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The Government are driving up demand from teachers and schools for high-quality training by building professional development into each of the four main stages in the career ladder for teachers; and by refocusing annual teacher appraisals as teaching and learning reviews, which will identify professional development needs and effective ways of meeting them. The Teacher Training Agency will keep the supply and
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quality of teachers' professional development under review and where practicable, intervene to broker improvements locally.
The teaching of multiplication tables is an important part of the guidance offered to schools by the Primary National Strategy. One of its key objectives is that all pupils should know by heart all multiplication facts up to 1010.
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The Department has a PSA target for at least 28 per cent. of young people to start an Apprenticeship by age 22 by 2004. This is based on starts in the 2004/05 academic year. The target outturn will be reported by December 2005.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her estimate is of the proportion of schools that have drawn up home-school agreements asrequired by the School Standards Framework Act 1998. 
Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Education and Skills whether a primary school's added value is taken into account when decisions are made regarding school closures and surplus places. 
Jacqui Smith: Since 1998 decisions on the organisation of school places have been taken by local School Organisation Committees (SOCs) or, where the SOC cannot reach a unanimous decision, the schools adjudicator.
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 must be considered, including whether the proposals will improve standards, particularly at those schools which are the subject of proposals. When considering this aspect of the proposals, the SOC or the adjudicator have a range of indicators available to them including
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recent Ofsted reports and the autumn package of performance data which includes schools' value added measures.
Jacqui Smith: The responsibility for maintaining adequate and appropriate school provision rests with local authorities and Ministers have no direct involvement in decisions to reorganise schools. The Government introduced statutory procedures under the School Standards and Framework Act (SSFA) 1998 to ensure that the views of local people, and those directly affected by school organisational changes, are heard. These procedures include a requirement on local authorities to consult locally and publish statutory proposals should they wish to proceed with closure, or other significant change to education provision. School Organisation Committees are independent of local authorities and Ministers, and take decisions about school closures when local objections to statutory proposals have been made. I understand that Education Leeds is currently consulting on proposals to reorganise primary school provision across the area and that further decisions will be necessary from the Council's Executive Board before the question of issuing statutory notices arises.
Jacqui Smith: In his March 2005 Budget, the Chancellor announced that in 200809, an additional £150 million of capital will be provided to renew primary school buildings in England, which will rise to £500 million in 200910. This funding is additional to the annual investment in schools of £6.3 billion which we will provide by 200607, and is to support our aim of rebuilding or renewing up to half of all primary schools in England in around 15 years from then.
I am still considering this programme, including issues such as criteria, and I aim to announce further details later this year. This new investment should transform primary schools, renew decayed and unsuitable buildings, and provide the wrap-around and extended school provision for our children that is at the heart of Every Child Matters". Like Building Schools for the Future, our primary schools programme will drive reform of the primary system and improvements in educational standards, provide good places for teachers to teach and pupils to learn, which are used by the community, and which are well designed and built on time and at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer.
Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will include a representative of children as a stakeholder group in the Leadership Group on Pupil Behaviour and Discipline to be chaired by SirAlan Steer. 
Jacqui Smith: Headteachers have extensive powers to make and enforce rules for pupils' behaviour, including powers to apply a wide range of sanctions up to and including exclusion from school. We have further strengthened headteachers' authority by:
Further, the Department is working with the Home Office on the recently introduced Violent Crime Reduction Bill. Clause 35 of the Bill will provide headteachers and other members of staff with the power to search pupils for knives.
The Department recently announced a new Leadership Group to look into the problems of poor behaviour and indiscipline in schools. One of the issues that the group will cover is the possible expansion of headteachers' powers.
Jacqui Smith: There is no formal definition within the Department of low level disruption. The HMCI report for 200304 refers to 'incessant chatter, calling out, inattention and other forms of nuisance that irritate staff and interrupt learning' as 'the most common forms of misbehaviour'. Although it does not define these as low level disruption the context makes it clear that this is what is meant.
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