|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Jacqui Smith: There are no plans to introduce an Astar grade for the A level qualification. Our 1419 White Paper sets out our proposals for increasing greater stretch and differentiation in A level, through the introduction of a new section in A level papers covering Advanced Extension Award type material, and the introduction of an Extended Project. We also support moves by UCAS and the Joint Council for Qualifications to provide Higher Education Institutions with students' A level unit grades.
Jacqui Smith: Between June 2004 and June 2005 the Department received approximately 1,300 calls from those seeking support on bullying, of which an estimated 70 per cent. are from parents. Unfortunately, since parents and schools contact the Department on an ad hoc basis we are unable to provide more specific data. Those wanting assistance and guidance are also able to make contact electronically, using the Department's dedicated anti-bullying mailbox. Since March 2005, the mailbox has received 13 requests for support directly from schools.
The Department is also involved in funding several prominent organisations, who are actively involved in providing support for schools, parents, children and young people and promoting anti-bullying good practice. The Department therefore often recommends that inquiries are directed to these organisations themselves for a response. According to recent figures, the ChildLine partnership in schools (part-funded by the Department) was contacted by 425 primary schools, 482 secondary schools and 63 other education settings all requesting support with anti-bullying practice over the period. Furthermore, the Anti-Bullying Alliance (an independent umbrella organisation part-funded by the department) reports that 3,505 schools attended ABA training courses and conferences on anti-bullying, or requested an information pack between September 2004 and April 2005, whilst the ABA also gave direct support to 223 local authorities.
10 Oct 2005 : Column 314W
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the number of cases of bullying in secondary schools in each London borough in each year since 2001. 
Jacqui Smith: As data on bullying are not collected centrally we do not have statistics relating to the number of cases of bullying in each London borough. Bullying cases appear to be reported more often now than previously but we have no hard evidence that bullying is increasing or that it is affecting more children. Indeed, as children and young people increasingly feel safe at school to report bullying, and confident that it will be tackled effectively and sensitively, it is likely reporting will rise.
However, any level of bullying is too high and we are determined to help schools tackle the problem. Our guidance pack 'Bullying: Don't Suffer in Silence', the anti-bullying Charter and the anti-bullying website www.dfes.gov.uk/bullying offer detailed advice on preventing and addressing bullying. We also offer specific advice to schools on tackling homophobic bullying and are developing advice on racist bullying.
We have raised awareness of the importance of children who are being bullied telling an adult about what is happening, through our public information film 'Tell Someone' and our leaflets and postcards for children and their parents. Our recent 'Beat Bullying' blue wristband campaign was launched in partnership with Radio 1, during the first national anti-bullying week in November 2004. By the end of December, one million children and young people had answered our call to 'Make a Stand, Wear a Band' and make a visible commitment that they are not prepared to tolerate bullying and will stand by their friends.
Maria Eagle: Since 2000, we have been running a national child care recruitment campaign to encourage people to consider a career in child care. Our campaign, which has included television, radio and press advertising, is designed to complement activity at a local level where most recruitment into the sector takes place.
In April this year, we published our Children's Workforce Strategy, which identified the need to recruit more people into the children's workforce as one of the key strategic challenges across children's services. In the strategy, we proposed to continue supporting recruitment into the early years, including child care, sector, working closely with local authorities and other key partners such as Jobcentre Plus to facilitate effective local campaigns.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average class size in (a) primary, (b) middle and (c) upper schools in Bury St. Edmunds constituency has been in each year since 1997. 
|Classes taught by one teacher|
|Primary schools||of which:|
middle deemed primary
|Secondary schools||of which:|
middle deemed secondary
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment is made (a) of the environmental impact and (b) against sustainable development criteria of the bids made for contracts awarded by her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: Guidance has been provided by the Departments' procurement advisers to contract managers to consider environmental impacts when awarding contracts. The Department operates a system of devolved procurement management. It is not possible to provide information on this question without incurring disproportionate cost.
Guidance has been provided by the Departments' procurement advisers to contract managers to consider environmental impacts against sustainable development criteria when considering bids made for contracts. The Department operates a system of devolved procurement management which does not facilitate the central collection of data.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what have been identified as the most significant sustainable development impacts in relation to operation of her Department's estate. 
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what parts of her Department's estate will not be covered by the commitments set out in the framework for sustainable development on the Government estate. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|