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Immigration: Offenders

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has reviewed the extent to which the right to family life is being invoked by convicted offenders who are not UK citizens and who are seeking to remain in the UK following sentence; and if she will make a statement. [121192]

Mr Harper: In 2011-12, 409 appeals against foreign national offenders’ deportations were allowed. Of these, 177 were allowed on the grounds of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)—the right to family and private life.

New immigration rules came in to force on 9 July 2012 following the Government's intent to redress the balance between the family rights of criminals and illegal migrants and the rights of the British public. Only in exceptional circumstances will family life, the best interests of a child or private life outweigh criminality and the public interest in seeing foreign national offenders deported where they have received a custodial sentence of at least four years.

In most cases deportation will continue to be proportionate where the foreign national has received a custodial sentence of at least 12 months, or has received a custodial sentence of less than 12 months and their offending has caused serious harm or they are a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.

Israel

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any members of the Israeli security forces have attended training courses in the UK provided by her Department in each of the last five years. [120355]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 10 September 2012]: The Home Office and Serious Organised Crime Agency, National Policing Improvement Agency, UK Border Agency, and Immigration and Passport Service, have not provided any UK-based training to Israeli security forces in the last five years.

Licensing

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what permits and licences her Department and its public bodies issue to businesses. [118813]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office issues permits and/or licences to businesses in the following areas:

(1) Firearms. Written ministerial authority is required in order to possess, purchase, acquire, manufacture, sell or transfer prohibited weapons, ammunition or component parts of prohibited weapons.

(2) Animal Testing. The use of animals in experiments and testing is regulated by a three-level licensing system:

those carrying out the scientific procedures must hold personal licences, which ensures that they are qualified and suitable;

the programme of work must be authorised in a project licence;

the place at which the work is carried out must hold a certificate of designation.

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(3) Immigration. Under the Points Based System. Licences are issued to businesses to sponsor migrant workers, and to education establishments to sponsor students, who seek to come to the UK from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

(4) Use of Controlled Drugs and Precursor Chemicals. The following types of licence are issued:

Import & Export licences for Controlled Drugs;

Import & Export licences for Precursor Chemicals;

Domestic licences for Controlled Drugs (England, Wales, Scotland only);

Domestic licensing/registration for Precursor Chemicals;

Licences to Doctors to prescribe diamorphine, cocaine or dipipanone for the treatment of addiction.

With regard to the Home Office's non-departmental public bodies, the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) regulates some immigration advisers and providers of immigration services, through the issue of certificates of registration to profit-making businesses, and certificates of exemption to organisations who operate on a not-for-profit basis. Members of certain professional bodies, who do provide immigration advice or immigration services, are not regulated by OISC and as such, no certificates are issued to them. The professional bodies not regulated by OISC are:

General Council of the Bar

The Law Society of England and Wales

The Institute of Legal Executives

The Faculty of Advocates

The Law Society of Scotland

The General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland

The Law Society of Northern Ireland

London Metropolitan University

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has taken legal advice on any potential liability for damages against (a) her Department, (b) the UK Border Agency and (c) London Metropolitan university by non-EU students at that university whose courses face termination. [119296]

Mr Harper: Following the application for judicial review lodged by London Metropolitan university on 11 September 2012, this question is now subject to the sub judice rule and I am unable to answer this question.

Child Care

Owen Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many child care places her Department provides on its estate; what the cost is of providing such places; how many such places her Department provided in 2010; what the cost was of providing such places in 2010; what plans she has for changes in the provision of such child care places; and what the number of places will be once any such changes have been implemented. [121271]

Mr Harper: The Home Office did not provide child care places in 2010 or 2012 and there are no plans to introduce such provision.

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Olympic Games 2012: Security

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date Ministers were first advised that G4S would not be able to provide the security support for the London 2012 Olympics that had been contracted. [117902]

James Brokenshire: Following ongoing discussions, G4S confirmed on 11 July 2012 that it could no longer meet its contractual obligations.

Olympic Games 2012: Touting

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were arrested on suspicion of illegally reselling tickets for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in each month of 2012. [120059]

James Brokenshire: The Metropolitan Police have advised that between 25 July and 17 August 2012, a total of 220 individuals were arrested for Olympic ticketing offences as part of Operation Podium, the dedicated police operation against Games-related economic crime. Figures for arrests prior to the start of the Games or which were not part of Operation Podium are not held centrally in this form.

Police: Greater London

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police community support officers and (b) police officers there were in (i) Hillingdon, (ii) Hounslow, (iii) Kingston upon Thames, (iv) Merton and (v) Redbridge on 5 April (A) 2010, (B) 2011 and (C) 2012; and if she will make a statement. [121297]

Damian Green [holding answer 17 September 2012]:Figures were collected by the Home Office for the number of police community support officers and police officers within Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Merton and Redbridge boroughs, as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2011 and are given in the following table.

Figures at London borough level ceased to be collected centrally by the Home Office from 2011-12.

Police community support officer and police officer strength within the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Merton and Redbridge as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2011(1,2)
 Police community support officersPolice officers
 31 March 201031 March 201131 March 201031 March 2011

Hillingdon

114

98

526

540

Hounslow

109

94

540

522

Kingston upon Thames

92

72

337

321

Merton

105

85

396

392

Redbridge

116

108

502

486

(1) These figures are based on full-time equivalents that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. (2) Figures include those officers on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

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Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police community support officers and (b) police officers there were in (i) Barnet, (ii) Barking and Dagenham, (iii) Croydon, (iv) Ealing and (v) Enfield on 5 April (A) 2010, (B) 2011 and (C) 2012; and if she will make a statement. [121532]

Damian Green: Figures were collected by the Home Office for the number of police community support officers and police officers within Barnet, Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Richmond upon Thames, Waltham Forest and Haringey boroughs, as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2011 and are given in the following table.

Figures at London borough level ceased to be collected centrally by the Home Office from 2011-12.

Police community support officer and police officer strength within the London boroughs of Barnet, Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Richmond upon Thames, Waltham Forest and Haringey as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2011(1, 2)
 Police community support officersPolice officers
 31 March 201031 March 201131 March 201031 March 2011

Barnet

178

144

596

585

Barking and Dagenham

101

88

448

443

Croydon

173

141

755

736

Ealing

179

143

728

697

Enfield

170

150

601

580

Richmond upon Thames

103

87

335

307

Waltham Forest

114

100

578

556

Haringey

119

97

734

708

(1) These figures are based on full-time equivalents that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. (2) Figures include those officers on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

Police: Powers

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to publish the Government response to the consultation on police powers to promote and maintain public order. [120945]

Damian Green [holding answer 14 September 2012]: The Government is carefully considering all the views received during the consultation and we will issue a response in due course.

