Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 31 January 2018
Home Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information she holds on the number of cases granted a visa under the Grenfell Tower Relatives policy who have returned to their country of origin.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Home Office acted swiftly to grant visas to relatives of those directly affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. In all cases where the Immigration Rules were not met, consideration was given to leave outside of the Immigration Rules on exceptional grounds.

The Grenfell Relatives’ Policy announced on 11 October 2017 allowed relatives granted a short period of leave outside of the rules, to extend their stay up to six months from their date of entry to the UK. Existing policies are in place to allow any relative to apply for further leave to remain in the UK.

We have plans to publish statistics about applications made by survivors and relatives of victims and survivors in due course, once the data have been properly assured.

Q
Asked by Fiona Bruce
(Congleton)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Abortion
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Health, what clinical guidance advises on (a) at what stage of pregnancy anaesthetic is applied to a fetus before an abortion procedure and (b) for which kind of abortion procedures anaesthetic is applied.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 23 February 2018

To support clinical practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists provides guidance on the use of anaesthesia in abortion procedures in guidelines on The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion and Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice, which can be viewed online at:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/abortion-guideline_web_1.pdf

and

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/rcogfetalawarenesswpr0610.pdf

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Dementia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support people with dementia after they retire from work; and what assessment he has made of the connection between retirement and the onset of dementia.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Improving the care and support for people of all ages with dementia is a priority for this Government. That is why, in February 2015, we published the Challenge on Dementia 2020, which sets out the broad vision for improving dementia care, support, awareness and research by 2020.

It is for clinical commissioning groups and local authorities, working together, to ensure that the high quality, personalised services envisaged by the Challenge are delivered for people with dementia and their carers.

Public Health England has made dementia risk reduction one of its key public health priorities, with the aim of reducing the prevalence and incidence of dementia amongst 65-74 year olds. A key element of risk reduction is the NHS Health Check Scheme though which patients aged 65-74 have the opportunity to discuss the signs and symptoms of dementia with their doctor and to be signposted to memory services if appropriate.

We have made no recent assessment of the connection between retirement and the onset of dementia.

Q
Asked by Pete Wishart
(Perth and North Perthshire)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Tickets: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions his Department has had with internet service providers on the continued high search result rankings of secondary ticketing websites on the internet.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

We are determined to crackdown on unacceptable behaviour in the online ticketing market and improve fans’ chances of buying tickets at a reasonable price. We recognise that Government can’t act alone in addressing this issue, and that the ticketing industry and online platforms need to take actions themselves. We therefore welcome the announcement by Google requiring ticket resellers to be certified before they can advertise through its AdWords platform, and trust that it will be working to ensure its effectiveness, and that it will take action to enforce compliance with the new rules.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Prices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the cost implications for the public purse of not including an appeals process to an expert independent body on the level of a cap on energy prices in the draft Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill; and what the evidential basis is for not including such an independent appeals process.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The draft Bill would place a new duty on Ofgem to implement a cap on standard variable and default tariffs, and provides a bespoke power for Ofgem to implement the price cap through an amendment to the licence conditions. Energy companies would be able to appeal an Ofgem decision on whether to proceed with the licence modification by way of judicial review. A route of appeal by judicial review would be available to energy companies whether or not an additional route of appeal to the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) were included in the draft Bill. This means there is no additional public costs resulting from not including an appeal route to the CMA

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Prices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential implications of the Government's proposed household energy price cap for the smart meter roll-out.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The draft Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill is clear that Ofgem must take into account an efficient supplier’s ability to finance its activities. This would include the roll out of smart meters, which is a requirement of their supply licence.

Q
(Huddersfield)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
HM Treasury
Cryptocurrencies
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government will introduce a fiat digital currency.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Bank of England does not currently plan to issue a central bank-issued digital currency. However, the Bank is undertaking research to better understand the implications of a central bank issuing a digital currency.

Q
Asked by James Frith
(Bury North)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS mental health and health trusts are required to inform his Department of their capacity to admit patients with very specific mental health needs to places where appropriate care is available; and whether his Department issues guidelines to such trusts on the maximum distance from a patient's home and families such patients can be so placed.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 23 February 2018

For those services where NHS England holds direct commissioning responsibility via its Specialised Commissioning function, providers work with the Specialised Commissioning Teams to manage local capacity and ensure patients are treated as close to home as possible. Where this is not possible every effort is taken to bring the patient back as close to home as possible as soon as possible. This work is complemented by NHS England delivering on its commitments to increase the number of beds for mothers and babies and for children and young people. The aim of this work is to align provision to population needs. Further work is underway with partner organisations such as Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service to similarly align adult secure beds to local population need and minimise out of area referrals.

