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21 Feb 2005 : Column 259W—continued

Children Act

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how the Children Act 2004 amends the inspection regimes facing local government. [216266]

Margaret Hodge: To ensure a shared approach across inspection, the Children Act 2004 allows for the creation of a Framework for the inspection of Children's Services and for inspectorates to carry out joint area reviews (JARs) of all children's services provided in an area.

The new inspection arrangements will capture how well services are delivered and how well they work together to improve children and young people's wellbeing. Through the common approach provided by the Framework, joint area reviews will provide a picture of what it is to be a child in the local authority area being reviewed. JARs will replace a number of existing separate inspections for children and young people at local authority level, including LEA inspections, Connexions service inspections and inspections of children's social care. Together, inspectorates will judge the way in which all services for education, health, social care and youth justice, both individually and collectively, contribute to improving outcomes.

Ofsted, in partnership with other related inspectorates and commissions, are currently consulting on new arrangements for Children's Services inspection.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what new responsibilities the Children Act 2004 places on local authorities. [216267]

Margaret Hodge: The Children Act 2004 places a number of new statutory duties on those persons and bodies responsible for children's services, including local authorities. These new duties will help improve outcomes for all children and young people, by maximising opportunity and minimising risk.

The new duties are set out in enclosures 1 and 3 of 'Every Child Matters: Change for Children'. This can be downloaded from

Children in Care

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children are in (a) children's homes and (b) foster care, broken down by ethnic group. [213755]

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Margaret Hodge: The following table shows the number of children looked after at 31 March 2004 by placement and ethnicity.
Children looked after at 31 March 2004 in a children's home or a foster placement by ethnicity1, 3, 4

EnglandAll childrenFosterChildren's homes(89)
All children61,10041,6007,000
Asian or Asian British1,500990130
Black or Black British4,9003.400700
Other ethnic groups1,200770180

(88) Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements.
(89) Includes secure units, homes and hostels subject to children's homes regulations, and homes and hostels not subject to children's homes regulations, but excludes residential schools.
(90) Figures taken from the SSDA903 return.
(91) Figures over 1,000 have been rounded to the nearest 100. All other figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
Children looked after in England (including adoptions and care leavers), 2003–04.

Children's Fund Partnership

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the outcome was of (a) the Redbridge Children's Fund partnership and (b) the Waltham Forest Children's Fund partnership submitting a budget and preventive plan to the regional team demonstrating how funding for 2005 to 2008 would be spent; whether the funding for this period has now been agreed; what main activities will be undertaken; what the likely funding will be; and if she will make a statement. [215169]

Margaret Hodge: Redbridge Children's Fund Partnership has had its plan, including its funding plan, approved for three years and will be drawing down a total of £1.7 millioin. This resource will support a number of local projects, including—for example—the Children's Participation Project run by the Redbridge council for Voluntary Services and the Youth Crime Prevention Team. The Partnership has yet to make firm decisions on the other services it will commission beyond July 2005.

Waltham Forest.Children's Fund Partnership has had its plan approved for one year, and will be submitting an updated plan for 2006–08 later this year. Subject to this plan being satisfactory, it will be able to access funding totalling £2.5 million over the three year period 2005–08. This resource will support a number of local projects, including, for example:

The partnership will be finalising the range of services it will support for 2005–06 and beyond between now and April.
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Chorley High Schools

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils are attending Chorley high schools; and how many pupils attended each such school in each of the last five years. [216562]

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Mr. Stephen Twigg: The available information on pupils attending Chorley secondary schools is shown in the following table.
Maintained secondary schools: number on roll—Chorley parliamentary constituency

Position in January each year
School name20042003200220012000
Chorley Southlands high school1,0231,003993978958
Parklands high school1,1071,0851,0611,0491,043
Albany Science College608835840812814
Rivington and Blackrod high school1,9131.8891,8451,8231,799
Bishop Rawstome Church of England language college925926926889867
St. Michael's Church of England high school1,1111,1001,0901,0561,045
Holy Cross Catholic high school, a sports and science college829806791775763
Total all secondary schools7,7167,6447,5467,3827,289

Figures as reported by schools via the Annual Schools Census

Class Sizes

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children in Greater London have been taught in classes of more than (a) 25 and (b) 30 in each year since 1997, broken down by local education authority. [214557]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The requested information has been placed in the House of Commons Libraries.


Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will reply to the letter dated 29 July 2004 sent to her predecessor by the hon. Member for Brent, East regarding Ms Margaret Thomas. [215625]

Derek Twigg: The Department has no record of having received correspondence from the hon. Member regarding Ms Margaret Thomas. The Department's officials requested and received a copy of the correspondence on 8 February, and I expect to be able to reply by 1 March 2005.

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will reply to the letter dated 30 December 2004 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Wright Robinson Sports College. [215705]

Derek Twigg: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State replied to my right hon. Friend's letter of 30 December on 08 February.

Data Collection

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what statistical data is collected from schools by (a) local education authorities and (b) her Department on a termly basis. [216422]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Department collects information on absent and excluded pupils on a termly basis from schools, via local education authorities.

Until last autumn term 2004, the Department also invited a sample of head teachers, teachers, support staff and governors to provide attitudinal information as part of a termly stakeholder tracking survey, but future plans are to move to carrying this out twice a year.

We have no comprehensive information about data collected by individual local education authorities.

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