Written Questions & Answers

Dawn Butler To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring before the House legislative proposals on requiring bus companies to instal audio-visual technology to aid visually impaired passengers.

Dawn butler asks about Bus Services: Disability

Dawn Butler To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will bring before the House legislative proposals on requiring bus companies to instal audio-visual technology to aid visually impaired... Read more

Dawn Butler to ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what consultation the Oil and Gas Authority has undertaken on nuclear decommissioning; and whether that authority is subject to the Cabinet Office's Consultation Principles.

Dawn Butler asks about energy and climate change

Dawn Butler to ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what consultation the Oil and Gas Authority has undertaken on nuclear decommissioning; and whether that authority is... Read more

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will carry out a cost-benefit analysis on the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis as a preventative measure for HIV.

 

Answered by Jane Ellison, Parliamentary Under-State (Department of Health)
Decisions to fund pre-exposure prophylaxis will depend on a full assessment of clinical and cost effectiveness and how it can be integrated with other HIV prevention efforts.

Dawn asks about preventative measure for HIV

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will carry out a cost-benefit analysis on the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis as a preventative measure for HIV....

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department monitors implementation of price caps for agency staff.

 

Answered by Ben Gummer, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)
Hourly price caps are one part of a series of tough financial controls we introduced last year to help the National Health Service tackle overspending on agency staff. NHS Improvement consulted on the price caps before they were introduced and, with NHS England and the Care Quality Commission, has been monitoring their implementation on a weekly basis.

Dawn asks about price caps for agency staff

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department monitors implementation of price caps for agency staff.   Answered by Ben Gummer, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)Hourly...

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will assess the merits of introducing a deposit return system for single-use drinks containers in England.

 

Answered by Rory Stewart, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs)
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Birmingham Hall Green, Roger Godsiff, on 11 April 2016, PQ UIN32607.

Defra analysed the costs and benefits of implementing a deposit return system (DRS) for single use drink containers as part of the 2011 Review of Waste Policy in England, and sought views in the 2012 consultation on higher packaging recycling targets.

This work showed that introducing a DRS may increase recycling and reduce litter but might impose additional costs on businesses, consumers and local authorities (which would lose revenue from recycling). However, we lack evidence to quantify these benefits and costs appropriately. The current approach has driven a significant increase in packaging waste recycling rates, from less than 47% in 2003 to nearly 65% in 2013.

Last year, the Scottish Government published a feasibility study and a call for evidence investigating the implementation of a DRS for single use drink containers in Scotland. This valuable work highlighted significant uncertainties regarding the impacts and benefits that a DRS would have, notably regarding costs, environmental quality and littering, and existing waste collection systems. The Scottish Government is doing further work on the topic and we will review any new evidence arising from this in due course. However, in the meantime, we will continue to focus on improving existing waste collection and recycling systems, and developing a new National Litter Strategy for England to help coordinate and maximise the impact of anti-litter activity by local government, industry and others.

Dawn asks about beverage containers and recycling

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will assess the merits of introducing a deposit return system for single-use drinks containers in...

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to promote habilitation training.

 

Answered by Alistair Burt, Minister of State (Department of Health)
In 2013, Blind Children UK, previously the National Blind Children’s Society, received funding through the Department’s Voluntary Sector Investment Programme (Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund) for their three year project `Children and Young People’s Habilitation Service’.

At a national level, the Department for Education has funded a partnership of charities through the National Sensory Impairment Partnership to help local authorities to compare their services, learn from the best in the country and make sure that services for blind children and their families (as well as those with other sensory impairments) are effective and meet local needs.

My Department will consider with the Department for Education, which has responsibility for children’s social care, and where appropriate, with training and regulatory bodies, how we can highlight the value of habilitation workers.

Dawn asks about promoting habilitation training

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to promote habilitation training.   Answered by Alistair Burt, Minister of State (Department of Health)In...

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make additional funding available to expand access to habilitation training for young people with sight loss.