For non-specialist inpatient care (adult acute beds) commissioned by local clinical commissioning groups, a new dataset has been established to provide transparency of system pressures by reporting monthly about the number of people who are sent out of area (i.e. indicating a lack of capacity locally). There is a national ambition to end the practice of sending people out of area inappropriately by 2021, ensuring that people can always access a bed locally when they need to. The monthly reports, which show the definition of out of area placements, reporting and data quality increasing, can be found at the following link:

http://content.digital.nhs.uk/oaps

There is no prescribed distance of what constitutes an out of area placement. The national definition (published by the Department) was consulted on widely, including large service user groups. There was clear consensus that a definition should not emphasise a particular distance but rather requires local and clinical interpretation, supported by a set of key principles which focus on the importance of maintaining continuity of care and connection to family, friends and local support networks.

Q
Asked by Nic Dakin
(Scunthorpe)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Prices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons the draft Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill proposes he rather than Ofgem or the Competition and Markets Authority makes the final decision on extending or terminating a domestic energy price cap in 2020.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The decision on whether to introduce a price cap will be made by Parliament approving a Government Bill on a matter that was a manifesto commitment. It is therefore right for Government to decide whether such a price cap would remain in place, after a report and recommendation from Ofgem.

Q
Asked by Andrew Percy
(Brigg and Goole)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Artificial Intelligence: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support research developments on artificial intelligence in the UK.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

AI and data-driven research is a priority for government, and is critical to responding to the AI and Data Grand Challenge outlined in the Industrial Strategy. The Autumn Budget announced£75m specifically for AI and Data – including 450 additional AI research PhD places by 2021, and a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation looking at issues around data, including use for AI – a world-first. An overall increase in £4.7bn R&D funding by 2021, including money made available through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, will also stimulate AI-based solutions – for example through the Robotics and AI Extreme Environments programme. Government continues to fund primary research in computer science and data analytics through the research councils, and from 1 April, UK Research and Innovation. The joint DCMS/BEIS Office for AI will work with a new AI Council on skills, technology adoption and AI workforce diversity.

Asked on: 07 February 2018
Cabinet Office
Palace of Westminster: Repairs and Maintenance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to seek the consent of Her Majesty the Queen for a full decant of both Houses of Parliament.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord Young of Cookham
Corrected on: 23 February 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 22 February 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

As a parliamentary programme, the delivery of the Restoration and Renewal (R&R) of the Palace of Westminster is a matter for both Houses of Parliament. I understand that the Queen’s consent may have to be sought in relation to the Bill to be brought forward in respect of R&R. may be required in relation to the Bill to brought forward in respect of R&R.

A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 22 February 2018

As a parliamentary programme, the delivery of the Restoration and Renewal (R&R) of the Palace of Westminster is a matter for both Houses of Parliament. I understand that the Queen’s consent may have to be sought in relation to the Bill to be brought forward in respect of R&R. may be required in relation to the Bill to brought forward in respect of R&R.

Q
Asked by Nigel Mills
(Amber Valley)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Companies: Ownership
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many confirmation statements his Department has challenged for inappropriate declarations of beneficial ownership since the requirement to make that declaration was introduced; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 23 February 2018

69,543 confirmation statements were rejected for reasons specifically related to the provision of beneficial ownership details between 1 July 2016 and 31 January 2018. However, the majority of these are corrected by the company immediately when informed. The enforcement policy of Companies House is to help companies comply with their filing requirements, rather than immediately resorting to criminal or civil sanction. This is particularly important where there is reasonably new requirement such as the requirement to register beneficial ownership.

Q
Asked by Ian Austin
(Dudley North)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Security
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussion he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the security situation in those Israeli cities within range of rocket and terror attacks.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Goverment regularly discusses the security situation with Israeli officials at all levels. Our commitment to Israel's seucrity is unwavering. We recognise that Israel has the right to ensure its own security, and that its citizens have the right to live without fear of attack. Rocket attacks threaten the daily lives of Israelis indiscriminately and make achieving peace more difficult. The UK continues to support a negotiated agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians which will protect Israeli citizens and ensure their safety. We call on all parties to refrain from violence and commit to a negotiated solution to end the conflict.

