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Import Duties: Israel

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions he has imposed EU import duties on Israeli goods entering the UK from Jewish settlements on the west bank considered illegal under international law in each year since the introduction of the EU-Israel Association Agreement. [117495]

Mr Gauke: The number of incorrect origin declarations for goods imported under the EU-Israel Agreement for each year since it was introduced is as follows:

 Number

2005

128

2006

127

2007

214

2008

20

2009

26

2010

73

2011

90

2012

(1)14

(1) To date.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 79W

Inflation

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered changing the inflation target in the last year. [118305]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Chancellor reaffirmed at Budget 2012 that the independent Monetary Policy Committee will continue to target 2% inflation as defined by the 12-month increase in the Consumer Prices Index.

LIBOR

David Morris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his Department will estimate the number of individuals potentially affected by the manipulation of the Libor; and if he will consider options for providing those individuals with compensation. [116013]

Mr Hoban: In the case of Barclays, the FSA found for attempted manipulation of the Dollar Libor and Euribor rates. There is evidence that on different occasions, there were attempts to manipulate the rates in different directions, sometimes to raise them and sometimes to lower them. As such it is very difficult to establish the net effect of these opposing actions.

This is the first of a number of investigations into this issue. The Government will keep this under review.

Frank Dobson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which (a) officials and (b) special advisers have briefed the BBC on the role of the right hon. Member for Morley and Outwood in discussions on Barclays' manipulation of LIBOR. [117173]

Mr Hoban [holding answer 13 July 2012]: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings and discussions with a wide variety of organisations as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings and discussions. Furthermore, the Government will not say or do anything that might prejudge or pre-empt the outcome of investigations into the attempted manipulation of LIBOR and other benchmarks.

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Financial Services Authority will establish a formal procedure by which small and medium-sized enterprises can claim compensation for interest rate swap misselling by the major banks. [117458]

Mr Hoban: Following their review into the sale of interest rate hedging products to small businesses, the Financial Services Authority have reached an agreement with the banks to provide appropriate redress where mis-selling has occurred. As part of this the banks have agreed to:

provide direct redress on the sale of structured collars to 'non-sophisticated customers' which will be reviewed and agreed by an independent reviewer;

review sales of other interest rate hedging products (except for simple caps) to 'non-sophisticated customers', and where it is appropriate, propose fair and reasonable redress on a case by case basis, which will be reviewed and agreed by an independent reviewer; and

3 Sep 2012 : Column 80W

consider a business's complaint regarding the more simple interest rate cap products in the same way as the other interest rate hedging products, if the business's complaint is made during the course of the bank's independent review.

The exact redress will vary from customer to customer, but could include a mixture of cancelling or replacing existing products, together with partial or full refunds of the costs of the products. The banks' individual compensation procedures will be scrutinised by an independent reviewer and be overseen by the FSA.

Money Advice Service

Mark Garnier: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what proportion of the Money Advice Service budget is spent on (a) outsourced resources and (b) financial education in schools; [118424]

(2) what proportion of its budget the Money Advice Service is planning to spend on financial education in schools in the next financial year. [118425]

Mr Hoban: The Money Advice Service is an independent body, funded by a levy on the financial services industry. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is responsible for approving its business plan and budget. The Money Advice Service published its business plan and budget for 2012-13 in March 2012. Its business plan for 2013-14 will be published in March 2013.

I have asked the Money Advice Service to respond to the specific points my hon. Friend has raised in writing. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

NHS: Redundancy Pay

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will publish the template for approval by his Department for NHS special severance cases; [117964]

(2) what information his Department requires when seeking approval for NHS special severance cases; [117965]

(3) how many cases were (a) submitted and (b) accepted for approval by his Department for NHS special severance cases in each of the last five years; [117966]

(4) what records are kept of approval by his Department for NHS special severance cases; and how such records are kept. [117967]

Danny Alexander: The template for seeking HM Treasury approval for special severance cases is available on HM Treasury's Managing Public Money website

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/psr_mpm_annexes.htm

The template provides an indication of the information required by the Treasury to consider approval for such payments.

Records of each individual NHS special severance case, including completed template, follow up queries and final approval are filed on the Treasury's electronic filing system. To number of cases submitted and approved could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 81W

Official Engagements

Mr Hain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list his official engagements for 14 and 15 September 2012. [118150]

Miss Chloe Smith: As was the case with previous administrations, details of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s official engagements are not available in advance.

Pensions

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent a pension company is able to invest the money they receive rather than holding it. [117590]

Steve Webb: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

When investing a scheme's assets, legislation requires pension scheme trustees to do so in the best interests of its members and beneficiaries, ensuring appropriate diversification in their investment strategy. They must also exercise their investment powers in a manner calculated to ensure the security, quality, liquidity and profitability of the scheme's investment portfolio as a whole. These requirements mean that they are not be able to inappropriately hold onto pension contributions without investing them.

For contract-based pension schemes, the pension provider will invest the contributions either in a fund selected by a member or in the default option where the member does not make a choice. The Financial Services Authority's Conduct of Business Sourcebook sets out the types of assets which can be used for contract based pension and non-pension investments within funds which customers invest in. It also sets the requirements for the conduct of firms in relation to their customers.

Pensions: Fees and Charges

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will investigate reports of people being obliged to pay for financial advice from their pension provider; [117844]

(2) if he will investigate reports of pension providers varying their level of investment management charges frequently. [117845]

Steve Webb: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The level of charges levied by pension providers should provide fair value to people saving for their retirement. The introduction of automatic enrolment makes it all the more important that people are enrolled into schemes with transparent, low charges and which provide value for money.

Research(1) shows that charges have fallen over time and suggests that this trend will continue as NEST's low-cost charging structure will act as a benchmark across the entire pensions industry.

The Government are determined to ensure that every pound saved provides the maximum value to savers in building the highest possible pension. The Department regularly evaluates the level of charges in the pensions

3 Sep 2012 : Column 82W

market and will be placing an even stronger emphasis on this as the market continues to respond to the introduction of automatic enrolment.

(1) Wood, Young, Wintersgill, Crowther (2011) ‘Likely industry responses to the workplace pension reforms’, DWP research report 753:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2011-2012/rrep753.pdf

Personal Savings

Mr Byrne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 13 July 2012, Official Report, columns 448-9W, on personal savings, what assessment he has made of the distributional impact of this forgone expenditure to individuals and households in terms of (a) age, (b) geography, (c) socio-economic status and (d) income. [118336]

Mr Gauke: Distributional analyses of contributions to personal pensions can be found in Tables PEN3, PEN4 and PEN5 on the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/pensions/menu.htm

while corresponding distributional analysis of ISA subscriptions and market values can be found in Tables 9.7 to 9.12 at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/isa/menu.htm

Press Officers

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been claimed in reimbursable expenses by press officers in (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its arm’s-length bodies since May 2010. [114001]

Miss Chloe Smith: Reimbursable expenses claimed by press officers between 1 May 2010 and 13 March 2012 totalled (a) £8,878 for HM Treasury, (b) nil for its only agency (Debt Management Office) and (c) nil for its arm’s length bodies (Office for Budget Responsibility, United Kingdom Financial Investments and the Asset Protection Agency).

Revised rules on the payment of expenses for Treasury staff were introduced in July 2010 following a review of expenses which began in January 2010. The revisions impacted upon most areas of spending including the removal of the options for first class travel, the use of taxis in London (except in exceptional circumstances) and the prohibition of refreshments at staff meetings.

