|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many meetings of the (a) EU Contact Committee for implementation of the Television without Frontiers Directive, (b) EU Committee for the implementation of the training programme for professionals in the European audiovisual programme industry and of the programme to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European audiovisual works (MEDIA II) and (c) EU Committee for the implementation of the programme establishing a single financing and programming instrument for cultural co-operation (Culture 2000) are planned for the UK presidency of the EU; who will be presiding over each meeting; which other UK representatives will be present; what provision is in place for representation of the devolved governments; and if she will make a statement. 
(a) The EU Contact Committee for the implementation of the Television Without Frontiers Directive will meet once in Brussels during the UK Presidency, on 14 October 2005. The European Commission convenes and chairs the meetings. The UK is represented by DCMS officials. The UK Government consults devolved administrations on non devolved policy issues, such as broadcasting, as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding and Concordats on Co-ordination of European Union Policy Issues.
(b) The Media Management Committee will meet four times in Brussels during the UK Presidency, on 22 July, 28 October, 25 November and 16 December 2005. The European Commission convenes and chairs the meetings. The UK is
(c) The Culture 2000 Management Committee will meet once in Brussels during the UK Presidency. No date has been fixed for the next meeting. The European Commission convenes and chairs the meetings. The UK is represented by DCMS officials. Officials from the devolved administrations may also attend.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what age groups of school children are eligible for free fruit at school; and what plans there are for extending this entitlement. 
Children aged four to six attending local education authority (LEA)-maintained infant, primary and special schools are eligible to receive a fresh piece of fruit or vegetable each school day provided that their school has chosen to participate in the school fruit and vegetable scheme.
The fruit and vegetables are for whole classes so in effect all children in reception, year one and year two classes are benefiting even though some children may fall outside of the stipulated age range.
There was a commitment in the "Choosing Health" White Paper to consider extending the school fruit and vegetable scheme to stand alone LEA-maintained nurseries once the results from a large-scale evaluation were published this year. The results were published in September and the Department is currently considering this extension.
12 Oct 2005 : Column 531W
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans her Department has to ensure the curriculum development in core GCSE subjects keeps pace with the projected skills demand of UK businesses. 
Jacqui Smith: The recent 1419 Education and Skills White Paper clearly states that the reforms it sets out are vital to our economy by equipping young people with the skills employers need and that all learning programmes should have clear progression routes to further learning.
We believe that a strong grounding in functional English, maths and ICT are essential skills that all young people need to participate effectively in everyday life, including the workplace. To secure these skills we are toughening GCSEs so that, in future, no-one will be able to get a higher grade in English and maths without achieving mastery of the functional basics. We are also introducing a new general diploma to recognise the achievement of those who achieve five good GCSEs or equivalentincluding English and maths.
The Ten Year Science and Innovation Investment Framework published last year set out the our strategy for sustaining a strong supply of scientists and engineers. The new programme of study for science at Key Stage 4 being introduced from next September will help pupils to understand key scientific concepts and scientific and technological developments in society.
strengthen the emphasis on English and mathematics, in particular by expecting schools to focus systematically on those who arrive from primary school without having reached the expected standard in the Key Stage 2 literacy and numeracy tests, continue to publish national test results and introduce a new on-line test of ICT skills;
introduce similar changes in science by slimming down the science Key Stage 3 curriculum to make it more manageable and focus on the key conceptual underpinnings of science, as well as its excitement and relevance.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what professional in-service training sessions her Department is providing to teachers and head teachers (a) to enable them to
12 Oct 2005 : Column 532W
challenge homophobic bullying in schools and (b) to improve the academic attainment and truancy rates of gay and lesbian pupils. 
Jacqui Smith: Tackling homophobia in schools is an issue that is taken seriously by the Department We want to ensure that all pupils, whatever their sexual orientation, are safe at school, want to be there, and are able to reach their full educational potential. For this, head teachers and teachers need the right mix of skills and knowledge, and the confidence to use them.
Our Make The Difference anti-bullying conference programme which ran from 200304 in each of the nine Government Office regions was targeted at head teachers. The conferences celebrated and shared good practice in preventing and addressing bullying and offered all schools an opportunity to learn at first hand from the very successful. The conference workshops supported schools in addressing aspects such as homophobic bullying, which many schools can find especially challenging.
The Department has also developed a Personal Social Health Education Continuing Professional Development video which shows good teaching practice, this covers the handling of sensitive issues including sexuality and homophobia. The PSHE CPD programme is ongoing to help teachers improve their confidence and competence in dealing with sensitive issues including sexuality.
Jacqui Smith: The figures requested for 2005 (academic year 2004/05) are not yet available; the following table shows the numbers of attempts by 15-year-old pupils in all schools in England at GCSEs in each modern foreign language in 2004 (academic year 2003/04).
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 18 July 2005, Official Report, column 1407W, on primary schools language tuition, (1) whether extra-curricular provision of language learning is included within the figure provided; 
Jacqui Smith: The answer of 18 July 2005, Official Report, column 1407W, outlined that, based on research carried out for the DfES in 2002/03, 44 per cent. of schools teaching Key Stage 2 pupils (ages 711) offered some form of language learning, including extra-curricular classes. That research also highlighted that approximately 3 per cent. of schools were offering language learning programmes within curriculum time to all year groups in Key Stage 2 for more than 20 minutes a week. The same research concluded that (a) 40 per cent. of primary schools taught French to their pupils, (b) 6 per cent. of schools taught Spanish, (c) 4 per cent. taught German, (d) 2 per cent. taught Italian and (e) 1 per cent. taught other languages.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|