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16 Jul 2003 : Column 353W—continued

Sex Education

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action he is taking to improve school-based sex education for boys. [125161]

Mr. Miliband: Our Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) Guidance, issued to schools in July 2000, makes clear that SRE needs to focus on boys as well as girls. Teachers need to plan a variety of activities and teaching methods which will engage boys.

To support teachers we have commissioned the development of practical guidance for addressing the sex and relationship education needs of boys and young men. This will be available later in the year. We have also established a Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) website which flags up information and resources that are specific to boys—www.

From April 2003 we have rolled out a professional development programme for teachers of PSHE which includes a specialist module for SRE. Participating teachers will be required to demonstrate a secure knowledge and understanding of the gender roles and how that is applied to teaching. Up to 750 teachers will participate this year.

Staff Redeployment

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has for redeployment of members of his Department out of London and the south-east. [125305]

Mr. Charles Clarke: My Department has over half of its staff outside London and the south-east and we continually review where our business can best be delivered, including consideration of opportunities for relocation where the business case justifies this.

Like other Departments, we are participating in Sir Michael Lyons work on public sector relocation which is due to report to my right hon. Friends the Chancellor and the Deputy Prime Minister in November.

Staffing Survey

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his Answer of 7 July 2003, Official Report, column 632W, on the 2003 staffing survey, whether his Department is using the (a) 1996 and (b) 2002 staffing survey data in the formulation of the 2004–05 initial teacher training targets. [125771]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 14 July 2003]: The Department is planning to use the 2002 Staffing Survey data.

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Student Performance

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what information he collates on the relative performance at undergraduate level of students (a) with GCE A-level qualifications, (b) with GNVQ or equivalent vocational qualifications, (c) with advanced modern apprenticeships, (d) with overseas qualifications and (e) with other qualifications. [112205]

Alan Johnson: The Department is not aware of research that looks at the relative performance at undergraduate level of students with different types of entry qualifications. However, research has been conducted into the relationship between A-level attainment and undergraduate performance. Studies in this area include:

Teacher Qualifications

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether, under the Education (Specified Work and Registration) (England) Regulations 2003, people without a formal teacher qualification can be responsible for the direction and supervision of student teachers in schools. [126085]

Mr. Miliband: Paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 of The Education (Specified Work and Registration) (England) Regulations 2003 defines student teachers as those aged over 18 years who are awaiting admission to, or retaking part of, a course of initial teacher training leading to Qualified Teacher Status. Student teachers may undertake specified work in schools for a limited period of time only (for up to 2 years or a longer period if approved by the Secretary of State). They must be supervised and directed by a qualified teacher or a nominated teacher in accordance with arrangements made by the head teacher of the school. The Regulations define a nominated teacher as a person who is either an instructor with special qualifications or experience, an overseas-trained teacher, a teacher who has almost qualified but has not yet passed the skills tests, a graduate teacher, a registered teacher, or a teacher on the employment-based teacher training scheme. Higher level teaching assistants and other school support staff cannot direct or supervise student teachers.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what special (a) measures and

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(b) funding are available for the retention and recruitment of teaching staff; and to which areas of Essex these apply. [125022]

Mr. Miliband: Essex as a whole has benefited from the full range of Government measures introduced since 1997 to improve teacher recruitment and retention. These measure include: Training Bursaries, Golden Helios, extra pay flexibilities, an enhanced Graduate Teacher Programme, assistance to purchase homes through the Starter Homes Initiative, the repayment of student loans and funding for Recruitment Managers within local education authorities. These initiatives have helped full-time equivalent teacher numbers rise across Essex from 12,580 in 1997 to 13,650 in 2002.

In addition, twenty-one Essex schools are benefiting this year from the £125,000 Leadership Incentive Grant (LIG).

School Standards

Mrs. Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received from governing bodies about the role of governors in the Time for Standards initiative. [125426]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 14 July 2003]: Earlier this year I met with representatives of the National Governors' Council and the National Association of Governors and Managers to discuss how best to ensure that school governing bodies are fully involved in the implementation of proposals outlined in "Time for Standards" and the National Agreement on raising standards and tackling workload.

Following these discussions, my Department has set up a regular forum with governors' representatives and the signatories to the National Agreement. The first took place on 27 June. One of the outcomes of that forum will be the development of specific materials for school governors to help them contribute to workforce reform.


Rogue Landlords

3. Dan Norris: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps his Department is taking to ensure that tenants and the public are protected from rogue landlords. [125861]

Keith Hill: The Government published a draft Housing Bill at the end of March 2003. The Bill contains provisions that would enable local authorities to engage in the selective licensing of private sector landlords. This will help them to tackle the bad effects that irresponsible landlords and anti-social tenants can have on the wider community—particularly in areas of low housing demand where the worst problems are concentrated. Raising standards of management in these areas will benefit tenants and the public alike.

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Neighbourhood Renewal

9. Mr. Mudie: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on progress on neighbourhood renewal. [125867]

Yvette Cooper: Last year, the Government invested over £500 million in neighbourhood renewal programmes, including the New Deal Communities programmes, which involve local residents in major projects to regenerate low income areas, and over 240 neighbourhood warden programmes.

Electoral Pilots

10. Mr. Gardiner : To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if will make a statement on local electoral pilots. [125868]

Mr. Raynsford: I refer my hon. Friend to the oral reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Morley and Rothwell (Mr. Challen) at column 263.

Regional Assemblies

11. Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what responsibilities for transport regional assemblies will have. [125869]

Mr. Raynsford: Elected regional assemblies will be responsible for a regional transport strategy, for advising the Government on funding allocations for local transport and for Rail Passenger Partnership grants. They will also have powers to make proposals to the Highways Agency and the Strategic Rail Authority for schemes of regional importance, and they will have a right to be consulted by these bodies on proposals affecting the region.

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