Public Expenditure

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the out-turn was of each Government Department against its comprehensive spending review settlement in each year of the settlement to date. [118376]

Danny Alexander: The latest out-turn data for the spending review period is included in the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2012 command paper, available at

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/pespub_pesa12.htm

3 Sep 2012 : Column 83W

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2012, Official Report, column 117W, on publications, how much his Department has spent on (a) circulars, (b) publications and (c) consultation documents since May 2010. [117918]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Treasury does not produce circulars. It is not possible to provide an estimate of the Treasury's expenditure on printing different types of publications/consultation documents. Records do not distinguish between the types of information requested and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Renewable Energy

Dr Whitehead: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the control framework for Department of Energy and Climate Change long-funded spending will operate in relation to legally-binding targets on carbon and renewable energy with regard to projects coming forward under the support mechanisms contained in the draft Energy Bill. [118419]

Miss Chloe Smith: The purpose of the control framework for DECC levy-funded spending is to deliver the Government's energy and climate change goals as cost-effectively as possible, minimising the impact on consumer bills.

The details of how the control framework operates, including for new policy measures, have been published online at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/psr_controlframework_decc.htm

Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services

Dr Huppert: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the use of 0845 telephone numbers by HM Revenue and Customs; and whether he has any plans to end their use. [117569]

Mr Gauke: I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 12 October 2011, Official Report, column 967W, to the hon. Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart).

Taxation: Freight

Nic Dakin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the Office of Rail Regulation's 13th Periodic Review, what assessment he has made of the effect on the competitiveness of UK industry of the introduction of a tax on the movement of coal and iron ore. [118217]

Miss Chloe Smith: No such tax has been introduced.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is the independent economic and safety regulator for railways in Great Britain. The ORR is responsible for determining the track access charges levied on rail freight operators in the next railway funding control period from 2014 to 2019. Track access charges help to service rail network infrastructure costs.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 84W

In May the ORR published a consultation document on the variable usage charge paid by passenger and freight operators and proposals to introduce a freight specific charge. The consultation closed on 10 August 2012 and details can be found on the ORR's website at

www.rail-reg.gov.uk

VAT

Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider returning the rate of VAT to 17.5 per cent; and if he will make a statement. [118053]

Mr Gauke: The Government have no plans to do so.

Reducing VAT to 17.5% would cost over £10 billion a year. Doing so would substantially erode our fiscal credibility, and if credibility is lost and interest rates rise, the impact on the fiscal position would be severe. We would expect this to have a negative effect on the UK economy.

VAT: Caravans

Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider not proceeding with his proposed 5% VAT rate on static caravans. [118052]

Mr Gauke: The Budget measure to increase the rate of VAT on static holiday caravans was consulted on, modified, and debated extensively in the House before being agreed. The Government intends to proceed on that basis.

Personal Injury: Compensation

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential effect of proposals to increase the small claims limit for personal injury in terms of (a) tax revenue from law firms, (b) tax revenue from claimants and (c) VAT revenue and loss to the Exchequer. [118225]

Mr Djanogly: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

On 2 May 2012, I announced that the Government will consult on whether to amend the small claims threshold for damages for personal injury claims. The consultation document and its related impact assessments will be published shortly and will be available to download from both the Ministry of Justice and Citizen Space websites.

No decisions will be taken on the way forward in this area until all responses to the consultation document and other stakeholder submissions have been considered.

Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and HM Treasury officials have been working closely together to develop the consultation proposals and accompanying impact assessments. The latter will consider the effect of the proposals on all impacted groups, including law firms and claimants. The Government welcome contributions and evidence from all stakeholders on the potential impacts of these proposals on all affected groups.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 85W

International Development

Africa

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on what date (a) CDC Group and (b) his Department were informed that Emerging Capital Partners' Africa Fund II was under criminal investigation by the European Anti-Fraud Office. [118060]

Mr Duncan: Neither DFID nor CDC Group has received any notification from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) that Emerging Capital Partners' Africa Fund II is or was under criminal investigation.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he plans to inform the House of the outcome of the criminal investigation by the European Anti-Fraud Office into Emerging Capital Partners' Africa Fund II. [118066]

Mr Duncan: My Department is not aware of the outcome of any criminal investigation by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) into Emerging Capital Partners' Africa Fund II.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he plans to refer the allegations against Emerging Capital Partners' Africa Fund II to the investigatory authorities in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [118113]

Mr Duncan: My Department has received no new allegations against Emerging Capital Partners' Africa Fund II. The previous set of allegations has been fully looked into by CDC.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2012, Official Report, column 389W, on Africa, whether European Investment Bank officials informed officials in member states on 18 April 2012 that its independent Inspector General had conducted a preliminary investigation into allegations of corruption in connection with the Emerging Capital Partners' Africa II fund and had referred the matter to the European Anti-Fraud Office as a result of BBC Newsnight reports of 16 April 2012; and if he will make a statement. [118114]

Mr Duncan: On 18 April 2012, European Investment Bank (EIB) officials informed UK and other member state officials that, in line with the bank's policy, its independent Inspector General had conducted a preliminary investigation into allegations of corruption in connection with the Emerging Capital Partners' II fund, and had referred the matter to the European Anti-Fraud Office.

Bangladesh

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the potential effects of the World Bank's decision to suspend aid to Bangladesh on UK aid to that country. [118017]

3 Sep 2012 : Column 86W

Mr Duncan: The World Bank has not suspended aid to Bangladesh. It has cancelled a significant loan agreed for the building of the Padma Bridge.

The UK is not a funder of this project so there are no immediate major implications for its aid programme. We continue to deliver our commitments as set out in the 2011 to 2014 Operational Plan. We are remaining in close contact with the World Bank on the reasons behind the decision to cancel the project.

Burma

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department plans to provide funding and expertise for conflict prevention, inter-racial and inter-religious dialogue and reconciliation between Rakhine, Burman and Rohingya communities in Burma. [117534]

Mr Duncan: DFID provided humanitarian assistance to address the impact of the violence in Rakhine state through our core contributions to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Children Fund and the World Food programme; the focus of which is on addressing the immediate needs.

We are working with other donors through the UN in relation to the needs in Rakhine State and await the needs assessment based on the findings of OCHA and aid agency partners. The British ambassador has repeatedly raised concerns with Ministers and directly with the President about the humanitarian and political situation in Arakan and called on all sides to allow unrestricted humanitarian access for international and local aid agencies to the affected communities.

Commonwealth Development Corporation

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make it his policy to stipulate to the CDC that corruption allegations should be reported to his Department and any other appropriate UK authorities as a matter of course rather than at the CDC's discretion; and if he will make a statement. [118064]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: My Department expects CDC to report promptly to it any significant allegations of corruption that it receives. CDC is also required to comply with applicable UK laws, including any laws that might mandate disclosure of information to government authorities, and CDC has detailed business integrity policies and procedures in place to ensure that the company's commitment to integrity is followed. These policies and procedures cover bribery and corruption, money laundering, data protection, conflicts of interest and other important matters. CDC's Board maintains oversight of the company's compliance programme.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 13 July 2012, Official Report, column 437W, on the Commonwealth Development Corporation, what assessment he has made of whether industry practice is a sufficient basis upon which to base disclosure requirements to his Department; and if he will make a statement. [118115]

3 Sep 2012 : Column 87W

Mr Andrew Mitchell: My Department does not require CDC to disclose the co-investors in the funds that it supports as it understands that this information is regarded by many investors as commercially sensitive and, where such information is provided to CDC, it is generally protected by contractual confidentiality provisions in fund documentation.

Charities

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development to which registered charities his Department has made payments in the last three years; and what sums over what period have been paid in each case. [118157]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development (DFID) supports Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) through a range of centrally-managed funds and country programmes. Details of funding provided to UK-based CSOs can be found in Table 19 of the last three editions of Statistics on International Development which are available in the Library of the House and on the DFID website:

www.dfid.gov.uk

In 2010-11 the UK Government introduced the Aid Transparency Guarantee. This commits DFID to making details of all the projects we fund available for public scrutiny. Full details can be found on the project database on DFID's website:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/DFID-spend/

Democratic Republic of Congo

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to build peace in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. [117979]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: I recently visited the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to see for myself the complexities of the conflict and recent increase in violence, and assess the UK's response and support to the situation. I have given clear political messages to the Governments of the DRC and Rwanda, who I urged to work together to eliminate the instability that has plagued the regime for decades and has been worsened by the recent formation of the M23 armed group.

