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a take up of End Year Flexibility of £69,400,000 for Sure Start programmes through Local Authorities.

Non-voted Capital DEL

The £2,516,040,000 increase in the non-voted element of capital DEL arises from:


a take up of End Year Flexibility of £4,244,000 for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority;a transfer of £6,700,000 from Departmental Reserves to voted capital DEL for the purchase of the Sheffield Head Office replacement;a movement of £2,567,288,000 to non-voted resource DEL;a take up of £33,792,000 from Departmental Reserves to voted capital DEL for Children's programmes not through Local Authorities; anda take up of £15,000,000 from Departmental Reserves to voted capital DEL for Children's programmes through Local Authorities.


The £10,520,000 increase in the voted element of resource DEL arises from:

a take up of End Year Flexibility of £8,800,000 to cover net pressure on departmental administration costs;a draw down from central funds of £819,000 for implementing International Financial Reporting Standards;a transfer from the Cabinet Office of £529,000 for Parliamentary Counsel; andtransfers from the Department for Work and Pensions of £372,000 for Child Poverty and the Joint Birth Registration.

Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

Resource DEL

The increase in the resource element of the DEL of £10,318,000 arises from an increase in the voted element of the resource DEL of £13,833,000 and a decrease of £3,515,000 in the non-voted element of resource DEL.

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Voted Resource DEL

The £13,833,000 increase in the voted element of the resource DEL arises from:

a transfer from the Department for Children, Schools and Families of £8,100,000 for Early Years Foundation Stage inspections;a movement from non voted Departmental Unallocated Provision of £3,515,000 to invest in change projects to deliver long term efficiency;an increase of £2,618,000 relating to IFRS treatment of a lease; anda transfer of resource to capital of £400,000 to cover changes related to IFRS treatment of a lease.

Non Voted Resource DEL

The £3,515,000 decrease in the non voted element of the resource DEL arises from:

a movement to voted resource from non voted Departmental Unallocated Provision of £3,515,000 to invest in change projects to deliver long term efficiency.

Voted Capital DEL

The £400,000 increase in the voted element of the capital DEL arises from:

a transfer of resource to capital of £400,000 to cover changes related to IFRS treatment of a lease.



The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Alistair Darling) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council was held in Brussels on 16 February 2010. The following items were discussed:

Implementation of the stability and growth pact

ECOFIN issued new recommendations to Malta, Romania and Lithuania, extending the deadlines for correcting their excessive deficits on account of the worse than expected deterioration of their economies. The council also established that Latvia, Hungary and Poland had taken effective action on their council recommendations.

The council also adopted an opinion on Greece's updated stability programme, which sets out plans to reduce its deficit to under 3 per cent of GDP by 2012; a further decision which sets out budgetary consolidation measures with a timetable; a recommendation with a view to bringing Greece's economic policies in line with the EU's broad economic guidelines; and a decision to make this recommendation public.

The Government believe that Greece must act swiftly to implement these recommendations in line with the given timetable, and welcome the evaluation by the European Commission and ECB as well as the technical assistance being provided by the IMF, which has the experience to play an important supportive role. ECOFIN will return to this issue in March, where it will review progress made, including the further measures the Greek Government have agreed to take.

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Single market-services directive

ECOFIN discussed and agreed a set of conclusions on the EU single market and the services directive, which called for comprehensive and ambitious implementation of the directive. The council also heard a presentation by Mario Monti ahead of his proposals in April for the re-launch of the single market. The Government support the conclusions and the work by Mario Monti, particularly his focus on open markets. It is important ECOFIN takes a view on strategic economic issues for the single market agenda.

Appointment of the Vice-President of the European Central Bank

The council adopted a recommendation on the nomination of Vítor Constâncioas as Vice-President of the European Central Bank, to succeed Lucas Papademos, whose term of office expires on 31 May. This recommendation will now be submitted to the European Council for approval.

Discharge procedure in respect of the implementation of the budget for 2008

On the basis of a report from the Court of Auditors, the council approved a recommendation to the European Parliament on the discharge to be given to the Commission for implementation of the EU's general budget for 2008.

Education: Special Educational Needs


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am publishing today the Government's implementation plan in response to the Lamb inquiry on parental confidence in the special educational needs (SEN) system.

The inquiry, under the chairmanship of Brian Lamb, the chair of the Special Educational Consortium, was tasked with investigating a range of ways in which parental confidence in the SEN assessment process might be improved. The inquiry's final report was published on 16 December 2009.

