instance, equivalisation would cloud the comparison between household types. This means that the statistics presented are on a different basis to those in the HBAI publication. 3. Net disposable incomes have been used to answer the question. This includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax, payments, national insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes. 4. Figures have been presented on a Before Housing Cost basis. For Before Housing Costs, housing costs are not deducted from income, while for After Housing Costs they are. 5. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to a degree of uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. Information on households with six or more children have been combined with households with five children due to small sample sizes. 6. The reference period for HBAI figures is the financial year. 7. Incomes are presented in 2009-10 prices and have been rounded to the nearest pound. 8. A household will consist of one or more families and therefore the households being considered may be a combination of families with and without dependent children. Families are defined as a single adult or couple living as married and any dependent children, including same sex couples (civil partnerships and cohabitees) from January 2006. A household is made up of one of more families. Source: Family Resources Survey 2009-10, DWP

Personal Independence Payment

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that the application form for personal independence payment will ask for information on people's difficulties with (a) communication and (b) mobility. [102224]

Maria Miller: Communication and mobility needs cover three of the 11 activities against which the assessment for entitlement to personal independence payment will be made. We will be asking claimants to personal independence payment to explain in their own words

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1046W

how their disability or health condition affects them in all the activities, in writing and at a face-to-face consultation where one is required.

Remploy

Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what incentives he plans to offer to local businesses to employ disabled people made redundant by Remploy. [101575]

Maria Miller: We are committed to providing a comprehensive package of personalised support for every disabled member of staff who is affected by these announcements.

The support package is designed to be flexible so that support is tailored to meet each individual's specific needs, including providing support to help people who have difficulties fitting into mainstream employment and it includes access to other work related opportunities available from Remploy and Jobcentre Plus employer networks.

We will also be working with employers, including local employers, and the Employers Forum on Disability to look to offer targeted work opportunities for displaced staff.

Additionally through referral to existing back-to-work support including Access to Work, individuals and employers will receive additional advice and support with extra costs which may arise because of an individual's needs.

We want disabled people to be treated in the same way as any other person in the workplace. Businesses will be able to access the same incentives to employ displaced Remploy disabled employees as are available for other workers.

Remploy: Wales

Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assistance he has offered to Remploy factories in Wales to become more profitable. [101574]

Maria Miller: Following publication of the 2008 Modernisation Plan, a great deal of work was taken forward across Government to increase public procurement opportunities for supported businesses. This activity raised awareness and increased opportunities as part of the £555 million of investment through the modernisation plan. It is clear that the performance targets for the factories set out in its plan will not be met. Independent advice has demonstrated that many of the businesses will never even break even.

Remploy has started collective consultation with trade unions and the management forums on the proposed closure of the 36 factories that the Remploy Board considers (subject to consultation) are unlikely to be able to break even. Remploy will look carefully at proposals for the exit of any parts of the Remploy businesses currently subject to consultation along with any other proposals for avoiding compulsory redundancies.

As part of this process the Remploy Board would be happy to discuss any proposals for Remploy factories in Wales/Scotland identified in stage 1.

27 Mar 2012 : Column 1047W

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people who are claiming benefits to which they are not entitled by (a) region, (b) sex and (c) age; what estimate he has made of the cost to the Exchequer of such claims; and what measures are being put in place to reduce that number. [102154]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is not available because the national statistics that provide estimates of the level of fraud and error across the benefit system are based on a sample of claims. The sample survey is designed to provide data at a national level and cannot produce robust results at a regional level of detail or by sex and age.

Unemployed People: Travel

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Flexible Support Fund in helping people find work. [101638]

Chris Grayling: The Flexible Support Fund will be evaluated as part of the overall Jobcentre Plus support evaluation.

District managers have local information which they use to identify and prioritise local spend, contributing to effective local solutions for tackling the issues that help to meet DWP's objectives.