In addition, to help build peace in the east of the DRC, the Department for International Development is:

(1) undertaking a joint analysis of conflict and stability with the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence to inform both DFID and Conflict Pool interventions;

(2) developing a new three year programme that will focus on land management and related conflicts; the coordination and management of peace consolidation and stabilisation programmes; and civilian protection;

(3) working with international partners to enhance the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) led International Strategy for the Support to Security and Stabilisation (I4S);

(4) supporting I4S directly through funding for infrastructure, especially the construction and rehabilitation of roads;

(5) funding from the Conflict Pool to MONUSCO to support Disarmament Demobilisation Return Repatriation Reintegration;

3 Sep 2012 : Column 88W

Forces Armées de la Republique Democratique du Congo (FARDC) military justice prosecution cells; and secondments to the European Union Mission for Security Reform (EUSEC) focused on FARDC reform;

(6) investing in a range of programmes to address poverty, improved service delivery and security sector and mining sector reform, which respond to poverty as a root cause of the conflict;

(7) continuing support for a humanitarian response in the region to meet the needs of vulnerable and displaced persons.

Developing Countries: Food

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in establishing the leadership council for the New Alliance for Food and Nutrition security. [118097]

Mr O'Brien: G8 members are currently considering proposals for a leadership council for the New Alliance. We expect agreement on the council will be reached and a first meeting convened in the coming months.

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what commitments his Department has made to the New Alliance for Food and Nutrition security; and what the timetable is for their implementation. [118098]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The New Alliance on Food and Nutritional Security in Africa will lift 50 million Africans out of poverty over the next 10 years through agriculture sector growth. The UK Government will contribute £395 million in total to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition over the coming three years. This includes support for food security and agricultural development programmes in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana and Mozambique and a £75 million contribution to support the Global Agricultural Food Security Programme (GAFSP), which will boost agricultural production, help farmers deal with risks and encourage more commercial investment in agriculture.

Under the New Alliance the UK Government will also support actions which: increase smallholder farmers' access to new technology; improve extension services to smallholder farmers; and encourage adoption and consumption of nutritionally enriched crop varieties. We expect implementation of these three initiatives to start before the end of 2012.

Developing Countries: Religion

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the contribution of faith-based organisations to development. [117980]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: In 2011 at the General Synod I said that DFID would convene a working group across the faiths with the remit of producing some practical suggestions for closer working between government and faith groups.

Subsequently, in June 2012, the UK Government launched the "Faith Partnership Principles Paper". This marks a new era of understanding and cooperation between Government and faith groups on international development.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 89W

For the first time, groups from across the faith spectrum have been brought together to sign up to new principles for collaborating with the UK Government on aid, including an agreement to work in three priority countries.

Faith groups are crucial to development. They offer services and support to poor people that they wouldn't otherwise be able to access or afford.

They also give valuable and trusted advice to their communities. In some African countries 70% of health services are provided by faith groups.

The Faith Partnership Principles Paper can be found on the DFID website:

www.dfid.gov.uk

and a copy is available in the Library of the House.

European Investment Bank

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make it his policy to require the European Investment Bank (EIB) to inform its shareholders of criminal investigations into EIB-financed activities when they are initiated; and if he will make a statement. [118063]

Mr Duncan: The UK has always insisted that European Investment Bank (EIB) should maintain the highest standards of integrity in its investment activities and should implement strong policies to combat fraud and corruption. We would expect the bank keep shareholders informed, as they have done in the past, and my officials will continue to press at all levels for consistent disclosure to shareholders.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the European Investment Bank's Inspector General only refers investigations to the European Anti-Fraud Office where an initial assessment concludes that fraud or corruption is likely to have occurred; and if he will make a statement. [118065]

Mr Duncan: The European Investment Bank's Guidelines on Fighting Corruption, Fraud, Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism are publically available:

http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publications/all/eib-guidelines-on-fighting-corruption-fraud-money-laundering-and-the-financing-of-terrorism.htm

The bank states that:

"If [an] investigation concludes that fraud or corruption is likely to have occurred, IG shall provide OLAF with a report of its investigations and all relevant documentation."

Millennium Development Goals

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer to the Lord Bishop of Derby of 20 June 2012, Official Report,House of Lords, column WA300, on millennium development goals, what the outcome was of his Department's assessment of (a) the value of the millennium development goal on environmental sustainability, (b) where it had been successful and (c) weaknesses to be addressed in any successor framework. [117568]

3 Sep 2012 : Column 90W

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The value of the millennium development goal (MDG) on ensuring environmental sustainability lies in focusing the world's attention on the importance of the environment for sustained poverty reduction.

There has been good progress in meeting some of the targets under MDG7, notably in helping over two billion people receive access to safe water since 1990 and in the reduction in ozone depleting substances. However, other targets have not been met. One of the lessons from the MDGs is to ensure that, for any successor framework, targets are widely owned and acted on.

Nigeria

Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department plans to take to tackle the issue of early and forced marriage in Nigeria. [117702]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development has a number of programmes empowering girls and women in Nigeria. This includes the Girls Education Programme which has a target of getting 1 million additional girls into school. This programme focuses not just on enrolment but on empowerment and helping girls make informed life choices. Nigeria is also a focus country for the Girl Hub initiative which has a long term strategy to increase the age of marriage and first pregnancy.

DFID is currently developing a new gender programme in Nigeria entitled "voices for change". This programme will aim to improve the lives of adolescent girls and young women by tackling both the cultural and social norms in Nigerian society as well as building effective legal frameworks to protect girls' and women's rights.

Bob Blackman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to improve the availability of information about state-level financing for education in Nigeria; and what steps his Department is taking to develop civil society capacity to use available information to hold state-level education bodies to account for education delivery. [118002]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK is supporting the 'Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria' (ESSPIN) to improve the availability of information about state level financing for education. Through this programme, Nigerian civil society organisations are supported to provide training to 'school based management committees'. This helps them hold schools, local government education authorities and state boards of education accountable.

The UK is also supporting the 'State Accountability and Voice Initiative' (SAVI). In Kaduna, SAVI is training the civil society organisation 'Know Your Budget' to hold the State Education Ministry and other ministries to account for their performance and spending. Training includes developing skills to analyse medium terms plans and budgets, and advocacy skills. In Jigawa State, for example, ESSPIN and SAVI are working together with key civil society organisations to promote increased state spending on female teacher training.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 91W

Bob Blackman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2012, Official Report, column 426W, on Nigeria, what funding his Department supplies to civil society organisations to provide support to school-based management committees (SBMCs); whether this support is intended to help SBMCs to access information about financing flows to schools and to carry out advocacy to ensure delivery of the budgeted funding; and what discussions his Department has had with the Nigerian Government on access to information on education financing flows by SBMCs through the community accountability and transparency initiative. [118072]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK provides support through the Education Sector Support Programme for Nigeria (ESSPIN) to civil society at state level to train and mentor members of 'school based management committees' (SBMCs). This support ensures that SBMC members know what funds are flowing to their school, and allows them to monitor how funds are used to improve the learning environment in the school.

SBMCs are trained to do 'spot checks' to verify and supervise school infrastructure contracts. A 'school report card' and a 'community based education management information system' allow community members to better manage school resources and hold state and local government to account. Civil society organisations are also supported to participate in the budgeting and planning of education at state level. This has improved discussions with state assemblies on education financing issues.

The UK works with the Nigerian Government at state and federal level. At the federal level, our discussions with the Minister of Education Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i are focused on the recently published 'Four Year Education Strategy'. In 2008, the then Minister of Education Obi Ezekwesili launched the Community Accountability and Transparency Initiative (CATI). The initiative was short-lived and not sustained following the Minister's retirement from office in 2009.