Police: Surveillance

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussions she has had with chief constables on the (a) level of expenditure authorised to defend against claims brought by individuals who entered into sexual relationships with undercover officers and (b) provision of funds to be set aside for possible compensation claims; and if she will make a statement; [121108]

(2) whether she has received any reports of police forces authorising undercover officers to (a) lie under oath and (b) commit crimes; if she will give details of any related guidance issued to police forces; and if she will make a statement. [121109]

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Damian Green: The Government provides a legal framework for undercover operations through the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). The management and deployment of undercover police officers, and their personal conduct, are matters for chief officers—as is responding to any related compensation claim. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has issued guidance on undercover policing.

Private Investigators

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Government plans to respond to the Fourth Report from the Home Affairs Select Committee, Private Investigators, HC 100. [120984]

Damian Green: We are carefully considering the Committee's report. Given the relevance of this issue to the matters being considered by the Leveson Inquiry, we will await its findings to ensure they can be taken into account in the development of a suitably effective regulatory regime.

Private investigators remain subject to the law on intercepting communications.

Departmental Contracts

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her Department's policy is on taking into account when assessing tenders submitted for departmental contracts the (a) apprenticeship schemes, (b) policies on employment of paid interns and (c) policies of payment of at least the living wage of each bidding company. [120794]

James Brokenshire: When assessing tenders submitted for departmental contracts, the Home Department does not have a specific policy which covers bidders’ use of apprenticeship schemes, employment of paid interns and payment of the living wage.

During the procurement preparation process the inclusion of special conditions of contract can be considered on a case by case basis.

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, the Department supports and encourages the uptake of apprenticeships in new and existing contracts.

Russia

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place in the Library the letter she has sent to the Russian authorities in connection with the death of Sergei Magnitsky. [119488]

Mr Harper [holding answer 6 September 2012]: The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), has not written to the Russian authorities about the death of Sergei Magnitsky.

Surveillance

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many public authorities have commissioned a non-public body or private individual to undertake covert surveillance under the provisions

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of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in the last year for which figures are available; which public authorities commissioned such non-public bodies; which non-public bodies were commissioned; and for what reason these public bodies were commissioned to carry out such surveillance. [121075]

James Brokenshire: A non-public body or private individual commissioned to carry out covert surveillance; properly authorised by a public authority under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 ('RIPA'), is subject to the RIPA control regime. The independent Chief Surveillance Commissioner is responsible for statutory oversight of how public authorities comply with the RIPA covert surveillance provisions. His published annual reports have not provided statistics on or detail of any commissioning of such activities by public authorities.

Tim Larkin

George Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will meet the hon. Member for Bradford West and others to discuss the exclusion order relating to Tim Larkin; and if she will make a statement; [121111]

(2) what steps she took to ensure that due process was followed in relation to the exclusion order relating to Tim Larkin; and if she will make a statement. [121112]

Mr Harper: The Home Office is not able to comment on individual cases.

UK Border Force

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to announce the successor to Brian Moore as head of the UK Border Force. [118077]

Mr Harper: The Home Office held an open competition to appoint a successor to Brian Moore as head of Border Force, but have not yet found the right candidate for this vital role.

Tony Smith, currently senior director for Border Force and UK Border Agency Olympic Programme, will take on the role on a temporary basis from 19 September 2012 until a permanent head is appointed. We expect to make an appointment by the end of the year.

Vetting

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will estimate the number of people who have lost their job due to a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure of a conviction for consensual homosexual sex; and if she will make a statement. [121302]

Mr Jeremy Browne [holding answer 17 September 2012]: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) provides eligible employers with criminal record information, but has no involvement in decisions to recruit or retain. Therefore it is not possible to provide an estimate of the number of people who may have lost their job due to the disclosure of a conviction, whether for consensual homosexual sex or any other matter.

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Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many checks were processed by the Criminal Records Bureau in each month since January 2012; and how many of those resulted in disclosures of criminal records in each such month. [121357]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Between 1 January and 31 August 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) issued 2,763,124 certificates. Of these, 226,083 or 8.2% of checks resulted in the disclosure of criminal records. The monthly breakdown is given in the following table:

MonthTotal dispatchedTotal disclosures with PNC matchTotal matched (percentage)

January 2012

320,256

27,081

8.5

February 2012

345,262

28,802

8.3

March 2012

363,959

29,294

8.0

April 2012

285,653

24,349

8.5

May 2012

375,648

30,808

8.2

June 2012

330,959

26,168

7.9

July 2012

388,444

30,407

7.8

August 2012

352,943

29,174

8.3

Total

2,763,124

226,083

8.2

Health

Commissioning Outcomes Framework Advisory Committee

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what means members of the Commissioning Outcomes Framework Advisory Committee will be appointed. [120918]

Dr Poulter: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is responsible for the appointment of members of their independent Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF) Advisory Committee.

Recruitment to the COF Committee was by a process of open advertisement and interview. Recruitment took place between March and August 2011.

Drugs: Rehabilitation

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to increase harm reduction interventions in drug treatment. [121372]

Anna Soubry: Health care interventions to reduce the harm caused by drug misuse are commissioned locally. The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse supports the commissioning process in local areas by providing information about the local need for services which can be incorporated into the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

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Drugs: Waste Disposal

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the value was of medical supplies discarded owing to their having passed their expiry date in each of the last three years. [121017]

Dr Poulter: Information on the value of medical supplies discarded owing to their having passed their expiry date is not held centrally. However, the hon. Member may wish to contact his local national health service bodies to confirm whether this information is collected.

Emergency Calls: Hoaxes and False Alarms

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many malicious 999 calls there have been in each of the last five years. [121018]

Anna Soubry: This information is not centrally collected by the Department.

Food: Hygiene

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to reduce the number of food safety regulations that apply to voluntary clubs and organisations; and if he will make a statement. [120924]

Anna Soubry: The Food Standards Agency is an independent body which has responsibility for developing policy on food safety regulations but is accountable to Parliament through Health Ministers.

It informs us that there are no plans to change the arrangements that apply to voluntary dubs and organisations.

Health Services: East London

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the effect on funding of health bodies in east London due to the switch from health inequalities to age as a key factor in calculating funding for those bodies. [120384]

Anna Soubry: Revenue allocations are currently made to primary care trusts (PCTs) on the basis of a needs based weighted capitation formula recommended by the independent Advisory Committee on resource allocation.

Age is the primary determinant of an individual's need for healthcare along with other important factors such as need related to deprivation. Both age and deprivation have continued to be key components in the current PCT allocations formula. The only significant recent change in the formula has been to reduce the weighting for the disability free life expectancy adjustment from 15%, to 10%, in 2011-12.

The weighted capitation formula sets fair share allocations while pace of change policy determines how quickly PCTs move towards their fair share. It is not possible to say how allocations would have differed under a different weighted capitation formula, as this would involve speculation on what different pace of change decisions would have been made.

