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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations her Department has received from schools wishing to form federations of schools; and if she will list the schools which would be included in each federation. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 28 February 2002]: No official representations have been received. As arrangements for the establishment of federations of schools will be governed by regulations under clauses 23 and 24 of the Education Bill, which have yet to be made, there is no statutory mechanism for considering federation proposals.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: My Department maintains a list of projects, available on the DfES internet website www.dfes.gov.uk/ppppfi, procured under the public- private partnerships/private finance initiative (PPP/PFI).
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The DfES designated design champion is the Director of Strategy and Communications, whose responsibilities include promoting best practice design principles in the work of the Department. The design champion role involved raising awareness across the Department of the benefits to policy making and service delivery of good design management. In fulfilling this role, the Director of Strategy and Communications worked with the Design Council and other Departments on a series of best practice procedures that were subsequently incorporated into departmental guidance on, and prominence given to, project management. He also helped the Design Council produce a handbook of case studies in which good design had led to better outcomes. This included the creation of the Westminster suite at Caxton house, the learning journey handbook for parents and improved organisation and colour coding, etc. of materials being sent into schools.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many members of her staff in each of the past two years have been granted a day's paid leave to work as a volunteer; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not keep central records of paid leave which staff have been granted to work as volunteers. The DfES fully supports voluntary public service and offers staff paid leave for some voluntary activities.
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policy with regard to the control of commercial activity within maintained schools by companies wishing to sell goods to pupils. 
Mr. Timms: While we welcome business support for education, it is for schools themselves to decide whether to accept business sponsorship of educational activities or the sale of goods to pupils. We issued guidelines entitled "Best Practice Principles: Commercial Activities in Schools" last year to help schools make informed and sensible decisions about the nature of business involvement. The guidelines make clear that schools should satisfy themselves that the educational benefits of the commercial activity outweigh the potential disbenefits; that explicit sales messages should be avoided wherever possible; and that the level of any branding should be appropriate to the activity.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In its review of Curriculum 2000: Report on Phase Two, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has stated that it will set challenging targets and performance indicators for the awarding bodies. The Joint Council for General Qualificationsthe umbrella organisation for the awarding bodieswill expedite further work that it is undertaking on common labels for question paper packets.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures she will take to ensure that examination boards inform schools and colleges about re-mark grades before students move on to further and higher education. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since 1999, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) has set targets for the awarding bodies to meet all requests for remarking and appeals. The agreed targets for the two stages of the awarding bodies' appeals process are:
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Data for awarding bodies' performance in 2001 against these targets will be published by QCA later in the month. In 2000 95 per cent. of A/AS level inquiries and 93 per cent. of GCSE inquiries where completed within the target time.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Runshaw College requested the return of 84 psychology scripts, 78 scripts were sent back to the college. Of the six that were missing, two had been transferred to Edexcel's script archive before the college requested the scripts. These are being returned to the college. Four scripts have been mislaid. Edexcel will continue to search for them urgently.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement (a) on the failure of AQA to re-mark scripts from Runshaw College before 17 October 2001 and (b) on its provision only of provisional marks. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Inquiries about A level results received within one week of the publication of results are treated as priority cases. The response time laid down by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority is 30 days from receipt of the inquiry. Inquiries received after one week of publication of results have a target response time of 40 days from receipt. On 17 October there were four inquiries that were unresolved for Runshaw College. The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) received these inquiries on 19 September, one day before the closing date for inquiries. They were completed by 29 October.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority as regulator of the public examination system is responsible for the maintenance of standards. They operate a range of mechanisms to check the examination process, and police and monitor a code of practice, which all awarding bodies must adhere to. The code of practicewhich is a public documentis designed to promote quality and consistency in the examining process across all awarding bodies. It helps to ensure that grading standards are constant in each subject across different awarding bodies and different syllabuses from year to year.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures she is taking with respect to the examination boards who have failed to provide the service required in order to ensure that the errors and faults that occurred last year do not occur again. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), as the regulatory body, is responsible for monitoring the performance of the awarding bodies. QCA has recently published audit reports on two
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awarding bodies, Edexcel and the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, which made a number of recommendations for improvements to the delivery of services. QCA is monitoring the implementation of the recommendations to ensure that they improve their performance in coming months and are able to deliver the examinations in summer 2002 and beyond efficiently.
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