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answers of 11 June 2012, Official Report, column 63W, 14 June 2012, Official Report, columns 574-75W, and 2 July 2012, Official Report, column 654W, on publications, how much his Department has spent on (a) publications, (b) circulars and (c) consultation documents since May 2010. [117908]

Mr Duncan: From May 2010 to 18 July 2012, DFID spent £138,718.80 on publications, of which £81,098.80 was spent on publications required by Parliament and statute, and £45,734 was on work commissioned prior to May 2010. Details of the publications that incurred these costs can be found in the following table:

Publications commissioned prior to May 2010
Type of spendPublication title(1)Cost (£)

Print + design

The politics of poverty: Elites, citizens and states—Finding from 10 years of DFID-funded research on government and fragile states 2001-10

8,417.00

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Print + design

Congo 50 and beyond

37,317.00

Publications required by Parliament and statute
Type of spendPublication title(1)Cost (£)

Print

Aid Review Summary: UK aid: Changing Lives Delivering results + Bilateral Aid Review: Country Summaries

5,327.00

Print + design

Humanitarian and Emergency Response Review Report

4,963.00

Print + design

Multilateral Aid Review Report

6,612.00

Print + design

DFID Resource Accounts 2009-10

11,996.00

Print + design

DFID in 2009-10 (Annual Report in response to International Development Act)

14,290.00

Print + design

Humanitarian Emergency Response Review: UK Government Response

2,444.00

Print + design

Annual Report and Accounts 2011 Volumes I and II

18,528.00

Print + design

DFID Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12

16,938.80

All other DFID publications
Type of spendPublication title(1)Cost (£)

Print

Country Programme Evaluation Mozambique

2,270.00

Print

Joint Donor (DFID/lrish Aid) Country Programme Evaluation Tanzania

3,516.00

Web conversion

Sharing the Benefits of Trade—DFID's Aid for Trade Portfolio Monitoring and Evaluation Framework

210.00

Design

The Engine of Development: The private sector and prosperity for poor people

4,190.00

Print + design

Supporting a healthy environment: A fresh approach to our work on the environment(2)

1,700.00

(1) Full documents available at: www.dfid.gov.uk (2) Includes cost of designing a reusable template to allow staff to produce further publications at zero additional cost.

Where possible, DFID issues its publications at low or zero additional cost and in electronic format only. DFID overseas offices may have produced some additional publications in country. This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

DFID has not released any circulars since May 2010.

Since May 2010 DFID has issued 12 consultation documents. Information on the cost incurred is not held centrally and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Rwanda

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has to leverage the annual £75 million given in international aid to Rwanda to end the Rwandan support to militias operating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. [118391]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The United Kingdom has a track record of working effectively with the Government of Rwanda and other partners, to achieve development results in Rwanda. This track record and continued UK support means that the UK is able to be a 'candid friend' to Rwanda, engaging openly and frankly on sensitive issues at the highest levels.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 93W

I have had recent discussions on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with President Kagame and key Ministers during my recent visit to Rwanda. I delivered clear messages that the UK Government was increasingly concerned about the situation in eastern DRC. I have urged Rwanda as well as the DRC to play a constructive role in bringing peace and stability to eastern DRC. The UK will continue to maximise the leverage afforded by our development partnership with Rwanda and via our diplomatic channels to ensure that this happens.

UN Women

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to encourage other international donors, private or public, to help ensure that UN Women has the core funding it needs to continue its work to support women's empowerment and gender equality. [118220]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: At the recent UN Women Executive Board, the Executive Directors Annual Report noted that 2011 saw improved returns from resource mobilisation, with more donors increasing core support to $10 million or more. In 2011

contributions to UN Women totalled $235 million, representing a 33% increase from 2010. Despite missing its 2011 funding targets, we feel that given the challenging economic climate, this shows a real commitment to UN Women by other donors. We will continue to encourage other donors to honour their funding commitments, even in these tough times, and to focus resources on where they can be used most effectively.

We will continue to work with UN Women, and other donors, to deliver real improvements for girls and women around the world and to take forward the reform priorities highlighted in the Multilateral Aid Review. Demonstrating progress in these areas will give donors the confidence they need, in UN Women's ability to deliver and allow them to adjust their contributions accordingly.

In addition, we have given strong ministerial support for the work they are doing. I had a meeting with Michelle Bachelet when she was in London for the Family Planning Summit, and the Minister of State, Department for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr Duncan) has subsequently met her in New York.

Deputy Prime Minister

Electoral Register: Fraud

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2012, Official Report, columns 923-4W, on electoral register: fraud, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of the two convictions for electoral fraud between 2008 to 2011 on public perception of electoral fraud. [118291]

Mr Harper: The Government have not made an assessment of the effect of any individual convictions for electoral malpractice including those mentioned on wider public perceptions of electoral fraud. The Electoral

3 Sep 2012 : Column 94W

Commission monitors and reports on levels of allegations of malpractice and the wider public perceptions of electoral fraud.

The Government are speeding up the implementation of Individual Electoral Registration through the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill to strengthen the security of the system and reinforce public confidence in elections.

Education

English Baccalaureate

20. Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effect of the English baccalaureate on take-up of core subjects. [118483]

Mr Gibb: A survey of a sample of year 9 students' GCSE options starting in September 2011 conducted by the National Centre for Social Research suggests that the English baccalaureate is having a positive impact. According to the survey, around 47% of pupils who will enter GCSEs in May 2013 are studying a combination of subjects that could lead to the EBacc compared with just 22% of GCSE pupils entered for GCSEs in 2010.

That includes increases of 8 percentage points in pupils taking history, 7 percentage points in geography, 9 percentage points in languages and a 12 percentage point increase of those taking triple science.

Youth Services

22. Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to reform youth services to meet the needs of local communities. [118485]

Tim Loughton: “Positive for Youth” set out, for the first time, an overarching vision for youth policy. One of the key principles of its vision is for local leadership and greater partnership in the delivery of services for young people. Local authorities are best placed to decide how best to shape their services—their duty to secure sufficient services is outlined in revised statutory guidance, which we issued in June. This Government have also invested an additional £141 million in a network of 63 Myplace youth centres to support local youth service provision.

NEETs

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training. [118465]

Mr Hayes: I refer the hon. Member to the response I gave in the House of Commons today to the hon. Member for West Bromwich West (Mr Bailey).

Apprentices: Birmingham

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many apprentice starts there were for 16 to 18-year-olds in Birmingham, Hall Green constituency in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012 to date. [111417]

3 Sep 2012 : Column 95W

Mr Hayes: The following table shows the number of apprenticeship programme starts aged under 19 in (a) Birmingham Hall Green parliamentary constituency, (b) the west midlands and (c) England for academic years 2009/10 to 2010/11, the latest full years for which final data are available.

Apprenticeship programme starts by learners aged under 19 by geography, 2009-10 to 2010-11
 2009/10 full year2010/11 full year

Birmingham Hall Green

200

280

West Midlands

13,590

15,690

England total

116,800

131,700

Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 except for the England totals which are rounded to the nearest 100. 2. Age is based on age at the start of the programme. The figures include a small number of under 16-year-olds. 3. Geography is based upon the home postcode of the learner. The England totals include some postcodes which are not known. Geographic information is based on boundaries of regions as of May 2010. Source: Individualised Learner Record

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest SFR and supplementary tables were published on 29( )March 2012:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_supplementary_tables/Apprenticeship_sfr_supplementary_tables/

Charities

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education to which registered charities his Department has made payments in the last three years; and what sums over what period have been paid in each case. [118159]

Tim Loughton: Charitable organisations play, and will continue to play, a significant role in developing and delivering services for children, young people and families. The sector receives money from DfE through a number of routes, including funding historically through arm’s length bodies, through the money we give to local authorities, and from services commissioned from schools.

