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18 Jul 2005 : Column 1397W—continued


Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many maintained grammar school sixth form pupils were entered for (a) general and vocational A-levels, (b) AS-levels and (c) key skills at Level 3 in 2004. [10767]

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Jacqui Smith: The information is as follows.

In maintained selective school sixth forms:

We do not have the number of students entered for key skills at Level 3 but we do have information on the achievement of such qualifications by those who also take A-levels. Of the 19,322 A-level candidates in summer 2004, 364 had achieved key skills at Level 3.

Family Resolutions Pilot Project

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to her answer of 4 July 2005, Official Report, column 156W, on the Family Resolutions Pilot Project, what the reasons for non-referral were for the 71 couples not referred to the Family Resolutions Pilot Project, excluding domestic violence. [12296]

Maria Eagle [holding answer 14 July 2005]: Pursuant to my answer of 4 July 2005, Official Report, column156W, the table sets out the reasons for non-referral to the Family Resolutions Pilot Project for the 71 cases not referred, excluding the 14 cases not referred for reasons of domestic violence. Pursuant also to my answer of 4 July 2005, the interim evaluation has identified that six of the 71 non-referred applicants were from an extended family member. Thus it is more accurate to refer to 71 cases than to 71 couples.
Number of cases
Parents had already reached agreement18
Applicant and/or respondent failed to attend9
Lack of parental consent9
Applicant seeking to transfer proceedings5
Child protection/welfare issues (welfare report
Residence dispute only5
Other (some of this category included family members
other than parents)


Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will ensure that all headteachers are in receipt of the necessary training before they are required to draft and publish their new staffing structure; and if she will make a statement. [12359]

Jacqui Smith: The document Review of the School Staffing Structure: Guidance for Schools in England" (and is available on the Teachernet and Governornet websites) produced jointly by the DfES, teacher association and employers partners provides governing bodies and headteachers with comprehensive support in identifying the key steps necessary to conduct an effective review of the staffing structure.

Further support and advice is available from local authorities and from the four unions and associations that are part of Rewards and Incentive Group (RIG), who will shortly provide a 'Frequently Asked
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Questions' brief. In addition, RIG is intending to further support the process at the outset of the autumn term with a national RIG Helpline, some regional workshops, and by offering a simple self-assessment tool for schools experiencing difficulties to use in identifying any further assistance needed.

Higher Education Funding

Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what account is taken of local wage and salary levels in allocating funding to universities and colleges; and if she will make a statement. [9518]

Bill Rammell: The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) includes in its recurrent teaching and research allocations weightings that take account of the additional costs for institutions based in London. Within the teaching grant, the weightings are 8 per cent. for inner London and 5 per cent. for outer London. Within research grant, they are 12 per cent. for inner London and 8 per cent. for outer London.

The weightings differ between teaching and research because in the case of teaching they are applied to resource (HEFCE grant plus assumed fee income), whereas for research they are applied to HEFCE grant only.

London weighting is the only regional cost variation that HEFCE recognises in its funding allocations.

Key Stage 2 (Spelling)

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what proportion of marks for the KeyStage 2 (a) longer and (b) shorter writing task are awarded for spelling; [13264]

(2) what the minimum score necessary in the Key Stage 2 spelling test is to be awarded Level 4 overall; [13265]

(3) how many pupils scored each mark for the most recent Key Stage 2 spelling test. [13266]

Jacqui Smith: In the Key Stage 2 English tests, spelling is assessed on the basis of a discrete spelling test, for which seven marks are available out of a total of 100. An overall Level 4 is awarded on the basis of the aggregate score from the shorter writing, longer writing, spelling and reading tests, and is not dependent on achieving a minimum score in any of those tests. Information about numbers of pupils scoring each mark in the spelling test is not collected centrally.

Language Colleges

Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many additional language teachers have been appointed in anticipation of the promised additional funding for language colleges; [12761]

(2) how many specialist language colleges she expects will receive the additional funding she has promised in time for the 2005 autumn term. [12762]

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Jacqui Smith: In March 2005 the Department announced a package of measures to support the National Languages Strategy. This included an extra £30,000 additional grant for specialist language colleges, although no date was given for the additional funding. We have now written to schools confirming that additional funding for existing colleges (including those redesignating in autumn 2005) will be available from April 2006, and from September 2006 for new colleges.

The additional funding can be used in a number of ways, one of which is to appoint a shared primary languages specialist co-ordinator to work across the local authority with a group of primaries. It is up to schools to decide how they will use the grant and we do not know how many anticipate appointing additional language teachers with the funding.

In addition to this funding, as part of the Boost for modern foreign languages" announcement, the Government are providing £60 million for initial teacher training, support for foreign language assistants and in-service training for teachers.

Looked-after Children

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment the Department has made of the reasons for (a) the growth in the number of children being taken into care and (b) the effects of that growth on the overall cost of taking children into care. [11304]

Maria Eagle: The number of looked-after children who are the subject of a care order made by the family courts has increased from 36,400 on 31 March 2000 to 39,400 on 31 March 2004.

