|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
|Total 15-year-olds (thousand)||Not achieved grades A*-C (thousand)||Not achieved grades A*-C (percentage)|
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what policies the Government have in place to improve boys' GCSE examination results; and how much funding has been allocated for such policies in 200506. 
Jacqui Smith: The Secondary National Strategy for School Improvement is responsible for raising standards for all pupils, including boys, across the 1116 age range. A key focus of the strategy is to support schools to improve the quality of teaching and learning by giving careful attention to the learning needs of individual pupils, particularly those who are underachieving. The strategy has produced some materials aimed at improving core literacy and numeracy skills amongst boys. In 200506 we will be investing a total of £156 million to support schools and local authorities in raising standards for all pupils through the Secondary National Strategy.
The Department also supports a range of other initiatives aimed at raising the attainment of boys. For example, the Breakthrough Programme for Raising Boys' Achievement, in partnership with the National Primary Care Trust, focuses on sustainable changes to teaching and learning systems to help achieve pupils' potential. Playing for Success Centres use football and other sports to boost skills and motivation amongst pupils, particularly boys.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make it her policy to introduce an allowance for grandparents who are permanent carers for their grandchildren where the parents are unable to care for the children. 
Where a child is not looked after by the local authority, grandparents may claim the same benefits and tax credits as any other carer of a child aged under 16 (including child benefit and child tax credits).
If a child is determined to be a child in need", following an assessment by a local authority in accordance with the framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families, the local authority may then provide support to meet those needs, in accordance with its responsibilities set out in section 17 of the Children Act 1989.
Where a child is orphaned or one parent has died and the other is missing, in prison (with at least two years to serve) or detained in hospital by the order of a court a carer may claim a guardian's allowance from the Inland Revenue.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many grandparents in England have (a) residence orders, (b) registered foster caring agreements, (c) guardianship status and (d) private arrangements in place for raising grandchildren full time. 
Maria Eagle [holding answer 20 October 2005]: The Department for Education and Skills does not collect information on the number of grandparents who have residence orders, are the subject of registered foster caring agreements, have guardianship arrangements or who have private arrangements in place for raising grandchildren full time.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures are in place to ensure that grandparents who are raising their grandchildren full time receive the financial help to which they are entitled. 
Maria Eagle [holding answer 20 October 2005]: Grandparents may seek advice on their entitlement to financial support from a range of sources including their local Jobcentre Plus, their local HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Enquiry Centre, the HMRC tax credits helpline, the Pension Service and their local authority. Information is also provided on the Directgov website.
Jacqui Smith: The national curriculum programme of study for history includes a statutory requirement for all pupils to be taught about the social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of the societies studied, both in Britain and the wider world. We strongly believe that the curriculum is flexible enough to reflect the needs of all pupils, including those with an ethnic minority heritage.
There is also guidance available to teachers. The QCA 'Respect for All' website and the history schemes of work both include guidance on how to include a multi-ethnic dimension to the teaching of history. QCA are also in the process of putting together a national bibliography of resources to support the teaching of black and multi-ethnic aspects of history.
Children receive education at home in a range of different circumstances. Their parents may exercise their right to educate them in the home on a
24 Oct 2005 : Column 143W
temporary or permanent basis. Other alternative education provision, which may include home tuition for children unable to attend schoolfor example through illnessis arranged at local level and is usually a temporary measure.
Local authorities have a duty to ensure that all children of compulsory school age in their locality receive a suitable full-time education. We do not collect information about the numbers of children who receive education at home, and it would be impractical to do so given the transient nature of much of this type of provision.
Jacqui Smith: The funding for each local authority through the current Schools Formula Spending Share system depends mainly on the number of pupils in that authority's schools. Thus if more pupils cross authority borders to join schools in a particular authority, then that authority will receive more funding. The same principle will work with the Dedicated Schools Grant, to be introduced from April 2006.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|