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18 Jul 2005 : Column 1419W—continued

School Leavers

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people have left school at 16 years in (a) the Ribble Valley, (b) the North West and (c) England with no qualifications in each of the last five years. [13303]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested can be found in the following table.
Percentage of 15-year-old pupils with no passes

Ribble ValleyNorth WestEngland

1.The information for this answer is derived from data collected for the School and College Achievement and Attainment Tables (formerly Performance Tables) that are published annually.
2.As standard the results reported relate to pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year ie 31 August.
3.For 2003/04 results incorporate GCSEs, GNVQs and a wide range of other qualifications approved pre-16. For 1999/2000 to 2002/03 results are based on GCSEs and GNVQs only.
4.Parliamentary constituency and regional figures are based only on all maintained schools (including city technology colleges and, from 2003, academies) and have been adjusted in respect of pupils recently arrived from overseas.
5.England figures are based on all schools and have not been adjusted in respect of pupils recently arrived from overseas.
6.Maintained secondary schools in Ribble Valley in 2004 were:
Archbishop Temple Church of England High School and Technology College, Preston
Bowland High School
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
Corpus Christi Catholic High School
Fulwood High School and Arts College
Hillside School, Longridge
Longridge High School
Our Lady's Catholic High School
Ribblesdale High School Technology College
St. Augustine's Roman Catholic High School, Billington
St. Cecilia's RC Technology College

School Management Information Systems

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 9 June 2005, Official Report, column 698W, on school management information systems, what the average cost was of a core administration software package for (a) secondary, (b) primary and (c) special schools in each of the last five years. [12068]

Jacqui Smith: The Department does not routinely collect information on the amount that individual schools spend from their delegated budgets on core administrative software packages.

Becta, the Department's strategic partner for ICT in education, collects some market intelligence, often provided on a commercially confidential basis, as a part of its continuing strategic role in understanding and influencing market activity.

From the available information, Becta is able to estimate typical costs, which suppliers derive by taking account of the number of pupils in a school and the range of software being licensed.
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Becta's understanding of the annual charges applied by suppliers to a typical primary school is:
2000/01Between 200 and 210
2002Between 220 and 230

(33)The latest year for which Becta has usable data

Becta's understanding of the annual charges made by suppliers to a typical secondary school is:

(34)The latest year for which Becta has usable data

It is not possible to estimate typical costs for special schools because of the different mix of age ranges of pupils and the scope and complexity of the curriculum structures within a particular school. These factors determine whether a school needs to license administrative software predominantly covering the needs of a primary school or a secondary school.

These estimates do not reflect differences in the functionality and service levels offered by individual suppliers. Any comparisons between these estimates and charges made by a particular supplier must therefore take these into account and be made with caution.

In addition to the estimated typical costs shown above, some suppliers also levy charges for services on local authority support teams. Depending on the policy of the education authority, these extra charges may be passed on to schools.

Second World War Anniversary

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps her Department is taking to promote (a) knowledge of and (b) interest in the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war in schools; and if she will make a statement. [12279]

Jacqui Smith: The national curriculum programmes of study for history cover teaching about Britain and the second world war at key stage 2 and the holocaust and the second world war in key stage 3. In addition the Department was instrumental in the creation of the national remembrance programme of Their Past Your Future", being delivered by the Imperial War Museum, and also 'Home Front Recall'.

The Department worked with the MOD in its plans for commemoration last week. This work included preparing resources for schools attending the 'Living Museum' in St. James Park, such as education trails and a ration book. The DfES also continues to assist the MOD in its work on raising awareness and knowledge of veterans in society by helping educational organisations to prepare resources and facilities suitable
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for schools. This was particularly important for the build up to the 60th anniversary, as the DfES helped to co-ordinate and promote information and to advise on delivery.

Departmental Sickness Absence

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many days the Department has lost due to sickness in the past five years for which figures are available. [11468]

Maria Eagle: My Department remains committed to managing sickness absence effectively and to putting in place the recommendations of the recently published report Managing Sickness Absence in the Public Sector".

