§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many sick days were lost over the last year by his Department through staff mental health problems. 
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
My Department is committed to managing sickness absence effectively and to maintain its efforts to try and meet the 2003 target for reduced sickness absence as set out in its Service Delivery Agreement.
In line with its legal obligation, the Department aims to provide a safe working environment for all its employees and remains committed to meeting the targets for reducing the number of working days lost due to work related injuries and illness set out in the Governments Revitalising Health and Safety initiative. These have been incorporated into the Departmental Health and Safety Policy statement.
In the calendar year 2002, 9473 days in DfES were lost because of sick leave due to anxiety, depression, stress and other mental illness.