Previous Section Index Home Page

1 Sept 2003 : Column 751W—continued

Mental Health

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact of the draft Mental Health Bill on the services his Department provides for people with mental health needs. [126003]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We work closely with the Department of Health on the development and implementation of policy on child and adolescent mental health services, in particular through the Children's National Service Framework. No formal assessment has been made of the impact of the draft Mental Health Bill on education services.

Middle Schools

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many middle school children there are in England and Wales; and what the basis is for his policy that middle schools cannot apply for specialist school status. [126750]

Mr. Miliband: The Department's figures show that there are 129,348 pupils in middle deemed secondary schools in England. There are no middle schools or specialist schools in Wales. Responsibility for schools in Wales has been devolved to the National Assembly for Wales.

Middle deemed secondary schools are eligible to apply for specialist school status as part of a joint application. One or more middle deemed secondary

1 Sept 2003 : Column 752W

schools can apply jointly to the programme with upper schools. From September 2003, three middle schools will be part of the programme.

We are currently reviewing the position of middle schools in relation to making solo applications to the programme.

Modern Apprenticeships

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when a dedicated website for vacancies for qualified modern apprentices will be introduced. [126788]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. John Harwood, the Council's Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Member with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills over what time the age cap of 25 for entry to modern apprenticeships will be removed. [126789]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: From 1 August 2003, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will fund those learners who start their Modern Apprenticeship before their 25th birthday for the full length of the entitlement regardless of their age at the finish. I have asked the LSC to consider how they will respond to those who will reach their 25th birthday between the Government's Skills Strategy announcement and the end of July 2003.

As we said in our Skills Strategy, "21st Century Skills—Realising Our Potential", we are committed to ensuring that Modern Apprenticeships are available to those who wish to start over the age of 25. We are working with the LSC and key partners including the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) to develop a more flexible approach to Modern Apprenticeship design and funding, reflecting the different needs of adults.

Modern Languages

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 2 April 2003, Official Report, column 730W, what estimate he has made of the number of pupils in maintained schools who will take GCSE (a) French, (b) Spanish and (c) German in each year between 2003 to 2010. [125326]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: We have made no estimate of the number of pupils who will take GCSE French, Spanish and German in future years. The number of pupils who have taken GCSEs in specific modern foreign languages this year will be available in the autumn.

National Professional Qualification for Headship

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make it his policy that teachers enrolling in the National Professional Qualification for Headship in September 2003 will have their costs of supply cover and subsistence met in full regardless of the number of pupils at their school. [126967]

Margaret Hodge: Responsibility for the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) was passed to the National College for School Leadership

1 Sept 2003 : Column 753W

(NCSL) in 2001, including responsibility for setting the level of financial support for candidates on the programme.

Having consulted widely, the college has revised its charging policy for a range of its programmes, including NPQH, and has concluded that financial support for supply cover and travel and subsistence should be withdrawn from NPQH candidates from schools with 150 pupils or more from 1 September 2003. The college will continue to cover the cost of the course fees for all applicants on the NPQH programme.

National Skills Strategy

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on his plans for taking forward the National Skills Strategy. [126487]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: At national level, we will build a new Skills Alliance to bring together key economic and delivery partners who will work with the Government to drive forward the Skills Strategy. The Alliance will comprise the key departments (Department for Education and Skills, Department of Trade and Industry, Department for Work and Pensions and the Treasury), the economic partners (the CBI, the TUC and Small Business Council) and the key delivery agencies. We will also invite the Regional Development Agency in each region, working with its partners, to put forward proposals for joint working at regional and local level. The Sector Skills Councils will be major contributors to the process.

The Skills Alliance will ensure collaboration between key partners through the new regional structures, engage employers, trade unions and their representative organisations, advise the Government on the effectiveness of the Skills Strategy and report annually on progress.

Positive Activities for Young People Scheme

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many participants there have been in the Positive Activities for Young People scheme since it was established; how many (a) permanent and (b) temporary staff are employed in the scheme; and what assessment he has made of the scheme's impact on street crime. [126768]

Margaret Hodge: The new Positive Activities programme commenced on 1 May 2003. Information is currently being collected from each lead delivery agency to assess what provision there was over the Whitsun half term. Information for all areas is expected to be available by early August. The first quarterly report, reflecting the provision under PAYP so far, will be published in the autumn.

The employment of staff to deliver PAYP is an issue for Lead Delivery Agents and local delivery partners. It is for them to decide how best to utilise the funding that is provided to them. In addition, £13.75 million has been allocated to Connexions Partnerships for key workers which will provide 435 full-time equivalent posts. These workers will provide targeted support to those young people on the scheme who are most at risk.

1 Sept 2003 : Column 754W

Prison Education

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many education hours were cancelled in prisons in England and Wales in each of the last 12 months. [124920]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The following table shows on a month-by-month basis the reported number of hours not delivered against the total number of hours ordered between June 2002 and May 2003.

MonthSum of orderedSum of total not run
June 200295,5768,083
July 2002131,69111,057
August 2002104,6368,199
September 2002116,0527,136
October 2002131,86013,248
November 2002119,8808,470
December 200294,5177,317
January 2003131,2138,156
February 2003115,9058,082
March 2003134,1569,974
April 2003115,2176,981
May 2003112,7977,464

Education hours may be lost for a range of reasons including operational difficulties in prisons, staff sickness and problems with recruiting teachers.

Public Sector Apprentices

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when recruitment targets for public sector apprentices in Government Departments will be introduced. [126787]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The target, recently agreed by Cabinet Office and Department for Education and Skills (DfES) Ministers, is that by the end of September 2004, the number of civil servants undertaking modern apprenticeships will be 28 per cent. of all staff aged under 25 not qualified to Level 2.

Each Department is establishing its own arrangements for contributing towards the aggregated target.

Public Service Agreements

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the Minister for Children will change existing Department for Education and Skills Public Service Agreements. [121003]

Margaret Hodge: There are no plans to change any of the existing DfES Public Service Agreement targets following the changes announced on 13 June, which bring together in this department lead responsibility in Whitehall for policy on children and the family. Work is ongoing to map the various targets which the DfES will inherit from other Departments as a result of its new responsibilities. A full revised list of targets will be laid in the Library of the HOC in due course.

Next Section Index Home Page