Before 2000, information was not collected centrally for the costs of looked-after children. We estimate that, in February 2000, the total weekly cost of looked-after children in England was £25 million, or £435 a child, and in February 2003 the total weekly cost was £36.5 million, or £585 a child. (Information derived from the Children in Need Censuses.) Thus, the increases in the costs faced by local authorities in looking after children who have been taken into care arise as a consequence of both the increased number of children who have become the subject of care orders and the increases in the costs experienced by local authorities in caring for them.

Information is not collected centrally on the detailed reasons for the making of care orders by the family courts. However, section 31(2) of the Children Act 1989 provides that:

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Thus, all children who are taken into care by means of the making of a care order will have been considered by the court to have met these criteria, following the making of applications to the courts by local authorities.
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In the Command Paper, A Fairer deal for Legal Aid" (Cm 6591), published on 5 July 2005, the Government announced a review of child care proceedings in England and Wales. The review will include work to identify innovative practice which enables children to be diverted away from court proceedings and, instead, be supported in their families where this is possible.
Children looked after at 31 March by legal status, 1994–2004(22)—England

Legal status1994(23)1995(23)1996(23)1997(23)1998(24)1999(24)
All children(22)49,50049,90050,80051,50053,30055,500
Care orders(25)29,40029,10029,40030,70032,10034,400
S20 CA 1989 (voluntary arrangements)18,90019,50019,80019,20019,10018,800
On remand or committed for trial or detained(26)440450510500650530
Other legal status(27)8009101,0001,2001,5001,700


Legal status2000(24)2001(24)2002(24)2003(24)2004(23)
All children(22)58,10058,90059,70060,80061,100
Care orders(25)36,40037,60038,40039,60039,400
S20 CA 1989 (voluntary arrangements)19,30019,10019,00018,90019,200
On remand or committed for trial or detained(26)620320310240240
Other legal status(27)1,7001,9002,0002,1002,300

1.Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements.
2.Figures are taken from the SSDA903 return.
3.Figures are taken from the CLA100 return.
4.Includes both full and interim care orders.
5.For the years ending 31 March 1998 to 2000, includes children who were subject to a compulsory care order under Sections 90–92 of the Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000.
6.Includes child protection orders and freed for adoption. See Table K for a breakdown of the figure for 2004.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of looked after children were placed (a) outside their original local authority and (b) more than 20 miles outside their home authority, broken down by age for each of the last five years. [11800]

Maria Eagle: The following table provides the information requested in part (a) . Information on the distance between home and placement has not been collected in the past but will be made available when the Department's 2004–05 looked after children data collection has been processed. These data are expected to be available during the first quarter of 2006.
Number of children in England placed outside council boundary under foster placements, children's homes and hostels at 31 March(22)(5508050023)(24)

Age at 31 March
All childrenAs percentage of all looked after childrenUnder 11–45–910–1516 and over

(22)Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements
(23)Figures are taken from the SSDA903 return and have been rounded
(24)Excludes independent homes and hostels not subject to Children's Homes Regulations

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2005, Official Report, columns 165–66W, on missing children, which local authorities recorded in the delivery and improvement statement (a) had not appointed a senior manager to monitor missing from care incidents and (b) did not have protocols with the police. [12692]

Maria Eagle: Based on information provided by the 2004 development and improvement statement:

(a) The councils that had not appointed a manager to monitor missing from care incidents were:

(b) The councils that did not have protocols with the police for monitoring missing from care incidents were:

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This information was provided in 2004 and does not necessarily reflect the current practices of these authorities.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2005, Official Report, columns 162–63W, on looked-after children, what guidance has been issued to local authorities concerning the number of in year placements; and if she will make a statement. [12693]

Maria Eagle: Since the Government initiated the quality protects programme in 1998, the promotion of placement stability for looked-after children has been an important aspect of our programme. Data on the number of children who move three times in one year has been collected since that time. This data indicates that the percentage of children looked-after at 31 March each year who had three or more placements in one year had declined from 16 per cent. to 13 per cent. between 1998 and 2004.

Although the Government have not issued specific guidance solely concerned with placement stability, since 1998, all relevant publications relating to looked after-children, such as materials issued as part of the Choice Protects programme, which is intended to improve the availability and quality of foster care and local authority placement commissioning, and the Green Paper Every Child Matters (2003)", have emphasised the importance of placement stability, in order that looked-after children are enabled to secure the same outcomes as all other children

As part of the current DfES programme to support the delivery of our revised PSA target with the Treasury to improve placement stability, we are developing further strands of work, in order to analyse and promote good practice in delivering placement stability for looked after children.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children from (a) Angola, (b) Nigeria and (c) Sierra Leone are in the care of social services in England. [12809]

Maria Eagle: The information requested is not collected centrally.
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children are placed in independent children's homes out of area of the placing authority. [12814]

Maria Eagle: The information requested is not collected centrally for this type of placement. Information on looked after children who are placed outside of the placing authority for homes, which includes homes run by local authorities, the voluntary and independent sectors, and hostels that are subject to children's homes regulations may be found in table J of the Department's publication Children Looked After by Local Authorities, Year Ending 31 March 2004 Volume 1: Local Authority Tables". This is available on the internet at:–2005_1.pdf.

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