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.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-20 out of 84
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 24 July 2019
Department for Education
Children's Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress he has made on implementing the recommendations of the United Nations General Assembly of 17 December 2018 on the Rights of the Child; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mrs Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 03 September 2019

The government remains fully committed to protecting the Rights of the Child and to give due consideration to the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) when making policy and legislation. This was most recently re-iterated in a written ministerial statement for Universal Children’s Day on 20 November 2018 (HCWS1093), which can be accessed here: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-11-20/HCWS1093/. In support of this, all civil servants have access to online children’s rights training and to a template for conducting a Childs Rights Impact Assessment.

The UK will submit its next periodic report to the United Nations (UN) by 14 January 2022, reporting on ongoing government measures to implement the UNCRC in the UK.

The UN General Assembly had a particular focus on gender equality in relation to the Rights of the Child and urged states to eliminate all forms of discrimination against girls, particularly regarding access to and participation in education. ‘Gender equality at every stage: a roadmap for change’, published 3 July 2019 by the former Minister for Women and Equalities (Penny Mordaunt), my right hon. Friend for Portsmouth North, sets out the government's plans to address the persistent gendered barriers people face at every stage of life. The roadmap highlights plans to invest in programmes to increase participation, particularly by girls, in science, technology, engineering and maths education, to publish research and implement tools to tackle poor body image and examines how to engage boys and men on gender issues.

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the UNCRC and the government is actively engaging with the UN to mark this important occasion and reflect on the work that we do to protect the rights of children in the UK and around the world.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 05 July 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of looked-after children who were taken into care as a result of their mother receiving a custodial sentence in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 12 July 2019

The information requested is not held centrally.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 02 July 2019
Attorney General
Sexual Offences: Prosecutions
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, how he will ensure that the Criminal Justice Board review of how rape and sexual violence cases are handled across the criminal justice system provides independent scrutiny of CPS case handling.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 09 July 2019

Rape and serious sexual offences are horrific crimes, which can have a significant and profound impact on victims.

I recognise that there is real current concern around the criminal justice response to rape and serious sexual offences. The Government’s Review provides an opportunity to identify areas, from the beginning to the end of the criminal justice process, where the police, CPS and HM Courts and Tribunals Service can improve practice and outcomes in cases involving these offences. The CPS will work with partners across the criminal justice system to address any issues that are highlighted as a result of the Review.

All those involved in the Review, including the AGO and the CPS, are committed to ensuring that the Review is conducted with the requisite degree of openness and independence as to enable the public to have full confidence in its final findings.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 24 June 2019
Home Office
Sexual Offences: Criminal Proceedings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government's document entitled, Ending Violence against Women and Girls Strategy Refresh, published in March 2019, what progress he has made on the end-to-end review into how rape and sexual violence cases are handled across the criminal justice system; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 08 July 2019

Rape and sexual violence are devastating crimes and we want victims to have the confidence to report these crimes, knowing they will get the support they need and that everything will be done to bring offenders to justice.

We are not complacent in these aims and that is why, in light of recent reduced volumes of police referrals, charges, prosecutions and convictions for serious sexual offences, we committed to undertake a review of the criminal justice response to rape and serious sexual offence cases

The review is being overseen by a Sexual Offences Sub Group of the Criminal Justice Board and we have held two Sub-Group meetings since May to agree terms of reference and develop a programme of work over the next few months. Priority areas of focus have been identified through input from specialist stakeholders and an initial data mapping exercise.

We expect to report back fully on the review and its recommendations in March 2020, in line with other commitments made in the VAWG Strategy.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care: Missing People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2019 to Question 268391, if he will make an estimate of the number of looked-after children placed (a) inside and (b) outside the borough that were reported (i) missing and (ii) away without authorisation in each local authority area in each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 08 July 2019

The attached table shows the number of looked-after children in children’s homes who were missing or away without authorisation status, and by placement location, from 2015 to 2018, for each local authority. The figures presented in the table are higher than those presented in response to PQ 268391, as a child may have an incident that is ‘missing’ and an incident that is classified as ‘away without authorisation’ in their care history. These incidents may also vary by placement location over the same period. A child will be counted once for each variation of incident that is recorded.

The latest figures nationally on children looked after who go missing and the number of incidents are published in table G1 of the statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2017 to 2018’, which can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018.

All figures on the overall number of children who were looked after during the year, who were missing or away from placement without authorisation, are still classified as experimental statistics. This is the fourth year these statistics have been collected in this way, and local authorities have reported some variation over recent years in how these incidents are recorded.

As experimental statistics, figures are not comparable across years. Local authority comparisons should be treated with the same degree of caution and firm conclusions cannot be drawn about local practice. Some authorities have informed the department that they do not record any incidents as ‘away without authorisation’ but instead report all incidents as ‘missing information’. We estimate that around 1 in 3 local authorities record this data in this way. We will continue to assess whether the figures are considered robust enough to be classed as national statistics, rather than experimental.

