Citizenship: Education

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effect that the proposed new baccalaureate qualification will have on the teaching of citizenship and political education. [134694]

Elizabeth Truss: A survey conducted recently by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Department for Education found no evidence that the introduction of the English baccalaureate has had an impact on the teaching of citizenship in secondary schools. Citizenship is a compulsory part of the national curriculum at KS4. Although pupils do not have to take an examination in the subject, they do have to follow the full programme of study for citizenship, which includes study of the political system.

Design: Education

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will take steps to ensure that future teaching of design and technology in schools has a focus on manufacturing emphasis. [135882]

14 Jan 2013 : Column 527W

Elizabeth Truss: Design and technology is a compulsory national curriculum subject in schools up to key stage 3. Its “resistant materials” and “systems and control” components are mandatory and young people choose a third component, either textiles or food. The first two components enable young people to learn about manufacturing in the context of applying electrical, electronic, mechanical, microprocessor and computer control systems.

On 11 June 2012, the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), announced that design and technology would continue to be compulsory in the new national curriculum. We are currently considering the content of the revised national curriculum programme of study for design and technology and will consult on a draft shortly.

Financial Services: Education

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the role of financial education within the curriculum; what representations his Department has received on the nature and effectiveness of financial education; whether he plans to review such evidence; and what steps he intends to take to improve the quality and prevalence of financial education in schools. [135127]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 7 January 2013]: As part of the Government's review of the national curriculum, I am considering the role of financial education within the curriculum.

The Department has received representation from a number of groups and organisations, including the Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education. The Department published evidence on the curricula of high-performing jurisdictions in December 2011 and a draft Programme of Study for primary mathematics in June 2012 as part of an informal consultation. The Government will consult on the new national curriculum later this year.

The new national curriculum will raise expectations in relation to mathematics, including financial mathematics, through a renewed emphasis on arithmetic, money and percentages. This will enable young people to leave school with the numeracy skills needed to manage their own personal finances.

Finance education can also be taught as part of non-statutory Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education and finance education is being considered as part of the separate, internal review of PSHE education. We have conducted a consultation and are considering its conclusions.

Health Education: Alcoholic Drinks

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the role of alcohol education within the curriculum; what representations his Department has received on the nature and effectiveness of alcohol education; whether he plans to review such evidence; and what steps he intends to take to improve the quality and prevalence of alcohol education in schools. [135126]

14 Jan 2013 : Column 528W

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 7 January 2013]: The Department has not conducted a specific assessment of alcohol education within the curriculum. Officials in the Department work closely with Drinkaware and Alcohol Concern and attend the Responsibility Deal Alcohol Network's education and prevention subgroup.

From April 2013 a new two-year contract will be in place to deliver information and advice to practitioners, including teachers, in the field of drug and alcohol education. It will build on the best of national and international practice, and ensure commissioners and practitioners understand the evidence-base and use programmes known to be effective.

Official Cars

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many journeys were undertaken in his Department's allocated ministerial car by each Minister in each month in each of the last 12 months. [136570]

Elizabeth Truss: No Ministers have Government cars allocated to them individually. One departmental pool car is contracted to the Department. The number of journeys by each Minister is not known as all journeys are not logged.

Pupil Exclusions

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children have been permanently excluded from (a) academies and (b) maintained schools (i) since May 2010 and (ii) between 2005 and 2009. [135249]

Elizabeth Truss: The requested information for permanent exclusions in 2010/11 is shown in the table. To provide further data would incur disproportionate cost. The table shows academies and all maintained schools.

The Department has also produced analysis showing that in 2009/10, when comparing sponsored academies with local authority maintained schools with similar intakes, the average permanent exclusion rate for academies (0.32%) was only slightly higher than for the comparator schools (0.25%). The report, ‘A profile of pupil exclusions in England' is available at

https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DFE-RR190.pdf

The latest data on exclusions were published in the “Permanent and Fixed Period Exclusions from Schools in England 2010/11” Statistical First Release on 25 July 2012 at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001080/index.shtml

Maintained schools and academies(1 )permanent exclusions—England, 2010/11
  Permanent exclusions
 Number of schools(1)Number of permanent exclusionsPercentage of the school population(2)

Maintained schools

20,845

4,370

0.06

Primary

16,876

610

0.01

Secondary(3)

3,011

3,660

0.12

Special(4)

958

100

0.12

    

All academies

300

700

0.25

14 Jan 2013 : Column 529W

Of which:

   

Primary converter academies

8

0

0.00

Of which:

   

Secondary converter academies

25

30

0.10

Of which:

   

Secondary sponsored academies

267

660

0.27

(1) Includes schools open as at January 2011. Schools are shown as academies only if they had academy status at 12 September 2010. Some schools converted to academy status after 12 September 2010 and are shown as maintained schools in this table. Four sponsored academies that opened in January 2011 are excluded. (2) The number of permanent exclusions expressed as a percentage of the number (headcount) of pupils (excluding dually registered pupils) as at January 2011. (3) Excludes city technology colleges. (4) Excludes general hospital schools and non-maintained special schools. Note: Totals may not appear to equal the sum of the component parts because numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Source: School Census

Pupils: Disadvantaged

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many officials are working to support the implementation of the pupil premium; and what analysis such officials have made of the likelihood of a shortfall in the uptake of pupil premium by parents and whether this will have a detrimental effect on schools funding. [130705]

Mr Laws: Fifteen officials within the Department for Education are currently working to support the implementation of the pupil premium.

The value of the pupil premium increases to £900 per pupil in April 2013. Schools' pupil premium budgets are determined by the number of pupils in their schools who have been entitled to free school meals in the last six years and the number of pupils continuously in public care for more than six months. In 2012-13, pupil premium is paid in respect of some 1,924,920 children and the funding available through pupil premium is worth £1.25 billion.

The 2013/14 service premium of £300 per pupil is determined by the number of pupils whose parents are known to be serving in the armed forces, or who have either died in service or left it since April 2011.

The largest source of pupil premium funding for schools is in relation to pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM). Benefits data from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) suggest that around 200,000 pupils aged 4-15 in England are entitled to receive FSMs but are not claiming them. Some of these 200,000 pupils will still receive the pupil premium through our “Ever 6” FSM measure which extends eligibility to pupils who have claimed FSM at any point in the last six years; our available data do not allow us to estimate how many of the 200,000 pupils will already be attracting premium funding.

This means that, while the overall funding for disadvantaged pupils from the premium remains the

14 Jan 2013 : Column 530W

same, some schools may not be receiving pupil premium funding for all of their pupils who might be eligible. We believe that every child who is eligible for free school meals should be registered for them—so that the pupils benefit from a nutritious meal every day, and so that schools are able to attract the appropriate pupil premium funding for their disadvantaged pupils.