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From 2013-14, the NHS Commissioning Board will allocate resources to clinical commissioning groups. The Health and Social Care Act has given the NHS its first ever duties concerning the need to reduce health inequalities.

Hepatitis

Jason McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the recommendations relating to public health in the Health Protection Agency's report on Hepatitis C in the UK: 2012. [121471]

Anna Soubry: We welcome the public health recommendations in the Health Protection Agency's report on Hepatitis C in the UK (2012), a copy of which has been placed in the Library. The recommendations will help national health service organisations, Public Health England, local authorities and their partners in strengthening measures for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C.

Midwives

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many student midwives there were in England in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement on midwifery student numbers. [121103]

Dr Poulter: We are keeping the number of new midwifery training commissions at a record high, with 2,484 places available in 2011-12, and 2,578 places planned for 2012-13.

The population of student midwives in England is only available for the last three years and is shown in table A. The number of new midwifery training commissions in England in each year since 2001 is shown in table B, and has been increasing under the coalition Government.

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Table A
 Student midwife population

2009-10

5,567

2010-11

5,644

2011-12

5,955

Source: Quarterly Monitoring Return
Table B: Midwifery training places commissioned
 DegreeDiploma18 monthsTotal

2001-02

621

525

732

1,878

2002-03

709

724

677

2,110

2003-04

753

716

757

2,226

2004-05

895

744

735

2,374

2005-06

891

397

531

1,819

2006-07

983

540

467

1,990

2007-08

1,307

412

352

2,071

2008-09

1,944

0

328

2,272

2009-10

1,977

0

505

2,482

2010-11

2,034

0

454

2,488

2011-12

2,052

0

432

2,484

Note: Midwifery training became degree only from 2008-09. The 18-month training is a conversion course. Source: Quarterly Monitoring Return

NHS: Complaints

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the five most common complaints about the NHS were in each of the last five years. [120928]

Dr Poulter: Two data sets on national health service complaints are published annually by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, which relate to hospital and community health services, and general practice (including dentist). Subject categories differ between these data sets. The ‘other' categories includes all complaints not picked up by the other categories.

The following tables indicate the top five subjects complained about in each data set for the past five years:

Top five complaints by subject: Hospital and community health services
 2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

1

All aspects of clinical treatment

All aspects of clinical treatment

All aspects of clinical treatment

All aspects of clinical treatment

All aspects of clinical treatment

2

Attitude of staff

Attitude of staff

Attitude of staff

Attitude of staff

Attitude of staff

3

Appointments, delay/ cancellation (out-patient)

Appointments, delay/ cancellation (out-patient)

Appointments, delay/ cancellation (out-patient)

Communication/ information to patients (written and oral)

Communication/ information to patients (written and oral)

4

Communication/ information to patients (written and oral)

Communication/ information to patients (written and oral)

Communication/ information to patients (written and oral)

Appointments, delay/cancellation (out-patient)

Appointments, delay/cancellation (out-patient)

5

Other

Admissions, discharge and transfer arrangements

Other

Other

Admissions, discharge and transfer arrangements

Top five complaints by subject: General practice (including dental) health services
 2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

1

Clinical

Clinical

Clinical

Clinical

Clinical

2

Communications/ attitude

Communications/ attitude

Communications/ attitude

Communications/ attitude

Communications/ attitude

3

Other

General practice administration

General practice administration

General practice administration

General practice administration

4

General practice administration

Practice/surgery management

Other

Other

Other

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5

Practice/surgery management

Other

Practice/surgery management

Practice/surgery management

Practice/surgery management

NHS: Cost-Effectiveness

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what savings have been made in each category as part of the Nicholson challenge in the last two financial years. [120926]

Dr Poulter: As set out in ‘The Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2011-12’, the national health service was required to start the delivery of efficiency savings to meet the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) challenge, also known as the Nicholson challenge, in the 2011-12 financial year.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) reported total efficiency savings of £5.8 billion in 2011-12 towards the QIPP challenge as published in ‘The Year: NHS Chief Executive's Annual report 2011-12’. The following table sets out the categories under which QIPP savings were made:

QIPP CategoryTotal (£ million)

Acute services

2,843

Ambulance services

74

Community services

463

Continuing healthcare

159

Mental health and learning disabilities services

440

Non-NHS healthcare (inc reablement)

157

Prescribing

700

Primary Care, Dental, Pharmacy/Ophthalmic

417

Specialised commissioning

255

Other

307

Grand total

5,815

Figures outlining efficiency savings achieved by the NHS during the first three months of the 2012-13 financial year will be published shortly by the Department in ‘The Quarter 1: 2012-13’.

NHS: Drinking Water

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on water coolers in the NHS (a) in North Yorkshire and (b) nationwide in each of the last three years. [121015]

Dr Poulter: The information requested is not held centrally.

NHS: Official Hospitality

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on corporate hospitality (a) in North Yorkshire and (b) nationwide by the NHS in each of the last three years. [121013]

Dr Poulter: The information requested is not held centrally.

NHS: Procurement

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which private companies have contracts with the NHS. [120929]

Dr Poulter: The Department does not centrally collect information on the contracts which individual national health service bodies hold with private sector companies. NHS trusts and foundation trusts are now expected to publish all tender and contract information for contracts over £10,000, a requirement which applies to all central Government Departments.

NHS: Training

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on continuous professional development in the NHS (a) in North Yorkshire and (b) nationwide in each of the last three years. [121016]

Dr Poulter: The information requested is not held centrally.

Child Care

Owen Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many child care places his Department provides on its estate; what the cost is of providing such places; how many such places his Department provided in 2010; what the cost was of providing such places in 2010; what plans he has for changes in the provision of such child care places; and what the number of places will be once any such changes have been implemented. [121270]

Dr Poulter: The Department has nursery provision at its Leeds site, Quarry House. The facility is within the combined Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department of Health estate, but the nursery is managed by DWP.

The nursery has capacity for 46 children. The cost of subsiding nursery places for Department of Health staff was £32,498 in 2010-11 and £28,134 in 2011-12.

There are no plans formally to review the overall provision. However, the appropriateness and cost of these arrangements will continue to be reviewed as part of regular budgetary reviews.

Older People: Rehabilitation

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to assess the provision of rehabilitation services for the elderly. [121318]

Norman Lamb: The Department has no specific plans to assess the provision of rehabilitation services for older people. However, through the National Intermediate Care Audit, providers are able to assess their own performance at supporting timely discharge from hospital

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(and preventing unnecessary acute admissions). The provision of rehabilitation services is a matter for the local national health service, working in conjunction with local authorities, patients and other key partners. However, the Department is pursuing a number of policies to help people stay well in the community, and to regain their independence after a period of support either in hospital or residential care. Here, the interaction between hospitals and community-based services is key.

