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5 Apr 2005 : Column 1342W—continued

Older Students

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many over 60-year-olds are studying in further education institutes in England. [224335]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is published in the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) statistical first release (SFR), Further Education, Work Based Learning for Young People and Adult and Community Learning—Learner Numbers in England: 2003–04, available on the LSC website: http://www.lsc.gov.uk/National/Partners/Data/Statistics/Learner Statistics/LearnerNumbers/StatisticalFirstRelease 200304.htm

In 2003–04, there were 387,000 learners aged 60 and over in LSC funded further education. This is more than two and a half times greater than the number in 1997–98.
 
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Return-to-work Skills

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many women in Crosby have visited an information and communications technology training centre in order to learn skills to return to work. [223939]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information has been supplied by Ufl who took over responsibility for administration and development of Capital Modernisation Fund (CMF) funded UK online centres in April 2003.

Ufl is unable to provide the actual number of female users for individual CMF funded UK online centres in the Crosby area (College Road Library, Crosby Connect Learning Centre and 3TC—Merseyside Third Sector Technology Centre) as data at this level is not gathered for individual UK online centres.

However, 52 per cent. of users of UK online centres nationally are women, on average 112 people per quarter use each of the CMF centres, hence on average 58 women per quarter use each CMF centre.

This data is taken from the quarterly report of CMF centres for the quarter ending December 2004. It should be noted that this data only covers CMF centres and only those that still return data (this is about one third of CMF centres). The percentage of users figure and the average number of users figure have been fairly consistent over the last 12 months.

School Meals

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations she has received regarding Jamie Oliver's Feed Me Better campaign; what plans she has to implement the recommendations of the campaign; and if she will make a statement. [223634]

Derek Twigg: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has met with Jamie Oliver to hear about his work in Greenwich, and to inform him of our own work to improve school meals. The Department for Education and Skills has had a large number of letters, e-mails and telephone calls relating to Jamie Oliver's Feed Me Better campaign.

On 30 March the Secretary of State announced a package that will transform school meals in local education authority maintained schools in England. The elements of the package include:


 
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Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effect of the content of school meals on rates of obesity in children. [223635]

Derek Twigg: The Department for Education and Skills has not commissioned research or evaluated the effect of the content of school meals on rates of obesity in children.

Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advice she (a) has given and (b) plans to give to schools on (i) additives in school meals and (ii) vending machines selling food in schools; and if she will make a statement. [224059]

Derek Twigg: The Secretary of State has not given advice to schools on additives in school meals. Subject to meeting the requirements of mandatory school lunch standards, local education authorities are responsible for deciding whether lunches should be free from additives. This responsibility is transferred to the governing body of schools that have a budget for school lunches delegated to them.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is currently carrying out research into the impact of artificial colourings and preservatives on children's behaviour. This Department works closely with FSA and will carefully consider the results of their research, due for publication in March 2007.

DfES and DH have today issued guidance on healthy practice in school vending through the Food in Schools programme. Details can be found on the Food in Schools' website at: www.foodinschools.org/

There is separate guidance on commercial sponsorship, Commercial activities in schools: best practice principles, which was published in 2001 by DfES in conjunction with the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and the Consumers' Association. The principal aim of this publication, aimed at parents, teachers, school governing bodies, LEAs and businesses was to encourage consideration by all parties of a range of issues and to ensure that commercial objectives are consistent with genuine educational benefits. The guidance is to be updated after consultation over the next few months.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the percentage of school meals provided free at the point of delivery is in
 
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(a) England and (b) Hull; what percentage of pupils in primary schools eat school meals in (i) England and (ii)Hull; and if she will make a statement. [224652]


 
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Derek Twigg: The available information is shown in the table. Information on pupils taking school meals is not collected centrally.
Maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools(1): School meal arrangements2,3England and City of Kingston Upon Hull local education authority (LEA), January 2004

Maintained nursery and primary
Maintained secondary
EnglandKingston Upon Hull LEAEnglandKingston Upon Hull LEA
Number on roll4,293,18023,7603,326,80016,220
Number of pupils taking free school meals(4)608,7604,740351,3802,620
Percentage of pupils taking free school meals14.219.910.616.2
Number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals741,1506,150477,2903,840
Percentage of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals17.325.914.323.7


(1)Includes middle schools as deemed.
(2)Includes dually registered pupils and boarding pupils.
(3)Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(4)Pupils known to be eligible for free school meals that had a free meal on the Census day.
Source:
Annual Schools' Census




Pupils are recorded as being eligible for free school meals if a claim has been made by them or on their behalf by parents and either the relevant authority has confirmed their eligibility or the school or LEA have seen the necessary documentation. Eligibility requires the parent (or pupil) to be in receipt of either income support, or income-based jobseekers allowance, or support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, or Child Tax credit but not working tax credit and have an annual income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) that does not exceed for 2003–04 Tax Year £13,480.

Section 512 of the Education Act 1996 (EA96), amended by section 201 of the Education Act 2002, places a duty on local education authorities to provide free school lunches to eligible pupils. (A similar duty is transferred to the governing body of any school that has had the budget for school lunches delegated to them).

Children, whose parents receive the following support payments, are entitled to a free school lunch:

Children who receive IS or IBJSA in their own right are also entitled to free school lunches.

For information on Wales I refer the right hon. Member to the Welsh Assembly.


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