That is why the Department published research on 19 November 2012 which highlights local areas where take-up rates are low, available at: FSM take-up research report. This publication forms part of our wider efforts, set out as follows, to increase registration for free school meals.

Officials have written to local authorities with low FSM registration rates to encourage them to increase registration. Our funding for the School Food Trust enables it to carry out work to increase take-up of free school meals. It has produced a 'Free School Meals Matter Toolkit' which provides schools with information and advice to help them to encourage all eligible pupils to register for, and take, their free school meal.

We have streamlined the application process by developing an online eligibility checking service (ECS), which allows local authorities to establish a family's free school meal eligibility quickly. The ECS allows parents to check their own eligibility and apply online. We want all local authorities to use this resource, which, as well as reducing bureaucracy and cost at a local level, encourages more parents to sign up their children for free school meals.

The school census figures published on 21 June 2012 show that registration for free school meals increased by 0.1% in both primary and secondary schools nationally.

Schools: Admissions

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what exceptions from the Schools Admissions Code he has granted to schools since his appointment. [106411]

Mr Laws: All Academies and Free Schools are required by their funding agreement to comply with the School Admissions Code 2012. The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), can agree different arrangements for individual Academies or Free Schools, but has done so only in exceptional and limited circumstances and only where it is clear that the change would benefit local children and the community.

To date, the Secretary of State has not agreed exceptions to the School Admissions Code for any Academies. Three University Technical Colleges have requested derogations from the Admissions Code in order to recruit separately to each of their technical specialisms. In the case of open Free Schools, the Secretary of State has granted exceptions in four circumstances for a small number of schools. The first is to allow schools which opened in 2012 to admit children who are eligible for the Pupil Premium and service premium or are the children of members of staff at the school a year ahead of when all Academies and Free Schools were permitted to do so by the new School Admissions Code. The second is to allow a small number of founders' children priority in the admission arrangements. The third is to allow newly opening Free Schools to be exempt from the co-ordinated admissions round, if their timetable

14 Jan 2013 : Column 531W

would make it too complex or difficult to participate in the local authority coordinating exercise. The fourth was for Europa Free School to prioritise the admission of children at the existing European school, which closes in 2017, to the Free School.

Schools: Playing Fields

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many applications to change the use of school playing fields his Department has received in the last 12 months; how many such applications have received consent; and whether such applications are considered by the School Playing Fields Advisory Panel. [130803]

Mr Laws: Since 1 February 2012, schools and local authorities—including local authorities holding land for academies—have been required to seek permission from the Secretary of State for Education for all proposals to change the use of school playing fields.

In the last 12 months there have been 14 applications for consent to change of use, of which six have been approved and eight are currently under consideration.

Applications for consent for change of use where the land will remain within the education estate are not considered by the School Playing Fields Advisory Panel.

Special Educational Needs

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will require local authorities to report on their local offer of services and activities for young people; [136750]

(2) how he will determine what a sufficient local offer of services and activities for young people is; [136751]

(3) when the local offer of services for young people by each local authority will be reviewed to determine what constitutes a sufficient local offer; [136752]

(4) what steps he plans to take in respect of those local authorities that do not publish at least annually (a) plans for improving young people's wellbeing and personal and social development, (b) relevant funding and performance data and (c) feedback from young people on the quality of the local offer of services and activities for young people; [136753]

(5) what steps he will take in respect of local authorities which do not provide a sufficient local offer of services and activities for young people. [136754]

Mr Timpson: The draft legislation, “Reform of provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs” published in September 2012, sets out proposals requiring local authorities to publish a local offer of services for children and young people with special educational needs. The local offer would set out what families can expect from local services across education, health and social care and the eligibility criteria for accessing those services where appropriate.

Detailed requirements for the local offer will be set out in regulations. These requirements will be informed by the learning and effective practice developed by the pathfinders. Local authorities would also be required to involve local children, young people and families in developing their local offer to ensure that their needs and aspirations are taken into account.

14 Jan 2013 : Column 532W

Local authorities would be required to keep their local offer under review. This would enable the local authority to ensure their local offer continued to meet the needs of local children and young people with special educational needs and their parents.

Each service would be accountable for delivering what is set out in the local offer and if families are unhappy with what they receive or what is available they would be able to take this up with those services. The local offer would give details of how to complain about provision and about rights of appeal.

If a local authority did not meet its statutory obligations in respect of the local offer a complaint could be made to the local government ombudsman and if necessary to the Secretary of State for Education.

The Education Select Committee published the report of its pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft special educational needs provisions on 18 December. The Government will give careful consideration to the Committee's report and publish their response in due course. They will also take the Committee's report into consideration when framing legislation on children and families for introduction to Parliament.

Teachers: Job Satisfaction

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to improve morale among members of the teaching profession. [136023]

Mr Laws: Teachers play one of the most critical of all roles in society, and the Government are committed to raising the status of the teaching profession so that the very best people have responsibility for our children's education. It is right that we should all have high expectations of teachers, and the Government make no apology for striving to raise standards in teaching, whether in training new teachers or ensuring the quality of those already in the profession.

Teachers deserve to feel valued in the crucial work they do, and the Government are taking clear steps to support the profession. It is encouraging that a survey of more than a thousand teachers conducted by the Times Educational Supplement found that teachers on the whole feel very positive about the work they do, and a clear majority would recommend teaching as a career. A recent survey by the Teaching Agency also found that eight out of 10 final-year undergraduates feel that the profession has real status—a figure that is increasing year on year.

Unnecessary bureaucracy and Government interference has previously prevented teachers from getting on with their jobs. We have therefore reduced significantly the amount of central prescription faced by teachers and increased the freedoms and flexibilities they enjoy, placing much greater trust in their professional judgment.

We believe that good teachers should be appropriately rewarded for their achievements. We therefore asked the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) to look at how more effective links could be made between teachers' pay and performance. The STRB has now recommended that head teachers should be free to pay good teachers more, unconstrained by the amount of time they have served. The Secretary of State for Education, the right hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), has indicated that he intends to accept the STRB's

14 Jan 2013 : Column 533W

recommendations, subject to statutory consultation. Head teachers of academies and free schools already enjoy greater flexibility in how they can reward their best teachers.

It is hugely discouraging for good teachers when they see poor performance holding back pupils' achievement and damaging the public perception of the profession. That is why we have introduced a simplified and streamlined system of appraisal which supports head teachers in effectively tackling underperformance and ultimately removing poor teachers from the profession.