The Government recognise the importance of care and support to improving local health and wellbeing, which is why we are putting funding behind the integration agenda. At the 2010 spending review, we announced that, over the four years to 2014-15, £2.7 billion would be transferred to local authorities from the NHS to promote better joined-up working across the health, care and support system.

Recently, it was announced that the health system will transfer a further £100 million and £200 million in 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively, over and above the funding set out at the spending review. The new funding will further support local areas to deliver social care services that benefit people's health and wellbeing, by promoting more joint working between health and care. This will enable local areas to transform their services and to deliver better integrated care that saves money across the whole system: for example by supporting people to maintain their independence in the community for as long as possible.

Olympic Games 2012

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department used the Olympic route network for travel for official purposes during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. [120999]

Dr Poulter: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will publish details of Government use of tickets and hospitality in the autumn and this will include use of transport services which operated on the Olympic or Paralympic route networks.

Pregnancy: Sodium Valproate

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance doctors are given to enable them to give appropriate counselling to pregnant mothers who are susceptible to epilepsy and who are taking sodium valproate; [121059]

(2) what support he provides to people who have been adversely affected as a result of their mothers being prescribed sodium valproate during pregnancy. [121060]

Norman Lamb: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is an Executive agency of the Department of Health responsible for ensuring that medicines are acceptably safe and effective in their licensed indications. Part of the remit of the MHRA is to ensure that the information associated with the medicine and provided to health care professionals (the Summary of Product Characteristics, SmPC) and to patients (the Patient Information Leaflet, PIL) is accurate and up to date.

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The MHRA has regularly reviewed the evidence on anti-epileptic drug use in women of child bearing age since the time of licensing and continually reassesses the information provided in the SmPC and PIL in light of new data from all sources, including the UK Epilepsy and Pregnancy Registry. Where appropriate, new data are included in updated prescribing and patient information to best inform the decision-making process between health care professionals and patients.

The current product information for sodium valproate products contains detailed advice in relation to its use during pregnancy. Women of childbearing potential being treated for epilepsy are currently advised that they should not be started on sodium valproate without specialist neurological advice and that the benefits of its use should be weighed against the known risks to the foetus.

Information on possible side effects which may occur in the offspring of women with epilepsy who are treated with sodium valproate during pregnancy, including the characteristic features of 'fetal anti-convulsant syndrome' are also outlined in the product information. In addition the British National Formulary (BNF) provides prescribers, pharmacists and other health care professionals with independent, detailed and up-to-date information about the use of sodium valproate during pregnancy.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published a clinical guideline covering the diagnosis, treatment and management of epilepsies in adults and children. This clinical guideline specifically covers the treatment and management of epilepsy in pregnancy.

We are aware that children affected by ‘fetal anti convulsant syndrome’ may have several problems requiring care from a number of different specialist services, addressing the different physical and developmental problems which may have arisen. Babies born with such difficulties will be provided with support to meet these challenges.

Earlier this year, the former Secretary of State for Health (Andrew Lansley) established the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum as part of our commitment to improving health outcomes for children and young people. On 26 July, the forum published its report which can be found at:

www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/07/cyp-report

The forum's report will help inform the development of a Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Strategy which is due to be published later this year.

The forum has included a number of recommendations on how the needs of children with complex needs can best be met and these will apply to children who have had exposure to anticonvulsant medications in pregnancy. For example, the forum has recommended the establishment of an outcome measure on integration, which would be particularly relevant to this group of children and young people. The approach the forum took means that they have sought to address health provision across a very wide spectrum, of needs.

Scoliosis: Children

Mr Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on scoliosis checks in schools. [120934]

18 Sep 2012 : Column 585W

Dr Poulter: The Healthy Child Programme sets out a schedule of evidence based reviews and interventions for local commissioners to use when commissioning services for children and families. This includes information on best practice for a school entry assessment at age four to five and a further assessment at transition between primary and secondary school at age 10 to 11. The assessments primarily focus on physical health, growth and development and also include mental and emotional health issues. At school entry many areas administer a questionnaire to parents which explores their child's health and wellbeing and informs the health review at school entry. The questionnaire to be used is determined locally.

Possible signs of scoliosis (particularly severe scoliosis) might be picked up from the parental questionnaire or from the school entry assessment. The school nurse would refer any such concerns to the community paediatrician or advise the young person or their parent/carer to consult their general practitioner for further assessment and possible referral to an orthopaedic specialist.

Current advice from the UK National Screening Committee is that systematic screening of children by imaging would not be beneficial, because there is little evidence that it would identify children with scoliosis who are not already picked up through other means. However, the Committee is currently reviewing the evidence for scoliosis screening for adolescents and, following a public consultation which closed in June, is expected to make a recommendation in the autumn.

Thalidomide

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the pilot scheme of health grants given to thalidomiders; and what assessment he has made of the merits of permanently continuing the Health Grant scheme. [121489]

Norman Lamb: The former Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton and Cheam (Paul Burstow), met with the hon. Member for Elmet and Rothwell (Alec Shelbrooke), chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group, along with members of the Thalidomide Trust and the National Advisory Council, in June 2012. At that meeting, he advised that the Government was not in a position to make an announcement on future funding until a full evaluation of its second year report had been carried out. However, he committed to providing a decision on future funding in the autumn of this year. I have repeated that commitment.

The report on the second year of the pilot study was sent to departmental officials on 11 July and is currently being evaluated.

Vitamin D: Ethnic Groups

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice the NHS publishes on the risks of vitamin D deficiency for ethnic minority communities. [120475]

Anna Soubry: The NHS Choices website provides information to the public about vitamin D and the risks associated with vitamin D deficiency. All of the pages on NHS Choices about vitamin D state that people who

18 Sep 2012 : Column 586W

have darker skin (particularly people of African, African-Caribbean and South Asian origin) are at risk of not getting enough vitamin D. This includes advice that people with darker skin will need to spend longer in the sun to produce the same amount of vitamin D as people with paler skin. The advice also states that those who cover their skin for religious or cultural reasons may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency due to reduced sun exposure; these individuals should therefore take a daily supplement containing ten micrograms of vitamin D.

The NHS Start4Life website and leaflets explain the importance of daily vitamin D supplements for babies, young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women. These materials state that this advice is of particular importance for those of South Asian or African-Caribbean descent, or those who have darker skin.

