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Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on what basis the ethnicity factor in the additional educational needs allocates extra resources to all ethnic groups; if she will publish the evidence that her Department has used to assess need under the AEN factor; how many children receive increased funding from the ethnicity factor with the AEN; how much funding was distributed under the ethnicity factor to local councils in the years 200001 and 200102; and what her Department's estimate is for next year. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: Under the current system of Education Standard Spending Assessments (SSA), extra resources are allocated to LEAs in recognition of the additional educational needs of children in minority ethnic groups on the basis of country of birth data taken from the 1991 national census. The number of children covered is 12 per cent. of the total population of children under the age of 16. The amount of funding distributed using this factor was #434 million in 200001 and #448 million in 200102. The amount of funding to be distributed for Additional Educational Needs for 200304 will depend on decisions yet to be taken about the new formula for LEA funding to be introduced from April 2003. Those decisions will be informed by research undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a copy of
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whose report has been placed in the House Library, and by responses to the consultation on Local Government Finance, which ran from 8 July to 30 September.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures will be taken over the next year to ensure that disruptive pupils are removed from classes in the run up to major exams. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: We believe that schools should be orderly and disciplined places of learning at all times. In that context it is right that teachers and headteachers should have the power to remove disruptive pupils from the classroom. This may mean excluding them from school, for a fixed period or permanently, while maintaining their education in alternative provision.
Since taking office the Government has devoted far greater resources than ever before to supporting teachers in dealing with disruptive behaviour in the classroom. There are now over 1,050 Learning Support Units in schools helping to tackle classroom disruption. Further expansion of our Excellence in Cities (EiC) and Excellence Clusters programmes will provide a further 140 Learning Support Units. The #66m package announced in the Budget will fund, among other things, more Learning Support Units, Behaviour and Education Support Teams and summer activities aimed at improving discipline.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will introduce changes to the system of independent appeal panels. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: Section 52 of the Education Act 2002 replaces the previous arrangements for exclusion appeal panels which have been in existence in various forms since being introduced by the Education (No 2) Act 1986.
The new arrangements will be set out in regulations under section 52 which we plan to lay before the House in time to come into force in January 2003.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many exclusions have been overturned on appeal in the last six months. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: Information on exclusion appeals is only collected on an annual basis. The latest figures available are for the 2000/01 school year, when 9,210 permanent exclusions gave rise to 983 appeals. 314 permanent exclusions were overturned on appeal3 per cent. of the total number of permanent exclusions.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what legal powers she has to overturn a decision by an independent appeal panel. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Secretary of State has no legal powers to overturn a decision by an independent appeal panel.
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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what changes there have been to the monthly average of (a) exclusions, (b) appeals and (c) successful appeals since the publication of the 200102 Education Bill. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: This information is not held centrally. My Department collects data on permanent exclusions and exclusion appeals annually in relation to the school year as a whole. Provisional data for the last school year200102will be published in a Statistical First Release in May 2003.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidelines there are for local education authorities to allocate funds for special needs teaching in schools broken down by type of school. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The allocation of funding to maintained schools by local education authorities is governed by regulations made under section 47 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. The current (2002) regulations give wide discretion to authorities in the factors and criteria to be used for the funding of special needs, both in mainstream schools and in special schools. In November 2001, the Department issued good practice guidance The Distribution of Resources to Support Inclusion, on approaches to the delegation and distribution of resources for meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and those with other additional needs in mainstream schools. From 2003 onwards the schools forums established under s.43 of the Education Act 2002 will advise local education authorities on their funding arrangements for special needs.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made by each local education authority in developing strategies to improve accessibility for disabled pupils; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: This information is not collected centrally. The statutory duty on local education authorities to improve accessibility for disabled pupils came into effect from 1 September 2002 and requires them to publish their strategies on 1 April 2003. OfSTED will be monitoring the implementation of this new duty, including the quality of local education authorities' accessibility strategies.
The School Access Initiative was established in 1996 to help local education authorities improve the accessibility of their schools to disabled pupils. Over #174 million has been made available since that date, including some #70m in 200203. A further #300m will be available during 200304 to 200506.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the subject areas in the national curriculum that will not be available to children taught in asylum seekers' accommodation centres. 
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Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 21 October]: All the National Curriculum subjects will be taught in accommodation centres. Departmental officials are working with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) to agree how this commitment can be delivered to maximise the educational opportunities for children and young people who will be in these centres for a maximum of 9 months. There will also be intensive support provided to help them learn English.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills who will be responsible for identifying gifted and talented children in asylum seekers' accommodation centres. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 21 October]: On arrival in an accommodation centre, children will receive an initial assessment, covering their previous educational experience, attainment and knowledge of English. It will be the responsibility of the education contractor to conduct these assessments and, by so doing, identify any gifted and talented children. After which appropriate provision will be made, if necessary, (but exceptionally) outside the accommodation centres.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to incorporate the Spell-It infant research into mainstream schools. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: We were pleased to support this research in partnership with the Dyslexia Institute, York University, the Community Fund, WH Smith and the Dyslexia Institute's Bursary Fund.
We will look carefully at the findings in the context of our interest in the role of early intervention in addressing special educational needs. Officials plan to meet with representatives of the Dyslexia Institute to discuss the findings and other issues associated with dyslexia and literacy.
Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to educate (a) children seeking asylum and (b) other children recently arrived in the UK separately from other children. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 21 October]: All recently arrived children, whatever their immigration status, are given the same opportunities as all other children to access education. The Department has no plans to provide separate education for unaccompanied asylum seeker children or for the vast majority of other children recently arrived in the UK.
A minority of children whose families seek asylum and are destitute may be educated in accommodation centres which will provide a complete support package for the family, including education. This education will be of the same breadth and quality as that delivered in schools and will be specifically tailored to meet their particular needs. There will be also be intensive support provided to help them learn English and the education provision will be inspected by Ofsted.
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