Information about DfE’s grant spend with voluntary and community organisations, which includes charities, for the financial year 2010-11 and financial year 2011-12 has been placed in the House Libraries. The Department uses its best endeavours to classify organisations as voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE). The spend will encompass some charities and exclude others, such as free schools, academy trusts or non-specialist independent schools that have a charitable status.

We cannot provide comprehensive information on funding to charitable organisations in financial year 2009-10 as extracting and analysing that information would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

Children in Care

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to (a) improve the responsiveness of the children's care home inspection system and (b) enable local authorities to raise concerns on safeguarding. [117448]

3 Sep 2012 : Column 96W

Tim Loughton: Ofsted's new framework for the inspection of children's homes, which was introduced in April 2011, focuses more strongly on whether a home has taken action to implement recommendations in previous reports, and whether improvements are flowing through as a consequence. Precise details of the improvements to the new inspection framework have been provided by Ofsted in reply to part (a) of this question. Their response has been placed in the House Libraries.

Local authorities must take action where they suspect that a looked after child is not being safeguarded in their current placement. The actions that they can take include initiating enquiries under section 47 of the Children Act 1989, and convening a review of the plan for the child's care, chaired by the child's Independent Reviewing Officer. The purpose of a review in this context would be to consider whether or not the care provided to the child by their placement continues to be effective in keeping them safe.

On 3 July 2012, Official Report, columns 45-47WS, in response to concerns identified in reports by the Joint All Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry into Children who Go Missing from Care and the report by the Office of the Children's Commissioner on the emerging findings of their inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, I made a written ministerial statement to Parliament setting out urgent action to improve the care and protection provided by children's homes.

As a matter of priority, we intend to ensure that young people who are placed in children's homes are properly protected and safely located by removing barriers in regulation so that Ofsted can share information about the location of children's homes with the police, and other relevant bodies. The Department has also established a task and finish group to report in September on placement planning and out of area placements so that children who are placed in children's homes are more effectively protected, particularly when they are placed outside their local area. This work is taking place in conjunction with an expert working group examining the quality of children's homes which is due to report in December. This group will consider a wide range of issues including the location of homes, commissioning practice and the knowledge and skills required by children's home staff.

Letter from John Goldup, dated 13 June 2012:

Your recent Parliamentary Question has been passed to me, as Deputy Chief Inspector, to respond to part (a).

Ofsted believes that its responsibility for the inspection of children’s homes is one of the most important that it carries. With this in mind, Ofsted introduced a wholly new framework for the inspection of children's homes in April 2011. This framework shifted the emphasis away from the monitoring of compliance with processes and procedures to a much clearer focus on the quality of care, the safety of children and young people, the difference the home makes to their lives, and the quality of leadership, and management. Inspectors spend the bulk of their time observing the quality of daily care, and talking with children and young people.

Having reviewed the first year of the new inspection framework, Ofsted introduced a significantly revised set of the criteria against which inspectors make their judgements in April 2012, with the explicit intention of raising the bar. Data on inspection outcomes for the first quarter of the year will be published in September.

In response to recent public concern about children who go missing from children’s homes, we have further strengthened our guidance to inspectors to ensure that they are absolutely clear about the action they must take when they identify this as an issue

3 Sep 2012 : Column 97W

in a home being inspected. They must undertake a detailed examination of the care plans and actions in place in relation to children identified as at risk; ensure appropriate contact with the placing local authority and with the police; and scrutinise the level of staff training. The effectiveness of the action taken to prevent children going missing, and to respond if they do, is a key consideration in the overall judgement on the home.

On 11 July this year Ofsted published for consultation our proposals for the inspection of services for children in care at local authority level. We have placed significant emphasis in these proposals on an evaluation of the care which local authorities take in their placement decisions, and on the robustness with which they discharge their responsibilities for children placed outside of their area.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Tim Loughton MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

Children: Day Care

Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to provide free child-care for all children. [118480]

Sarah Teather: Since September 2011, all three and four-year-olds are entitled to 570 hours of free early education a year. From September 2013, we will extend free early education to around 130,000 two-year-olds, and then to a further 130,000 children from September 2014. The places will be targeted primarily on disadvantaged children, who the evidence suggests will benefit most.

Official Hospitality

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 7 March 2012, Official Report, column 1030W, on departmental drinks, what the (a) brand and (b) supplier was in respect of all expenditure on (i) tea and coffee, (ii) wine, (iii) alcoholic refreshments other than wine and (iv) bottled water in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [116746]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 13 July 2012]:The Department does not hold a list of brand or suppliers of tea, coffee and wine bought by Private Office in the last 12 months. During this period, there has been no expenditure on alcoholic refreshments other than wine, or bottled water.

Education

Mr Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to paragraph 7.5 of his Department's publication The Importance of Teaching: The Schools White Paper 2010, what progress he has made on establishing a collaboration incentive; and if he will make a statement. [113147]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 26 June 2012]: We are confident that the Government's wider reforms of the education system are supporting collaboration between schools. Through the expanding networks of Teaching schools, National and Local Leaders of Education and Academy chains, we are moving towards a system in which more excellent schools sit at the centre of improving networks of schools, guided by a shared vision of raising pupil attainment. This model of the best heads and schools providing support to others has proved

3 Sep 2012 : Column 98W

highly effective and we are committed to expanding it. We therefore no longer think it makes sense to introduce a separate collaboration incentive fund.

Education Maintenance Allowance: Ashfield

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the amount of education maintenance allowance paid to residents of Ashfield constituency in 2010-11; and what estimate he has made of the total value of discretionary 16-19 bursaries that will be paid in 2011-12 in respect of students who are residents of Ashfield constituency. [117332]

Mr Gibb: The Department does not collect constituency-level data on the education maintenance allowance (EMA) or the 16-19 Bursary Fund. We do, however, have data for the Nottinghamshire county council area, which includes the Ashfield constituency. During the 2010/11 academic year, £6,877,565 was paid out to EMA recipients in Nottinghamshire.

The 16-19 Bursary Fund commenced at the beginning of the 2011/12 academic year and Nottinghamshire received £1,595,693 from the fund during that time. This includes funding for discretionary bursaries, and for £1,200 vulnerable group bursaries—it is not possible to provide a breakdown of the proportions of the total paid as discretionary and vulnerable group bursaries. Additionally, during the 2011/12 academic year to date, students in Nottinghamshire have received £2,109,030 in EMA transitional payments.

Education: Assessments

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many and what proportion of 16-year-olds took qualifications in 2011 which counted for more than one GCSE; [114189]

(2) how many qualifications awarded last year at Key Stage 4 were worth more than one GCSE; [114192]

(3) how many pupils were examined in 2011 in each qualification which formerly counted as more than one GCSE in Key Stage 4 performance tables; [114194]

(4) how many and what proportion of 16-year-olds would not have met the required standard of five A* to C grades including English and mathematics in 2011 if no qualifications counted for more than one GCSE. [114190]

Mr Gibb: From 2014, the Key Stage 4 Performance Tables will be restricted to qualifications that are high quality, rigorous and enable progression to a range of study and employment opportunities for the majority of pupils. Details on the qualifications to be included in the 2014 Key Stage 4 Performance Tables are available on our website here:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/qualifications/otherqualifications/a00202523/reform-of-14-to-16-performance-tables

In 2011, 372,793 pupils, representing 59% of the end of KS4 cohort, were entered for a qualification counted within the Key Stage 4 Performance Tables as more than one GCSE. While we hold information on GCSEs where pupils were ungraded, unclassified or absent we only hold information for non-GCSE qualifications that have been awarded. Therefore we are not able to provide a figure on exactly the basis requested.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 99W

In 2011, 626,103 awards were made in qualifications worth more than one GCSE, across 433 different qualifications. The full list of the number of pupils achieving each qualification, entered by at least one pupil, has been placed in the House Libraries. This is based on 2011 Key Stage 4 Performance Tables data. As long as the qualifications in this list remain regulated by Ofqual and approved for teaching pre-16 they will continue to be included as worth more than one GCSE in the 2012 and 2013 Key Stage 4 Performance Tables.