House of Commons Commission

Palace of Westminster: Repairs and Maintenance

Mr Tom Harris: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, (1) what assessment the Commission has made of the potential effect on timescales for and progress with planned essential maintenance and renovation to the Palace of Westminster of (a) the decision by the House to meet for a two-week period each September and (b) any future decision by the House not to meet for a two-week period each September; [120977]

(2) what estimate the Commission has made of the costs arising as a result of the decision by the House to sit for a two-week period each September; [120978]

(3) what assessment the Commission has made of (a) options for and (b) the likelihood of the House meeting in an alternative location to allow essential maintenance and renovation work to the Palace of Westminster; [120979]

(4) what assessment the Commission has made of the potential savings that could be made if essential maintenance to the Palace of Westminster did not have to accommodate the House sitting for a two-week period each September; [120980]

(5) what advice the Commission has received and from whom, on the potential effect of the decision by the House to sit for two weeks each September on the costs and timescales of essential renovation and maintenance work planned for the Palace of Westminster. [120988]

John Thurso: As explained in evidence submitted to the Procedure Committee for its review of the parliamentary calendar,(1) it is not possible to determine accurately the costs or risks of breaking up the long recess, as costs will vary from project to project, and hence from year to year.

Major projects being undertaken this summer, notably the mechanical and electrical works in the Palace of Westminster including the corridor works on the Principal Floor, were planned around the known sitting dates. There were no quantifiable additional project costs. However, it will not always be possible to schedule

18 Sep 2012 : Column 587W

works to fit a shorter summer recess without additional costs, and some projects cannot be deferred indefinitely. An analysis prepared by the Director General, Facilities for the Finance and Services Committee in 2011 suggested that, if there were a permanent reduction in the uninterrupted period available for summer works to five weeks, the overall cost penalty would typically be of the order of £1.5 million, predominantly in capital costs, based on the mix of projects undertaken in 2011-12.

Routine maintenance and the rolling programme of projects to the Palace of Westminster are planned around known sitting dates, and project timeframes therefore reflect this constraint. The key factor for the Parliamentary Estates Directorate is certainty about the parliamentary calendar to allow for effective planning.

Apart from the works programme, the marginal costs of September sittings are relatively low because most other operating costs are fixed for the year as a whole and are unaffected by the number and distribution of sittings. Marginal costs of a two week sitting in September are about £200,000, mainly as a result of increased Hansard costs and late-night working. If sitting in September resulted in fewer sitting days at other times, there would be offsetting savings.

In January 2012 the Commission appointed a Study Group to examine the long term requirement to renew the infrastructure of the Palace of Westminster. In its terms of reference the group was asked to examine the full range of options, including a temporary re-location of Parliament. The report of the Study Group is expected to be submitted to the Commission and the House Committee of the House of Lords next month.

(1) Written evidence submitted by the Clerk of the House and Chief Executive, available at

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmproced/writev/1370/p220.htm

Education

Academies Capital Maintenance Fund

Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what criteria his Department uses to assess and prioritise applications to the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund. [118969]

Mr Laws: There are two programme priorities for the fund. The first priority is to support Academies with significant building condition needs including Health and Safety issues that cannot be met from routine maintenance funding. The second priority is to support successful, popular Academies that are currently overcrowded and/or wish to expand their existing facilities and floor space to accommodate more pupils within their existing age range.

The Department considers how applications deliver one or both of these priorities as well as the value for money case and the arrangements in place to ensure that the project is deliverable within the required timeframe.

Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many bids to the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund from academies in (a) Gloucester,

18 Sep 2012 : Column 588W

(b)

Gloucestershire and

(c)

England have been (i) successful and (ii) unsuccessful. [118971]

Mr Laws: Figures relate to the March 2012 initial application round for ACMF 2012-13 only.

(a) 13 academies in and around Gloucester (GL1, GL2/GL3 and GL4 postcodes) applied to the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund for 27 projects totalling c£13.7 million. Six academies received funding totalling c£2.4 million across eight projects;

(b) 38 academies in Gloucestershire applied to the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund for 82 projects totalling c£30.7 million. 17 academies received funding totalling c£5.5 million across 23 projects; and

(c) 1,071 academies in England applied to the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund for 2,465 projects totalling c£1.16 billion. 571 academies received funding totalling almost £250 million across 773 projects.

Adoption: North Yorkshire

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many couples in North Yorkshire successfully adopted a child in each of the last five years. [120573]

Mr Timpson: The Department collects information on looked after children adopted by single people, civil partners, married and unmarried (same sex and different sex) couples. Some couples adopt two or more children, and therefore the number of couples who adopt will be lower than the number of children they adopted. Information on the legal status of adopters of looked after children has been collected since 2006-07. The numbers of looked after children adopted by couples in North Yorkshire and in England are shown in the following tables.

Figures for England have been taken from Table E3 of the Statistical First Release, “Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England (including adoption and care leavers)—year ending 31 March 2011”. This can be accessed at:

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

Children looked after in North Yorkshire local authority who were adopted during the years ending 31 March by legal status of adopters(1)—Years ending 31 March 2007 to 2011
Numbers
 20072008200920102011

All looked after children who were adopted during the year ending 31 March

20

20

25

20

15

      

Legal status of adopters:

20

20

25

20

15

Single adopter

0

0

0

X

X

Same sex couple not in civil partnership

0

0

0

0

0

Different sex unmarried couple

X

X

X

X

X

Civil partnership couple

0

0

X

0

0

Married couple

20

15

20

15

10

X = Figures not shown in order to protect confidentiality. (1) Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 5. Source: SSDA 903

18 Sep 2012 : Column 589W

Children looked after who were adopted during the years ending 31 March by legal status of adopters(1)—Years ending 31 March 2007 to 2011Coverage: England
Numbers
 20072008200920102011

All looked after children who were adopted during the year ending 31 March

3,330

3,180

3,330

3,200

3,050

      

Legal status of adopters:

     

Single adopter

290

270

270

280

290

Same sex couple not in civil partnership

70

50

50

60

40

Different sex unmarried couple

150

140

190

180

230

Civil partnership couple

20

30

70

60

60

Married couple

2,800

2,690

2,740

2,620

2,430

(1) Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Source: SSDA 903

Child Care

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent estimate his Department has made of the average unit cost of child care per place in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland, (d) Northern Ireland and (e) the UK. [119760]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 6 September 2012]: The Department has not made a formal assessment of the average unit cost of a child care place in England. The Department's annual Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey collects information on the mean hourly fees charged by certain categories of registered child care providers in England, and by region. The latest available survey is for 2010. The figures for 2010 are as follows:

Average hourly fees chargedby Government office region
£
 Full day careFull day care in children's centresSessionalChildminders

Overall mean average hourly fee

3.70

4.10

3.00

3.80

East Midlands

(1)3.20

(2)

(1)2.80

(1)3.20

East

3.60

(2)

3.10

4.00

London

4.70

(2)

(1)3.60

4.70

North East

(2)

(2)

(2)

(1)3.30

Yorkshire and Humberside

(1)3.50

(2)

(1)2.80

3.30

North West

3.50

(2)

(1)2.50

(1)3.30

South East

3.80

(2)

3.60

4.10

South West

3.60

(2)

(1)2.80

3.70

West Midlands

3.30

(2)

(1)2.60

(1)3.30

(1) Signifies cells where data should be treated with caution due to a low base size. (2) Signifies cells where data have not been included due to a base of less than 50. Note: The North East and Yorkshire and Humberside were considered as a single region for child minders, so these figures represent the combined average for those regions. Source: Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey 2010

The Department for Education has responsibility for England only. Child care policy in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the devolved Administrations in those countries.