 

Answered by Alistair Burt, Minister of State (Department of Health)
In 2013, Blind Children UK, previously the National Blind Children’s Society, received funding through the Department’s Voluntary Sector Investment Programme (Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund) for their three year project `Children and Young People’s Habilitation Service’.

At a national level, the Department for Education has funded a partnership of charities through the National Sensory Impairment Partnership to help local authorities to compare their services, learn from the best in the country and make sure that services for blind children and their families (as well as those with other sensory impairments) are effective and meet local needs.

My Department will consider with the Department for Education, which has responsibility for children’s social care, and where appropriate, with training and regulatory bodies, how we can highlight the value of habilitation workers.

Dawn asks about visual impairment funding

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make additional funding available to expand access to habilitation training for young people with sight loss.   Answered...

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make it her policy to ban the routine preventive use of antibiotics in farming.

Answered by George Eustice, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food, Rural Affairs)
The legislation that controls veterinary medicines and medicated feed within the EU is currently under revision. The new proposed frameworks set out additional controls on antibiotics, including a ban on the routine preventative use of antibiotics, which the government supports.

Negotiations on the frameworks are expected to continue until late 2017. There are no plans to revise or amend the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 significantly until the review of the EU legislation has been completed.

Dawn asks about the ban on the use of antibiotics in farming

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make it her policy to ban the routine preventive use of antibiotics in farming.Answered...

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans her Department has to reduce teacher workload and maintain pupil well-being when new Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 assessments are introduced.

Answered by Nick Gibb, Minister for Education
Primary schools already carry out assessments at the end of key stages 1 and 2. We have developed new forms of assessment to align with the new National Curriculum. We recognise that in this first year of the new the assessments pupils and teachers will be adapting to the change, but the best way to prepare pupils remains to focus on teaching the new National Curriculum, which schools have been doing since September 2014.

The removal of unnecessary workload is a priority for this Department. Our primary assessment reforms have been designed to put arrangements for the majority of classroom assessment, between key stages, back into the hands of schools and to reduce the tracking burdens that national curriculum levels encouraged. We believe schools are best placed to decide how to assess pupils in line with their curriculum and that over time this should lead to a reduction in workload for teachers so that their efforts can focus on teaching.

As previously, schools should encourage high attainment among all pupils to but we do not recommend that they devote excessive preparation time for assessment and certainly not at the expense of a pupil’s wellbeing. We trust teachers to administer tests in a way that does not put undue pressure on pupils. Schools are also required to provide continuous and appropriate support as part of a whole school approach to supporting the wellbeing and resilience of pupils.

While we have set a more challenging expected standard to reflect our high aspirations for children, the new statutory assessments still measure the same range of attainment as previously. In addition, statutory assessments only form part of the broader assessments that teachers make on an ongoing basis. Schools should continue to put statutory assessment outcomes in the context of pupils’ overall achievements and progress. We expect schools to ensure that assessment is reported in an appropriate and proportionate manner.



Dawn asks about reducing teacher workload and maintaing pupil well-being

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans her Department has to reduce teacher workload and maintain pupil well-being when new Key Stage 1 and Key Stage...

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received from professional linguists on the effectiveness of language analysis testing.

 

Answered by Rt Hon James Brokenshire, Minister of State (Home Office (Security and Immigration)
Language analysis assists us in determining whether asylum seekers are of the nationality or national origin they claim. It is one of the tools used by asylum decision makers to help resolve fairly issues of doubtful nationality or national origin and to ensure that those claiming asylum in a false identity are detected quickly. It does not replace the requirement during substantive interview to fully probe and investigate doubted nationality/national origin cases.

Professional linguists have communicated with the Home Office regarding their particular preference for the different models available for language analysis testing. As part of the contract competition undertaken in 2014, language analysis companies provided strong evidence of the quality of the services offered. There are dedicated formal arrangements in place to monitor our suppliers’ compliance with the contract terms.

Dawn asks about the effectiveness of language analysis testing

Dawn To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she has received from professional linguists on the effectiveness of language analysis testing.   Answered by Rt...

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