Q
Asked by Nigel Mills
(Amber Valley)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Companies: Closures
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies were struck off the Register of Companies in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland in action instigated by (i) the company and (ii) the Registrar in each of the last five full years.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The number of companies struck off the register in the last five years, broken down by location and instigator, are detailed in the table below:

Number of Companies

Number of Companies

Dissolved (Struck Off - instigated by Registrar)

Dissolved (Struck Off - instigated by the Company)

England / Wales

Scotland

Northern Ireland

United Kingdom

England / Wales

Scotland

Northern Ireland

United Kingdom

2012-2013

121,265

6,428

1,271

128,964

138,475

8,341

1,343

148,159

2013-2014

130,840

7,006

1,169

139,015

160,166

9,112

1,494

170,772

2014-2015

151,908

8,324

1,508

161,740

175,866

10,071

1,822

187,759

2015-2016

162,459

8,800

1,730

172,989

190,732

11,190

2,023

203,945

2016-2017

190,217

10,204

1,878

202,299

197,184

11,692

1,928

210,804

Q
Asked by Nigel Mills
(Amber Valley)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Companies: Registration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies struck off the Register of Companies in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland in (i) 2012-13, (ii) 2013-14, (iii) 2014-15, (iv) 2015-16 and (v) 2016-17 had (a) never filed accounts and (b) had accounts overdue for filing at the time the application was made; how many of those proceedings were initiated by the Registrar in each category concerned cases where accounts were overdue for filing at the time the Registrar commenced action to strike off; and how many months each company in each category struck off by the Registrar had been in existence since their incorporation.
A
Answered by: Andrew Griffiths
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The number of companies struck off the register, how this was initiated, how many of those companies had (a) never filed accounts and (b) had accounts overdue for filing at the time the application for the periods concerned are shown in the tables below.

Compulsory Dissolutions

Financial Year

Location

(a) Number of companies struck off that never filed accounts

(b) Number of companies struck off that had accounts overdue at the start of strike off action

2012-13

England/Wales

76840

43335

2012-13

Scotland

3949

2961

2012-13

Northern Ireland

622

542

2013-14

England/Wales

83718

47195

2013-14

Scotland

4586

3152

2013-14

Northern Ireland

725

450

2014-15

England/Wales

92225

60923

2014-15

Scotland

4851

4022

2014-15

Northern Ireland

894

634

2015-16

England/Wales

107577

58946

2015-16

Scotland

5486

3520

2015-16

Northern Ireland

966

745

2016-17

England/Wales

114982

65503

2016-17

Scotland

6516

4504

2016-17

Northern Ireland

1036

876

Voluntary Dissolutions

Financial Year

Location

(a) Number of companies struck off that never filed accounts

(b) Number of companies struck off that had accounts overdue at the start of strike off action

2012-13

England/Wales

43276

16591

2012-13

Scotland

2267

1105

2012-13

Northern Ireland

386

158

2013-14

England/Wales

52537

18644

2013-14

Scotland

2730

1132

2013-14

Northern Ireland

511

188

2014-15

England/Wales

58688

23461

2014-15

Scotland

3156

1296

2014-15

Northern Ireland

589

257

2015-16

England/Wales

60294

25954

2015-16

Scotland

3345

1458

2015-16

Northern Ireland

585

277

2016-17

England/Wales

62252

24479

2016-17

Scotland

3309

1534

2016-17

Northern Ireland

590

288

The part of the question relating to ‘how many months each company in each category struck off by the Registrar had been in existence since their incorporation’ has been provided as a separate document due to the volume of information requested.

Q
(Southend West)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Medical Treatments: Innovation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent review of Early Access to Medicines Scheme, published in March 2016, what reforms his Department has made to the early access to medicines scheme since the publication of that report.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Since the publication of the independent review of the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) the Government has made a number of improvements. Partners have worked together to provide updated guidance on the benefits and entry requirements for EAMS and are developing further guidance on collecting real world data in the scheme to support the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence appraisal.

Furthermore, the EAMS task group exists to provide a forum for industry to engage with and make suggestions to the Government, the devolved administrations and arm’s length bodies regarding EAMS, as per the recommendations of the 2016 review.

