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School Violence

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to reduce (a) the number and (b) the seriousness of incidences of violence in schools. [80534]

Mr. Stephen Twigg : I am very concerned to prevent violence in schools. We have invested in a major programme to improve pupil behaviour through systematic early intervention to reduce the likelihood of serious incidents. #66 million was made available in this year's Budget to the local education authorities with the highest crime levels, to promote good behaviour and tackle poor behaviour. This can be used partly towards personal safety training for staff.

We have also published a free guidance pack entitled XBullying: don't Suffer in Silence" and I would encourage all schools to obtain a copy. It provides detailed advice on preventing bullying and violence between pupils. In addition we have made clear that where necessary head teachers can permanently exclude pupils responsible for violence against members of the school community.

Earlier this year we published XA legal toolkit for schools", which is free publication summarising the range of legal remedies available to schools when staff face violence or threatening behaviour from parents.

Schools Grant (Buckinghamshire)

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what grants were made through the school improvement grant in (a) Chesham and Amersham and (b) Buckinghamshire in 2001–02. [81185]

Mr. Miliband: Standards fund grants are allocated to local education authorities, so figures for Chesham and Amersham are not available. A total of #2.19 million

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was allocated to Buckinghamshire through the Standards Fund School Improvement Grant in the 2001–02 financial year, of which:


Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many newly qualified teachers in (a) Chesham and Amersham and (b) Buckinghamshire were entitled to induction support in 2001–02. [81183]

Mr. Miliband: All Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) who take-up a post of one term or more in a maintained school, or non-maintained special school, are entitled to induction.

During the 2001–02 academic year, a total of 195 NQTs undertook induction in Buckinghamshire, of which 53 were in the constituency of Chesham and Amersham.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will ensure that no schools in (a) Chesham and Amersham and (b) Buckinghamshire have a cash budget cut in the next financial year. [81188]

Mr. Miliband: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Castle Point (Bob Spink) on 6 November 2002, Official Report, column 396W.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many representations his Department has received in connection with the funding of (a) schools and (b) school pupils in (i) Chesham and Amersham and (ii) Buckinghamshire over the last year. [81191]

Mr. Miliband: The Department has answered 10 letters in connection with the funding of schools in Buckinghamshire over the last year. Two of these letters were from the hon. Member, and it is not possible to identify which Buckinghamshire constituency the rest came from.

In addition a number of Buckinghamshire residents responded to the consultation on Local Government Funding reform which closed on 30 September: to identify precisely these letters from among the very large numbers of responses to the consultation would incur disproportionate cost.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the secondary schools in (a) Chesham and Amersham and (b) Buckinghamshire which conduct cognitive ability tests in year 7. [81181]

Mr. Miliband: Cognitive ability tests for year 7 are commercial tests which schools can purchase if they wish. As such, the Department has no records of their usage on an individual school, local education authority, or national basis.

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Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent through the standards fund on teaching assistants in (a) Chesham and Amersham and (b) Buckinghamshire in 2001–02. [81184]

Mr. Miliband: Details of standards fund expenditure by local education authorities for 2001–02 are not held centrally. Some #197 million was made available to authorities in 2001–02 through standards fund grant for the recruitment and training of teaching assistants, of which #1.732 million went to Buckinghamshire. 95 per cent. of this grant was required to be devolved to schools. Schools have freedom to move funding between standards fund headings according to their own detailed needs and priorities.

Information on standards fund allocations and expenditure is not collected at constituency level.

State Secondary Schools

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the different types of state secondary school. [81255]

Mr. Miliband: Maintained schools, both primary and secondary, are divided into the following categories:








Teacher Protection

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what protection is given to teachers who have violent and aggressive pupils who pose a threat to their safety. [80980]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: Violence, threatening behaviour and abuse against school staff or other members of the school community will not be tolerated. Section 64 of the School Standards and Framework Act gives a headteacher the authority to permanently exclude a pupil. Departmental guidance makes it clear that violent and aggressive pupils who pose a risk to teachers' or other pupils' safety can be permanently excluded for a first offence. The Secretary of State would normally regard it as inappropriate to re-instate a pupil who has been permanently excluded in circumstances involving actual or threatened violence against another pupil or member of staff.

Section 550A of the Education Act 1996 clarifies the powers of teachers, and other staff to use reasonable force to prevent pupils posing a threat to their safety in committing a crime, or causing injury, damage or disruption.

Further guidance is available in the form of a Departmental Circular 10/98, XSection 550A of the Education Act 1996: The Use of force to Control or Restrain Pupils". An additional guidance document is available for staff working in special schools catering for pupils with severe behavioural difficulties. This joint

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DfES/Department of Health guidance is entitled XCircular 0242/2002 Guidance on the Use of Restrictive Physical Interventions for Staff Working with Children and Adults who Display Extreme Behaviour in Association with Learning Disability and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorders".

Section 550A clarifies the general principle that anyone has the right to defend themselves against an attack provided they do not use a disproportionate degree of force to do so.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers have been assaulted by pupils in each year since 1997. [80981]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: My Department has not collected this information. However, 135 serious injuries to teachers in Great Britain caused by physical violence were reported to the Health and Safety Executive in both 1999–2000 and 2000–01; data for 2001–02 is not yet available. This figure includes major injuries, and also injuries which resulted in more than three days' absence from work, as a result of assault reported to the HSE under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. Information is not available on whether the assaults were carried out by pupils, parents or others.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proposals he has to ensure that teachers who protect themselves from violent pupils are not prosecuted; and if he will make a statement. [80982]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: Section 550A of the Education Act 1996 clarifies the powers of teachers, and other staff to use reasonable force to prevent pupils committing a crime, or causing injury, damage or disruption. Further guidance is available in the form of a Departmental Circular 10/98, XSection 550A of the Education Act 1996: The Use of force to Control or Restrain Pupils". An additional guidance document is available for staff working in special schools catering for pupils with severe behavioural difficulties. This joint DfES/Department of Health guidance is entitled XCircular 0242/2002 Guidance on the Use of Restrictive Physical Interventions for Staff Working with Children and Adults who Display Extreme Behaviour in Association with Learning Disability and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorders".

Section 550A clarifies the general principle that anyone has the right to defend themselves against an attack provided they do not use a disproportionate degree of force to do so. Although there can be no guarantee that teachers who defend themselves from violent pupils will not be prosecuted, the Crown Prosecution Service would examine whether the use and degree of force was reasonable in all the circumstances, bearing in mind the provisions in section 550A of the Education Act 1996. In looking at individual cases they are also likely to take account of the school's policy on restraint, whether that had been followed, and the need to prevent injury, damage, or disruption.

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