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21 Jun 2005 : Column 994W—continued


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to her answer of 7 June 2005, Official Report, column 472W, on bullying, what the (a) membership, (b) funding for 2005–06 from her Department and (c) terms of reference are of the (i) Youth Crime Programme Board, (ii) Crime Reduction Delivery Board, (iii) Penalty Notices for Disorder operational working group, (iv) Prolific and Other Priority Offenders Programme Board and (v) Safer Schools Partnership steering group; what work each has commissioned; and how often each have met since being established. [4898]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is as follows:

(i) Youth Crime Programme Board (YCPB)

(a) Membership—chaired by DfES, YCPB brings together key stakeholders from across DfES: Preventing Youth Offending; Improving Behaviour and Attendance Unit; Looked After Children; Positive Programmes; Offenders Learning and Skills Unit; Families Division and PSHE and Citizenship. Home Office: Head of Youth Crime; Juvenile Offenders Unit; Treatment of Young People and Drugs Unit; Violent Crime and Crime Reduction. Youth Justice Board: Director of Policy. Government Offices for the Regions and Department of Health.

(b) Funding from DfES 2005–06—there is no specific DfES funding.

(c) Terms of reference—to:

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(d) Work commissioned—The main purpose of the board is not to commission work but to ensure that relevant Government policies are joined up. However, the board have also commissioned work to look at the risks associated with the onset of offending and how DfES' existing policies impact on these. It also proposed an anti-robbery week in schools called 'Stay Safe' which subsequently took place in January 2005.

(e) How often met—first met July 2004 and has met five times since.

(ii) Crime Reduction Delivery Board

(a) Membership—chaired by the Home Office, is a cross-departmental group of officials and stakeholders established in May 2003 to drive forward and give strategic focus to multi-agency efforts to reduce all forms of crime, including anti-social behaviour. This group includes representatives from frontline delivery services as well as Department of Health, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Youth Justice Board, DfES and others.

(b) Funding from DfES 2005–06—there is no specific DfES funding.

(c) Terms of reference—to:

(d) Work commissioned—from time to time commissions papers or work from Board members. Recent commissions have included work that led to the establishment of the Prolific and Other Priority Offenders Strategy, a report on knife crime leading to the inclusion of knife crime measures in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill currently before Parliament, and the work on alcohol fuelled crime, which has led to the recent initiatives by the licensed trade around promotions such as happy hours.

(e) How often met—monthly.

(iii) Operational Working Group for the 10–15s Penalty Notices for Disorder

(a) Membership—representatives from the seven police forces taking part in the pilot, representatives from DfES, Department of Health, Crown Prosecution Service, Children's Society, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Youth Justice Board and Police Information Technology Organisation.
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(b) Funding from DfES 2005–06—there is no specific DfES funding.

(c) Terms of reference—to develop the operational processing guidance for the PNDs specifically tailored for the 10–15 age group and have an overview of the start of issuing of the tickets.

(d) Work commissioned—commissioned the Penalty Notices for Disorder tickets template, the draft operational guidance and an evaluation report (both quantitative and qualitative) from Research, Development & Statistics (RDS). The RDS report will cover the first year of the 10–15s PNDs being issued and will produce an interim report after six months and a final report at the end of the first year.

(e) How often met—first met on 6 February 2004, and has met five times since then (March, July, October, December 2004 and February 2005. The May 2005 meeting has recently been rescheduled for August.

(iv) Prolific and other Priority Offenders Programme Board

(a) Membership—chaired by Leigh Lewis, Home Office Permanent Secretary for Crime, Policing, Counter Terrorism and Delivery. Membership comprises senior representation from the key stakeholders involved in delivering the strategy. Attendees are from a sufficiently high level so as to ensure they have the full authority to take decisions on behalf of the organisation they represent.

(b) Funding from DfES 2005–06—there is no specific DfES funding.

(c) Terms of reference—to provide strategic leadership to implement the Prolific and other Priority Offenders strategy; ensuring that risks are identified and actively managed and taking proactive steps to identify and correct blockages at a senior level across all stakeholders.

(d) Work commissioned—has ensured that all areas of England and Wales have set up a Prolific and other Priority Offenders scheme and that the schemes are actively engaging with their client groups to reduce crime. The board has ensured that this has been delivered locally through mainstream resources.

