|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Jacqui Smith: I am pleased to report that we are writing to the school to confirm that we have now agreed the level of funding and the design of the new school buildings. This confirmation will mean that the work can proceed as soon as possible.
Jacqui Smith: We are concerned about all forms of absence from school, but truancy is of particular concern. We continue to work with parents, pupils, schools and local authorities to improve school attendance and to tackle truancy.
We have put in place a range of measures such as extra support for schools and local authorities from expert advisers and through additional resources. We promote effective practices to improve school attendance including national truancy sweeps, first day contact with the parents of absent pupils and electronic registration systems. We have also introduced the 'Fast-track Framework' a system to ensure early identification of attendance problems and a time-limited approach to solving them.
21 Jun 2005 : Column 1032W
We believe it is vital that parents play their part by ensuring that their child attends school regularly and the vast majority do so. Where parents are in need of support to fulfil their responsibilities, parenting contracts can provide them with the professional support they need and help them focus on what needs to be done to improve their child's attendance. However, where parents are not unable, but simply unwilling, to fulfil their responsibilities, they face strong measures such as penalty notices, prosecutions and compulsory Parenting Orders.
By September 2007, we expect all secondary schools to be working together in collaborations, with funds devolved from their local authorities, to manage support and provision for persistent truants as well as pupils who are excluded or at risk of exclusion.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effects of voice training on the ability of teachers to control classes. 
Beverley Hughes: We are working on new proposals for young people covering five main areas: places to go and things to do, design and delivery of services, information, advice and guidance, support for teenagers at risk and clarification of local roles, responsibilities and funding. We intend to publish the youth Green Paper shortly.