Q
(Southend West)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Medical Treatments: Innovation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to improve the effectiveness of the early access to medicines scheme.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 23 February 2018

A support scheme to fund evidence collection in the Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) by small to medium size pharmaceutical companies will be launched soon.

In addition, the members EAMS task group will continue to collaborate to improve existing processes and create more learning materials for those involved in the scheme.

Since EAMS was launched in 2014, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority has awarded 50 promising innovative medicines designations and 18 positive scientific opinions as part of the scheme.

Q
(Torfaen)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Proliferation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government’s priorities are for the next Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference; and what steps they are taking to implement those priorities.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Government believes that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) should remain the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. We urge all states that have not yet done so to join the NPT as non-Nuclear Weapons States. At this year's Preparatory Committee we will continue to engage with a wide range of states on how we can tackle the challenges that we face on non-proliferation and disarmament and enable access to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The UK plays a leading role on disarmament verification and we will continue to press for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the start of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament and increased transparency and trust between Nuclear Weapons States in order to develop the global conditions in which nuclear armed states feel confident enough to relinquish their weapons.

Q
Asked by Lucy Powell
(Manchester Central)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Education
Pre-school Education: Standards
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of children (a) who are not eligible for free school meals and (b) children in receipt of free school meals in each local authority have achieved at least the expected level in the Early Years Foundation stage early learning goals for (i) listening and attention, (ii) understanding, (iii) speaking, (iv) reading, (v) writing and (vi) numeracy in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The information requested is in the attached table: ‘Achievement in early years foundation stage profile teacher assessments by free school meal eligibility and local authority’.

Attach 1 (Excel SpreadSheet, 91.69 KB)
Q
(Leeds East)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Prisons: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding has been allocated to each prison for healthcare in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The information is not available in the format requested.

Q
Asked by David Linden
(Glasgow East)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Pornography: Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the timetable is for the Age-Verification Regulator for Online Pornography to publish its guidance.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Government has proposed the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) as the age verification regulator. The proposed designation has not yet been formally approved by Parliament. Once the designation has been made, the BBFC will make available its draft guidance and will engage with key stakeholders. The final draft guidance will be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval before it is laid in Parliament for approval from both Houses.

Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have applied for the (a) School Direct (Salaried) and (b) School Direct (Non-Salaried) programmes in England in each year since 2014.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Data on the number of applicants to Initial Teacher Training (ITT) is collected by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), which administers applications to ITT and publishes data about applications and acceptances. Published applicant and application statistics from UCAS are available at: https://www.ucas.com/corporate/data-and-analysis/ucas-teacher-training-statistical-releases.

The number of trainees starting School Direct (Salaried) and School Direct (Fee) courses in England is published in the annual ITT Census. The latest publication relates to academic year 2017/18. Data in the academic years from 2013/14 are available in previous ITT Census publications. These are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training.

The number of final year trainees on School Direct (Salaried) and School Direct (Fee) courses, the number of trainees awarded Qualified Teacher Status, and the number of trainees employed in a teaching post within six months of qualifying, is published in the annual ITT Performance Profiles publication. The latest available data relates to academic year 2015/16, and a time series to academic year 2012/13 is included in Table 5a of the Main Tables, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training.

Grouped Questions: 127337 | 127342
Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have been accepted onto the (a) School Direct (Salaried) and (b) School Direct (Non-Salaried) programme in England in each year since 2014.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Data on the number of applicants to Initial Teacher Training (ITT) is collected by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), which administers applications to ITT and publishes data about applications and acceptances. Published applicant and application statistics from UCAS are available at: https://www.ucas.com/corporate/data-and-analysis/ucas-teacher-training-statistical-releases.

The number of trainees starting School Direct (Salaried) and School Direct (Fee) courses in England is published in the annual ITT Census. The latest publication relates to academic year 2017/18. Data in the academic years from 2013/14 are available in previous ITT Census publications. These are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training.

The number of final year trainees on School Direct (Salaried) and School Direct (Fee) courses, the number of trainees awarded Qualified Teacher Status, and the number of trainees employed in a teaching post within six months of qualifying, is published in the annual ITT Performance Profiles publication. The latest available data relates to academic year 2015/16, and a time series to academic year 2012/13 is included in Table 5a of the Main Tables, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training.

