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18 Nov 2004 : Column 2160W—continued

Pupil Referral Units

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the level of attainment at Key Stage 4 of pupils in Pupil Referral units. [194764]

Mr. Miliband: Through the pupil level annual school census (taken in January of each year) it is possible to identify which pupils are recorded on the roll of a school. Pupils in Pupil Referral Units can also be recorded on the roll of a mainstream school. In these cases the pupil is counted at the mainstream school, leaving only those pupils solely registered at a PRU contributing towards results for PRUs. The majority of pupils should only be in Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) for a short time, as the focus should be primarily on getting them back in to a mainstream school as soon as possible.

Levels of attainment by pupils solely registered in PRUs are variable. Provisional figures for 2004 indicate that 0.4 per cent. of 15-year-old pupils in Pupil Referral Units in England achieved 5 or more grades A*-C at GCSE and Equivalent, 4.7 per cent. achieved 5 or more grades A*-G and 48.6 per cent. achieved at least one pass in an approved qualification.

The attainment by pupils, who are solely-registered at a PRU at the time of the Pupil Level Annual School Census, over the last 3 years is shown within the table:
Number of 15-year-old pupilsProportion of 15-year-old pupils in PRUs
Proportion of 15-year-old pupils Nationally
in PRUs5+ A*-C5+ A*-GAny passes5+ A*-C5+ A*-GAny passes

(131) Provisional.

The 2004 figures quoted within the table relate to results in GCSEs and a wide range of other qualifications approved for use pre-16 which are being reported for the first time this year. Figures shown for 2002 and 2003 are based on results on GCSEs and GNVQs only.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reasons data on pupil attendance are not published for pupil referral units. [196996]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: While providers of alternative provision have a common law duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of a pupil, there is no legislation requiring them to keep attendance records. As a result, the Department can neither collect nor publish data on pupil attendance at pupil referral units or other alternative provision.

School Finance

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost per pupil of education in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools was in the latest year for which figures are available. [198839]

Mr. Miliband: The information requested is contained within the following table.
Unit cost per pupil in primary and secondary schools in England

2002–03 (£)
School based expenditure1,2 per pupil
Primary education2,530
Secondary education3,230
Combined LEA and school expenditure3,4,5 per pupil
Total expenditure3,440

(132) School based expenditure includes only expenditure incurred directly by the schools. This includes the pay of teachers and school-based support staff, school premises costs, books and equipment, and certain other supplies and services, less any capital items funded from recurrent spending and income from sales, fees and charges and rents and rates. This excludes the central cost of support services such as home to school transport, local authority administration and the financing of capital expenditure.
(133) Pupil numbers include only those pupils attending maintained establishments within each sector and are drawn from the DfES Annual Schools Census adjusted to be on a financial year basis.
(134) The combined LEA and school based expenditure includes all expenditure on the education of children in LEA maintained establishments and pupils educated by the LEA other than in maintained establishments. This includes both school based expenditure and all elements of central LEA expenditure except youth and community and capital expenditure from revenue (CERA).
(135) In 2002–03 the combined LEA and school based expenditure is calculated by Section 52 Outturn Table A line 51 net current expenditure (NCE) plus line 60 NCE (with adjustments to income to take account of School Standards Grant and Standards Fund scored here) plus lines 61 to 74 NCE.
(136) Pupil figures include all pre-primary pupils, including those under 5s funded by the LEA and being educated in private settings, pupils educated in maintained mainstream schools and other LEA maintained pupils. The pupil data for pupils attending maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools are taken from the DfES Annual Schools Census. Private voluntary and independent (PVI) under 5 pupil numbers are taken from the Early Years census but are only included for 1999–2000 onwards. Other LEA maintained pupils are also included in the pupil count and this includes all pupils attending schools not maintained by the authority for whom the authority is paying full tuition fees, or educated otherwise than in schools and pupil referral units under arrangements made by the authority drawn from the Form 8b submitted to the DfES. Also included as other LEA maintained pupils are all pupils attending pupil referral units who are not registered at a maintained mainstream school drawn from the DfES Annual Schools Census. All pupil numbers are adjusted to be on a financial year basis.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 as reported by the LEA (as at 10 November 2004).

18 Nov 2004 : Column 2161W

School Meals

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what support his Department gave to National School Meals week; and if he will make a statement. [199055]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: We were not asked to support National School Meals Week this year. However, in past years we have provided messages of support, and in 2001, Jacqui Smith attended the official launch.

Schools (Newcastle)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether Building Schools for the Future investment in Newcastle-upon-Tyne depends upon the acceptance of a city academy proposal. [199032]

Mr. Miliband: It is an absolute requirement for Building Schools for the Future (BSF) proposals that local education authorities (LEAs) come forward with hard-edged proposals for how the significant investment we are making through BSF will raise standards in all secondary schools in the area. In doing that, we require all LEAs to give serious consideration to whether the establishment of an Academy would benefit one or more schools.

Schools Admission Policies

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether it remains his policy that secondary schools should be given no notification of the ranking awarded to the school by parents applying for a school place, as set out by the Minister for School Standards in the 8th Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation on 12 March 2003, column 15. [199087]

Mr. Miliband: Under co-ordinated admissions, individual admission authorities—LEAs and governing bodies—retain the right and duty to set and apply their own admission arrangements for their schools. Some admission authorities give priority in their school's oversubscription criteria to applicants who name the school as their first preference and for these schools this ranking is made available.
18 Nov 2004 : Column 2162W

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to require (a) specialist schools, (b) voluntary aided schools, (c) city technology colleges, (d) academies and (e) foundation schools to accept (i) looked after children, (ii) permanently excluded children and (iii) children with statements of special educational needs as part of their overall admission policies; and if he will make a statement. [196943]

Mr. Miliband: All maintained schools and academies must have regard to the School Admissions Code of Practice. The code encourages all admission authorities to give top priority in admission arrangements to looked after children. LEAs and others may object to the independent Schools Adjudicator if they do not. So far all such cases referred have been upheld.

Permanently excluded children must be treated in the same way as all other applicants unless they have been twice excluded. In that case parental preference rights are reduced. In October 2004, we issued guidance on the exclusion of pupils from schools, including guidance on the admission and re-integration of excluded pupils.

Children whose statements of SEN name a particular school must be admitted to that school.

CTCs are not subject to the same provisions and codes. However, we want all CTCs to become academies and some are already doing so; one has already converted and a further five are expected to convert by September 2005 with others seriously considering conversion. We believe that this is the best route to ensuring CTCs come within the same admissions framework as academies and maintained schools.

Admission forums, which include representatives of all parties interested in admissions, have a duty to promote arrangements for looked after children, children with special educational needs, and excluded children. They must also monitor arrangements for all children who arrive outside the normal admissions round—with a view to developing protocols for the admission of such children. The Secretary of State is making a speech to new headteachers on 18 November, at which he will talk about managing behaviour, and also about the need to develop local protocols to ensure that all schools play an equal part in the admission of permanently excluded and other "hard to place" pupils. Following that, we shall issue guidance to forums on how to develop and reach agreement on such protocols.

LEAs must invite CTCs to participate in the forum and the Admissions Code of Practice encourages them to do so.

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