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Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what consultations she has had with Herefordshire council about the provision of Academy Status for the Much Dewchurch Steiner School; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: My officials from Academies Division have been exploring a Steiner Academy proposal for Much Dewchurch and discussions are continuing. I understand that the hon. Member has previously written to my predecessor and to the Director of Education in Herefordshire, to express his full support for the proposal and his desire for it to progress without delay.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the (a) newspapers and (b) periodicals taken by her Department in each year since 1997; and how much the Department spent on each in each year. 
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made in recent discussions she has held with the National Union of Teachers on lessons being taken by non-qualified teachers. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg:
The circumstances under which non-qualified teachers, and support staff, can undertake "specified work"including delivering lessons to pupilsare set out in the 'Education (Specified Work and Registration) (England) Regulations 2003'. The Regulations came into force on 1 August 2003.
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Guidance has been published to accompany the regulations and a copy is in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many representations she has received from local education authorities not in the initial waves of Building Schools for the Future about funding required for replacement or new secondary schools. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: We have received 10 representations from local education authorities not in the initial waves of Building Schools for the Future since we announced waves two and three of that programme on 30 November 2004.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what safeguards are in place to ensure that advice and information given by Directors of Education to local education authorities on the closure of schools is accurate, objective and balanced. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: Directors of Education are employed by local education authorities and are accountable to them. It is therefore for local authorities to satisfy themselves that their Directors of Education provide a satisfactory level and quality of advice.
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Secretary of State has no role in the approval of proposals to close schools in England. For proposals published by the local education authority, where there are no objections, the LEA may decide to implement the proposals. In all other cases the proposals are passed to the local School Organisation Committee (SOC) for consideration. If the SOC cannot reach a unanimous decision, the proposals are passed to the Schools Adjudicator for the final decision.
In making their decision the SOC and schools adjudicator must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. This sets out a range of factors that
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must be considered. These include the views of interested parties, the impact of what is proposed on local standards, whether there is sufficient capacity to accommodate displaced pupils, length and nature of journey to alternative provision and the overall cost effectiveness of the proposals.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many special needs children there are in each local education authority area; and how much special needs funding (a) in total and (b) per child with special needs was provided in each of those local education authorities in the last year for which figures are available. 
Funding for education is distributed to local authorities based on their education formula funding share. Local authorities then decide how best to allocate and distribute funding to schools and services, including funding for pupils with special educational needs (SEN). Some funding for SEN is delegated to schools to enable them to make additional arrangements and some is managed by the local authority. Local authorities report planned expenditure in their section 52 statements. Total planned expenditure for SEN reported for 200405 is £3,774,756,700 as at 13 December 2004.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent discussions she has held with Gloucestershire Local Education Authority on its proposals for the reorganisation of special needs education. 
Margaret Hodge: Under arrangements introduced in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, the consideration of proposals for establishing, altering, or discontinuing maintained special schools are a matter for local decision making.