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10 Oct 2005 : Column 341W—continued

Sickness Absence

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many days were lost due to sickness among (a) teachers and (b) head teachers at (i)primary and (ii) secondary schools in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [16042]

Jacqui Smith: Sickness absence figures are collected at a national level only. It is not possible to separate school type or grade from this collection.

The numbers of days lost due to sickness absence for the last five years in England are shown in the table.
Days lostDays lost per teacher

DfES Annual Survey of Teachers in Service and Teacher Vacancies (618G)

Special Needs (Milton Keynes)

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding has been allocated to special needs provision in Milton Keynes in each of the last five years. [15039]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is contained within the following table:
Budgeted net expenditure on the education of children with special educational needs


1.Includes planned expenditure on the provision for pupils with statements and the provision for non-statemented pupils with SEN, support for inclusion, inter authority recoupment, fees for pupils at independent special schools and abroad, educational psychology service, LEA functions in relation to child protection, therapies and other health related services, parent partnership, guidance and information, the monitoring of SEN provision and inclusion administration, assessment and co-ordination. Also included is the funding delegated to primary and secondary schools identified as notional SEN" and the individual schools budget for special schools. The figures recorded against notional SEN" are only indicative of the amount that might by spent by schools on SEN and, from 2004–05 onwards, notional SEN" delegated to nursery schools was reported on section 52 for the first time and this accounts for £10,975 and £16,944 of the 2004–05 and 2005–06 totals respectively. In 2005–06 Milton Keynes LEA also budgeted £1,662,081 for the transport of pupils with SEN but this is not included in the above totals as figures are not available prior to 2005–06.
2.The figures reported are the amount allocated for SEN by Milton Keynes, as recorded on their section 52 budget statement, and are shown in cash terms and rounded to the nearest thousand pounds.

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St. John's Secure Unit, Tiffield

Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the closure of St. John's Secure Unit in Tiffield, Northamptonshire would necessitate repayment to the Treasury by Northamptonshire county council of the grant given by the Department of Health for its construction. [16684]

Maria Eagle: This issue has recently been raised with the Department for Education and Skills by Northamptonshire county council. Discussions are currently taking place between the Department and Her Majesty's Treasury, which are ongoing. The county council's request will be responded to as soon as discussions have been concluded.

Sustainable Development Strategy

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made on her Department's sustainable development strategy. [16274]

Maria Eagle: We have completed or made progress with four fifths of the sustainable development action plan we launched in 2003. We are considering whether the remaining fifth are still appropriate to pursue. We are also working on producing a new action plan by the end of the year, in the same way that all Government departments have been requested to do in the UK sustainable development strategy.

Good progress has been made, for example, in school capital with the 'Building schools for the future' programme. It is making an important contribution to sustainable development in the public sector. We plan during 2005 to embed the use of the new schools building research establishments' assessment method (BREEAM) and to publish best practice guidance on sustainable school design.

The Department has also published 'Putting the World into World Class Education—An international strategy for education, skills and children's services' which lists sustainable development as one of the eight key concepts for instilling the global dimension into the learning experience of all children and makes a strong commitment to develop and offer educational support programmes to developing countries, especially Africa. The implementation plan for the strategy is currently being developed.

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent steps have been takenby her Department to review its arrangements for public reporting of its sustainable development impacts. [16275]

Maria Eagle: The Department is currently reviewing and updating the information contained on its website in the light of the 2005 UK Strategy and the requirement to produce the revised departmental action plans by December 2005.

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what arrangements her Department has in place to report publicly on its key sustainable development impacts. [16276]

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Maria Eagle: DfES publicly reports on its key sustainable development impacts via its website and the annual Sustainable Development in Government report.

The DfES website is currently under review and will be back online shortly.

Teach First Scheme

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the drop out rate was among (a) newly qualified teachers and (b) teachers within the Teach First scheme in the last period for which figures are available. [15783]

Jacqui Smith: Provisional estimates show that in March 2004 9.3 per cent. of newly qualified teachers, who were in full or part-time regular maintained sector service in England in March 2003, were no longer in such service. This is the latest information available.

Information from the Training and Development Agency for the Teach First scheme shows that in 2004–05 of the 197 students who were recruited 176 attained qualified teacher status. This represents a drop-out rate of 10.7 per cent. It is not known what proportion of these teachers remain in teaching service.

Teacher Bursaries

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will offer trainee teachers in the post-16 sector bursaries commensurate with those available to prospective school teachers; and if she will make a statement. [16046]

Bill Rammell: The teacher training bursary initiative is a pilot programme which is currently under review as part of a wider review of recruitment and retention incentives for FE teachers. The results of the review will be announced shortly.

Timber Procurement

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether her Department's procurement policy includes timber used on and in the construction of departmental building projects; and if she will make a statement. [16277]

Maria Eagle: The Department has not engaged in any building or building refurbishment projects in 2004–05 or plans to start any building or building refurbishment projects in 2005–06. Therefore no timber will be procured by the Department or its suppliers.

Were the Department to require a refurbishment or building project, all timber used would comply with BREEAM guidelines in respect timber supplied from legal and sustainable resources.


Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many truancy sweeps have taken place within the Bedfordshire local education authority in each year since 1999; how many children were stopped in that period; how many children stopped
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did not have a valid reason for absence; how many hours of police time were spent on such sweeps; and if she will make a statement. [16541]

Jacqui Smith: Local authorities have the discretion to organise truancy sweeps as they see fit and we do not collect data on these locally arranged sweeps. However, the Department has invited authorities to take part in nationally co-ordinated sweeps each autumn and spring since 2002–03. Bedfordshire has taken part in each of these sweeps and provided the following data to the Department:
Truancy sweepsChildren stoppedChildren stopped without a valid reason
Autumn 2002(119)21539
Spring and autumn 20032817862
Spring and autumn 20043614352
Spring 20052010541

(119)Data not collected.

We do not collect data on the length of time spent on the sweeps by either local authority staff or police officers.

The Government believe that truancy sweeps are an effective tool to raise the profile of school attendance in the community and help to stop those pupils who may be in the early stages of drifting into the habit of truancy. They also reinforce the message to pupils and their families that school and local authorities take the issue of attendance seriously. Since nationally co-ordinated sweeps began in 2002, some 92,000 pupils have been stopped: 37,000 (nearly 40 per cent.) of them were out of school without a valid reason and 42 per cent. (almost 16,000) of those without a valid reason were with an adult.

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