If no qualification had been counted for more than one GCSE in 2011, the number of students who would not have met the required standard of five A*-C grades including English and mathematics GCSE would have increased by 2,941 from 257,973 (41%) to 260,914 (42%) (this analysis does not take into account other aspects of the reforms proposed by Professor Alison Wolf which also included no longer counting some courses worth less than one full GCSE and limiting the number of non-academic qualifications counted to two).

Electronic Communication

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what the (a) make, (b) model and (c) network provider was of each mobile telephone device he has been officially issued with in chronological order since May 2010; [113738]

(2) how many (a) telephone calls and (b) text messages he received to mobile telephone devices officially issued to him in each month since May 2010; [113741]

(3) how many emails he received to his official government email address in each month since May 2010. [113745]

Tim Loughton: The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) has been issued with one mobile telephone device by the Department for Education since May 2010. This is a standard DfE BlackBerry, 8310 model and is operating over the Vodafone mobile network.

The Department does not hold information about how many telephone calls, text messages or emails the Secretary of State has received in an official capacity since May 2010.

E-mail

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will estimate the cost to publish all the e-mails sent by his special adviser, Dominic Cummings. [112073]

Tim Loughton: The Department estimates that the costs of locating and publishing the e-mails would exceed £850.

Empty Property

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many buildings owned by his Department and the bodies for which he is responsible have been empty for more than two years; and if he will make a statement. [110855]

Tim Loughton: The Department for Education and the bodies for which it is responsible own no buildings which have been empty for more than two years.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 100W

Free School Meals

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate has been made of the number of children who will receive free school meals after the universal credit is brought in 2013. [110924]

Mr Gibb: Universal credit will be introduced in 2013 in order to simplify the benefits system and make work pay. We have yet to decide what the new free school meals criteria will be under universal credit but we aim to ensure that, in England, the number of children entitled to free school meals remains at least the same as now.

Further Education: Standards

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2012, Official Report, column 376W, on students: statistics, when he expects to introduce comparable measures of performance for all 16-to-19 providers of education to ensure that comparisons are made on the right basis by Ofsted, parents and students. [116636]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 13 July 2012]: We are considering carefully the performance measures we should use to compare 16 to 19 providers of education. Interim changes to the key stage 5 performance tables have been announced in the 2012 Statement of Intent published at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/

Further interim arrangements for standards and intervention should follow in the autumn term, together with a timetable for introducing longer term changes to enable comparability between institutions.

GCE A-level

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what steps his Department plans to take to encourage more pupils to take (a) mathematics and (b) science subjects at A-level; [117769]

(2) what steps his Department is taking to encourage school students to study sciences at university. [117772]

Mr Gibb: The Government is committed to increasing the take-up of mathematics and science at A-level and university. The main way to achieve this is to improve the quality of teaching in these subjects. We have allocated up to £135 million over the current spending review period to support better science and mathematics education in schools.

We have announced plans to recruit more specialist science and mathematics teachers by offering bursaries of up to £20,000 for the best graduates. We are also funding subject knowledge enhancement courses that give specialist subject knowledge in science and mathematics to teachers, and those training to be teachers, who do not have a specialist qualification in these subjects. We are improving the quality of mathematics and science teaching by funding access to professional development for science and mathematics teachers through the network of science learning centres and the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 101W

The Triple Science Support programme supports schools to offer three separate science GCSEs. Students who take three science GCSEs are more likely to study science subjects at A level and do well in them. The Stimulating Physics Network and the Further Mathematics Support programme also provide support to schools and colleges with the specific aim of increasing take-up of physics and further mathematics at A level. Both physics and further mathematics, which have relatively low take-up compared to other science and mathematics A levels, have seen increases in recent years.

The new specialist maths free schools for 16 to 18-year-olds will give strong university mathematics departments and academics the chance to lead in developing and implementing new curricula and teaching methods for mathematics students and prepare them for further study in mathematics and related disciplines, such as science, at university. We also aim to have 24 university technical colleges open by September 2014. These will work in partnership with universities and employers and specialise in demanding technical subjects including science.

Learning Records Service

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education for what reasons national insurance numbers cannot be used to access personal learning records. [118332]

Mr Hayes: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The intended purpose of the national insurance number (NINo) is to act as an internal reference number for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) purposes to identify a record which subsequently enables the correct link to be made between an individual and their social security. The general policy of DWP and HMRC is to discourage the use of the NINo outside of its intended context. Personal Learning Records in education rely on the Unique Learner Number (ULN). The purpose of the ULN is to effectively and efficiently manage the sharing of Learner information across education organisations that need to share such information. The ULN is for use across all post-14 education organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the cost to the public purse was of the Learning Records Service in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the estimated cost is of the Service in each of the remaining years of its trial period. [118333]

Mr Hayes: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Learning Records Service (LRS) currently manages the UK Register of Providers (UKRLP), Unique Learner Numbers (ULNs), Personal Learning Records, Learner Plans, QCF Rules of Combination and QCF Routes to Achievement services and systems. The service is not in trial, it is in full operation. All costs refer to these services and systems.

(a) The operating costs for the LRS in 2011/12 were:

£930,000 staff salaries including on-costs;

3 Sep 2012 : Column 102W

£4.6 million systems operations; and

£3 million systems development

(b) The budget forecast for 2012/13 is:

£930,000 staff salaries including on-costs;

£4.6 million systems operations; and

£2.5 million systems development

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many records were held on the personal learning record database on 1 July 2012; and if he will estimate the number of records it will hold by 1 July 2015. [118334]

Mr Hayes: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The number of records held on the personal learning record database on 8 June 2012 is 10,371,835 (to date). It is estimated that 14 million records will be held on the database by 1 July 2015 on current rates of growth.

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the purpose is of the personal learning record database. [118335]

Mr Hayes: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The purpose of the personal learning record (PLR) is to provide a verified electronic record of achievement for learners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Learners will have their achievement recorded in one place, online and accessibly. Efficient data sharing simplifies and enhances the delivery of advice services for learners, the application and enrolment experience for learners and the management of funding and audit accountability processes for Learning Providers, such as schools/local authorities, colleges and Higher Education Institutions. It also allows these organisations to monitor progression of learners.

The PLR will provide access to life long achievement records of individual learners. It will help with managing progression from (and transfer within) secondary to further to higher education and within work. Achievements will be more easily verified and will enable learners to provide proof of achievement to employers through secure online web reports—thus speeding-up employment application processes. The operation of the PLR will also be critical to the effective working of Lifelong Learning Accounts, funding eligibility, including 24+ Advanced Learning Loans and the ability of the National Careers Service to support learners.