The inquiry found that, while the SEN framework functions well for the majority of parents, within the same legislative framework there are parents who have been poorly served and have had to battle to get the needs of their child identified and met. This varied picture must be redrawn so that it is common practice to have access to skilled professionals who understand the needs of children and who have high expectations of what children can achieve.

The implementation plan builds on the significant progress that the Government have already made in improving workforce skills and services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families:

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A clear focus on outcomes

The Lamb inquiry report was clear that parental confidence depended on seeing that the needs of their children with SEND were being met by skilled professionals. The Government have already strengthened the status and role of the SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) in schools. All SENCOs are required to be qualified teachers and those new to the role must undertake nationally accredited training and gain a national award. We are investing £10 million per annum to deliver this. We are also investing £12 million over 2008-11 to improve the skills and confidence of trainee and existing teachers, which includes new SEN and disability units in initial teacher training and the Inclusion Development Programme for serving teachers. Our response to Sir Jim Rose's review into teaching children with dyslexia included funding course places for an additional 4,000 specialist dyslexia teachers. The implementation plan builds on this existing investment with up to £4 million for the Training and Development Agency for Schools, including for starting to deliver on the Lamb inquiry recommendation for advanced level training around the five main SEN areas-learning difficulties; behavioural, emotional and social difficulties; dyslexia; autism spectrum disorders; and speech, language and communication needs.

In addition to improved achievement for children with SEND, parents want to be assured that children are safe from bullying. The Government's pupil and parent guarantees make a commitment to all pupils and their parents, including those with SEND, that their schools will have effective policies in place to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying. We have started work with the Anti-Bullying Alliance to review the most effective approaches to anti-bullying.

Strengthening the voice of parents

The implementation plan explains how we will enhance the service offered to parents through Parent Partnership Services, with better trained advisers, and launch a dedicated national helpline in April to provide information and advice to parents of children with SEND.

Establishing a local system in tune with children's needs

The inquiry concluded that the system works best where schools, local authorities and parents operate in a true partnership. We want to build on this good practice, through incorporating SEN and disability in the training that leaders of children's services receive. The plan also details the training for local authority SEN officers in how to work well with parents, which will start in March, and guidance and training for those drawing up statements of SEN will be issued this July.

Building accountability around children's progress

The inquiry's final report placed a great deal of emphasis on effective accountability, throughout the system, to ensure parental confidence. We will strengthen training on SEND for school governors, with improved legal resources available for all governors in December and the National Training Programme for New Governors will reflect the conclusions of the inquiry. School Improvement Partners (SIP) play an increasingly important role in providing high-quality challenge

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and support to school leaders and, this summer, the national strategies will roll out SEND training to all local authority SIP managers.

My department has already implemented the inquiry recommendation to route parental complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman. The First-tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability) has also already launched enhanced training for tribunal chairs; will issue guidelines on the provision of professional and expert evidence in March; and launch revised information for parents, including online materials and a DVD, in May.

A number of recommendations in the inquiry were for Ofsted to take forward and it will be publishing its implementation plan in March. The Children, Schools and Families Bill, currently before Parliament, places an explicit duty on Ofsted to report on how well schools are meeting the needs of children with SEND as part of school inspections.

A responsive national framework

My department has invited local authorities, working with parents and voluntary organisations, to undertake innovative projects to improve parental confidence. These will be launched in April, one in each region, and will include testing greater independence in assessment.

The inquiry recommended remedying the exclusion of schools from the duty in the Disability Discrimination Act to provide auxiliary aids and services. The Government have already acted on this through an amendment to the Equality Bill, currently before Parliament.

I have asked Brian Lamb to report on progress against the actions in the implementation plan in the summer, rather than in April as originally planned. This will provide him with sufficient time to see the impact of the actions already undertaken and those set out in the plan before reporting.

The implementation plan responds fully to the challenge set in the inquiry report and takes action in those areas that will make a lasting impact on parental confidence: a higher skilled workforce able to respond to children's needs; more accessible information and advice for parents; training for those in key positions throughout the system and enhanced accountability and redress mechanisms.

I am placing a copy of the implementation plan in the Libraries of both Houses.

Elections: European Parliament


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): My right honourable friend the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Michael Wills) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

My honourable friend the Minister for Europe (Chris Bryant) and I wish to announce that following the treaty of Lisbon's entry into force on 1 December 2009, the Government intend that the extra seat in the European Parliament which is assigned to the UK under the treaty will be filled in accordance with the results at the June 2009 European parliamentary elections.

