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Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if she will list the strategies recommended for use by children in recognising words within the "Playing with Sounds" programme; 
Jacqui Smith: "Playing with sounds" is a set of phonics teaching materials designed to support teachers and practitioners working with children in the foundation stage and year 1. It emphasises phonics as the first approach to decoding and encoding, and primarily supports blending of different sounds to support reading and segmenting to support independent spelling and writing.
It is split into seven steps, beginning with early phonological and rhyme awareness training, moving on to teaching phoneme-grapheme (sound letter) correspondences through sounding and blending for reading, and segmenting for spelling and writing, and progresses to the long vowel sounds including the fact that some vowel sounds can be represented in more than one way and that sometimes the same grapheme is used to represent different sounds.
|Ethnic group: Black|
|Number of exclusions||Percentage of|
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the new citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16-year-olds; what impact it has had on pupils since its introduction; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: Good progress has been made since Citizenship became a statutory subject in secondary schools in 2002. Programmes of study have been developed for Citizenship alongside guidance developed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. 1,000 specialist teachers will be trained by the end of this academic year and we have 70 Advanced Skill Teachers in Citizenship. This year, there were 38,000 entries for the Citizenship Studies short course GCSE, an increase of 10,000 on last year.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment her Department has made of the impact academies have had on (a) pupils, (b) teachers and (c) local communities; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: The Department has commissioned an independent five-year evaluation of the Academies Programme from PricewaterhouseCoopers reporting finally in September 2007. The Second Annual Report from the Evaluation of the Academies Programme demonstrated that academies are overwhelmingly popular with parents and pupils, and that they have made a significant difference to the teaching and learning culture from their predecessors. We also have evidence from examination results and Ofsted, including Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools who has said that
In addition, Ofsted have conducted 13 monitoring visits to academies finding that five academies were making good progress and most were making at least satisfactory progress.
12 Oct 2005 : Column 523W
The PwC Second Annual Report found that three quarters of staff agreed that "the principal encourages teachers to develop themselves professionally", though staff work load was found to be generally heavier in academies.
PwC found that it is too early to assess the effect academies have had on community involvement, though academies had the clear intention to bring about community involvement and regeneration. Some academies have established pupil-run commercial enterprises, providing a range of services directly to the local community. It is also clear that academies are popular locally and the majority are over-subscribed. In September 2005 748 parents applied as first choice for the 180 year seven places at the City of London Academy, Southwark and 3,246 named the academy as one of their choices.
Jacqui Smith: There are 27 Academies currently open in England. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in his speech at the City of London Academy on 12 September 2005 pledged for there to be at least 40 Academies by September 2006. The Department for Education and Skills has committed in its five-year strategy to there being 200 Academies open or in development by 2010, including 60 Academies in London.
Jacqui Smith: The following table provides the full-time equivalent number of teaching assistants in maintained schools in each London local authority in January 2005, the latest information available.
|City of London||10|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||380|
|Kensington and Chelsea||300|
|Barking and Dagenham||540|
|Kingston upon Thames||360|
|Richmond upon Thames||330|
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