272767_Table (PDF Document, 480.22 KB)
Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 June 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care: Missing People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March to Question 229651 on Children in care, how many looked-after children placed in children's homes inside and outside the borough were reported missing in each local authority in each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 27 June 2019

The number of looked-after children in children’s homes who went missing or away without authorisation by placement location since 2015 for each local authority is shown in the attached table. The figures are presented in this combined way to reflect the fact that some authorities have informed the department that they do not record any incidents as 'away without authorisation' but instead report all incidents as 'missing' information.

The latest figures on children looked after who go missing are published in Table G1 of the statistical release, ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2017 to 2018’, which can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018.

All figures on the overall number of children who were looked after during the year, who were missing or away from placement without authorisation, are still classified as experimental statistics. This is the fourth year these statistics have been collected in this way, and local authorities have reported some variation over recent years in how these incidents are recorded.

As experimental statistics, figures are not comparable across years. Local authority comparisons should be treated with the same degree of caution and firm conclusions cannot be drawn about local practice. We will continue to assess whether the figures are considered robust enough to be classed as national statistics, rather than experimental.

268391_Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 94 KB)
Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 June 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care: Location
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2019 to Question 265439 on Children in care, how many looked-after children have been placed in children’s homes (a) in borough and (b) out of borough at a distance (i) greater than 20 miles and (ii) fewer than 20 miles by each local authority in each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 27 June 2019

The number of looked-after children in children’s homes by placement location since 2015 for each local authority is shown in the attached table. The latest national figures on children looked after by distance between home and placement and locality of placement are published in Table A4 of the statistical release, ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2017 to 2018’ which can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018.


268392_Table (Excel SpreadSheet, 120 KB)
Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 June 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care: Location
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked-after children have been placed in children’s homes (a) in borough and (b) out of borough by each local authority in each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 20 June 2019

The number of looked after children in children’s homes by placement location since 2015 for each local authority is shown in the attached table. The latest figures on children looked after by placement and placement location are published in Table A2 of the statistical release, ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2017 to 2018’ at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018.

265439_table (PDF Document, 286.38 KB)
Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Witnesses: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the pilot for non-court remote link sites for Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 is planned to commence.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 19 March 2019
Holding answer received on 14 March 2019

We are rolling out pre-recorded cross examination, provided for Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, for vulnerable witnesses in Crown Court centres in England and Wales. Our plans for Section 28 involve witnesses giving evidence in court centres, with the exception of Durham, where arrangements are already underway for evidence to be provided from a non-court site at a Sexual Assault Referral Centre. Once these arrangements are properly embedded, further options, including non-court sites, will be considered for roll-out in the future.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Witnesses: Video Conferencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of how many non-court sites where vulnerable witnesses may provide evidence (a) are operational and (b) will be operational in the next 12 months.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 15 March 2019
Holding answer received on 14 March 2019

HMCTS works closely with other criminal justice partners to enable vulnerable witnesses to provide evidence from non-court sites, where appropriate. There are over 2,000 operational video links, with remote links in each HMCTS region. These provide victims and witnesses with the opportunity to give evidence away from the court room. In addition, where appropriate, vulnerable witnesses are able to give evidence from another Crown Court site. HMCTS is leading work with criminal justice partners to update information held about all non-court sites including their operational status. This work will enable the provision of the information requested.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care: Missing People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of looked after children in children’s homes inside and outside the borough who were reported missing by a) duration of missing incident and (b) age of child at the start of missing incident and (c) went missing more than once during the year for each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 15 March 2019
Holding answer received on 15 March 2019

The department publishes information on looked after children who go missing from care in Tables G1 and LAG1 statistical release, available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-looked-after-children.

A further breakdown of data regarding looked-after children who go missing in children’s homes is available in the attached tables. The data in the attached tables are experimental statistics and are not comparable between years as changes may be due to improved data recording. Local councils have improved their reporting of missing incidents through increased collaboration with partner organisations and carers, updated recording systems, and further training for carers to improve understanding of reporting processes.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care: Missing People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked-after children placed in children’s homes (a) inside the local authority responsible and (b) outside the local authority responsible were reported missing in each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 15 March 2019
Holding answer received on 15 March 2019

The department publishes information on looked after children who go missing from care in Tables G1 and LAG1 statistical release, available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-looked-after-children.

