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14 Jun 2005 : Column 355W—continued


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she expects individual module marks of A-level students to be made available to universities. [3853]

Jacqui Smith: UCAS and the Joint Council for Qualifications have agreed that individual unit grades will be made available to those institutions which wish to receive them from 2007 entry onwards. There will be a pilot for 2006 entry, although the extent of and participation in that pilot has yet to be determined.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations her Department has received on making individual module marks of A-level students available to universities. [3854]

Jacqui Smith: We have received representations from a number of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) seeking more information about students' performance. Following a consultation with HEIs, UCAS will be making available individual unit grades to those institutions which wish to receive them from 2007 onwards. There will be a pilot for 2006 entry.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to remove the age limit on modern apprenticeships. [4212]

Phil Hope: The Department for Education and Skills has already changed the rules so that young people who start their apprenticeship at any point up to their 25th birthday can complete it. Beyond that, the Department is currently trialling apprenticeships for adult entry in three sectors: engineering, construction and health and social care. These trials are due to complete in March
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2006 a decision will be made in the light of these trials whether apprenticeship frameworks offer an effective method for older workers to gain qualifications.

Building Schools for the Future

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many projects in wave one of Building Schools for the Future used the exemplar building design. [3781]

Jacqui Smith: Wave one authorities have not yet received tenders showing proposed school designs, but the first responses indicating proposed designs are expected later this month. However, authorities will be using exemplar building designs to assist in tender evaluation.


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance her Department has produced to deal with (a) bullying of early years pupils and (b) bullying issues that arise in the infant age group. [2206]

Jacqui Smith: The Education Act 2002 embeds the Foundation Stage as part of the National Curriculum and supports our aim of giving all children a better start to school life. This will support staff in equipping children in their early years with the key skills they need for their learning journey and will feed through to higher educational attainment, supporting standards and improved behaviour within schools and outside.

In order to meet children's diverse needs, and help all children make the best possible progress, practitioners should provide a safe and supportive learning environment, free from harassment, in which the contribution of all children is valued and where racial, religious, disability and gender stereotypes are challenged.

'Personal, social and emotional development' is part of the Foundation Stage Curriculum. This includes 'developing respect for others, social competence and a positive disposition to learn'. Children learn to understand what is right, what is wrong and why; and to consider the consequences of their words and actions for themselves and others. Guidance to practitioners includes involving children in agreeing codes of behaviour and taking responsibility for their implementation.

To support this the Department has appointed the Institute of Psychology, King's College London to develop a training programme on young children's personal social and emotional development to support the Birth to Three Matters and Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage documents.

The materials will address various aspects of children's personal social and emotional development and its promotion, implications for practice and multi agency-working. The emphasis will be on producing effective, user friendly, quality materials setting out key messages. Through these key messages children will develop respect for others, social competence and a positive disposition to learn.
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In June 2005, the DfES is making available to all primary schools curriculum materials to help reduce bullying. They include age related materials for pupils in Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2, and are part of the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) curriculum resource.

All primary schools also have access to the DfES anti bullying resource pack for schools 'Don't Suffer in Silence', which provides a number of anti-bullying strategies including co-operative group work, circle time, circle of friends, all of which are suitable for use with infant age children.

Head teachers, staff and learners from various primary schools have been involved in the Make the Difference conferences sharing effective practice from their own schools with others.
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We are currently developing advice for schools on Countering Racist Bullying, which will cover issues for all children from foundation stage upwards.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much the Government have spent on bursaries in each of the last five years. [2927]

Bill Rammell: The total spent on business in England from 2000–01 to 2004–05 is detailed in Table 1. 2004–05 data for Hardship Fund and Opportunity Bursaries will not be available until November 2005. Other Bursaries includes training bursaries for school and FE PGCE students and additional teacher bursaries for continuing professional development (the Professional Bursaries Scheme).
Table 1: Amount of money spent on bursaries 2000–01 to 2004–05

Hardship and opportunity bursaries14,822,83817,230,33219,568,72219,125,163Not available
Other bursaries77,820,000136,620,000137,409,000154,256,989156,974,582
Total92,642,838153,850,332156,977,722173,382,152Not available

Child Safeguarding Unit

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many names of teachers who have been complained against are held by the Department's Child Safeguarding Unit; and in how many such cases the complaint had been dismissed; [3963]

(2) for what purpose a teacher's name is recorded by (a) local education authorities and (b) the Department's Child Safeguarding Unit where a complaint against that teacher has been dismissed. [3964]

Jacqui Smith: Employers within the education sector are required to provide information to the Children's Safeguarding Operations Unit where they have ceased to use the services of an employee because they are considered unsuitable to work with children; as a result of misconduct; or because of a medical condition that raises the possibility of risk to the safety and welfare of children. Additionally the police notify the Unit of conviction or cautions of employees in the education sector.

The Unit currently holds approximately 15,000 records of individuals who have been referred to my Department in the circumstances referred to above. This includes different types of employee, not just teachers. Some of these referrals will have come about as a result of complaints, but only when those complaints reached the point that an employer ceased to use the services of an employee—complaints that do not lead to dismissal are not referred to my Department. Neither is there a requirement to report cases when a decision to dismiss has been overturned on appeal, but there may be some cases where a report is made to the Unit before a decision to dismiss is overturned. In such cases the Department will consider whether any decision made should be revised in light of the new evidence. The Department does not maintain a breakdown of the number of cases that fall into this category.

The purpose of referral is for the Secretary of State to consider whether the individual's employment should be prohibited or restricted. If so, that individual is added to the list held by the Secretary of State under section 142 of the Education Act 2002 (List 99).

All referral information received is retained to support the decision made by the Secretary of State to include or not include an individual on the list, to demonstrate that each case has been properly considered, and to ensure that any future duplicate referral is not reconsidered.

My Department has not issued guidelines to local education authorities about recording details of teachers who are the subject of complaints.

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