Grouped Questions: 127336 | 127342
Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many School Direct (Salaried) programme places there are planned to be in each region of England for the academic year 2018-19.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 23 February 2018

For the 2018/19 academic year, recruitment to School Direct (salaried) is unrestricted in the majority of subjects, which means that schools are able to recruit to local need as opposed to targets set by the Government. Consequently, at this stage of the 2018/19 recruitment cycle, we are unable to provide the total number of School Direct (salaried) programme places planned for each region of England. The Department expects School Direct training places to be available across all regions of England.

The Department has allocated School Direct (salaried) places in Primary and PE in 2018/19, where recruitment is fixed. The table below sets out the distribution of these places by region.

Region

Fixed School Direct (salaried) allocated places for 2018/19

East Midlands

81

East of England

351

London

936

North East

14

North West

41

South East

492

South West

82

West Midlands

84

Yorkshire and The Humber

121

Grand Total

2202

Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Labour Turnover
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the retention rate of teachers and trainee teachers has been in each region of England in the last twelve months for which data is available.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Information on teachers leaving all state-funded schools in England, in the years following qualification, is available in Table 8 of the publication, ‘School Workforce in England, November 2016’ and can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-workforce-in-england-november-2016.

Information at regional level for 2010-15 is published as part of the statistical release, ‘Local analysis of Teacher Workforce: 2010 to 2015’ tables 2.2a and 2.2b. This publication can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-analysis-of-teacher-workforce-2010-to-2015.

Information on the outcomes for trainee teachers is available as part of the publication, ‘Initial teacher training performance profiles: 2015 to 2016’, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/initial-teacher-training-performance-profiles-2015-to-2016.

Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the drop-out rate has been of trainees who start on the School Direct training programme over the last twelve months for which data is available.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Data on the number of applicants to Initial Teacher Training (ITT) is collected by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), which administers applications to ITT and publishes data about applications and acceptances. Published applicant and application statistics from UCAS are available at: https://www.ucas.com/corporate/data-and-analysis/ucas-teacher-training-statistical-releases.

The number of trainees starting School Direct (Salaried) and School Direct (Fee) courses in England is published in the annual ITT Census. The latest publication relates to academic year 2017/18. Data in the academic years from 2013/14 are available in previous ITT Census publications. These are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training.

The number of final year trainees on School Direct (Salaried) and School Direct (Fee) courses, the number of trainees awarded Qualified Teacher Status, and the number of trainees employed in a teaching post within six months of qualifying, is published in the annual ITT Performance Profiles publication. The latest available data relates to academic year 2015/16, and a time series to academic year 2012/13 is included in Table 5a of the Main Tables, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training.

Grouped Questions: 127336 | 127337
Q
(East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Education
Disabled Students' Allowances
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the change in the number of disabled students taking up the specialist equipment allowance element of the disabled student allowance scheme.
A
Answered by: Mr Sam Gyimah
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The most recent data shows that, for full-time undergraduate students domiciled in England, 4,600 fewer students were in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) equipment in 2015/16 than in 2014/15. The full data is available at: http://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx. This fall was expected as the £200 student contribution to the costs of computer hardware took effect from September 2015.

We are keen to better understand the impact of DSAs on eligible students, including that of recent DSA reforms. We have recently commissioned a research project to explore this and we will respond to the research findings when they are available in spring 2018.

Q
(Gower)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
BBC: Disability Aids
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent estimate his Department has made of the proportion of BBC content that includes audio description; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

I refer the hon member to the response to WPQ 126802 answered on 9th February.

Q
(Gower)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
BBC: Equal Pay
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has discussed with the BBC closing the gender pay gap at the BBC by 2020.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

I refer the hon member to the response to WPQ 127003 answered on 9th February.

Q
Asked by Lucy Powell
(Manchester Central)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department for Education
Teachers: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which initial teacher trainee bursaries are currently available; and what the value is of those bursaries.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The attached tables list the initial teacher training bursaries for 2018/19 in full.

Q
Asked by Kate Hoey
(Vauxhall)
Asked on: 07 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending the formula for mental health funding for clinical commissioning groups to take greater account of (a) inequality, (b) deprivation, (c) the mental health challenges of different ethnic groups, (d) poverty, and (e) population increases; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) provides recommendations and advice on the target, relative geographical distribution of funding for health services in England, given the objectives of the funding formula. It is supported by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and a team of analysts in NHS England. ACRA is an independent, expert committee, comprising mainly of general practitioners, public health experts, National Health Service managers and academics. This group makes recommendations for changes to the weighted capitation formula.

