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Baroness Howe of Idlicote asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Children in Need 2001 Census shows that 10 local authorities supporting the largest number of disabled children in their families or independently are:

1. Hertfordshire460
2. Essex455
3. Cornwall420
4. Lancashire400
5. Liverpool385
6. Nottinghamshire385
7. Bradford370
8. Derbyshire360
9. Leeds355
10. = Wirral325
10. = Devon325
The census shows that 10 local authorities supporting the fewest number of disabled children in their families or independently are:
1. = City of Londonfewer than five
1. = Greenwichfewer than five
3. Derby5
4. = North-East Lincolnshire10
4. = Greenwich10
6. = Halton15
6. = Merton15
8. Rutland20
9. Warrington25
10. Barking & Dagenham30

Four local authorities show a return of zero (Kingston upon Hull, Thurrock, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham), which is likely to be due to poor data quality. Statistical data of support given by the National Health Service are not collected centrally.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Lord Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath : The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has issued clear guidance on the use of the drug methylphenidate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and issued

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clinical guidelines for its use, including information for patients, in 2000. This guidance was circulated widely among professional groups involved with attention deficit disorders. The Department of Health has also grant-aided the ADHD National Alliance, an organisation which helps to co-ordinate voluntary sector activity and development work in this field.

In recent years the department has supported a number of other initiatives taken by professional bodies and other agencies to raise awareness of attention deficit disorder and ADHD and to facilitate accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. These include an evidence-based briefing for clinicians on the use of stimulant medication (1999) and fact sheets for parents, teachers and young people on attention deficit problems and hyperactivity, both produced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. We have also collaborated with the Department for Education and Skills in issuing guidance for teachers on promoting children's mental health, including attention deficit/hyperactivity, within early years and school settings in 2001.

The Department of Health public service agreement has set a challenging target for the improvement of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). The Secretary of State for Health recently announced an additional investment of £140 million over the next three years through increased grants to local authorities for CAMHS, which together with new National Health Service investment, will help to ensure that every area will have comprehensive service for children and young people with mental health needs.

The position in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly.

Nutrition Information: Catering Establishments

Lord Vinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What the Food Standards Agency estimates to be the cost of inspecting and regulating eating establishments if its recommendation that the calorific value of all meals should be displayed is to be implemented.[HL41]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath : Neither the Government nor the Food Standards Agency has any plans to introduce legislation requiring nutrition information to be given in catering establishments.

Local Council Children's Homes: Staff Qualifications

Lord Northbourne asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of the staff currently employed in local authority children's homes for residential care have a relevant professional qualification in residential social work; and whether they consider that proportion to be satisfactory.[HL67]

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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: From the Social Services Workforce Analysis that was completed in September 2001, we know that 62 per cent of the registered managers of local council children's homes held either a diploma in social work (DipSW) or the certificate of qualification in social work (CQSW), and 3 per cent of the registered managers hold a Level 4 Care national vocational qualification (NVQ). We also know that 28 per cent of registered managers hold a managerial qualification, but the data do not state what percentage of registered managers hold both a care and a management qualification.

From the data supplied with the training support programme grant application forms in April 2002, we also know that 21 per cent of the care staff within local council children's homes have already acquired the Caring for Children and Young People Level 3 NVQ and it is anticipated that this figure will rise to 44 per cent by March 2003.

The Government have set national minimum standards that the National Care Standards Commission is using to register and inspect children's homes which state that registered managers should hold a DipSW, CQSW or Care Level 4 NVQ and an NVQ Level 4 in management by January 2005. They also state that a minimum ratio of 80 per cent of all care staff should have completed their Level 3 in the Caring for Children and Young People NVQ by January 2005.

Class Size

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether reliable information is available as to the effects of creating reduced-size classrooms in state-maintained schools for children from low-income families; and, if not, whether they will commission research to test the effects of such a policy.[HL16]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The University of London's Institute of Education was jointly commissioned by my department and local education authorities to monitor the impact of class size and pupil to adult ratios on educational attainment at key stage 1. The research shows that smaller classes have a significant effect on pupil progress in maths and literacy in reception children.

The researchers found no evidence of a relationship between class size, pupil attainment and schools with a high proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals. However, this analysis was carried out at school level rather than at pupil level.

Primary and Post-primary Schools: Funding

Lord Rogan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made in reducing any disparity of funding between primary schools and post-primary schools in (a) England and Wales and (b) Northern Ireland since the second report of the

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    House of Commons Education Committee 1993–94; and whether they have any plans to provide equality of funding for the primary school children of Northern Ireland. [HL48]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: Local education authorities in England and Wales are reponsible for determining the balance of funding between primary and post-primary schools. Provisional outturn data for 2000–01 indicate that the per pupil differential in England was 1: 1.24 compared with 1: 1.38 in 1993–94. The position in Northern Ireland is a matter for my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Employment: Cumbria

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there should be a programme of research to provide an improved understanding of the relationship between economic activities and the creation of jobs in the Cumbrian economy. [HL31]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): We have a large and wide-ranging programme of research looking at issues related to helping more people to move into work. This includes comprehensive evaluation of our programmes designed to help people to move from dependence on benefits into a job. These programmes, alongside our sound economic policies, have helped to reduce the level of unemployment in Cumbria by 47 per cent over the last five years and long-term unemployment by nearly three-quarters.

Veterinary Risk Advice

Lord Inglewood asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they believe that there should be closer co-ordination in the veterinary risk advice that is provided nationally by government and regionally through State Veterinary Service Animal Health Offices. [HL27]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Advice on veterinary risk is provided nationally by the Chief Veterinary Officer and his veterinary team, supported by outside expertise as necessary. The advice is applied by the State Veterinary Service in the field, taking account of circumstances on the ground. The SVS locally makes and applies local veterinary risk assessments to individual premises. Feedback from the field to the centre ensures that the national advice is kept under constant review. The Government believe that these arrangements provide for close co-ordination and consistent application of veterinary risk advice.

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