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24 Mar 2005 : Column 1002W—continued

Disabled Access

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act 2000 by schools and colleges; and what plans she has to increase access for people with disabilities to schools and colleges. [222701]

Margaret Hodge: As I said to my hon. Friend on 8 November 2004, Official Report, column 462W on disabled student (access), schools and post 16 institutions now have a wide range of duties under Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, to improve access to education for their disabled pupils and students and progress is being monitored.


Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps she is taking to ensure that teachers are trained to identify and respond to dyslexia. [218498]

Margaret Hodge: In order to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), trainee teachers must demonstrate that they understand their responsibilities under the statutory SEN Code of Practice, know how to seek advice from specialists where necessary and can differentiate their teaching to meet the needs of pupils, including those with SEN.

The underpinning standards for the Induction Programme for those awarded QTS require teachers to demonstrate that they can plan effectively, meeting the needs of pupils in their classes with SEN, with or without a statement. In consultation with the SEN Co-ordinator they contribute to the preparation and implementation of individual pupils' education plans or the equivalent.

The Department is working with the Teacher Training Agency to take forward a range of specific proposals designed to improve the skills and confidence of trainee, newly qualified, and established teachers in supporting pupils with SEN. These proposals are currently being developed in discussions with various interested parties.
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The Department also continues to work closely with both the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and the Dyslexia Institute (DI), and have supported a number of initiatives aimed at raising awareness of dyslexia to help teachers to identify pupils with dyslexia and to take appropriate action at an early stage. For example, we have grant-aided the production and dissemination of 'Achieving Dyslexia Friendly Schools' a school resource pack which promotes a whole-school approach to supporting pupils with dyslexia and provides examples of best practice.

The Department through its National Primary Strategy has produced an extensive range of specific guidance material for schools on evidence-based interventions for children with significant literacy and numeracy difficulties. We have also produced guidance material on classroom strategies to enable dyslexic pupils' to access learning. A new interactive CD-ROM based in-service training resource is currently being developed in collaboration with the BDA and DI. This is designed to help school staff increase their awareness and understanding of the barriers to learning presented by dyslexia, and the teaching strategies that can be used to overcome them. This resource is expected to be available to schools from May.

Early Intervention Programmes

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made in the Early Intervention pilots; what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effectiveness of the pilots; and if she will make a statement on the future use of Early Intervention programmes in resolving family disputes relating to children. [221869]

Margaret Hodge: The Family Resolutions pilot began in Sunderland, Brighton and Inner London in autumn 2004. The pilot will test the effectiveness of a range of information and parent planning measures in helping separating or separated parents to reach agreement about contact and residence for their children, without needing full court proceedings.

The University of East Anglia has been commissioned to monitor the impact of Family Resolutions and it is expected to report in March 2006. Outcomes of this report will inform the Government's decision on whether or how the programme should be rolled out nationally.

Early Years Care

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will take steps to support private and voluntary early years care providers in the development of the skills of their care staff; and if she will make a statement. [223226]

Margaret Hodge: We are already doing much to support private and voluntary sector early years' providers in developing the skills of their work force. We are giving £129.9 million to local authorities (LAs) in England over the two years 2004–06 for developing the early years and child care work force. We are also
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working closely with the Learning and Skills Council who, with LAs, have shared local targets to train early years' workers.

Our 10 year strategy for child care, published in December 2004, identifies the work force as the single biggest factor determining the quality of child care. It recognises that developing world-class early years' services will require a step-change in the quality and stability of the work force. We are committed to this radical reform and we will work with leading bodies in the sector to achieve it.

We recognise that quality improvements may have cost implications for all early years' providers, which is why we have created a 'Transformation Fund' of £125 million a year. From April 2006, this fund will be used to support investment by local authorities in high quality, affordable, flexible and sustainable child care provision.

In addition, we have developed the Common Core of Skills and Knowledge to support and focus professional development in the children's work force, including those working for private and voluntary sector early years' providers. This sets out the areas of expertise that everyone working with children, young people and families (including those who work as volunteers) should be able to demonstrate. It sets out the skills and knowledge that, if accredited, could form the basis of a minimum competence for working with children, young people and their families.

Education Business Links

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advice she has given to (a) local learning and skills councils and (b) those in charge of single regeneration budgets on what funding should be made available for education business links; and if she will make a statement. [223667]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Department does not advise local LSCs on spending priorities. This is a matter for the learning and skills council itself. Mark Haysom, the LSC's chief executive, will write to my hon. Friend on this point, and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

The Single Regeneration Budget was subsumed into Regional Development Agency funding in April 2002. Remaining SRB funding is on a commitments-only basis. However, RDAs support education and skills objectives, including education business links. Guidance to RDAs about producing their Corporate Plans for 2005–08 asks them to consider how they can promote

Education Funding (Leeds)

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the level of funding per pupil in Leeds was in each year since 1992. [223567]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The information requested is only available from 1997–98 onwards. Due to changes in the school funding system, it is not possible to provide
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corresponding figures for previous years. The information requested can be found in the following table:
Average funding per pupil aged 3–19—Leeds


1. Total funding includes funding via Education Formula Spending/Standard Spending Assessment and revenue grants allocated at an LEA level. It excludes the pensions transfer to EPS and the Learning and Skills Council.
2. Real terms at 2003–04 prices, based on GDP deflators as at 30 September 2004.
3. Figures reflect relevant sub-blocks of education SSA/EFS settlements.
4. Total funding also includes all revenue grants in DfES Departmental Expenditure Limits relevant to pupils aged 3–19 and exclude EMAs and grants not allocated at LEA level.
5. The pupil numbers used to convert m figures to per pupil are those underlying the SSA/EFS settlement calculations plus PLASC 3-year-old maintained pupils and estimated 3 to 4-year-olds funded through state support in maintained and other educational institutions where these are not included in the SSA pupil numbers.
6. Figures are as reported by the LEA and rounded to the nearest 10.

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