The allocation of funding to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) is informed by the estimation of the relative health needs of local areas, based on a set of funding formulae.

The formulae are based on independent academic research and include the factors statistically associated with higher or lower need per head for NHS services. These formulae produce a target allocation, or 'fair share' for each area, based on a complex assessment of factors such as demography, morbidity, deprivation, and the unavoidable cost of providing services in different areas.

Once national budgets are set, CCG funding is targeted using a set of 'weighted capitation' formulae which help us estimate health needs in different local areas. As the need for different types of health services varies, there are separate formulae for each of the CCG core responsibilities, specialised services and primary medical care. Within CCG core responsibilities there are separate formulae for general and acute, mental health and maternity services.

Allocations based on the formulae have been made until 2020/21.

Q
Asked by Ross Thomson
(Aberdeen South)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
State Retirement Pensions: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will hold discussions with representatives of the Scottish Government on the effect of her policies on WASPI women in Scotland.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 23 February 2018

I have had regular correspondence with the Scottish Minister for Social Security on 16/07/2017, 25/08/17 and 05/02/18. As I said in my letter of 5th February,

Should the Scottish Government wish to exercise their considerable powers to provide financial support to those impacted by the changes to the State Pension age they are able to do so. This would be entirely a matter for them and the UK Government would not seek to stop them”.

There are no plans to meet with representatives of the Scottish Government to discuss this issue.

Q
Asked by Steve McCabe
(Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Meters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information his Department holds on the number and proportion of smart meters which are operating in dumb mode.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 23 February 2018

It is estimated there are currently around 400,000 meters being operated by large suppliers in ‘traditional’ mode.

There were more than 8.6 million smart and advanced meters operating in Great Britain, in ‘smart mode’, as of 30 September 2017.

The Data and Communications Company (DCC) is examining a range of options for moving SMETS1 meters into its national system, starting later this year, so that all consumers can keep their smart services when they switch energy supplier.

Q
Asked by Steve McCabe
(Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Solar Power
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of of deployment of (a) solar rooftop and (b) solar farm in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Government keeps trends in the deployment of solar generation facilities under review as part of our on-going policy development process.

Data on deployment levels by accreditation are published in Table 2 in “Solar photovoltaic deployment in the United Kingdom, published January 2018” (available at this link - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/solar-photovoltaics-deployment )[1]

[1] Note that these figures are provisional and are likely to be revised in subsequent publications. This will be updated (to December 2017) on 22 February 2018.

Q
Asked by Steve McCabe
(Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Renewable Energy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the change in the level of investment in renewable energy in the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The UK is a world leader in clean growth and has invested more than £52 billion in renewable energy in the UK since 2010. Our Industrial Strategy sets out how we want to make sure that the UK continues to reap the benefits from the transition to a low carbon economy. That’s why we are investing £2.5 billion to support low carbon innovation in the UK between 2015 and 2021, and are making Clean Growth a priority of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. We monitor capacity of renewable generation, rather than levels of investment in renewable energy, and the past 12 months have seen significant new capacity additions.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 January 2018 to Question 123545, on Department for Work and Pensions: Procurement, what those contracts are for; and what the value of each such contract is.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Question 123545 of 25 January 2018 asked how many contracts the Department for Work and Pensions held with government strategic suppliers.

The attached table lists, by description and value, the contracts currently held with government strategic suppliers.

DWP Contracts with Government Strategic Supplier (Excel SpreadSheet, 13.19 KB)
Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Wind Power: Seas and Oceans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to increase the production of electricity from offshore wind.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The UK is providing more support for offshore wind than any other country in the world. The last Contracts for Difference auction, with results announced on 11 September 2017, will bring forward 3.2GW of new capacity in the UK. This is more than the Netherlands and Denmark will bring forward through their last five combined auctions.

As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, the Government will improve the route to market for renewable technologies such as offshore wind through:

  • Up to £557 million for further Pot 2 Contract for Difference auctions with the next one planned for spring 2019;
  • Working with industry as they develop an ambitious Sector Deal for offshore wind, which could result in 10 gigawatts of new capacity, with the opportunity for additional deployment if this is cost effective, built in the 2020s.

Q
(Kingston and Surbiton)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Gaming: Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help inform children and their parents on the safe-guarding dangers of gaming apps; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

We want to make Britain the safest place in the world to be online for all users, including children.

