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24 Oct 2005 : Column 129W—continued

Children (Leaving Care) Act

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures are in place to monitor the impact of the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000; and if she will make a statement. [19658]

Maria Eagle: The impact of the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 is monitored at national level primarily through an annual data collection, the Commission for
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Social Care Inspection's Performance Indicators and the National Leaving Care Project Group. The National Leaving Care Project Group largely comprises of academics and representatives from voluntary organisations. It continues to meet regularly in order to monitor and promote on-going improvements for care leavers.

Since the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 was commenced in October 2001, statistics have been collected on outcomes for care leavers aged 19 who were in care at the age of 16. For the year ending 31 March 2004, 55 per cent. of care leavers aged 19 were engaged in education, employment and training on their 19th birthday. This represents an improvement, from 46 per cent. in 2001–02. Local authorities remain in touch with 85 per cent. of their care leavers; this represents an improvement from 2001–02, when they were in touch with 75 per cent.

City Academies

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what assessment she has made of the VAT liability that would be incurred if existing city academies made their buildings freely available to community groups; [17771]

(2) what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the VAT treatment of buildings work at city academies where the buildings are made available for use by community groups; [17778]

(3) what representations she has received from city academies about the VAT treatment of building work in cases where academies make their buildings available to community groups. [17780]

Jacqui Smith: We have received a number of representations from academies about the VAT position and funding for VAT costs, and are discussing the issues with them and the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. My officials have also had discussions with officials from HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs.

VAT is not chargeable on the construction of academy buildings, or parts of these buildings, that are used exclusively for core education activities and/or for community use where no charge is made. VAT relief also applies to those parts of the building used for community activities where any charge is made, provided this does not exceed 10 per cent. of the total use. Long standing agreements with our European partners, which govern the application of VAT reliefs throughout the EU, mean that while we can maintain the existing relief for the construction of charitable buildings, relief cannot be extended further.

For academy buildings to be available for community use without restriction, VAT would have to be paid on the costs of the relevant parts of the building. However, in such cases an academy would be able reclaim VAT that related to taxable business use of the building. An academy would also be able to choose to reclaim VAT that relates to non-business use of the building and to account for output tax over the economic lifetime of the building. This would allow the academy to spread any VAT costs relating to non-business use of its buildings over a 20 year period.
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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the ratio of children to computers was at each primary school in (a) Romford, (b) Havering and (c) England in each of the past 10 years. [20797]

Jacqui Smith: The Department does not collect the data requested for questions (a) and (b).

The national figures for computer to pupil ratios in primary schools in England from 1995 to 2005 are as follows:
Computer to pupil ratios in primary schools

A survey was not completed in 1997 so there are no national figures for that year.

Connexions Card

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much her Department is planning to spend on the Connexions card in (a) 2005–06, (b) 2006–07, (c) 2007–08 and (d) 2008–09; and if she will make a statement. [20719]

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Maria Eagle: The amount budgeted in the Connexions Card contract is:
Amount (£ millions)
(a) 2005–06£14.949
(b) 2006–07£15.028
(c) 2007–08£15.185
(d) 2008–09£11.492

The aims and direction of Connexions Card are being changed in light of the Youth Opportunity Card announced in Youth Matters". We will use experience of developing the Connexions Card to inform the development of the Youth Opportunities Card. A decision about the future of the Connexions Card will be made in the light of the evaluation of the Opportunity Card pilots.

Departmental Vehicles

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many vehicles for which the Department is responsible are fitted with retreaded tyres. [17990]

Maria Eagle: No vehicles for which the Department for Education and Skills has responsibility are fitted with retreaded tyres.

Deprivation Indicators

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the 20 local authority wards with the (a) highest and (b) lowest proportions of children (i) receiving free school meals and (ii) leaving school at the minimum age. [20844]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is as follows:
(i) (a) The 20 local authority wards with the highest proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals(37)

DistrictWardPupils known to be eligible for FSMTotal pupilsPercentage of pupils eligible for FSM
LiverpoolPrinces Park1,3652,06366.2
Tower HamletsSpitalfields and Banglatown7471,13965.6
WirralBidston and St James1,6952,60365.1
Tower HamletsEast India and Lansbury1,4072,16365.0
Tower HamletsBromley-by-Bow1,4232,21364.3
Tower HamletsWhitechapel9671,51064.0
Tower HamletsBethnal Green South1,3152,05564.0
Tower HamletsSt Dunstan's and Stepney Green1,5702,46863.6
Tower HamletsShadwell1,1151,76763.1
Tower HamletsLimehouse1,1431,82962.5
Redcar and ClevelandGrangetown7311,17762.1
ManchesterMoss Side1,4612,36161.9
Newcastle upon TyneWestgate44572261.6
Tower HamletsMillwall8371,36261.5
Tower HamletsBethnal Green North9981,63960.9

(37) Includes five to 15-year-olds attending maintained primary, secondary, CTCs, academies, special and non-maintained special.
Annual School Census 2005 Final.

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(b) The 20(38) local authority wards with the lowest proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals(39)

DistrictWardPupils known to be eligible for FSMTotal pupilsPercentage of pupils eligible for FSM
Aylesbury ValeEdlesborough04010.0
South NorthamptonshireChase03990.0
North KestevenCranwell and Byard's Leap03770.0
WycombeLacey Green, Speen and the Hampdens
YorkHeworth Without03570.0
Three RiversChorleywood East03130.0
DurhamNeville's Cross02940.0
East DorsetColehill West02650.0
South KestevenWitham Valley02500.0
Test ValleyHarewood02430.0
South NorthamptonshireAstwell02420.0
South KestevenHillsides02240.0
WycombeHambleden Valley02230.0
Aylesbury ValeBierton02170.0

(38) A further 30 wards have 0 pupils known to be eligible for FSM. The wards listed above are those with the greatest number of pupils known not to be eligible for FSM.
(39) Includes five to 15-year-olds attending maintained primary, secondary, CTCs, academies, special and non-maintained special.
Annual School Census 2005 Final.

(ii) The earliest that a young person can leave school is on the last Friday in June after they turn 16. There is no information available on how many pupils leave from this point in the academic year. The most readily available figures are for young people in post-compulsory education at the end of the calendar year.

The 20 local authorities (LAs) with the (a) highest and (b) lowest percentages of 16-year-olds not in post-compulsory education or work based learning (WBL—e.g. apprenticeships) in 2003/04 are given in the following table. Participation estimates are not available below LA level or for individual inner London LAs.
Table: Percentage of 16-year-olds not in education or WBL by LA, end 2003

Not in full-time education
Not in education or WBL(40)
Inner London(41)25Inner London(41)18
20 highest:
South Tyneside38Rochdale25
Redcar and Cleveland37Derby23
Sandwell37Redcar and Cleveland22
Dudley36North East Lincolnshire
Hartlepool35Telford and Wrekin22
Oldham35St Helens21
St Helens35Tameside21
20 lowest:
Worcestershire21East Riding of Yorkshire
Merton20Kingston upon Thames
Bath and North East Somerset
Ealing18Brighton and Hove10
Windsor and Maidenhead
North Yorkshire9
Kingston upon Thames
Waltham Forest16Wokingham8
Wokingham16Bath and North East Somerset
Redbridge12Richmond upon Thames
Richmond upon Thames
Waltham Forest7

(40) Total of all full-time and part-time education and WBL, less WBL provision in education institutions.
(41) Inner London LAs have been excluded from this analysis, as only total figures are available.
This information is taken training by 16 and 17-year-olds in from the latest Statistical First Release Participation in education and each local area in England".

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