(e) How often met—once each month since 22 March 2004.

(v) Safer School Partnership Steering Group

(a) Membership—attended by the projects' partners; the Home Office, Youth Justice Board and ACPO (Association of Chief Police Offices), ConfEd (Confederation of Education and Children's Services Managers), Local Government Association, police officers and head teachers.

(b) Funding from DfES 2005–06—Funding for financial year 2005–06 is still under negotiation. Equivalent amount of the last financial year—£300,000 has been earmarked.

(c) Terms of reference—The original terms of reference for the steering group in 2002 were to oversee the development and implementation of the Safer School Partnerships (police in schools) strand of the Behaviour Improvement Package. This aims to agree
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partnerships involving 100 police officers based in schools by end September 2002. These are to be in police force areas among the 10 high crime" areas in England. This has been delivered and more recent figures show that there are now over 400 SSPs across England.

(d) Work commissioned—DfES has commissioned:

(e) How often met—every month in the first year and then had bi-monthly meetings. Since its establishment the group has met 23 times. The four partners meet regularly to discuss issues.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what research she has evaluated on the prevalence of bullying; [4902]

(2) how many complaints about the handling of bullying in schools have been received by (a) local education authorities and (b) her Department in each of the last five years; [4901]

(3) what data schools are required to collect on incidents of bullying. [4899]

Jacqui Smith: On the question of the prevalence of data and its evaluation I refer the hon. Member to my response on 13 June 2005, Official Report, column 187W.

We do not hold data on bullying complaints received by local authorities. Each complaint received in the Department is dealt with. However we do not keep a statistical record of complaints.

There is no requirement on schools to collect data on incidents of bullying. However, the effective practice digest that accompanies the anti-bullying Charter for Action recommends that schools should keep a record, and should analyse it for patterns, for example of who is bullied and where bullying takes place.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the progress of the Change for Children Programme; and what assessment she has made of its effectiveness in improving behaviour in schools. [4904]

Jacqui Smith: Since publishing the Every Child Matters: Change for Children document last December we have made good progress on implementing the programme. For example, all local authorities are working with their partners to put in place children's trust arrangements and focus services on delivering better outcomes for children and young people in their area. Over half expect to have children's trust arrangements in place by April 2006 and all by 2008,
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Improving behaviour in schools is a priority for the Government. Children's trusts will work with local partners including schools to identify the needs in the area and put in place action to tackle those needs, which might include improving behaviour. We have made clear our expectation that all secondary schools should be working together in collaboration by September 2007 to improve behaviour and attendance. To be successful they will need to be fully linked into local Change for Children programmes, and be reflected in Children and Young People's Plans.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the Answer of 7 June 2005, Official Report, column 472W, on bullying and anti-social behaviour, if she will list the (a) published research and (b) statistics to which she refers. [5032]

Jacqui Smith: From the Department's Statistical First Release data on exclusions from school, we know that there is an association between a school's permanent exclusion rate and its pupils' GCSE attainment: generally those schools with high permanent exclusion rates tend to have lower levels of pupil attainment.

From the NFER Excellence in Cities (EiC) Attendance Analysis, we know that once pupil, school and background characteristics are taken into account, there is an association between absence rates and pupil attainment. The research shows that higher than average absence levels were associated with reduced GCSE attainment (especially for boys) and KS3 English attainment.

In terms of bullying, although the Department has not commissioned research specifically to look at the impact of bullying on attainment, we did commission a research review on homophobic bullying, which looked at the prevalence and impact of this on young people. The research concluded that homophobic bullying had negative impacts such as absence from school, limited achievement and lower staying on rates.

Furthermore, the 2003 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) work co-ordinated by the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) showed that 88 per cent. of UK headteachers thought that the learning of students was hindered a little or to some extent" by students intimidating or bullying other students.

It must be noted that the relationships between bullying, truancy, exclusion, social exclusion, and negative outcomes such as poor attainment and poor behaviour are complex and difficult to analyse.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 7 June 2005, Official Report, column 472W, on bullying, what
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cross-departmental initiatives have been put in place to tackle (a) bullying, (b) low level disruptive behaviour and (c) truancy; and what assessment she has made of their effectiveness. [5033]

Jacqui Smith: We are committed to supporting cross-departmental, multi-agency approaches to reducing poor behaviour in schools and truancy. They include:

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