§ Mr. Ian Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the average time taken for the Teachers' Pension Agency to process a teacher's request for early retirement on health grounds in each of the last three years; how many such requests have been refused in each of the last three years; and how many of these refusals have been overturned on appeal. 
§ Mr. Wicks
The administration of the Teachers' Pensions Scheme has been carried out under contract by Capita Business Services since October 1996. Details of the average time taken for the complete processing of ill-health retirement applications are not recorded, but a Statement of Service Requirements (SOSR) attached to the contract has specific targets with regard to ill-health applications. The performance of the scheme administrator is given in the following table. These targets reflect the stages in the process where responsibility for the action rests with the administrator and not with a third party. The number of years for which the information is available reflects the periodic updating of the SOSR.
are developing mapping software and a car sharing database for schools' use; we are reviewing the provision of transport for pupils with special educational needs, leading to guidance on best practice for Local Education Authorities; and we have been working with the Department of Health on "Safe and Sound", a competition for schools designed to promote healthier and sustainable school travel.