The market for games produced and delivered specifically for mobile devices is global and protections focus on self-regulation by industry providers. We welcome the increasing use of PEGI age ratings by games developers, publishers and platforms including through the International Age Rating Coalition which ensures games and apps available through many online and mobile storefronts (such as Google Play and Microsoft Windows) have PEGI age ratings. These provide vital information for consumers and can be linked to parental controls.

Our Internet Safety Strategy green paper consulted on what steps we should take to build on existing online safety arrangements for children and young people, including in relation to video game apps. The Government response to the Strategy consultation will be published in the spring.

Q
Asked by Bob Blackman
(Harrow East)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has held recent round-table meetings on freedom of religion or belief with interested stakeholders; if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister with responsibility for human rights, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, has hosted two roundtables on FoRB to date. The first roundtable on 23 October 2017 looked at Burma in the light of the Rohingya crisis. The second roundtable on 12 December examined the role of women in tackling religiously motivated violent extremism. These roundtables have been excellent opportunities for the minister and officials to hear the perspectives of faith leaders. Officials are currently identifying a date and topic for the next roundtable.

Q
(Blackpool South)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Education
Apprentices: Small Businesses
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to protect the number of apprenticeships available with non-levy paying small employers in England.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The department has recently awarded providers across the country with initial awards totalling approximately £485 million to deliver apprenticeship training for non-levy paying employers.

Non-levy paying employers benefit from government co-investment of 90 per cent of apprenticeship training and assessment costs. Additionally, 100 per cent of the cost for training is covered for small employers with fewer than 50 employees who take on apprentices that are 16 to 18 years old, 19 to 24 year old care leavers or 19 to 24 year old with an Education and Health Care Plan.

Q
Asked by Tom Watson
(West Bromwich East)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Cycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with representatives of cycling organisations in the last twelve months.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 23 February 2018

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has not had any discussions with representatives of cycling organisations in the last 12 months.

Q
(Central Suffolk and North Ipswich)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Hospitals: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what financial support is available from the Government for hospitals that are placed in special measures.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Trusts placed in Special Measures for Quality are given access to a central NHS Improvement support budget to fund a number of support options, such as diagnostic tools, buddying arrangements with high performing trusts, and packages of support to tackle particular areas of concern identified by the Care Quality Commission. Whilst the level of support will depend on the particular needs of a trust, NHS Improvement would expect that a trust might receive around £500,000 in a financial year from this central budget.

Trusts placed in Special Measures for Finance are provided with a package of support from NHS Improvement including an experienced Financial Improvement Director, as well as expert support from a dedicated NHS Improvement team. These resources work with trusts to oversee and support the implementation of a set of accelerated and intensive actions to support the development and delivery of financial recovery plans, while maintaining or improving quality. This support is provided at no cost to trusts.

Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Social Media: Young People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to raise awareness of the link between mental health issues and the use of social media in young people.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

DCMS is working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Department for Education on their joint Children and Young People's Mental Health Green Paper, published on 4 December 2017. As announced in the green paper, DCMS and DHSC are convening a working group comprising social media and technology companies. This group will consider further action that can be taken on children's wellbeing in relation to online activities. We expect the working group to to report on progress in due course.The Chief Medical Officer will also produce a report on the impact that technology has on young people's mental health.

Q
Asked by Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadcasting: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of devolving broadcasting to Wales; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

Broadcasting is and should remain a reserved matter.

Q
Asked by Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Commercial Broadcasting: Radio
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress he has made on the public consultation on the deregulation of commercial radio.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The commercial radio deregulation consultation closed on 8 May 2017 and the government response was published on 18 December 2017.

The next phase is for DCMS to begin the detailed work to develop the new legislative structure and to bring forward legislation prior to analogue licenses coming up for renewal in 2022. Legislation will be brought forward when Parliamentary time allows.

We took great care to consider how the proposals will affect the nations. For example, due to the feedback we received from stakeholders and respondents on the proposal to allow Ofcom to have the power to set different news (national and local) or other local requirements in the nations, we have decided to not proceed with this. We agree that having such a power may disadvantage local stations in the nations and that a better approach is for Ofcom to have regard to the needs of all UK audiences in setting the requirements on a UK basis. We do not expect the remaining proposals included in the consultation to negatively impact the nations.