Poor behaviour by pupils can represent one of the greatest challenges to teachers' morale. That is why we have given teachers the powers and support they need to manage poor behaviour effectively, clarifying advice on their power to use force, strengthening teachers' powers to search pupils, and removing the requirement to give 24 hours' notice prior to a detention out of school hours. A survey published in June 2012 suggested that teachers are feeling more positive about standards of behaviour in schools, and a clear majority of respondents felt well equipped to manage pupil behaviour effectively.

We have also introduced a new pupil premium to give more resources to teachers in the schools with the highest number of disadvantaged pupils.

Teachers: Qualifications

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many people obtained each type of school-based qualification in (a) music, (b) drama, (c) theatre studies and (d) art in 2011; what assessment he has made of the value of such qualifications to the UK creative industries; and if he will make a statement. [135364]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 7 January 2013]: The arts are a major contributor to the UK economy. They make a vital contribution to our social life and to our economic well-being. Music and visual and performing arts contribute over £4 billion to the British economy in gross value added. The creative industries overall contribute £36 billion.

Every child should have the chance while at school to perform and appreciate great music; to paint, draw and sculpt; to enjoy dance; and to master the principles of design and craftsmanship. A wide range of qualifications is available to reflect pupils' achievements in these areas, and those which are of high quality and provide a good basis for progression to further study or employment have been approved for inclusion in the Key Stage 4 performance tables in 2014 and 2015. The list of non-GCSE/iGCSE qualifications that will count in Key Stage 4 performance tables in 2015 includes nine qualifications in art and design, three qualifications in music and seven qualifications in performing arts.

The number of pupils achieving the following qualifications at the end of Key Stage 4 is set out as follows:

QualificationSubjectNumber of pupils

(a) Music

  

BTEC First Certificate

Music Studies (General)

6,641

BTEC First Diploma

Music Studies (General)

1,697

Level 1/Level 2 Certificate

Music

241

14 Jan 2013 : Column 534W

Legacy iGCSE

Music

2

GCE AS level

Music

140

GCE AS level

Music Technology

24

GCSE Full Course

Music

42,758

Other General Qualification at Level 1

Music performance: Group

71

Other General Qualification at Level 2

Music performance: Group

354

VRQ Level 1

Music performance: Group

148

VRQ Level 1

Music Studies (General)

4

VRQ Level 1

Music Technology (Electronic)

113

VRQ Level 2

Music performance: Group

66

VRQ Level 2

Music Studies (General)

1,853

VRQ Level 2

Music Technology (Electronic)

1,124

   

(b) Drama

  

BTEC First Certificate

Speech & Drama

15,617

BTEC First Diploma

Speech & Drama

7,242

GCE AS level

Drama & Theatre Studies

141

GCSE Full Course

Drama & Theatre Studies

74,223

VRQ Level 1

Speech & Drama

6,542

VRQ Level 2

Speech & Drama

5,484

   

(c) Theatre Studies

  

GCE AS level

Drama & Theatre Studies

141

GCSE Full Course

Drama & Theatre Studies

74,223

VRQ Level 2

Set Design (Theatre)

20

   

(d)Art

  

Applied GCE AS level

Applied Art & Design

6

Applied GCE AS level

Performing Arts

35

Applied GCE AS level Double Award

Applied Art & Design

5

BTEC First Certificate

Art & Design

13,991

BTEC First Diploma

Art & Design

6,474

Level 1/Level 2 Certificate

Art & Design

37

Legacy iGCSE

Art & Design

7

GCE AS level

Art & Design

124

GCE AS level

Art & Design (3d Studies)

2

GCE AS level

Art & Design (Fine Art)

141

GCE AS level

Art & Design (Graphics)

34

GCE AS level

Art & Design (Photography)

97

GCE AS level

Art & Design (Textiles)

26

GCSE (Double award)

Performing Arts

1,115

GCSE Full Course

Applied Art & Design

1,462

GCSE Full Course

Art& Design

84,892

GCSE Full Course

Art & Design (3d Studies)

2,357

GCSE Full Course

Art & Design (Critical Studies)

168

GCSE Full Course

Art & Design (Fine Art)

50,518

GCSE Full Course

Art & Design (Graphics)

5,778

GCSE Full Course

Art & Design (Photography)

9,805

GCSE Full Course

Art & Design (Textiles)

7,270

GCSE Full Course

Expressive Arts & Performance Studies

6,097

GCSE Full Course

Performing Arts

1,702

GCSE Short Course

Art & Design

2,374

GCSE Short Course

Art & Design (3d Studies)

41

GCSE Short Course

Art & Design (Fine Art)

666

14 Jan 2013 : Column 535W

GCSE Short Course

Art & Design (Graphics)

4

GCSE Short Course

Art & Design (Photography)

160

GCSE Short Course

Art & Design (Textiles)

23

OCR National Award at Level 1

Art & Design

3

OCR National Award at Level 2

Art & Design

576

OCR National Certificate at Level 2

Art & Design

246

OCR National First Award at Level 1

Art & Design

25

Vocational GCSE Double Award

Applied Art & Design .

75

Vocational GCSE Double Award

Performing Arts

162

Vocational GCSE Single Award

Performing Arts

1,215

VRQ Level 1

Art & Design, Art

666

VRQ Level 1

Techniques/Practical Art

613

VRQ Level 1

Art: Specific Techniques

38

VRQ Level 1

Arts & Culture, Administration

52

VRQ Level 1

Ceramics Arts/Crafts

15

VRQ Level 1

Graphic Arts

23

VRQ Level 1

Performing Arts Teaching/Training

4,010

VRQ Level 1

Visual Arts

62

VRQ Level 2

Art & Design

4,037

VRQ Level 2

Art Techniques/Practical Art

1,623

VRQ Level 2

Art: Specific Techniques

344

VRQ Level 2

Arts & Culture, Administration

16

14 Jan 2013 : Column 536W

VRQ Level 2

Cartoon Drawing

676

VRQ Level 2

Party Decorations

11

VRQ Level 2

Visual Arts

347

Notes: 1. Discounting has not be applied here as the total number of pupils obtaining qualifications in these subject areas was requested. 2. Qualifications have been grouped to attempt to eliminate retakes of the same qualification. 3. Includes attempts and achievements in previous academic years. 4. VRQs represent a basket of vocationally related qualifications.

