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Teaching Materials

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations she has received about the relaxation of guidelines over branding of teaching materials and activities by corporate sponsors. [10952]

Mr. Timms: In conjunction with the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and the Consumers Association, we recently issued revised guidance, "Commercial Activities in Schools: Best Practice Principles". It revises and updates guidance produced by the National Consumers Council in 1996. Far from being a relaxation of criteria, the guidance makes it clear that schools should satisfy themselves that the educational benefits of the commercial activity outweigh the potential disadvantages; that explicit sales messages should be avoided wherever possible; and that the level of any branding should be appropriate to the activity. I have placed a copy of "Commercial Activities in Schools: Best Practice Principles" in the House of Commons Library.

We have received no recent representations about the new guidelines.

A-Level Results

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to address gender differences in A-level results. [8180]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Our goal is, of course, that students of both genders fulfil their potential in higher education and the employment market. We are aware that boys' performance in the main A-level subjects has not equalled that of girls in recent years. The foundations for improvement need to be laid at earlier stages of schooling. That is why we have put resources into pre-16 initiatives that enhance boys' performance, such as the literacy strategy. We also have a major research project under way to identify successful strategies for raising boys' achievement that can be disseminated more widely. Examples of good practice are already being made available online to schools.

Social Exclusion Report

Ms Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made in implementing the social exclusion unit's report on 16 to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training. [9295]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are making excellent progress with implementing the social exclusion unit's report.

Fifteen ConneXions partnerships are currently operational, and 18 more partnerships have been invited to prepare business plans setting out how they will deliver the ConneXions service in their areas from April 2002. The service will be available across England by 2002–03. An independent report on the 13 ConneXions service pilots—which tested different aspects of the service—has shown

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that 80 per cent. of young people helped by personal advisers feel ConneXions has made a real difference to their future prospects.

The ConneXions card—which will offer rewards and incentives for participation in post-compulsory learning—is being trialled in a small number of schools and colleges in the north-east. Following completion of the trials, the card will be rolled out on a regional basis across the country, becoming available throughout England from autumn 2002.

Our education maintenance allowance (EMA) programme is having a positive effect on the lives of many young people. Around 100,000 young people have applied for an EMA to date in this academic year. Early evidence is encouraging: EMAs have produced a 5 percentage point increase in participation among the target group. Our EMA transport pilots and pilots for the homeless, teenage parents and people with disabilities are now in their second year of operation. Initial findings suggest that vulnerable young people are benefiting from EMAs.

In the "Schools: Delivering Success" White Paper, we set out our framework for a coherent phase of 14 to 19 learning. Key elements include tailored programmes of learning—offering more opportunities for vocational and work-related learning—through which young people could advance at their own pace. We are also looking at proposals for an overarching award covering challenging goals in formal qualifications, but in which other achievements—such as volunteering—might also be recognised.

We will be issuing a consultation document in the new year, which will set out our proposals for 14 to 19 learning in more detail.

School Exclusions

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to increase the level of funding for education provision of excluded pupils. [9591]

Mr. Timms: Education standard spending will increase by 6 per cent. for 2002–03. Local education authorities will need to decide how much of that increase they spend on increased education provision for excluded pupils. They will have a duty to ensure that all children excluded for more than 15 days receive a full-time education from September 2002.

Further Education (West Chelmsford)

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of (a) post A-level and (b) vocational school leavers in the constituency of West Chelmsford in (i) July 2001, (ii) July 2000 and (iii) July 1999 went on to: (A) university, (B) employment (C) unemployment and (D) Government sponsored training programmes. [9732]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 26 October 2001]: The information is not available at constituency level.

National estimates of the main activity of what young people are doing after year 13 are available from the youth cohort study (YCS). The destinations of those in full-time

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education in year 13 leaving with either two or more A-levels or a vocational level 3 qualification are shown in the following table.

Main activity in year following year 13 for post A-level(10) and vocational school leavers(11)—England and Wales

Post A-level(10)Vocational level 3(11)
Full time education7449
of which:
Higher education6232
Unemployment/Other/Not stated69
Government supported training13

(10) Young people in full-time education in year 13 who attained two or more A-levels

(11) Young people in full-time education in year 13 who attained a level 3 vocational qualification


Youth Cohort Study, Cohort 9 sweeps 2 and 3

Sixth Forms (Worcestershire)

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list (a) the number of pupils in each sixth form and (b) the indicative budgets for each school sixth form in 2002–03 for every school with a sixth form in Worcestershire. [10205]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Learning and Skills Council allocations for schools in Worcestershire will not be announced until December, and work to calculate them is still under way.

Primary School Admissions

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps are taken to prevent admission authorities from requiring parents to enter their children prematurely for reception classes to ensure admission to primary schools. [10677]

Mr. Timms: The Secretary of State has made it clear to admission authorities that parents should not be pressurised into sending their child to school before he or she has reached compulsory school age. The code of practice on school admissions encourages admission authorities to allow parents to secure a school place but defer their child's entry to school until later on in the same academic year. Admissions policy is under review with proposed changes currently the subject of consultation. The Secretary of State is looking to strengthen the message in the code by making it clear that she expects all admission authorities to allow parents to defer entry.

The consultation on admissions ends on 7 November.

Teachers (East Yorkshire)

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the class sizes of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools were in the East Riding of Yorkshire on 31 March in each year since 1996. [10729]

Mr. Timms: The available information is shown in the table.

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Maintained primary and secondary schools in East Riding of Yorkshire Local Education Authority: average class sizes(12)

Average class size
Maintained primary schoolsMaintained secondary schools
January each year

(12) Classes taught by one teacher


East Riding of Yorkshire LEA was formed in April 1996 as part of the local government re-organisation.

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