A further breakdown of data regarding looked-after children who go missing in children’s homes is available in the attached tables. The data in the attached tables are experimental statistics and are not comparable between years as changes may be due to improved data recording. Local councils have improved their reporting of missing incidents through increased collaboration with partner organisations and carers, updated recording systems, and further training for carers to improve understanding of reporting processes.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Registered Intermediaries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many registered intermediaries there (a) are and (b) are estimated to be in the next 12 months.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 March 2019

There are currently 185 Registered Intermediaries on the Witness Intermediary Scheme register, with an additional 30 candidates either in training or awaiting training. There have been ongoing regional recruitment campaigns since December 2017 and these will continue over the course of the next 12 months. It is not possible to provide an estimate of the expected number of RIs in 12 months’ time, as this will be affected by how many new recruits join the scheme, as well as how many existing Registered Intermediaries decide to retire or otherwise leave the scheme.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Registered Intermediaries: Vetting
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring registered intermediaries to have an enhanced DBS check given their access to vulnerable witnesses.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 March 2019

Registered Intermediaries are required to satisfy a ‘basic’ level DBS check in line with legislation set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Whilst Registered Intermediaries may interact with vulnerable victims and witnesses they always do so in the presence of another responsible adult, usually a police officer. They are never alone with witnesses, to prevent disclosures being made solely in their presence, and they do not have caring responsibilities.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Sexual Offences: Children and Vulnerable Adults
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he has taken to dispel rape myths and stereotypes from juries in line with the commitment in the Sexual Violence against Children and Vulnerable People National Group Progress Report and Action Plan 2015.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 14 March 2019

We want rape victims to have the confidence to report these crimes, knowing they will get the support they need through the system and that everything will be done to bring offenders to justice.

The CPS have almost doubled the number of specialist prosecutors in their dedicated Rape and Serious Sexual Offence Units, enhanced training and improved the support they offer victims through criminal proceedings. Specialist prosecutors are trained to deal with the challenges involved in prosecuting these offences, including the impact of issues of consent and of rape myths and stereotypes.

The Senior Judiciary recognise that rape myths could have an impact on the trial of sex offences. The 2018 Crown Court Compendium builds on previous guidance which gives judges a model practice direction for the purpose of warning the jury of the risks of stereotyping alleged victims of sexual offences. It gives more examples of possible directions, and lists situations where jury directions may be needed.

Given the potential impact on trial fairness, the judiciary rightly maintain that any course of further action in this area should be well considered and informed by empirical evidence. The President of the Queen’s Bench Division has, therefore, commissioned empirical research with juries which will help inform future support, guidance and training needs on myths and stereotypes.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Witnesses: Children
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he has taken (a) to monitor and (b) improve compliance with the Under 10s Protocol since it was reissued.
A
Answered by: Edward Argar
Answered on: 14 March 2019

This Government is committed to ensuring that very young witnesses receive the support they need through the criminal justice system in an adequate and timely manner. We reviewed the Protocol in 2018 in conjunction with the CPS, HMCTS, Police and Judiciary. Following its publication, briefings and updated training materials have been issued to practitioners and users to ensure the process from first report of a crime to the charging decision and case coming to court for young witnesses under 10 years old is expediated. We expect the relevant agencies to review compliance of the Protocol.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Legal Profession: Training
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many barristers have received the advocacy and the vulnerable training.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 March 2019

The training provided by the Inns of Court Advocacy service delivers on our manifesto commitment that publicly funded advocates will have specialist training in handling victims before taking on serious sexual offences. As of February 2019, the Bar Council have confirmed 3000 barristers have been trained out of an anticipated 3600 who work in this field.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Ministry of Justice
Witnesses: Video Conferencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many young witnesses have provided evidence from a non-court live link site in each year for which data is available.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 14 March 2019

The department does not hold data on the number of young witnesses who give evidence via video link (either within a court building, or from non-court live link site). There are remote links in each court region, which provide victims and witnesses with the opportunity to give evidence away from the court room.

Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care: Missing Persons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked-after children placed in children’s homes (a) inside the local authority responsible, (b) outside the local authority responsible and (c) nationally (i) were reported missing by (A) duration of missing incident and (B) age of child at the start of missing incident and (ii) went missing more than once during the year for each of the last five years for which data is available.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 14 February 2019

The information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The latest information on children looked-after is published in the statistical release ‘Children looked-after in England including adoption: 2017 to 2018’ at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018.

Grouped Questions: 218197 | 218198
Q
Asked by Ann Coffey
(Stockport)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Department for Education
Children in Care: Missing Persons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked-after children placed in children’s homes (a) inside the local authority responsible, (b) outside the local authority responsible and (c) in each local authority area (i) were reported missing by (A) duration of missing incident, (B) age of child at the start of missing incident and (ii) went missing more than once during the year, for each of the last five years for which data is available.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 14 February 2019

The information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

The latest information on children looked-after is published in the statistical release ‘Children looked-after in England including adoption: 2017 to 2018’ at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018.

Grouped Questions: 218196 | 218198
Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 84
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100