Written Questions

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what average time it takes his Department to provide a substantive response to (a) an ordinary written parliamentary question, (b) a named-day written parliamentary question and (c) a Freedom of Information Act 2000 request; how many named-day written questions were not answered on time in 2011; and what steps he is taking to reduce the time taken to respond to parliamentary questions. [135393]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 7 January 2013]: The Department does not collect data on the average time it takes to provide a substantive response to either written parliamentary questions (PQs) or freedom of information (FOI) requests. Statistics on the timeliness of Commons written PQs for the period November 2011 to November 2012 are set out in the following tables:

Commons named day PQs
 20112012
Performance Against StandardNovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

Due for answer

97

69

66

51

73

53

57

75

51

(1)

48

76

81

Answered

76

46

59

39

54

53

45

43

38

n/a

16

54

56

Met Parliamentary deadline (set by MP)

13 (13%)

10 (14%)

23

19

16

20

15

4

10

n/a

3

17

6

 

27

21

35%

37%

22%

38%

26%

5%

20%

n/a

6%

22%

7%

Answered 1-5 days late

36

15

24

14

24

32

26

29

28

n/a

9

32

37

Answered 6 or more days late

204

135'

12

6

14

1

4

10

0

n/a

4

5

13

Commons ordinary written PQs
 20112012
Performance Against StandardNovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

Due for answer

131

111

170

151

118

101

143

122

130

n/a

161

134

159

Answered

32 (16%)

22 (16%)

153

148

111

101

120

85

108

n/a

108

110

137

Met Parliamentary deadline (5 working days)

41

33

79

89

68

56

63

10

40

n/a

26

57

41

 

58

56

46%

59%

58%

55%

44%

8%

31%

n/a

24%

43%

26%

Answered 1-5 days late

20

24

31

44

32

45

57

33

63

n/a

66

50

74

Answered 6 or more days late

14

22

43

15

11

0

0

42

5

n/a

16

3

22

(1) Recess.

14 Jan 2013 : Column 537W

The Department's performance for Named Day written questions during 2011 is set out in the following table:

14 Jan 2013 : Column 538W

 2011
Performance Against StandardJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Due for answer

103

82

93

46

75

84

67

(1)

52

63

97

69

Answered

103

82

92

40

71

76

64

n/a

47

51

76

46

Met Parliamentary deadline (set by MP)

2

6

18

19

19

21

22

n/a

14

6

13

10

 

2%

7%

19%

41%

25%

25%

33%

n/a

27%

10%

13%

14%

Answered 1-5 days late

29

1

53

1

32

45

37

n/a

20

29

27

21

Answered 6 or more days late

72

75

21

20

20

10

5

n/a

13

16

36

15

(1) Recess.

The Department has increased the size of the team that deals with parliamentary questions and has a robust plan in place to improve performance. Work is in train to procure a new IT system and streamline the current internal Departmental processes.

Statistics on freedom of information requests received by the Department in quarter 3 of 2012 are published by the Ministry of Justice on its website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics/foi/implementation

Statistics for previous quarters and years are published by the Ministry of Justice on its website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics/foi/implementation/implementation-editions

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bangladesh

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made a recent assessment of the political situation in Bangladesh and the effect this has had on the geopolitical situation in the wider region. [136369]

Alistair Burt: The next elections are due in Bangladesh by January 2014. The UK wants to see a free and fair election, resulting in a stable, prosperous and democratic Bangladesh. To achieve this, Bangladesh needs to have strong, independent institutions and a functioning Parliament at the centre of political debate, where the focus is on policies for the people, not confrontation. Bangladesh has a strong relationship within the wider region, not least as a trade partner, and shares its immediate borders with both India and Burma (Myanmar). We note, with concern, reports of political violence in Bangladesh and strongly encourage all parties to engage in constructive politics and to resolve differences through dialogue and peaceful process, for the benefit of the people of Bangladesh and the wider region.

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of the current civil unrest in Bangladesh on the forthcoming elections in that country. [136373]

Alistair Burt: It is too early to say how the current civil unrest might affect the forthcoming elections in Bangladesh.

All citizens have a right to hold their Governments to account including through legitimate and peaceful protests. However, violence and vandalism have no place in legitimate protests. I hope that the citizens of Bangladesh choose to raise their concerns or grievances through peaceful means.

The UK wants to see a stable, prosperous and democratic Bangladesh. To achieve this, Bangladesh needs to have strong, independent institutions and a functioning Parliament at the centre of political debate, where the focus is on policies for the people, not confrontation. We strongly encourage all parties to engage in constructive politics and to resolve differences through dialogue and peaceful process, for the good of the people of Bangladesh.

We urge all political parties to work together constructively to ensure the next general election, which is scheduled to take place by January 2014, is free, fair and fully inclusive. The UK, through the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has a broad programme to promote better governance, including a programme to help strengthen Parliament and the Election Commission.

British Indian Ocean Territory

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to begin negotiations on the optional extension of the use of the British Indian Ocean Territory and Diego Garcia by the US Administration; and if he plans for any such extension to be accompanied by a payment to the Exchequer by the US Administration. [136020]

Mark Simmonds: The 1966 Exchange of Notes with the US provides that the islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), including Diego Garcia, shall be available to it until 2016 and continuing thereafter for a further period of 20 years unless terminated by either Government in the period 2014-16. There have been no substantive discussions to date with the US on the future of the US presence in BIOT post-2016 nor has a timetable been set for any such discussions.

14 Jan 2013 : Column 539W

China

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Chinese Government in respect of the apparent restriction of freedom of expression at the Southern Weekend newspaper. [136757]

Mr Swire: We are closely following events resulting from the alleged censorship of editorial content at the Guangzhou-based “Southern Weekend” newspaper.

We remain concerned that the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of the press in China are severely restricted, including through state censorship and interference with the editorial independence of the press.

We regularly raise these concerns with the Chinese Government both in Beijing and via their embassy in London.

Colombia

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Edmonton of 9 May 2011, Official Report, column 986W, on Colombia: politics and government, what reports he has received on the recent conviction and sentencing to 18 years imprisonment of David Ravelo in Colombia; and if he will make a statement. [135946]

Mr Swire: On 6 December 2012 a judge publicly announced that David Ravelo Crespo had been sentenced to 18 years in prison on charges of aggravated homicide.

Our embassy in Bogota has received letters from several civil society organisations expressing their concerns about the sentence.

On 20 December an embassy official visited Mr Ravelo in La Picota prison, along with representatives from the German and French embassies. Subsequently, on 21 December, our ambassador to Colombia wrote to the Inspector-General and Prosecutor-General requesting the Colombian Government's response to the concerns raised by civil society organisations and Mr Ravelo.

While the UK cannot interfere in Colombia's judicial process, we will continue to monitor Mr Ravelo's case and raise any concerns regarding due process with the Colombian authorities.

Commonwealth

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many civil servants in his Department's London offices work (a) full-time and (b) part-time solely on supra-, intra- and inter-Commonwealth member affairs; and how many civil servants in his Department's London offices spend part of their time working on such areas. [135901]

Alistair Burt: There are a number of staff working in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London who cover Commonwealth matters as a part of their work. This includes staff in Departments dealing with bilateral political relations with Commonwealth member countries, as well as staff working on thematic issues such as human rights and climate change, where we seek to use the Commonwealth to advance these priorities.

