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13 Oct 2005 : Column 580W—continued

Royal Charter for UK Sport

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidance she has issued on whether the grant of a Royal Charter for UK Sport affects the ability of its staff to engage in party political activities or activities that could reasonably be construed as party political; and if she will make a statement. [17368]

Mr. Caborn: UK Sport's management statement and its associated financial memorandum require UK Sport to have a code of conduct for staff and to comply with the Cabinet Office's guidance on non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs). This states that NDPBs' rules of conduct should cover political activity.

The UK Sport staff handbook indicates that rules on staff participation in political activities are regulated by the guidelines and principles contained in the civil service management code. The Cabinet Office also produced guidance for civil servants prior to the general election 2005, which UK Sport circulated to all staff.

Welsh Legislation

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how she intends to implement paragraph 3.12 of the White Paper, "Better Governance for Wales" (Cm 6582), in respect of any Bill she introduces in the current Session of Parliament. [14949]

Mr. Lammy: I intend to implement the Government's policy as stated in paragraph 3.12 of the White Paper "Better Governance for Wales" Cm 6582. My Department is in discussion with the Assembly Government on the issue concerned.


"Playing with Sounds" Programme

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps the Government are taking to encourage and promote the use of synthetic phonics teaching for primary school children; and if she will make a statement. [16539]

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Jacqui Smith: Every child has an entitlement to structured phonics teaching as part of the literacy curriculum. The Primary National Strategy (PNS) promotes an approach to phonics that is fundamentally synthetic, and has provided materials and training to support teachers and early years practitioners in delivering this. Schools are free to select the phonics programme that best suits their needs. However, we expect that the selected programme would at least match the quality, standards and expectations in PNS materials.

Jim Rose, a former senior Ofsted inspector with significant expertise in primary education, is currently carrying out an independent review of best practice in the teaching of early reading, including the place of phonics. His findings, expected in early 2006, will further inform PNS approaches. The Department has also instigated Early Reading Development Pilots aimed at examining how children's learning outcomes can be enhanced through a systematic and fast paced approach to the teaching of phonics, and to identify effective models of support to schools and ways of enhancing parental involvement. These pilots begin in 200 schools and early years settings this autumn and use a programme of phonics based on the PNS "Playing with Sounds" materials. Findings will complement Jim Rose's work, with early findings informing his review, and will feed into a review of the PNS framework for teaching literacy and the Early Development and Learning Framework.

Adult Education

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if she will make a statement on the availability of adult education classes in England; [17745]

(2) how much the Government spent on adult education in each of the last five years for which figures are available; [17746]

(3) what plans she has to increase the availability of adult education; and if she will make a statement. [17747]

Phil Hope: The Department allocates funds for education and training in the post-16 learning and skills sector to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). We ensure adult learning provision is provided through the funding from the LSC to further education colleges, local authorities and other providers. The LSC was established in 2001 bringing the planning and funding of post-16 education together under one body. Local LSC's agree delivery plans with local providers, ensuring that the local needs of individuals and employers are met.

In 2005/06 we have emphasised our priorities for further education which guarantee a place in education or training for all young people and a focus on support for adults without a solid foundation of employability skills. In 2005/06 total funding for FE will increase by 4.4 per cent. compared to 2004/05. Funding for non-vocational learning opportunities for adults, through the adult and community learning budget has also increased. In 2004/05 nationally we provided over
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£207 million to the Learning and Skills Council in support of this learning. This has risen to £210 million in 2005/06.

In 2001–02 the Learning and Skills Council spent £2,236 million on adult programmes including FE, work based learning, adult and community learning and other programmes. This increased to £2,427 million in 2002–03 and to £2,866 million in 2003–04. Figures for adult education for the years prior to 2001 are not comparable as the budget was split between a range of different organisations. The departmental annual report sets out total expenditure on further education, adult training and skills and lifelong learning for this period.

Children (Bereavement)

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what statistics the Government (a) collect and (b) are planning to collect on children affected by bereavement. [16572]

Maria Eagle: The Government do not collect statistics relating to children affected by bereavement and currently have no plans to do so. Research-based estimates suggest that around 14,600 children suffer bereavement each year (in England and Wales) 1 and that children have a 6 per cent. chance of suffering parental bereavement by the age of 16 2 .

This issue and the closely-related issue of research into the impact of child bereavement was considered at some length by the former Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families (The right hon. Member for Barking (Margaret Hodge)). It was concluded that a considerable body of research in this area was already being developed, and that it would not be appropriate to decide on any new data collection until current work being undertaken by researchers had been completed.

Construction Workers (London)

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the number of skilled construction workers in London, broken down by (a) constituency and (b) age. [12019]

Phil Hope: The numbers of construction workers in London, and those who hold qualifications at level 2 or higher, are as follows:
Construction workers (London)

Learning skills council areaNumber of construction workersNumber holding level 2 or higher qualificationPercentage
Central London17,0008,00047
East London38,00021,00055
North London14,0006,00048
South London21,00012,00059
West London22,00011,00050

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Age bandNumber of construction workersNumber holding level 2 or higher qualificationPercentage
16 to 194,0001,00030
20 to 249,0004,00042
25 to 2914,0007,00048
30 to 3928,00017,00059
40 to 4928,00016,00058
50 to 5922,00012,00054
60 plus6,0002,00037

Estimates of less than 10,000 are based on very small sample sizes and are subject to a higher degree of sampling variability. They should therefore be treated with caution.
Annual Local Area Labour Force Survey (ALALFS) in 2003/04

Estimates are given by Learning Skills Council Area rather than by constituency because sample sizes are not large enough to give reliable estimates at constituency level.

Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are being established to identify and define the skills that employers need to raise productivity in all major sectors of the economy. Construction is one of four sectors pioneering new Sector Skills Agreements to deliver on this agenda.

Construction was highlighted as a priority curriculum area in "Success for All: Our Vision for the Future" the Government's strategy for reforming further education and training published in November 2002.

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