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24 Oct 2005 : Column 149W—continued

Pupil Absences

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children in each local education authority have been removed from the admissions register because of (a) extended family holidays and (b) long-term absence in each year since 1997. [19970]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 20 October 2005]: My Department does not collect information on the reasons why pupils are removed from schools admissions and attendance registers.
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Pupil Assaults

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many incidents of violence towards teachers by pupils there were in each of the last five years. [19328]

Jacqui Smith: Injuries at work due to violence, which result in absence for more than three days, are reportable to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR95). Figures for England show that there have been no fatal injuries to teachers since recording began under RIDDOR95. Since 2001 it has been possible to identify more serious but non-fatal injuries to teachers resulting from violence by pupils and the figures for each year are:

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Figures for 2004/05 are not yet available. In 2003/04 there was a change in the employer database against which injury reports are assigned. This has affected the profile of injury numbers within the public sector, and accounts for some of the reduction in the number of injuries in education in 2003/04.

One assault is one too many. But in a school system with about 750,000 staff and 7 million pupils these are relatively low numbers.

Runaway Children

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make it her policy to ensure that the inspection of services and delivery within the Staying Safe Framework specifically asks questions about how the needs of runaway children are being met. [18806]

Maria Eagle: When looking at children's services, inspectors will be making judgements on whether the services are effective in establishing the identity and whereabouts of all children and young people aged 0 to 16. Inspectors will seek evidence that there are secure systems to ensure that all children and young people are known to health and education services, and that there are secure arrangements for sharing information when children and young people move across areas, including to unknown destinations.


Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps her Department takes to ensure that children without a place at the beginning of the school year are provided for by local education authorities. [19700]

Jacqui Smith: Legislation places a duty on individual local authorities to ensure that there are sufficient schools for every child of compulsory school age in their area. They must take anticipatory action when they consider that this may not be the case.

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions she has had with local authorities in London to determine the effectiveness of this year's secondary school application procedure. [19701]

Jacqui Smith: Lord Adonis, who is Minister with responsibility for London school admission issues, has taken a keen interest in this year's admissions process. School admission is one of the issues he has discussed in meetings with directors of education and directors of childrens services. The Pan London Co-ordinated Admissions Programme Board has also reported to him on the first year's operation of the system it implemented to facilitate exchange of information between local authorities, to ensure that as many children as practicable could be offered a secondary school place on 1 March. Despite some IT problems, the system was successful in reducing the volume of multiple offers that many parents would previously have held,
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while others received none. Local authorities reported that at least 40 per cent. fewer children were without the offer of a place on 1 March than at the same stage in the previous year.

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children were left without a place in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools (i) at the beginning of the 2005–06 academic year and (ii) in each year since 1997. [19702]

Jacqui Smith: These data are not collected centrally. Individual local authorities may have information. Secondary co-ordination has eliminated multiple offers of places so that more children have been offered a secondary school place on the national offer date compared with the same stage in the process in previous years.

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps she is taking to improve the ability of secondary schools to satisfy parental choice in admissions. [19821]

Jacqui Smith: We have already taken steps to maximise parental satisfaction with the admissions process. Co-ordination of the secondary school admissions process has resulted in most multiple offers of school places being eliminated, resulting in a greater number of children being made an offer of a school place than would have received them at the same stage in the process in earlier years. Additionally, we have included a number of proposals in the draft School Admissions Code of Practice to make the system more transparent and fairer for parents. The intention is to put parents at the centre of the admissions process and to give them a greater choice as to where their children go to school, which can only be a good thing.

We also believe that allowing successful and popular schools to expand more quickly and more easily gives schools freedom to strengthen and develop in the direction they think appropriate in order to meet the needs of their local communities. That is why, as part of a broad spectrum of reform, we introduced new regulations in August to streamline the process for those schools that decide they have the capacity to expand.

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of children in the Waverley borough council area left school at the minimum age in each of the last five years, broken down by ward. [20843]

Jacqui Smith: 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 percentage of 16-year-olds not in post-compulsory education or work based learning (WBL—e.g. apprenticeships) in Surrey local authority (LA) is given in the table. Figures are provided for 1999/2000 to 2003/04 (the latest available). Participation estimates are not available below LA level.
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Participation by 16-year-olds in Surrey LA

As at end of the calendar year:19992000200120022003(61)
Full-time education8283818181
Work based learning (WBL)33333
Part-time education33344
Total in education and WBL(62)8889878889
Not in full-time education1817191919
Not in education or WBL1211131211

(61) Provisional.
(62) Total of all full-time and part-time education and WBL, less WBL provision in education institutions.

This information is taken from the latest Statistical First Release Participation in education and training by 16 and 17-year-olds in each local area in England".

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many school nurses are employed by (a) each local authority and (b) individual schools in each authority; and how many vacancies there are in each authority. [18446]

Jacqui Smith: The majority of school nurses are currently employed and managed by the local NHS primary care trust, and therefore, information on school nurses is available from the Department of Health.

They were counted fully for the first time in the September 2004 NHS workforce census, which showed that there were 2,409 qualified nurses working in school nursing, of whom 856 were qualified school nurses (headcount). The next count will be available from the September 2005 census, with results published in March 2006.
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Information from the NHS workforce census is not available at local authority and school level.