Offences Against Children: Internet

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what meetings the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Young Families has had with stakeholders to discuss protecting children online. [116620]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 12 July 2012]: I have had 59 meetings with external stakeholders about protecting children online; they are as follows:

3 Sep 2012 : Column 103W

 Meeting

July 2012

Claire Perry MP

July 2012

Apple

July2012

McAfee

July 2012

UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Executive Board meeting

July 2012

Blackberry/Research In Motion (RIM)

June 2012

Facebook

June 2012

DigitalMe

June 2012

Range of stakeholders - UKCCIS summit

April 2012

UKCCIS Executive Board Meeting

April 2012

Range of stakeholders - roundtable for mobile industry

February 2012

UKCCIS Executive Board Meeting

February 2012

Range of stakeholders - Safer Internet Day event

February 2012

Range of stakeholders - launch of UKCCIS advice 1.0

January 2012

Authority for Television on Demand

  

December 2011

Blackberry/RIM

December 2011

UKCCIS Executive Board meeting

December 2011

NSPCC

November 2011

Range of stakeholders - parental controls mobile roundtable

November 2011

UKCCIS Executive Board meeting

November 2011

Range of stakeholders - Cyberspace Conference

November 2011

Youth Parliament Swindon

November 2011

Professor Tanya Byron and James Brokenshire, MP

October 2011

Internet Watch Foundation and James Brokenshire, MP

October 2011

UKCCIS meeting with Young people

October 2011

NSPCC

October 2011

Childnet

October 2011

Internet Watch Foundation

September 2011

TalkTalk

September 2011

UKCCIS Executive Board meeting

September 2011

Representatives from organisations active on internet safety

July 2011

Microsoft

July 2011

UKCCIS Executive Board meeting

June 2011

Professor Tanya Byron

June 2011

Range of stakeholders - UKCCIS summit

May 2011

James Brokenshire, MP

May 2011

Facebook

May 2011

UKCCIS Executive Board meeting

March 2011

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

March 2011

Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE)

January 2011

BT

  

December 2010

UKCCIS Executive Board meeting

December 2010

Vodafone

December 2010

Mobile Broadband Group

December 2010

Microsoft

December 2010

Children's Coalition for Internet Safety (CHIS)

December 2010

NSPCC

November 2010

UKCCIS Executive Board meeting

3 Sep 2012 : Column 104W

November 2010

Blackberry/RIM

November 2010

CHIS

November 2010

BT

November 2010

02

November 2010

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)

November 2010

Facebook

November 2010

Childnet

November 2010

CEOP

July 2010

UKCCIS Executive Board meeting

July 2010

Children's Charities Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS) Event for MPs and Peers

July 2010

James Brokenshire MP

June 2010

Professor Tanya Byron

Official Engagements

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his official engagements were on (a) 2 July 2012 and (b) 3 July 2012. [116750]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 13 July 2012]: The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others on 2 and 3 July 2012.

Official Visits: Israel

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 2 July 2012, Official Report, column 488W, on official visits: Israel, for what reason (a) officials in his Department discussed the possibility of a meeting with Mr Lieberman and (b) no such meeting subsequently took place. [115671]

Tim Loughton: Information relating to discussion with foreign governments is not normally disclosed.

Regional Pay

Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department has taken to introduce regional pay since 20 March 2012; and if he will make a statement. [111536]

Tim Loughton: The Department for Education is currently in the final year of its three year pay freeze and will begin to address pay in the 2013-14 financial year.

Private Finance Initiative

Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his policy is on the future use of the private finance initiative by his Department. [117727]

Mr Gibb: In May we announced that 261 schools would be rebuilt or have their condition needs met through the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). The PSBP is predominantly a privately financed programme.

3 Sep 2012 : Column 105W

The policy on the use of private finance by the public sector is determined by Her Majesty's Treasury. We are working closely with the Treasury to ensure that the PSBP is aligned with the Government's agenda on the reform of the PFI model in providing cost effective and more transparent delivery of services. The procurement process will be centralised and will be more streamlined than previous school building programmes and baseline designs will be available to bidders to drive improvements in the overall value for money. Schools will have greater flexibility with facilities management services such as cleaning, catering, security and grounds maintenance being controlled by schools themselves.

The PSBP will be rigorously managed throughout, to ensure that we do not incur the excessive costs incurred by previous private finance schemes. We will learn lessons and continue to make improvements to the private finance model in order to provide a cost effective delivery of education services.

Public Expenditure

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he expects his Department to underspend its budget for 2012-13; and what estimate he has made of any such underspend. [116471]

Tim Loughton: The information is as follows:

The OBR forecast underspends in Departmental Expenditure Limits as part of their Economic and Fiscal Outlook in the autumn.

As part of the transparency agenda the Government publish the full detail of plans and outturn for all Departments after the end of the financial year, usually in September. HM Treasury publish outturn data for all Departments from the COINS database, available on the Treasury website on a quarterly basis. Forecasts for 2012-13 outturn by Department will be published at Budget 2013.

Rebekah Brooks

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education from how many different telephone numbers he has received text messages from Rebekah Brooks since May 2010. [R] [113731]

Tim Loughton: The Department for Education holds no central records that are relevant to this request.

Schools: Asbestos

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on the Committee on Carcinogenicity's findings on children's vulnerability to asbestos; and if he will make a statement; [118281]

(2) if he will set a timetable for a review of asbestos policy for schools; [118282]

(3) if he will review the guidance given to schools on children's exposure to asbestos. [118283]

Mr Gibb: The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) has not held any discussions with the Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley) on the Committee on Carcinogenicity's findings on children's relative vulnerability to asbestos. The Committee has not yet published its findings. Any decision to review the guidance given to schools will be taken in light of the Committee's findings once we have had time to consider them.

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Schools: Finance

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the average per pupil unit of funding including the pupil premium, for (a) primary and (b) secondary schools based on (i) low-range, (ii) mid-range and (iii) high-range departmental estimates of pupil numbers in each of the next five academic years. [107066]

Mr Gibb: The current spending review period ends in 2014-15. Plans for school funding during this period were based on forecast pupil numbers available at the time of spending review in October 2010. The cash flat settlement for the current spending review period gives average per pupil funding of £5,083. In addition, the pupil premium will provide funding of £2.5 billion in 2014-15.

The pupil premium was introduced in April 2011. In 2011-12 the pupil premium funding was £488 per pupil in respect of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals (FSM), and for children in care who have been continuously looked after for at least six months and £200 per pupil for those whose parents are serving in the armed forces.

In 2012-13 the pupil premium amount in respect of pupils known to be eligible for FSM has risen to £600 per FSM pupil and children in care, and will be extended to cover pupils who have been FSM within the last six years. The pupil premium for those whose parents are serving in the armed forces has risen to £250 per pupil.

Schools: Standards

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of schools in (a) the 10 per cent most deprived areas and (b) the 10% least deprived areas fell below the Government's floor standards in (i) 2010 and (ii) 2011. [116025]

Mr Gibb: The information requested is provided in the following tables:

Key stage 2: Number and percentage of schools(1) in the 10% most and least deprived areas(2) below the floor target(3)
  20102011

10% most deprived areas

Number

189

268

 

Percentage(4)

21

19

10% least deprived areas

Number

14

23

 

Percentage(4)

2

2

(1) Mainstream maintained schools in the key stage 2 performance tables with greater than 10 pupils in the key stage 2 cohort and performance tables data for all three measures against which the floor standard is assessed (see footnote 3). (2) Based on Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI). Each super output area (similar sized groups of households across the country with a minimum population of 1,000) in England is given a score which ranks it between one and 32,482, one being the most deprived. IDACI band is based on the IDACI rank of school postcode. Pupils attending the school may not live in the same area. (3) In 2010 and 2011 the floor standard was: At least 60% of pupils at the end of key stage 2 (KS2) achieving level 4 or above in English and maths; National average or above for percentage of pupils at the end of KS2 making expected progress in English (national median = 87%); and National average or above for percentage of pupils at the end of KS2 making expected progress in maths (national median = 86%). Primary schools failing to reach all three thresholds were assessed as being below the floor standard. (4) Number of schools below the floor target in each area as a percentage of the number of schools assessed against the floor target in each area. Source: Performance Tables.

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Key stage 4: Number and percentage of schools(1) in the 10% most and least deprived areas(2) below the floor target(3)
  20102011

10% most deprived areas

Number

44

27

 

Percentage(4)

19

11

10% least deprived areas

Number

5

2

 

Percentage(4)

2

1

(1) Mainstream maintained schools in the key stage 4 performance tables with greater than 10 pupils in the key stage 4 cohort and performance tables data for all three measures against which the floor standard is assessed (see footnote 3). (2) Based on Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI). Each super output area (similar sized groups of households across the country with a minimum population of 1,000) in England is given a score which ranks it between one and 32,482, one being the most deprived. IDACI band is based on the IDACI rank of school postcode. Pupils attending the school may not live in the same area. (3 )In 2010 and 2011 the floor standard was: At least 35% of pupils at the end of key stage 4 achieving five or more GCSEs A*-C (or equivalents) including English and maths GCSE; National average or above for percentage of pupils at the end of KS4 making expected progress in English (national median = 72% for 2010, 74% for 2011); and National average or above for percentage of pupils at the end of KS4 making expected progress in maths (national median = 65% for 2010, 66% for 2011). Secondary schools failing to reach all three thresholds were assessed as being below the floor standard. (4) Number of schools below the floor target in each area as a percentage of the number of schools assessed against the floor target in each area. Source: Performance Tables.