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Children: Human Trafficking

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities collect data on the (a) number and (b) nationality of suspected child victims of trafficking in their care who go missing. [120754]

Mr Timpson: The Department currently collects information on the number of looked-after children who go missing from their agreed care placement for more than 24 hours. We do not collect information on whether these children may have been trafficked.

While data on the numbers of children who may have been trafficked who go missing from care are not collected by this Department, local authorities collect a range of data to inform their policies and processes. They will of course be aware of the history of children that come into their care, including whether the young people have, or may have been trafficked, and their nationality, where known. The care plan should include a risk assessment as to the likelihood of these children going missing in the same way that the care plan might for any other child.

The Department is currently working with key partners to develop a data collection system which is more meaningful and gives a clearer picture of the numbers of children who go missing from care. Better local data collection will contribute to improved local strategies for minimising missing persons incidents and improving protection for children in care, including those that have or may have been trafficked.

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will consider establishing a comprehensive and independent national system of data collection on trafficked children to ensure data is collected on trafficked children who go missing from care. [120755]

Mr Timpson: The Department is currently working with key partners to develop a data collection system which is more meaningful and gives a clearer picture of the numbers of children who go missing from care. The group is considering what such a collection should look like. Better local data collection will contribute to improved local strategies for minimising missing persons incidents and improving protection for children in care, including those that have or may have been trafficked.

Child Protection

Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he plans to take to ensure his Department is able to work with the Troubled Families Unit in the Department for Communities and Local Government to evaluate the effect of working with families in cases where there is serious concern about neglect. [121052]

Mr Timpson: The Troubled Families programme is supported by seven Government Departments. A cross- Whitehall group of Ministers is collectively responsible for the implementation of the programme. The Department for Education is represented on both the ministerial and senior officials' group, and officials at working level meet and communicate regularly. The Government are

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developing robust evaluation arrangements for the programme. Families involved in the programme are likely to include some where there are concerns about child neglect, and this is one of the problems the programme aims to address.

Correspondence

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the average time taken was by his Department to reply to correspondence from hon. Members and Peers in the last 12 months; and for what proportion of letters the time taken to send a response was longer than (a) one month, (b) six weeks, (c) two months, (d) three months and (e) six months in that period. [118655]

Elizabeth Truss: The average time taken by the Department to reply to correspondence from hon. Members over the last 12 months was 17 days. The Department's records do not distinguish between letters from Peers and letters from other VIPs. The average time taken by the Department to reply to correspondence from VIPs—including Peers—over the last 12 months was 19 days. I include the following table providing more detail.

Table 1: Correspondence 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2012
Percentage
 Proportion of letters where the reply took the following time to be sent:
CorrespondentOne monthSix weeksTwo monthsThree monthsSix months

MPs

30

13

5

1

0

VIPs

34

14

6

1

0

Notes: 1. These figures do not include letters replied to by officials. 2. Peers are included within the VIPs category of correspondent. 3. The Department's records show the number of working days taken to complete a case. One month in this table therefore represents 20 working days, six weeks represents 30 working days, etc.

Dyslexia

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment his Department has made of the work of Pathfinders in supporting children and young people with dyslexia. [120276]

Mr Timpson: The 20 SEND pathfinders are testing how to implement the reforms set out in the 2011 Green Paper ‘Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability’. These reforms are intended to improve services and outcomes for all children and young people with special educational needs or who are disabled, including those with dyslexia.

SQW is leading the evaluation of pathfinder approaches. The evaluation's aims and methodology are set out in a briefing document which is available on the Department for Education's website along with the first two quarterly reports which examine the set-up and design phase of the pathfinder programme:

www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/send/sen/b0075291/green-paper/evaluation

We expect to publish an interim evaluation report in October covering progress made until July 2012.

It is possible that information on specific themes (such as particular types of disability) could be drawn from later evaluation reports but this will depend on the number and type of families who take part in pathfinder

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testing. The primary aim of the evaluation is to analyse impact on children and young people of different ages and from different socio-economic groups.

Education: Standards

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of lessons were recorded by Ofsted as (a) poor and (b) outstanding in each local education authority in the last three years. [119910]

Mr Laws: This question is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has written to my hon. Friend, and a copy of his response has been placed in the House Libraries.

Letter from Michael Wilshaw dated 10 September 2012:

Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for a response.

Ofsted holds information about the number of lesson observations made on inspections over the last three years and judgements associated with them.

Inspectors do not make an overall judgement about individual lessons, and do not always see the whole of each lesson, especially those that run for extensive periods of time. Instead, they make judgements about four key aspects of a lesson: achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management Not every aspect is judged in every lesson observed. This means we cannot precisely answer this question because there is no overall judgement of a lesson's quality recorded.

In the interests of transparency, we have provided summary statistics for judgements about the quality of teaching made during lesson observations, where teaching has been graded within a lesson. The data show the number of inspections, the number of observations in which the quality of teaching was judged, and the proportion of these observations in which the quality of teaching was judged to be outstanding or inadequate in each local authority for the 2009/10 and 2010/11 academic years and for the September 2011 to March 2012 period. This reflects the period for which official statistics about inspection outcomes have been released.

It is important to note that inspectors observe a sample of, but not all, lessons being carried out in schools inspected. The data provided are not representative of the nation as a whole, and changes from one year to the next may reflect the sample of schools inspected rather than a trend.

Proportionate inspection allows. Ofsted to focus on those, schools where improvement is most needed—we do not attempt to inspect a representative sample of provision each year, and the scheduling of a school's inspection will be partly determined by performance at, and timing of, the previous inspection. The exemption of outstanding schools from routine inspection, combined with the factors above, means that the summary statistics are likely to underestimate the proportion of outstanding or good teaching, and overestimate the proportion of satisfactory or inadequate teaching. The figures are therefore not necessarily what we would expect to see had we observed every lesson in every school across the country.

“The Framework for school inspection”(1) places a strong emphasis on inspectors observing lessons in order to evaluate:

how well teaching promotes learning, progress and enjoyment for all pupils

how well assessment is used to meet the needs of all pupils.