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There is also a dedicated Commonwealth Unit in the FCO's International Organisations Department, which has recently increased to six members of staff. In addition to these staff members, senior staff in International Organisations Department are actively engaged in Commonwealth work, as are more senior staff across the wider FCO. The size of the Commonwealth Unit is kept under review and will change to reflect departmental priorities. For example, in the run-up to the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, additional staff will help with the increased associated policy and logistics work.

The central human resources management system cannot search by job content. In order to determine the exact number of staff working on Commonwealth matters, full time or part time, we would need to examine individual job descriptions, incurring disproportionate time and cost.

Deloitte

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings Ministers and officials in his Department had with Deloitte in each month of (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [135977]

Mr Lidington: Meetings between Ministers and external organisations are published quarterly in line with the ministerial code. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) returns from May 2010 to June 2012 record no meetings with Deloitte. Meetings of the Minister for Trade and Investment, my noble Friend Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, are included in Department for Business, Innovation and Skills returns.

External meetings of the permanent under-secretary (PUS) have been published since October 2010. Returns record no meetings with Deloitte. No central records are held for the meetings of other officials with external organisations. To collate this information would incur disproportionate cost.

FCO quarterly returns can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?keywords =hospitality&publication_filter_option=transparency -data&topics%5B%5D=all&departments%5B%5D=foreign-commonwealth-office&direction=before&date=2013-02-01

Information for July-September 2012 will be published by the Cabinet Office shortly.

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department paid to Deloitte for consultancy services in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [135993]

Mr Lidington: Between 2010 and 2012 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) paid a total of £27,407.53 to Deloitte and Touche LLP for support for the FCO Home Estate management and development of a strategic outline case relating to the relocating of FCO staff; £10,348.74 to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Consultancy on managing the budget for delivering a Joint Conference on Leading Sustainability in Ottawa; and £3,023.97 to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt Ltd relating to finance consultancy to advise on managing post-programme budgeting in India.

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The FCO is committed to procuring consultants/consultancy services in line with the Cabinet Office approvals process. Since July 2010 there has been a freeze on all new consultancy expenditure except where there is a strong business case to draw on specialised expertise that is not available internally. Such a business case requires Cabinet Office approval in addition to internal approval for new and existing consultancy spend over £20,000, and submitted for re-approval every three months from the date of contract commencement. Contracts are reviewed regularly and any request to prolong a consultancy agreement beyond nine months must be submitted to the Efficiency Reform Group (ERG) at the Cabinet Office.

India

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Indian authorities on womens' rights following the rape and murder of a woman on 16 December 2012. [136756]

Mr Swire: I was shocked and saddened to hear of this horrific crime and I would like to offer my condolences to the family of the victim. While the British Government have not made formal representations to the Government of India following this case. I have noted the steps the Government of India have already taken like fast-track courts and public safety measures. I understand that progress has been made by the Delhi police in their investigation, though the judicial process is of course a matter for the Indian authorities.

Iran

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meeting he and officials in his Department have had with their Iranian counterparts since 2010. [135904]

Alistair Burt: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) has had two meetings with the Iranian Foreign Minister since 2010.

There were regular meetings between UK and Iranian officials from January 2010 to December 2011. We then reduced diplomatic relations to the lowest level, following the attack on our embassy in Tehran. Since December 2011 there has been occasional contact between UK and Iranian officials. We conduct our diplomatic business with Iran principally through the Swedish embassy in Tehran as well as the Omani embassy in London as they are the protecting powers for both the UK and Iran respectively.

Israel

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he plans to take in the event that the Israeli Government announce further settlements in the west bank. [136664]

Alistair Burt: The UK position on Israeli settlements is clear: they are illegal under international law, an obstacle to peace and make a two-state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, harder to achieve. We

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consistently call on the Israeli authorities to cease all settlement building and to remove illegal outposts, as required under international law and in fulfilment of Israel's obligations under the Quartet Roadmap.

Any decisions about what steps or actions we might take in the event of any future Israeli Government settlement announcements will be made at that time.

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Israeli authorities on the recording of police interviews with children. [136665]

Alistair Burt: During his visit to Israel in November 2012 the Attorney-General, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve), raised the issue of audio-visual recording of interviews with Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention, as recommended in an independent report by British legal experts, with the Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and other senior interlocuters. Mr Weinstein agreed to further talks between UK and British legal experts on the subject. This followed previous discussions between the British embassy in Tel Aviv and the Israeli authorities on this and other recommendations made in the June 2012 report.

Kashmir

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Pakistani and Indian Governments urging the need for restraint following the recent incident resulting in the death and serious injury at Haji Pir sector in Kashmir. [136758]

Alistair Burt: The UK is concerned about the recent incidents on both sides of the line of control in Kashmir. We call for an end to the violence there and for all sides to exercise restraint. We welcome the call for dialogue from both sides in response to these incidents and the need not to derail the recent positive developments in bilateral relations. Officials in Islamabad and Delhi are in touch with Governments in both capitals.

Middle East

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will conduct an assessment of whether any UK manufactured weapons or components were used by Israeli military forces during Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. [135902]

Alistair Burt: The British embassy in Tel Aviv has monitored and assessed, to the extent possible, the conduct of Operation Pillar of Defense including the type and nature of the weapons used. To date, based on the information available, we have no evidence of the use of UK manufactured weapons or components by the Israeli military forces during the operation.

Olympic Games 2012

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which events at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were

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attended by each Minister in his Department using tickets or passes for which they did not pay personally; and what the cost was of attending each such event for members of the public who used comparable seats or had comparable access. [135639]

Mr Swire: The Government pledged to publish these details following the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will do so shortly.

Procurement

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many research contracts commissioned by his Department were not subject to a tendering process in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [135975]

Mr Lidington: As is the case with all Government Departments, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) adopts a transparent tendering process for all contracts. There have been no research contracts commissioned without a proper tendering process by the FCO in the United Kingdom. To supply the information for all our overseas posts would involve disproportionate cost.

Redundancy

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many civil service posts have been made redundant by his Department in each year since 1999; and what the cost of redundancies has been in each such year. [135505]

Alistair Burt: Since 1999 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made one permanent member of staff compulsorily redundant in 2012. Payments equivalent to statutory redundancy have been made to two non-permanent members of staff who were appointed on fixed-term contracts and entitled to a redundancy payment following the expiry of their contracts. The total cost of these payments was £22,479.57. The FCO only runs exit schemes in accordance with the Civil Service Compensation Scheme. All schemes run across the civil service and are approved by the Cabinet Office.