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the figures contained in the annual report Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service" published by the Cabinet Office. Table A of the report gives details of both the average working days absence per staff year and the number of staff years on which that calculation is based. The most recent report is for the calendar year 2003 and was announced by ministerial statement on 1 November and copies placed in the Libraries of the House. Reports for 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 are also available in the Library and on the Cabinet Office website at: sickness.

Sixth Form Students

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will estimate the percentage of school leavers in (a) England, (b) Teesside and (c) the Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency who went on to sixth form college in the last period for which figures are available. [12527]

Bill Rammell: Estimates of the percentage of 16-year-olds participating in full-time education in sixth form colleges at end 2003 in England, the Tees Valley Learning and Skills Council area and LEAs within this area are given in table 1 as follows together with estimates of the total in full-time education in each area. Estimates are not available below LEA level.
Table 1: Percentages of 16-year-olds in full-time education, end 2003 (provisional)

Full-time education in sixth form collegeTotal full-time education
Tees Valley LSC2668
Darlington LEA3269
Hartlepool LEA2365
Middlesbrough LEA1769
Redcar and Cleveland LEA2963
Stockton-on-Tees LEA2973

Special Educational Needs

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what assessment she has made
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of Essex local education authority's policy on funding special needs pupils; and what changes in policy have taken place over the last three years; [12169]

(2) how much funding was allocated to each child in each special needs band by Essex local education authority in each of the last three years for which figures are available; [12249]

(3) what level of funding will be allocated to a moderate learning difficulty school in Essex in respect of a newly admitted Band (a) D, (b) E and (c) F special needs pupil in (i) 2005–06 and (ii) 2006–07; [12445]

(4) whether she expects Band (a) D, (b) E and (c) F special educational needs pupils currently in moderate learning difficulty schools in Essex will continue to receive their band funding in full during their entire time at the school. [12468]

Jacqui Smith: In its most recent inspection of Essex in October 2004, Ofsted said that, on support for special educational needs, the authority had strong, innovative and forward-thinking strategic leadership.

The funding allocated to children with special educational needs is a matter for each local authority. The Department is unable to provide figures on the level of funding allocated to pupils with moderate learning difficulties in schools in Essex, to the level of detail requested.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the admissions procedure is for moderate learning difficulty schools in Essex; and what weighting is given to parental choice in the process; [12185]

(2) whether Essex local education authority has consulted (a) headteachers and staff, (b) parents, (c) county councillors, (d) hon. Members and (e) the public on possible changes to the system of funding (i)moderate learning difficulty and (ii) severe learning difficulty special needs pupils; and if she will make a statement; [12243]

(3) what system is used to band special educational needs children in Essex; and what process is used to make assessments; [12245]

(4) what admissions criteria Essex local education authority has placed on the admission of Band (a) D, (b) E and (c) F special educational needs children to moderate learning difficulty schools; and when these criteria were last revised. [12492]

Maria Eagle: Arranging provision for children with special educational needs (SEN) is a matter for schools and local education authorities (LEAS), within the framework set out in the Education Act 1996 and taking account of statutory guidance, such as the SEN Code of Practice. That framework and guidance sets out a graduated approach to meeting children's SEN, including, where necessary, a process for the assessment of children's SEN and the drawing up of SEN statements. Admission to special schools, including those for children with moderate learning difficulties, is through the school being 'named' on the statement, other than in exceptional circumstances, such as where a child is admitted for the purposes of an assessment.
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When a statement is being drawn up or the description of a child's educational needs on a statement and the provision to meet those needs is being amended, parents can ask for the school of their choice, mainstream or special, to be named. The LEA must consider the parents' preference carefully and whether the school is suitable for the child's needs and whether placing the child there is compatible with the education of other children at the school and the efficient use of resources. If the LEA does not name the parents' preferred school, the parents can appeal to the SEN and Disability Tribunal, whose decisions are binding on LEAs.

The provision made for children with moderate and severe learning difficulties, and the funding for it in the case of those with statements, should be decided upon individually. However, it is open to LEAs to have general SEN funding arrangements, as long as they are prepared to vary those arrangements in individual cases. In May 2004 the Department published guidance on The management of SEN expenditure" which recommended that changes to funding arrangements should be consulted on widely. However, precise arrangements in each local authority area are matters for the relevant LEA.

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