Outline guidance and grade descriptors used by inspectors are set out in “The evaluation schedule for schools” which is available on our website at:

18 Sep 2012 : Column 593W

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/evaluation-schedule-for-inspection-of-maintained-schools-and-academies-january-2012

Inspectors employ a variety of approaches when observing lessons and plan an observation strategy that is precisely tailored to gathering evidence to meet the particular demands and circumstances of an individual inspection. For example, inspectors might engage in:

part lesson observations of 20-30 minutes in order to see most teachers in a primary school or a significant minority in a secondary school;

tracking a class or group of pupils, particularly in order to evaluate the experience, progress or learning of specific groups of pupils in the context of other learners' experiences;

longer observations to assess standards of attainment through work scrutiny and discussions with pupils, or to capture the best practice, or to diagnose weaker teaching and provide detailed evidence to underpin recommendations for improvement;

short observations of a number of lessons to follow a particular inspection trail.

Further information about inspectors' strategies for lesson observations may be found in “Conducting school inspections” which is available from our website at:

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/conducting-school-inspections-guidance-for-inspectors-of-schools-january-2012

(1 )Available at:

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Forms-and-guidance/Browse-all-by/Other/General/Framework-for-the-inspection-of-maintained-schools-in-England-from-September-2009

English Language: GCSE

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what meetings he has had with the AQA exam board on the recent GCSE English exam results; [120091]

(2) whether he plans to hold an inquiry into the AQA exam board's procedures for changing grade boundaries and marking procedures for 2012's GCSE examination results. [120092]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answers 7 September 2012]:I have had no meetings with AQA, or any other awarding organisation, on the subject of this year's GCSE results.

Procedures relating to the marking and grading of GCSEs are matters for awarding organisations and the independent regulator, Ofqual, which is accountable to Parliament. Ofqual published its initial report on 2012 GCSE English awards on 31 August 2012, which is available at:

http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/files/2012-08-31-gcse-english-awards-2012-a-regulatory-report.pdf

First Aid: Curriculum

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what comparative assessment he has made of the inclusion of first aid training in the curriculum of schools in Wales. [119773]

Elizabeth Truss: We have not undertaken an assessment on the inclusion of first aid training in the curriculum of schools in Wales.

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Food Technology

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what requirement there is for schools to teach basic cooking skills; and if he will make a statement; [119754]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that children attending academies and free schools receive adequate education in basic cooking skills; and if he will make a statement. [120204]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answers 6 and 10 September 2012]:Food technology, within which practical cookery can be taught, is part of the design and technology curriculum, which is currently a compulsory national curriculum subject in maintained primary schools. Food technology is not compulsory in maintained secondary schools, which are able to choose whether to offer food technology or the study of textiles.

The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), announced on 11 June that design and technology would continue to be compulsory in the new national curriculum for maintained primary schools. We are currently considering what the national curriculum for design and technology should include and will make an announcement in due course.

Decisions on which curriculum subjects beyond English, mathematics, science and physical education should be included in the secondary national curriculum will be announced shortly. We intend to consult on all aspects of the new national curriculum in 2013.

Academies and free schools are not required to follow the national curriculum, although many choose to do so. Having freedom from the national curriculum allows academies and free schools to continue to develop a creative and innovative teaching and learning environment which responds to the needs of their pupils and pressure from parents. Many parents want their children to learn basic cooking skills. Academies and free schools run by well-motivated parents and governing bodies will continue to provide the best opportunities for all their pupils.

GCSE

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children left school without any GCSE C grade or better in each year between 1997 and 2010. [115987]

Elizabeth Truss: Information based on either the number of pupils aged 15 or at the end of Key Stage 4 is given in the following table:

Number and percentage of pupils who did not achieve any GCSE grade C or better (including equivalents).(1) Year: 1996/97 to 2010/11. Coverage: England
 Number of pupils who did not achieve one or more GCSE grade A*-C (or equivalent)Percentage of pupils who did not achieve one or more GCSE grade A*-C (or equivalent) (percentage)

1996/97(2, 3, 4)

173,096

29.5

1997/98

164,510

28.6

1998/99

159,186

27.4

1999/00

153,224

26.4

18 Sep 2012 : Column 595W

2000/01

156,863

26.0

2001/02

150,425

24.8

2002/03

151,798

24.4

2003/04(5)

155,742

24.2

2004/05(6, 7)

136,184

21.5

2005/06

129,832

20.1

2006/07

113,603

17.5

2007/08

94,038

14.4

2008/09

72,334

11.4

2009/10

56,937

8.9

2010/11

44,683

7.1

(1) Including attempts and achievement in previous academic years. (2) Percentages from 1996/97 to 2002/03 include GCSEs and GNVQs (3) Figures from 1996/97 to 2003/04 relate to pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year. (4) Figures from 1996/97 to 2003/04 are based on final data. (5) Percentages from 2003/04 include GCSEs and other equivalent qualifications approved for use pre-16. (6) Figures from 2004/05 onwards are for pupils at the end of Key Stage 4. (7) Figures from 2004/05 onwards are based on revised data.

Health Education

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent steps his Department has taken to educate pupils on the dangers of underage drinking. [117760]

Elizabeth Truss: It is important that all young people are taught about the dangers of alcohol so that they have the knowledge and understanding to make informed choices about their health and to take more responsibility for their actions. The effects of alcohol are currently covered within personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education and as part of the statutory National Curriculum for Science. Within PSHE, pupils are also taught about the personal and social consequences of misuse for themselves and others. The Department is currently reviewing PSHE education to determine how we can improve the quality of all PSHE teaching and support teachers to teach the subject well. The review also aims to identify the essential core body of knowledge that pupils should be taught.

The Department has also been working with the voluntary organisation, Drinkaware, on an education programme called In:tuition. This is a course of 10 lessons for primary and 11 for secondary which are available for free in print and online. Each lesson has a home learning activity to encourage parental involvement. Drinkaware piloted the programme across schools in the UK over the last academic year and are currently evaluating it.

Human Trafficking: Children

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) pursuant to the oral answer of 18 June 2012, Official Report, column 593, on human

18 Sep 2012 : Column 596W

trafficking, what the outcomes were of the meeting between his Department and the Home Office held on 18 June 2012 regarding the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre; [114142]

(2) what consideration his Department has given to introducing a system of guardianship for child victims of trafficking; [114143]

(3) what progress has been made in respect of his Department's request to the Children's Commissioner for England to conduct a review into the practical care arrangements for trafficked children. [114144]

Mr Timpson [holding answer 28 June 2012]: The Government have made clear that we strongly support the work of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and want to build on its success to ensure children are even better protected in the future. As one of the National Crime Agency's four operational commands, CEOP will lead national level law enforcement work to protect children, drawing on the wider Agency's ability to deliver a single national intelligence picture, prioritise action and co-ordinate the law enforcement response. Reflecting the importance of child protection within the NCA's work, the Agency as a whole will also be subject to the duty to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under sections 11 and 28 of the Children Act 2004. The meeting referred to in oral answers on 18 June 2012, Official Report, column 593, was not, in fact, a meeting between DFE and HO Ministers, but rather a meeting between the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families.