In addition, the FCO has run a range of voluntary early exit schemes (VES) since 1999. The current scheme has been in existence since December 2010.

In 2010-11, 131 staff left the FCO, at a cost of £15.3 million. 118 of these left under old exit schemes.

In 2011-12, 89 staff left the FCO, at a cost of £5.3 million.

Although we ran early exit schemes in previous years these used different rules and we do not have comparable data for this period. It would incur disproportionate costs to search individual files to determine exact numbers and cost.

Tibet

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the restriction on the religious freedom and freedom of movement of Lama Soepa, who self-immolated in protest at travel restrictions in January 2012. [135883]

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Mr Swire: We are aware of this case and are seeking further information.

The UK strongly supports the right to freedom of religion and belief and the right to peaceful protest for all. We are deeply concerned about the large numbers of self-immolations that have occurred in Tibetan areas since March 2011. I issued a statement on 17 December 2012 urging the Chinese authorities to exercise restraint with protestors, and to make every effort to resume meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama's representatives as the best way to achieve a long-term solution to underlying tensions.

Alongside the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Baroness Ashton, and other international partners, I also urged Tibetans not to resort to extreme forms of protest such as self-immolation, and urged their community and religious leaders to use their influence to stop this tragic loss of life. We will continue to raise these issues with the Chinese authorities, including at senior levels.

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to protect the human rights of people living in Tibet. [136628]

Mr Swire: We remain very concerned about the large numbers of self-immolations that have occurred in Tibetan areas since March 2011, and about the human rights situation in Tibet. I issued a statement on Tibet on 17 December 2012. In this statement, I called on Tibetans not to resort to extreme forms of protest such as self-immolation, and urged their community and religious leaders to use their influence to stop this tragic loss of life.

We regularly raise our concerns about Tibet with the Chinese authorities, most recently at senior level on 21 December. We will continue to raise these issues with the Chinese authorities, including at senior levels. Unfortunately their position remains resolute in response.

Vietnam

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Vietnam calling for the release from imprisonment of Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung. [135717]

Mr Swire: We continue to engage with the Vietnamese authorities through the EU on a list of persons and detainees of concern, which includes Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung. We continue to seek to obtain information about the welfare of the detainees and to request their immediate release. Our ambassador also raises such human rights issues with the Vietnamese Government bilaterally. Human rights remain integral to our strategic partnership with Vietnam and we remain concerned about alleged abuses there.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has received on trade union rights in Vietnam. [135718]

Mr Swire: The right to freedom of association and to collective bargaining remains restricted in Vietnam. At present all official trade unions must be approved by

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and be affiliated with the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), which is an umbrella organisation with close links to the Communist Party of Vietnam. With EU partners, we continue to engage with the Vietnamese Government on trade union rights in Vietnam. We have raised our concerns with the Vietnamese authorities on aspects of the new Labour Code and Trade Union Law, in particular the lack of provisions to ensure the rights to form trade unions and to strike. These issues were also included in the EU/Vietnam aide memoire for the EU-Vietnam human rights dialogue held in January 2012.

Visits Abroad

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times UK Government Ministers or officials used official aircraft belonging to foreign Governments to make official visits in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [135894]

Mr Lidington: Information for all of Government is not held centrally, and could be collated only at disproportionate cost.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) holds records for FCO Ministers in 2011 and 2012. FCO

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Ministers and accompanying officials travelled on foreign Government aircraft on 10 occasions in 2011 and on seven occasions in 2012. Information for FCO officials is not held centrally, and could be collated only at disproportionate cost.

Justice

Burglary: Convictions

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were convicted of domestic burglary offences in the (a) north-east and (b) UK in each of the last five years. [135961]

Jeremy Wright: The number of people convicted of domestic burglary offences in the north-east and England and Wales from 2007 to 2011 (latest available) can be viewed in the table.

Court proceedings data for 2012 are planned for publication in May 2013.

Data for Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for the Scottish Government and the Department of Justice Northern Ireland.

Number of persons found guilty at all courts for burglary in a dwelling offences(1) in the north-east Government office region (GOR)(2) and England and Wales, 2007-11(3, 4)
Area20072008200920102011

England and Wales

13,138

(5)13,471

13,355

14,296

14,450

Of which:

     

North East GOR

827

786

792

822

842

(1) Includes burglary, and aggravated burglary, in a dwelling—Theft Act 1968 sections 9, 9(1)(a), 9(1)(b), 10. (2) Includes: Cleveland police force area; Durham police force area; Northumbria police force area (3) The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (4) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (5) Excludes convictions for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.

Chief Coroner

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many times he has met the newly-appointed chief coroner since his appointment. [135259]

Mrs Grant: The Secretary of State for Justice and I have met the chief coroner once since the chief coroner took up post in September 2012.

Community Orders

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) where he intends to use global systems for mobile communications to monitor offenders in the community; and what estimate he has made of the cost of introducing such a system during the first year of operation; [136733]

(2) whether new technologies will be used to monitor exclusion requirements on community penalties; and what estimate he has made of the annual cost of introducing such measures; [136760]

(3) whether new technologies will be used to monitor travel prohibition requirements on community penalties; and what estimate he has made of the annual cost of introducing such measures; [136762]

(4) whether new technologies will be used to monitor residence requirements on community penalties; and what estimate he has made of the annual cost of introducing such measures. [136763]

Jeremy Wright: The Ministry of Justice is putting out to competition new contracts for the delivery of electronic monitoring services. The new contracts will allow us to

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introduce the most advanced technology, improving delivery and providing better value for taxpayers. It would not be appropriate to go into detail about the types of technology that are being explored or the precise purposes for which it may be used, or to give detailed cost information, while the competition is in progress.

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether new technologies will be used to monitor alcohol prohibition as part of a community penalty; and what estimate he has made of the annual cost of introducing such measures. [136761]

Jeremy Wright: The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 introduces an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement which will be available to the court when making a community order or suspended sentence order.

We are currently considering the most appropriate means of taking forward the statutory requirement to

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pilot the alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement. This will include both value-for-money considerations and the methods used to monitor alcohol consumption.

Drugs: Convictions

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were convicted of drug offences in the (a) north-east and (b) UK in each of the last five years. [135959]

Jeremy Wright: The number of people convicted of drug offences in the north-east and in England and Wales from 2007 to 2011 (latest available) can be viewed in the following table.

Court proceedings data for 2012 are planned for publication in May 2013.

Data for Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for the Scottish Government and the Department of Justice Northern Ireland.