Social Services

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many vulnerable (a) children and (b) adults were (i) placed out of county and (ii) received from another county for each local authority area. [117643]

Tim Loughton: The Department does not collect information on the placement of all groups of vulnerable children.

Information is published on the number of looked after children placed outside the boundary of each local authority, and the number placed within that boundary by other local authorities. This is available in Table LAA9 of the Statistical First Release, Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England (including adoption and care leavers)—year ending 31 March 2011. This publication can be accessed at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001026/index.shtml

Information on how many vulnerable adults were (i) placed out of county and (ii) received from another county for each local authority area is not currently collected. This is something we are currently looking at as a result of work announced in the Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation action plan: Progress report July 2012.

Teachers: Kent

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many teachers in Kent were (a) dismissed and (b) dismissed due to incompetency in the last 10 years. [117225]

Mr Gibb: The operation of disciplinary procedures in schools, including dealing with teacher incompetence, is a matter for schools and local authorities as employers. Accordingly the information requested about the dismissal of teachers is not held centrally.

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The Department for Education has recently published new procedures for schools to use when dealing with underperforming teachers. These new arrangements are shorter and less complex than the current procedure and are due to come into effect in September 2012.

Teachers: Training

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much funding his Department provided for postgraduate initial teacher training in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. [109384]

Mr Gibb: The amount of funding that the Department provided for postgraduate initial teacher training in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12 is shown in the following table:

Academic year£ million

2009/10

387.8

2010/11

363.5

2011/12

276.6

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to attract high-calibre graduates into teaching. [114663]

Mr Gibb: We are committed to encouraging the best graduates into teaching. The measures we are taking to attract high-calibre graduates into teaching are contained in “Training our next generation of outstanding teachers: Implementation plan”, published in November 2011. They include:

using bursaries of up to £20,000 to attract the best performing graduates in the subjects where they are most needed;

in partnership with the Institute of Physics, providing up to 100 scholarships of £20,000 to help attract more of the best graduates into physics teaching; and

expanding the successful Teach First programme which places highly able graduates to work in challenging schools;

Vocational Education

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the annual VQ Day promoted by the Edge Foundation on the perception of technical, practical and vocational qualifications among (a) teachers, (b) parents, (c) pupils and (d) employers in England. [111100]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 18 June 2012]: The Government recognises that the annual VQ Day, promoted by the Edge Foundation, has made a positive contribution to the perception of technical, practical and vocational qualifications amongst teachers, parents, students and employers in England since its launch in 2008. But we know more needs to be done to raise the perception of vocational education in England. We are clear that this will only happen once the quality and value of vocational education rises. That is why the Government commissioned Professor Wolf to conduct a review of the vocational education system.

The Wolf Review of Vocational Education, published in March 2011, made a series of recommendations to improve vocational education for 14 to 19-year-olds. In May 2012, the Government accepted these

3 Sep 2012 : Column 109W

recommendations in full. Alongside these reforms, we are considering how employers might be better engaged in the process of improving the quality of vocational provision in the future. This package of reforms is designed to improve the value and quality of vocational education for 14 to 19-year-olds and should in turn raise perceptions of vocational education among teachers, parents, students and employers.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Absenteeism

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the absenteeism rate was in her Department in each of the last three years. [116663]

Richard Benyon [holding answer 17 July 2012]: The average number of working days lost per person due to sickness absence in core DEFRA in each of the last three years was as follows:

Year ending 31 MarchNumber

2010

5.8

2011

5.4

2012

3.9

Animal Welfare: Greater London

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to reduce cases of animal cruelty towards domestic dogs and cats in London. [117768]

Mr Paice: The Government take the issue of animal cruelty very seriously. On 23 April, we announced a package of proposals to tackle irresponsible ownership of dogs. The consultation on these proposals closed on 15 June and we are currently analysing the 23,000 or so replies before any decision is made.

In the meantime, we have provided funding to the Dogs Trust, the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to research what community projects work best to improve more responsible ownership of dogs.

In 2010 DEFRA introduced codes of practice for the welfare of cats and dogs. The codes explain to owners what measures they need to take to provide for the welfare needs of their cats and dogs.

Animals: Imports

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 2 July 2012, Official Report, column 448W, on animals: imports, from which countries of origin the animals were imported. [117916]

Mr Paice: The country of origin for imports of cats/dogs/ferrets into the UK between 2008 and May 2012 are set out as follows:

EU member states

Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

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Third countries and territories

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, DR, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea DPR, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Sudan, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, Ukraine, US Virgin Islands, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam/Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Biodiversity

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's publication, “A Strategy for England's wildlife and ecosystem services—Biodiversity 2020 Indicators: 2012 Assessment”, how many of the 45 indicator measures were given a direction of change assessment for the last year; and which of these indicators were assessed as (a) improving and (b) deteriorating. [118448]

Richard Benyon: Statistical assessments of the indicators are made over two time periods: over the long term and since the year 2000. We do not publish statistical assessments of year to year change because not all of the indicators can be updated annually and annual changes can be misleading, particularly for biological data, which may fluctuate markedly from year to year.

Where annual data are available, the direction of change in the latest year is shown in the publication in the interests of transparency, but we do not attempt to summarise or draw conclusions based on what may be annual fluctuations.

There were 23 measures for which change in latest year was reported in May 2012; five may be regarded as showing little or no change, eight as showing an improving trend and 10 as showing a deteriorating trend.

For the 10 regarded as showing deterioration, the explanations are varied.

For populations of bats, woodland butterflies and large fish, the decline in the latest year is in contrast to the ‘improving’ trend observed since 2000. This may reflect weather events (recent cold winters for example), or simply be a matter of chance and we would not attempt to draw conclusions without further data.

For indicators on farmland bird and butterfly populations, the latest-year deterioration continues a general downward trend observed over a longer period. We already have plans in place to secure beneficial management through our agri-environment schemes and to further improve the effectiveness and targeting of these schemes.

Volunteering activity, sustainable land management and expenditure on biodiversity also show overall improvement since 2000 but have declined in the latest

3 Sep 2012 : Column 111W

year. We are securing beneficial land management through our agri-environment and woodland incentive schemes. On volunteering, we are funding and supporting a range of organisations that provide environmental volunteering opportunities to help them to boost volunteering and capacity. On expenditure, we are reviewing existing funding streams for biodiversity delivery and taking steps to better utilise existing budgets for biodiversity such as the European LIFE Programme and the common agricultural policy.

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's publication, A Strategy for England's wildlife and ecosystem services, what steps the Government are planning to take to improve trends in indicators on (a) conservation volunteering and (b) funding for biodiversity. [118449]

Richard Benyon: On volunteering, we are working with a number of organisations that provide environmental volunteering opportunities to see how we can best help them to boost volunteering and build their capacity. We have earmarked £200,000 to support this work over the next two financial years.

DEFRA has also recently convened a meeting between biodiversity organisations and funding bodies to discuss how best to align Biodiversity 2020 objectives with relevant funding streams, and we will be following this up. We are taking steps to further improve our utilisation and effectiveness of existing budgets for biodiversity such as LIFE and the common agricultural policy.

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the indicators for (a) the status of priority species and (b) the effectiveness of integrating biodiversity considerations into local decision-making will be available to assess progress made on implementing her Department's strategy for England's wildlife and ecosystem services. [118450]

Richard Benyon: We will publish both of these indicators in the spring of 2014.