As part of our implementation of the EU Directive on Human Trafficking, the Government has considered the arrangements currently in place to ensure they meet the guardianship standards required and are satisfied that the arrangements that already exist fulfil this function. Trafficked children who become looked after by the local authority are already provided with significant support through existing statutory mechanisms, and are supported in the same way as all looked after children. The appointment of guardians is a longstanding issue and one that the Government has considered a number of times. The Government's view is that the addition of a separate legal advocate would add an unnecessary and unhelpful level of complexity to the system when in fact what is required is for all relevant agencies to work effectively together to support these vulnerable young people. Many local authorities already do have good support systems in place, and we want to see all authorities come up to the standard of the best.

Work is under way to commission a review of the practical care arrangements for trafficked children. This work, being led by the Home Office, working in partnership with this Department, the Office of the Children's Commissioner, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and the Association of Directors of Children's Services signals the importance the Government attach to understanding the real picture and experiences of trafficked children in the care system. It is anticipated that the resulting report will be available by the end of the financial year.

18 Sep 2012 : Column 597W

Literacy: Teaching Methods

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his policy is on teaching children to (a) read through phonics and (b) decode phonics. [120251]

Elizabeth Truss: Research shows clearly that phonics is the best way to teach young children to read. This is why we are strongly encouraging schools to use phonics, and have made available up to £3,000 of match-funding to enable schools with Key Stage 1 pupils to buy high-quality systematic synthetic phonics resources and/or training. The Year 1 phonics screening check which we have introduced will help teachers to identify which children are able to decode accurately using phonics, and which children need further support.

National Curriculum Advisory Committee

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how the work of the National Curriculum Advisory Committee has contributed to the progress of the National Curriculum Review; [119439]

(2) what plans the National Curriculum Advisory Committee has for its future activities. [119781]

Elizabeth Truss: The National Curriculum Advisory Committee has met 10 times since the launch of the review. Members have offered advice on a wide range of issues relating to the review, including the issues addressed in the Expert Panel's report which was published on 19 December 2011, the draft documents for primary English, mathematics and science which were published on 11 June 2012 and issues relating to implementation of the new curriculum. The Advisory Committee will continue to meet and advise the Department for the remainder of the review in line with its terms of reference, which can be found at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/nationalcurriculum/a0073046/advisory-committee-terms-of-reference

Child Care

Owen Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many childcare places his Department provides on its estate; what the cost is of providing such places; how many such places his Department provided in 2010; what the cost was of providing such places in 2010; what plans he has for changes in the provision of such childcare places; and what the number of places will be once any such changes have been implemented. [121265]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department for Education (DFE) was created on 12 May 2010. DFE and its predecessor Departments previously subsidised places at work-place nurseries. With the introduction of a salary sacrifice child care voucher scheme the funding of subsidised nursery places were gradually reduced until they ceased completely in March 2012.

Spend for the last three full financial years is set out in the following table. These figures have been rounded.

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 Number of children using nursery places(1)Spend (£000)

2009-10

14

17

2010-11

7

7

2011-12

4

3

(1) Number of places over the full year financial year. Note not all children attended for full year, some left or joined part way through. Cost per child dependent on number of hours in nursery.

Parents: Education

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what assessment his Department has made of the evidential basis for the content of parenting classes delivered under the CANparent initiative; [120011]

(2) how many parenting classes have been delivered under the CANparent initiative to date; [120012]

(3) how many individual parents have accessed parenting classes under the CANparent initiative to date. [120013]

Mr Timpson: Assessment of the evidential basis of the content of CANparent classes in Camden, High Peak and Middlesbrough was carried out as part of a competitive procurement process. Applications were submitted in response to an invitation to tender and published evaluation criteria which set out the requirement that course content should be based on the principles that characterise effective parenting programmes, set out by the National Academy of Parenting Research. In addition the Department took advice from two independent parenting experts.

The fourteen class providers awarded concession contracts in the CANparent trial have been developing their services since its launch on 18 May 2012. Eleven of the fourteen are currently offering classes to parents; the remaining three will start this month. The Department does not hold figures on the number of individual classes being offered.

Data on parental take up of classes will be collected as part of the trial evaluation's Parental Participation survey; the evaluation interim report will be published in spring 2013.

Physical Education: Curriculum

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether his Department plans to make any changes to the national curriculum for physical education. [119972]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department is carrying out a review of the national curriculum, with a view to the new curriculum being taught from 2014. At the launch on 20 January 2011, the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), confirmed that physical education would continue to be compulsory at all four key stages. The requirement to learn to swim will be retained; and there will be a greater emphasis on competitive sport. We will be consulting on the draft Programme of Study for physical education early next year.

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Physical Education: Teachers

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidance his Department has given to schools who receive PE teacher release funding (a) on their use of that funding and (b) on how to embed the work that the released PE teachers do within their school and with local schools in their core provision following the planned termination of that funding at the end of academic year 2012-13. [119377]

Mr Timpson [holding answer 5 September 2012]: When the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), announced that he was making £65 million available to release PE teachers to provide more competitive sport in schools, he made it clear that schools should plan from the beginning that this funding will end by August 2013 and, therefore, schools needed to embed this work into their core provision.

This message was repeated to schools when the first payments were made last year. Also included were further details about:

eligible schools;

level of funding;

funding period; and

purpose of funding.

The second payment will be made to schools in October this year. No further guidance is being issued to schools. Schools are best placed to make their own decisions about how best they can embed this work into their core provision.

Departmental Contracts

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the name is of each company with which his Department has a contract; what the monetary value of each such contract is; and what is provided to his Department under the terms of the contract. [120777]

Elizabeth Truss: To provide the name of each company holding a contract with the Department for Education with its accompanying monetary value including a description of the provision of each contract would involve extensive analysis and therefore would incur disproportionate costs. Since January 2011, central Government Departments have been required to publish on Contracts Finder information on the contracts they award

www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

Contracts awarded prior to January 2011 will not be included.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his Department's policy is on taking into account when assessing tenders submitted for departmental contracts the (a) apprenticeship schemes, (b) policies on employment of paid interns and (c) policies of payment of at least the living wage of each bidding company. [120786]

Elizabeth Truss: UK public procurement policy is to award contracts on the basis of value for money which means the optimum combination of cost and quality over the lifetime of the project or service. Public sector

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procurers are required to assess value for money from the perspective of the contracting authority using criteria linked to the subject matter of the contract including compliance with the published specification.

Wider socio-economic benefits that accrue to the contracting authority can be taken into account at tender evaluation stage if they relate to the subject matter of a contract from the point of view of the contracting authority.