The number of persons found guilty at all courts for drug offence(1) in the North East Government office region (GOR)(2) and England and Wales, 2007-11(3,4)
Area20072008(5)200920102011

England and Wales

44,565

52,941

56,831

61,979

60,569

Of which:

     

North East GOR

2,667

2,626

2,908

3,030

3,140

(1) Includes Sections 12, 13, 19(a), (b) Criminal Justice Co-Operation Act 1990, RR.6(5), 7, 8, and 9(2) Controlled Drugs (Drug Precursors)(Community External Trade) Regs 2008, Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (SS.50(2), (3) and (5), 68 (2) and (4) and 170(1), (2), (3) and (4) and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 SS 327-330, 333, 334 (1,2) and 336 (5) and (6). (2) Includes: Cleveland police force area; Durham police force area; Northumbria police force area. (3) The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (4) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (5) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates' court for April, July and August 2008. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice

Electronic Tagging

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what has been the total cost of placing offenders on electronic tags since 1 May 2010; and what comparative assessment he has done of the cost of placing offenders on electronic tags as opposed to other possible measures to be taken against offenders; [135340]

(2) what was the reason behind the imposition of each electronic tag imposed since 1 May 2010; [135341]

(3) how many offenders of each age up to 18 years and in each region in the UK who were placed on an electronic tag have re-offended since 1 May 2010; and what comparative assessment he has made of this figure against other possible measures to take against offenders; [135342]

(4) how many people in each age group up to 18 years and in each region of the UK have been placed on an electronic tag since 1 May 2010; [135343]

(5) how many people in each age group up to 18 years and in each region of the UK broke their curfew conditions while placed on an electronic tag since 1 May 2010. [135344]

Jeremy Wright: The cost of the electronic monitoring contracts in England and Wales from May 2010 to November 2012 was £284.5 million.

NOMS undertook the Specification, Benchmarking and Costing (SBC) programme to assess the services it provides. The service specifications can be found at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/noms/noms-directory-of-services-and-specifications.htm

Information on the type of new electronic monitoring orders imposed in England and Wales between May 2010 and December 2012 is contained in the following table:

Table 1: New electronic monitoring starts by order type, England and Wales, May 2010 to December 2012(1,2)
Order typeMay 2010 to December 2012

Bail

77,990

Court order

162,027

Release from prison

41,183

Total

281,200

(1) These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. (2) Before October 2010 extensions of bail curfews (e.g. when a monitored defendant attended court and was re-bailed) were classed as new starts, whereas afterwards they were not. This caused an apparent fall in bail new starts over the period.

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Detailed reasons for the imposition of each electronic monitoring order are not collected centrally and would be available only at disproportionate cost. Information would only be available through a manual trawl of individual case records held by the electronic monitoring service providers and courts to determine the circumstances of each imposition.

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for electronic monitoring in England and Wales. Juvenile (aged 10-17) proven re-offending data, by index disposal, for cohorts in England and Wales up to the 2010 cohort (latest available) are published in the proven re-offending statistics quarterly bulletin in table 18b, available at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/statistics/reoffending/proven-reoffending-jan10-dec10-tables.xls

Juveniles whose sentence included an electronically monitored curfew element are included in the proven re-offending rates for Youth Curfew Orders (60.5% of juvenile offenders who were released on curfew in 2010 committed a proven re-offence within 12 months from the start of their sentence) and Youth Rehabilitation Orders (69.5% of juvenile offenders who were given a Youth Rehabilitation Order in 2010 committed a proven re-offence within 12 months from the start of their sentence). The Youth Curfew Order rate includes curfew orders with and without electronic monitoring and is one of nine separate youth sentences that were incorporated into the Youth Rehabilitation Order which came into effect for offences committed from 30 November 2009; electronic monitoring is one of 18 requirements that can be made as part of the Youth Rehabilitation Order; therefore these rates include individuals whose sentence did not include an electronically monitored curfew requirement. Disaggregating these data would be possible only at disproportionate cost.

Please note that the Ministry's proven re-offending data measure re-offending of offenders within 12 months of commencing a court order. Therefore, this will not include all re-offences committed while subject to a court order: (a) some sentences last less than 12 months so an offender may no longer be subject to a court order at the time of committing the re-offence; and (b) some sentences last more than 12 months and the re-offending measure will not pick up any re-offences committed in months 13 and beyond.

A proven re-offence is defined as any offence committed in a one-year follow-up period and receiving a court conviction, caution, reprimand or warning in the one- year follow-up. Following this one-year period, a further six-month waiting period is allowed for cases to progress through the courts.

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Proven re-offending rates for offenders receiving Youth Curfew Orders and Youth Rehabilitation Orders should not be compared with the proven re-offending rates for other sentences, as there is no control for known differences in offender characteristics.

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for electronic monitoring in England and Wales. Between May 2010 and December 2012, 47,698 new electronically monitored curfews with juvenile subjects (aged 10-17) commenced in England and Wales. Further age breakdowns are not collected centrally.

Breach data before September 2010 are only available at disproportionate cost due to data crossover when the contractor's case management system was upgraded. For orders ending between September 2010 and December 2012 in England and Wales, 26,624 juvenile orders were reported by the contractors to the appropriate authority for breach action at least once, of 41,038 juvenile orders ending in that period.

The data are from the electronic monitoring service providers. The information held refers to breaches reported to the courts or to the relevant authority such as the probation service, Prison Service, Youth Offending Service, or police, and does not necessarily relate to breach action taken. In many cases the subject went on to complete the order with no need for further intervention.

The breach figure includes occasions where a bail order was revoked by the court but the contractor was not informed. Subsequent 'absences' or 'tampers' are reported to the appropriate authority for breach action but are not genuine breaches. These cannot be separated from genuine breaches without disproportionate cost. Information would only be available through a manual trawl of individual case records held by the electronic monitoring service providers and courts to determine the circumstances of each beach and the outcome of investigation.

Insurance

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what meetings Ministers of his Department have had with representatives of the insurance industry since May 2010, by date and topic of discussion; and who was in attendance at each such meeting. [134627]

Jeremy Wright: The following meetings have taken place with representatives of the insurance industry since May 2010:

DateMinisterOrganisationSubjectAttendees

29 July 2010

Jonathan Djanogly

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Reforms to civil litigation funding and costs.

James Dalton (Assistant Director, Property, Motor and Liability); Nick Starling (Director of General Insurance and Health)

4 July 2011

Jonathan Djanogly

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Reforms to civil litigation funding and costs (Part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012).

Nick Starling, Director of General Insurance and Health and Amy Baker, Parliamentary Affairs Manager; James Dalton (Assistant Director, Property, Motor and Liability); Dominic Clayden Director of Technical Claims, Aviva

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14 February 2012

Nick Herbert

Prime Minister's Insurance Summit

Issue of increasing costs of motor insurance premiums.

