Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page



20 Jan 2009 : Column WA193



20 Jan 2009 : Column WA193

Written Answers

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Alcohol

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Increases in alcohol duty are a matter for Her Majesty's Treasury.

Children: Care

Questions

Asked by Lord Quirk

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The number of children who were looked after at 31 March 2008, the latest date for which information is known, was 59,500. Of these, 43,900 children had been looked after for at least one year.

Information on the number of children who were looked after in (a) foster homes; (b) residential care accommodation; and (c) boarding schools can be found in table A3, taken from the Statistical First Release (SFR 23/2008) entitled Children looked after in England (including adoption and care leavers) year ending 31 March 2008. Please note that boarding schools are listed as residential schools and no information is held on their maintained or independent status or on who pays their fees.

The SFR is located at www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000810/index.shtml and table A3 can be found within the first set of Excel tables on the website.

Asked by Lord Quirk



20 Jan 2009 : Column WA194

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: Since 1996-97, local authority expenditure on services for looked-after children has increased from £1.3 billion to just over £2.1 billion in 2006-07. This figure does not include expenditure on social worker salaries, on the costs of assessment or on the wider services provided for looked-after children. In addition, for 2007-08 and through to 2010-11, the Government have provided almost £300 million extra to help local authorities to take forward the Care Matters programme of reform, a key programme that will help to improve lives and outcomes for looked-after children.

Total costs of services for looked-after children in England (£ millions)1
Provision2005-062006-07

Children's homes

940

930

Secure accommodation (welfare places)

30

25

Fostering services

960

1,050

Other children looked after services

120

120

Total

2,050

2,125

The cost per child looked after in foster homes is £463 per week2.

Data on how much a foster family receives annually per child are not collected centrally. The way in which fostering service providers structure their payment systems is extremely diverse, taking account of, for example, levels of training, qualifications, experience and the needs of the child in place. However, in April 2007, the Government introduced a national minimum allowance3 for foster carers to cover the cost of caring for a child in their home; over and above this minimum, each fostering provider determines its own payment structure. Some foster carers may also receive a fee payment which is a reward for skills, commitment or time.

The cost per child looked after in residential care homes is £2402 per week4.

Asked by Lord Quirk

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: The number and percentage of pupils looked after continuously for at least 12 months in year 11 achieving five GCSE A* to C grades as well the percentage of all pupils at the end of key stage 4 achieving five GCSE A* to C grades for

20 Jan 2009 : Column WA195

2005, 2006 and 2007 can be found in table C of the Outcome Indicators for Children Looked After, Twelve Months to 30 September 2007 — England, Statistical First Release. This is accessible via www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000785/SFR08_2008_NationalTablesv2.xls.

This information comes from an aggregate data collection and it is therefore not possible to split these figures by gender or provide further information on the number achieving five A* to C grades including English and mathematics.

Criminal Records Bureau

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) charges £31 for a standard disclosure and £36 for an enhanced disclosure. The CRB continues to process disclosure applications for volunteers free of charge.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Lord West of Spithead: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) issues higher-level disclosures (both standard and enhanced) for employment and licensing purposes, as provided for in Part V of the Police Act 1997. Higher-level disclosures (standard and enhanced) can be asked for only in relation to positions that are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) (Exceptions) Order 1975. These are positions/licensing requirements for which an employer/regulatory authority may ask to see spent as well as unspent conviction information.

Those families acting as host families for children from overseas who are under 18 would qualify for a higher-level disclosure if they are working in a regulated position as defined in Section 36(1)(a) to (h) of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (CJCSA) 2000. The CJCSA defines a child as someone who is under 18 (under 16 if the child is employed). If they are working (whether paid or unpaid) in a position whose normal duties include regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of a person under 18, they would qualify for an enhanced disclosure. However, under Part V of the Police Act 1997 a disclosure would not be mandatory for any member of the host family.

It is for an employer or organisation, bearing in mind their legal and other responsibilities, to determine whether or not they should ask members of a host family to apply for a disclosure. If not using the

20 Jan 2009 : Column WA196

disclosure service, organisations with responsibility for employing people in positions of trust should have their own vetting requirements and procedures.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): I refer the noble Lord to my previous Answer on 26 November (Official Report, col. WA341). In addition, I am aware that groups such as the Watoto children's charity, which the noble Lord supports, have asked about how the forthcoming vetting and barring scheme will work for adults from overseas on short visits to the UK, who during their visit have contacts with UK children which bring the visiting adult into the scope of that scheme. Officials are liaising with these groups on a way forward.

Deportation: Iraq

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): This removal was undertaken by way of a charter flight, the cost of which cannot be disclosed as it is commercially sensitive.

Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised me that the data that it holds do not permit such a comparison to be made.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Darzi of Denham: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised me that embryonic stem cell lines have been derived from human embryos as a result of HFEA licensed research. However, the HFEA does not hold a record of the method used in the derivation of each stem cell line.

In respect of cytoplasmic hybrid embryos, the HFEA's inspection reports of the research centres holding licences indicate that no embryonic stem cell lines have yet been derived under HFEA licensed projects.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Darzi of Denham: The potential of a human embryo to implant and develop into a foetus if placed in a woman is not an essential factor in defining the meaning of an embryo in Section 1 (Principal terms used) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Darzi of Denham: It is a matter for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to determine specifically which pieces of available evidence it considers, as part of the statutory duty placed on it by subsection (8)(a) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.

Health: Diabetes

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The Department for Children, Schools and Families has no plans to collect this information.

There is no legal duty on schools or their staff to support a pupil with medical needs or to administer or supervise the taking of medicines. However, as stated in the Written Answer of 12 December, schools are encouraged to develop policies on managing medicines and supporting pupils with medical needs.

In addition, since September 2007, schools have had a duty to promote the well-being of all pupils, including those with long-term medical conditions such as diabetes. This duty defines well-being as the five outcomes of Every Child Matters, including being healthy and staying safe.

In April 2007, the Department of Health published a report entitled Making Every Young Person with Diabetes Matter, and has convened a group to support the implementation of best practice as set out in the report. The Department for Children, Schools and Families is represented on that group and on the sub-group set up to look specifically at support in schools.

Interception of Communications

Questions

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): National security is a retained function, so warrants sought in relation to national security can be authorised only by the Secretary of State. Scottish Ministers are able to authorise warrants sought in relation to serious crime.

The processes for authorisation of interception warrants under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers 2000 are the same throughout the UK.

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

Lord West of Spithead: Communications data are retained by organisations and communications service providers for many reasons. The security and intelligence agencies, police and other authorised bodies may have access to that data under arrangements set out in RIPA.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page