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The treaty of Lisbon establishes an overall cap on the size of the European Parliament and an adjustment of the distribution of MEPs between 12 EU member states. The number of UK MEPs increases from 72 to 73.

An agreement of a transitional protocol is required to permit those member states which gain MEPs under the treaty to elect their additional MEPs during the current European Parliamentary term rather than wait until the next round of European Parliamentary elections in 2014. At EU level, unanimous agreement is needed for such a protocol, as it will mean a temporary increase in the number of MEPs allowed by the treaty. At UK level, a Bill will be required after the general election to ratify the treaty change in the UK. Legislation will also be required to provide for the seat to be filled.

Should the seat be awarded to a European Parliamentary electoral region of Great Britain, the results from that region at the 2009 election will be used to determine which party would have been awarded the next seat had an additional seat been available. The system used in Northern Ireland to elect its MEPs-the single transferable vote-is different from that used in Great Britain. If the extra seat is allocated to Northern Ireland therefore, the seat would go to the highest ranking candidate not to have reached the quota at the 2009 election following completion of the count.

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office (Meg Hillier) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Justice and Home Affairs Council is due to be held on 25 and 26 February 2010 in Brussels. My noble friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Lord Bach) and I, intend to attend on behalf of the United Kingdom. As the provisional agenda stands, the following items will be discussed.

The council will begin by agreeing the text on the internal security strategy which was discussed at the January informal council in Toledo. The Government support the internal security strategy as currently drafted, in particular the reference to an EU organised crime strategy.

The presidency will then update Ministers on plans to establish the standing committee on operational co-operation on internal security (COSI), setting out its legal basis and outlining the next steps for the committee. The Government have supported the creation of COSI and look forward to its first meeting.

The council will have an orientation debate on a proposal for a European pact against drug trafficking designed to co-ordinate member state activity in this field. The pact focuses on three thematic areas; the cocaine route from Latin America via west Africa to Europe; the heroin route through Turkey and the western Balkans; and money-laundering. The Government support this proposal which is in line with UK objectives on drug trafficking.

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The presidency will update Ministers on EU-US relations following its high level meeting with US officials in January which focused on data protection, child protection and terrorism.

There will also be a discussion for Interior Ministers on what the next steps should be for the EU-US agreement on the processing and transfer of financial messaging data for the purposes of the terrorist tracking finance programme (the so-called "SWIFT" agreement), following the European Parliament's decision to reject the council decision intended to conclude it.

After lunch, the presidency will update the mixed committee (with non-EU Schengen states) on the results of the evaluation of the first milestone test of the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) which took place at the end of January. The Government support the need for a thorough evaluation of the first milestone test and will seek to ensure that the remaining milestone tests are conducted in a timely fashion.

The council will then discuss the official Canadian response to the Commission's October 2009 report which criticised the Canadian Government for their decision to re-introduce visas for Czech nationals. The Government have maintained a neutral position so far and will continue to urge a proportionate solution to this issue, either resolved bilaterally or brokered by the Commission.

The presidency will present a draft instrument establishing a European agency for the management of operational co-operation at the external borders of the member states of the European Union (Frontex). The Government will consider the draft regulation carefully as soon as it is published.

Finally, the mixed committee will discuss the ongoing issue of illegal migration on the southern border of the European Union. The Government recognise the significance of these flows and support strong, strategic and evidence-based EU collaboration on this issue through co-operation with countries of origin and transit, and practical action at, and beyond, the EU's borders, including a strong focus on returns.

On the second day of the council meeting, there will be a state of play report on the negotiations that have been taking place about a proposed directive on the European protection order. Ministers will then be given the opportunity to comment. This is a member state initiative, presented by the Spanish presidency, and it is designed to assist victims who have obtained a protection order in one member state who subsequently move to another.

The presidency will then provide Justice Ministers with information about the state of play on the negotiations on the proposed directive on interpretation and translation. This proposal was negotiated as a framework decision under the Swedish presidency and reached political agreement at the October JHA Council. However, it lapsed when the Lisbon treaty came into force, and so has had to be retabled as a directive under the new treaty. The Government support this proposal.

There will be a presentation and debate on EU accession to the European Convention of Human Rights. The Government fully support EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, which

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will close the gap in judicial protection of fundamental rights in the EU by ensuring that the EU institutions, as well as the member states when implementing EU law, will clearly be subject to the convention.

The council will be asked to agree a council resolution proposing the creation of an updated model agreement to help in the establishment of and participation in joint investigation teams (JITs). The Government fully support this updated model agreement which is based on practical experience and good practice.

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