The consultation concluded that the current localness requirements set out under s.314 of the Communications Act 2003 are now too onerous and are acting to constrain the commercial radio industry from being able to rationalise their production base. Removing this will allow services to compete more effectively against new online services. However, news and information must continue to be locally sourced.

Grouped Questions: 127694 | 127695
Q
Asked by Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Commercial Broadcasting: Radio
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential effect of proposals in its consultation on the deregulation of radio on the use of the Welsh language in radio in Wales; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The commercial radio deregulation consultation closed on 8 May 2017 and the government response was published on 18 December 2017.

The next phase is for DCMS to begin the detailed work to develop the new legislative structure and to bring forward legislation prior to analogue licenses coming up for renewal in 2022. Legislation will be brought forward when Parliamentary time allows.

We took great care to consider how the proposals will affect the nations. For example, due to the feedback we received from stakeholders and respondents on the proposal to allow Ofcom to have the power to set different news (national and local) or other local requirements in the nations, we have decided to not proceed with this. We agree that having such a power may disadvantage local stations in the nations and that a better approach is for Ofcom to have regard to the needs of all UK audiences in setting the requirements on a UK basis. We do not expect the remaining proposals included in the consultation to negatively impact the nations.

The consultation concluded that the current localness requirements set out under s.314 of the Communications Act 2003 are now too onerous and are acting to constrain the commercial radio industry from being able to rationalise their production base. Removing this will allow services to compete more effectively against new online services. However, news and information must continue to be locally sourced.

Grouped Questions: 127693 | 127695
Q
Asked by Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Commercial Broadcasting: Radio
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of deregulation of commercial radio on levels of locally produced content.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The commercial radio deregulation consultation closed on 8 May 2017 and the government response was published on 18 December 2017.

The next phase is for DCMS to begin the detailed work to develop the new legislative structure and to bring forward legislation prior to analogue licenses coming up for renewal in 2022. Legislation will be brought forward when Parliamentary time allows.

We took great care to consider how the proposals will affect the nations. For example, due to the feedback we received from stakeholders and respondents on the proposal to allow Ofcom to have the power to set different news (national and local) or other local requirements in the nations, we have decided to not proceed with this. We agree that having such a power may disadvantage local stations in the nations and that a better approach is for Ofcom to have regard to the needs of all UK audiences in setting the requirements on a UK basis. We do not expect the remaining proposals included in the consultation to negatively impact the nations.

The consultation concluded that the current localness requirements set out under s.314 of the Communications Act 2003 are now too onerous and are acting to constrain the commercial radio industry from being able to rationalise their production base. Removing this will allow services to compete more effectively against new online services. However, news and information must continue to be locally sourced.

Grouped Questions: 127693 | 127694
Q
Asked by Damien Moore
(Southport)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sugar: Competition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to establish a sugar policy to provide equity in the sugar market for producers after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 23 February 2018

British sugar beet producers are among the most competitive in the world and already compete effectively at world prices.

The government also recognises the importance of the sugar cane refining industry in providing competition in the market in the UK and the importance of sugar cane production for some developing countries, especially those within the Commonwealth.

On leaving the EU the UK government will be free to decide its own trade policies.

Q
Asked by Steve McCabe
(Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Occupational Money Purchase Schemes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the timetable is to present to Parliament, the secondary legislation required to enable Collective Defined Contribution pensions.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 23 February 2018

The Department is engaging with the very limited number of parties interested in delivering Collective Defined Contribution pensions. The Government is considering what, if any legislation would be appropriate and await detailed proposals once the parties have made their position clear. There is currently no timetable for presenting legislation to Parliament. The Department has recently responded to the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

Q
Asked by Tom Watson
(West Bromwich East)
Asked on: 08 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
General Practitioners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to GPs to promote participation in sport to their patients.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 23 February 2018

In 2017 Public Health England and Sport England established a co-funded, multi-component partnership called the Moving Healthcare Professional Programme (MHPP) which increases awareness and skills of health professionals to embed activity within routine care.

A component of MHPP includes the peer-to-peer Clinical Champions work-stream which is focused on developing the skills of health professionals to deliver brief advice on physical activity as part of routine care. This programme has trained over 5,000 healthcare professionals across the whole programme, the majority of whom are general practitioners in training.

In 2013, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published guidance recommending that healthcare professionals integrate brief advice on physical activity into routine clinical practice.

The United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines for physical activity include daily or weekly quantities of physical activity of at least moderate intensity, for example 150 minutes per week for adults.

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