The right hon. David Cameron MP, Prime Minister; The right hon. Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Transport; the right hon. Oliver Letwin, Minister of State, Cabinet Office; Nick Herbert, Minister of State for Justice; Otto Thoresen, Director General, ABI; David Stevens, COO, Admiral; Trevor Matthews, Chief Executive, Aviva UK; Paul Evans, Group CEO, Axa UK and Ireland; David Riches, Director of Operations, British Chamber of Commerce; John Cridland, Director General, CBI; Mary Boughton, small business owner; David Neave, Director of General Insurance, Co-operative Insurance; Judith Hackitt, Chair, Health and Safety Executive; Paul Geddes, Chief Executive, RBS Insurance; Ann Robinson, Uswitch; Stephen Lewis, CEO, Zurich UK

22 March 2012

Jonathan Djanogly

Meeting with stakeholders from the insurance sector

To inform the RTA scheme extension call for evidence

Samantha Ramen, Association of British Insurers; Deborah Evans, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL); Robert Khan, The Law Society; John Ransford, Local Government Association; Professor Paul Fenn, Nottingham Business School; Paul Ryman Tubb, Forum of Insurance Lawyers; Adam Lent, TUC; Donna Scully, Motoring Accident Solicitors (MASS); Michelle Irving, British Retail Consortium; Laurence Besemer, Forum of Insurance Lawyers; Ashley Sutton, Motor Insurers Bureau; Nick Starling, Association of British Insurers; John Spencer, Motoring Accident Solicitors (MASS); Fraser Whitehead, The Law Society; Alan Nesbit, Association of Regulated Claims Management Companies (ARC); Ian Stark, Association of Costs Lawyers; Stephen Alambritis, Federation of Small Businesses

2 May 2012

Jonathan Djanogly

Second Insurance Summit

Issue of increasing costs of motor insurance premiums

Justine Greening, Secretary for State for Transport (Chair); Oliver Letwin, Cabinet Office, Minister of State; Mike Penning, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport; Jonathan Djanogly, Ministry of Justice, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State; Simon Burns, Minister of State for Health; Otto Thoresen and Nick Starling, ABI; David Stevens, CEO, Admiral; David McMillan, CEO, Aviva UK and Ireland; Paul Evans, Group CEO, Axa UK and Ireland; David Neave, Director of General Insurance, Co-operative Insurance; Tom Woolgove, MD, Personal Lines, RBS Insurance; Adrian Brown, UK Chief Executive, RSA; Stephen Lewis, CEO, Zurich UK; Keith Morris, MD, Sabre and Chair of the Motor Insurers Bureau; Graeme Trudgill, British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA); Ann Robinson, Uswitch; Peter Vicary-Smith, Chief Executive, Which

The Department publishes quarterly meetings between Ministers and external organisations. Quarters from October 2012 will be published in due course. This can be found at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/corporate-reports

Prisoners: Marriage

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what arrangements are in place to permit a (a) marriage and (b) civil partnership to take place when both parties are serving a prison sentence. [135261]

Jeremy Wright: Under the terms of the Marriage Act 1983, all prisoners can exercise their right to marry under civil law while in custody (in the place of detention) and this right is reinforced under article 12 of the Human Rights Act. This is normally initiated by way of a formal application to the governor/director.

Similarly any prisoner wishing to enter into a civil partnership may do so under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, which makes specific provision for the registration of a civil partnership where at least one of the proposed civil partners is a detained person.

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It is the sole responsibility of any prisoner(s) and their intended partner to comply with requirements of the civil or church authorities, including the production of all necessary documentation (e.g. passports, birth certificates, divorce decrees, or parental consent), as well as ensuring that all relevant fees are met.

The applicable National Offender Management Service policy can be found in the following two documents:

Prison Service Order (PSO) 4450 Marriage of Prisoners; and

Prison Service Order (PSO) 4445 Civil Partnership Registration,

copies of which can be found at:

www.justice.gov.uk/offenders/psos

Prisons: Drugs

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2012, Official Report, columns 665-6W, on prisons: drugs, how many tests for opiates were conducted in prisons in England and Wales in each year from 2002 to 2011. [135451]

Jeremy Wright: The following table shows the number of mandatory drug tests conducted in prisons across England and Wales in each year from 2002 to 2011. All mandatory drug tests include a test for opiates.

 Number of tests

2002

79,313

2003

82,283

2004

88,196

2005

92,472

2006

97,948

2007

99,790

2008

97,584

2009

97,270

2010

94,529

2011

97,721

Total

927,106

During this period prisons will have also conducted voluntary, compact based and/or clinical drugs tests for opiates. Data on the number of these tests conducted are not held centrally.

All figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems which may be amended at any time. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. The data are not subject to audit.


Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners were convicted of drug-related offences while already serving a prison sentence in each of the last five years. [136151]

Jeremy Wright: Information on how many prisoners are convicted of an offence while already serving a prison sentence is not held centrally. However, data are available on proven offences dealt with by the prison adjudication process.

The following table gives the total number of proven unauthorised transaction/possession offences committed by prisoners in prison and dealt with under the prison adjudication process in each year from 2007 to 2011

14 Jan 2013 : Column 554W

(latest available). Drug offences are a subset of these offences and data have been provided for 2007-09, but this more detailed breakdown is not available for 2010 and 2011 due to data quality issues.

These figures count the number of offences, not the number of individuals; one prisoner may be responsible for more than one offence. Drug offences comprise categories, ‘unauthorised use of a controlled drug’, ‘possession of a controlled drug’, ‘sells/delivers drugs to any person’, ‘administers any controlled drug’ and ‘receives drugs during a visit’.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Total number of proven unauthorised transactions/possession offences—England and Wales
 2007200820092010(1)2011(1)

Proven adjudication offences(2)

     

All unauthorised transactions/possessions offences

28,858

30,427

28,996

23,807

22,557

Of which:

     

Drug offences:

9,780

9,413

8,000

Unauthorised use of a controlled drug

7,827

7,691

6,480

Possession of a controlled drug

1,292

1,074

1,048

Sells/delivers drugs to any person

20

25

10

Administers any controlled drug

25

57

71

Receives drugs during a visit

616

566

392

(1) Data quality issues introduced as a result of changes to prison recording systems for adjudications prevent a more detailed breakdown of offence type in 2010 and 2011. (2) Data relate to the number of offences punished, not the number of offenders, ie an offender may have committed more than one offence and will be counted more than once within each total. Source: Offender Management Statistics 2007 to 2011. Data Sources and Quality: These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system, and so although shown to the last individual, the figures may not be accurate to that level. See Technical appendix of report for fuller information.