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Maria Eagle: As part of the 2002 Spending Review, the Government allocated £3.5 million to develop child contact centres. Of this, approximately £2.5 million was allocated to establish 14 new supervised child contact centres in England. Funding is administered and monitored on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills through the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) and the National Children's Homes (NCH). From the £3.5 million, approximately £0.5 million was allocated to support NACCC in implementing a set of national accreditation standards for all its member centres and to fund training for the 14 new centres. The Department made available in 200405 and 200506 a fund of £0.4 million to help sustain existing child contact centres. This is also administered by NACCC.
Both NACCC and the NCH are required to submit reports to the Department on each of the 14 centres against agreed performance measures, including the numbers of referrals. The National Association of Child Contact Centres takes responsibility for the collection of statistics, which enables it to develop an informed national perspective. A further sum totalling £7.5 million has been allocated for the period 200607 to 200708 for services which support child contact, including those delivered by child contact centres. The DFES will be working with CAFCASS, the National Association of Child Contact Centres and other service providers to identify options for the most effective use of these resources.
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Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made with the guidance on outdoor learning; and what steps she is taking to ensure that children from low income families are not excluded from participating in out of school learning because of cost. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 18 October 2005]: As part of the emerging Manifesto for Education Outside the Classroom, we shall consult shortly on a reminder to schools about visit safety. It will remind school staff that, when they follow employers' guidance and take reasonable care, not only do they keep pupils safe, but also the law protects staff if a pupil is harmed despite their care. Schools already make good use of our extensive and widely-welcomed guidance on visit safety.
A working group has been set up to look at overcoming barriers for children who are more likely to be excluded from school trips, including those from low income families. The recommendations of the working group will be reported in December and will help shape the final Manifesto to be published in spring 2006.
Jacqui Smith: The Government are committed to promoting approaches to the teaching of literacy that draw upon the most reliable advice and evidence available. As part of this commitment and because of strong public debate about the teaching of reading, we asked Jim Rose to conduct a review of best practice in the teaching of early reading, including the place of phonics. This will provide independent advice to build on the success of the National Literacy Strategy (now part of the Primary National Strategy) and to help ensure even more children make progress with reading.
During 2006, the Primary National Strategy will review the frameworks for teaching literacy and mathematics to ensure they reflect the most recent and relevant research and information. This work will be aligned with the development of the Early Development and Learning Framework" to ensure a consistent approach from birth to age 11. The review of the Literacy Framework will draw on the findings of Jim Rose's review and on a wide-ranging consultation with practitioners and expert groups.
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Jacqui Smith: The use of schools as polling stations is provided for in the Parliamentary Election Rules contained in Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983 (which, in this respect, apply also to local government elections). These provide that Returning Officers have discretion to select schools as the venues of polling stations.
Information on the closure of schools for polling stations is available on the DfES Teachernet website. This states that if the area to be used for polling purposes can be isolated from the remainder of the school and has its own entrance, the school can continue to operate, otherwise it must close. Schools affected can move to alternative premises, or the governors must make reasonable efforts to make up the lost day, perhaps at the beginning/end of term.
Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many free (a) nursery and (b) pre-school places were available for (i) 3 and (ii) 4-year-olds in Pudsey in each of the last 10 years. 
Beverley Hughes: All 4-year-olds have been entitled to a free early education place since 1998 and from April 2004 this entitlement was extended to all 3-year-olds. The free entitlement consists of a minimum of five two and a half hour sessions per week for 33 weeks of the year for six terms before statutory school age, which is the term following their fifth birthday.
Figures for January 2005 show that all 4-year-old children receive some form of free entitlement. The figure for 3-years-olds is 96 per cent. This covers all maintained, private, voluntary and independent providers and represents 535,100 3-year-olds and 568,300 4-year-olds.
Information on the number free nursery education places taken up by 3 and 4-year-olds in Pudsey parliamentary constituency area is only available for January 2004 and 2005. These figures are shown in the table. The available information for Leeds local education authority area since 1997 is also shown.
The latest figures on early education places for 3 and 4-year-olds in England were published in Statistical First Release 43/2005 Provision for children under five years of age in EnglandJanuary 2005 (final)" in September, which is available on my Department's website www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/.
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| 3-year-olds||4 year olds|
|Maintained nursery and primary schools(49)||Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers||Total|
|Maintained nursery and primary schools(50)||Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers||Total|
|Maintained nursery and primary schools(57)||Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers(58)||Total|
|Maintained nursery and primary schools(59)||Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers(60)||Total|
Changes in pupil figures may arise from changes to the underlying population in the local education authority area and other factors. However, my Department doesn't publish population figures for individual age cohorts at sub-national level because of the unreliability of the underlying population estimates. The Office for National Statistics publish sub-national population estimates in five-year age bands.
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