Information on the rate of vacancies lasting three months or more for school nurses is collected in the NHS workforce vacancy survey. As at March 2005, the three month vacancy rate for school nurses in the NHS was 1.9 per cent., which is a fall from 2.2 per cent. the previous year.

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) pieces of (i) guidance and (ii) teaching material and (b) forms have been sent to (A) primary schools and (B) secondary schools in each of the last 20 months; and how many pages each document contained. [19697]

Jacqui Smith: The Department ceased sending publications automatically to both primary and secondary schools in England on a phased basis between April and December 2004. Discussions with local authorities and school head teachers and detailed research showed that schools wanted to be able to choose the printed publications (guidance, teaching materials and forms) they needed, when they needed them, and to be able to order multiple copies.

We have given schools this choice by introducing the online ordering system which enables schools to choose whether to download electronic copies or order the paper based publications they need at the right time for them and in the multiples they require. A fortnightly email service to schools informs them of new and important publications.

The publications sent to schools in the months prior to the role out of the online ordering system are contained in Annex A.
Annex A

Publications sent by the DfES to all schools in England in March to July 2004
MarchDrugs: Guidance for schoolsBoth
Drugs: Guidance for schools (summary)Both
A day with DadBoth
Write Here, Write NowPrimary
KS3 parents' evening packSecondary
EMA application formsSecondary
14–19 Reform: Interim progress reportSecondary
AprilPupil participation guidance—Working Together: Giving young people a sayBoth
National Primary Strategy: Progression in phonicsPrimary
MayPerformance pay progressionBoth
Excellence and enjoyment: Learning and teaching in the primary yearsPrimary
Additional mailings to schools of a particular kind
JuneLetter regarding changes in reporting arrangementsSecondary (Specialist schools)

We do not keep a record of the total number of pages of each of these publications.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many applications to increase pupil numbers school organisation committees have received in the last 12 months; and what the outcome was of each of these applications. [19395]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 18 October 2005]: We strongly support the expansion of successful and popular schools. We have therefore provided that all maintained schools, including maintained special schools, may publish their own proposals to increase pupil numbers. We have also introduced a presumption that proposals by successful and popular secondary schools should be approved by the local School
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Organisation Committee or Schools Adjudicator. This will enable more parents to be able to gain a place for their child at the school of their choice.

In addition, as part of their strategic planning for Building Schools for the Future (BSF), authorities are required to draw up a vision for the future of education provision in the area. This vision needs to demonstrate
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that their planning maximises the opportunity for parents to place their children into the school of their choice, and reduces surplus places where parents do not wish to send their children. BSF provides an unprecedented opportunity to achieve this.

Since the beginning of October 2004 the following proposals to increase pupil numbers by 27 or more places have been published.

Publication date

LEA name

School name

Current school phase
Current admission numbersProposed admission numbers

Decision maker/outcome
20 October 2004KentEllington School for GirlsSecondary90120LEA determined to implement
1 December 2004NewhamCumberland SchoolSecondary180300SOC approved
25 February 2005WiltshireBradon Forest SchoolSecondary224252Adjudicator conditional approval
16 March 2005DorsetHighcliffe SchoolSecondary216243Adjudicator rejected
25 March 2005HertfordshireSt Clement Danes VA Secondary SchoolSecondary178208SOC approved
6 April 2005BradfordGreen Lane Primary SchoolPrimary6090LEA determined to implement
28 April 2005EssexHelena Romanes School and 6th Form CentreSecondary240270Awaiting decision
25 May 2005HillingdonHaydon SchoolSecondary250300Awaiting decision
12 August 2005NorfolkWymondham CollegeSecondary118159Awaiting decision
9 October 2005PooleOld Town First School and NurseryPrimary3060SOC approved

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures she has introduced to promote setting of classes; and if she will make a statement. [20591]

Jacqui Smith: We have encouraged schools to use setting since 1997. In the reports from Ofsted we have seen the proportion of Key Stage 3 lessons which are set rise since 1997 to over a third now with greater rises in English and mathematics. The majority of English, mathematics, science and modern foreign language lessons in secondary schools are organised by setting.

Through the Primary and Secondary National Strategies and in our Gifted and Talented programme we continue to offer guidance and support to schools on classroom practice so that they can make decisions about where and how to use pupil grouping and setting to best meet the learning needs of all their pupils.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much capital funding was available to schools in (a) 2004–05 and (b) 2005–06, broken down by (i) modernisation funding, (ii) devolved formula capital, (iii) the Targeted Capital Fund, (iv) basic need funding, (iv) the School Access Initiative, (vi) Building Schools for the Future, (vii) expansion of popular and successful secondary schools and (viii) total capital funding; and what forecast she has made of funding in each category in (A) 2006–07 and (B) 2007–08. [18936]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is set out in the following table:
£ million

Forecast allocation
Devolved Formula Capital7748051,0001,050
Targeted Capital Fund(63)186200275550
Building Schools for the Future(64)1,1212,1182,1772,240
Successful and Popular Schools(65)11n/an/a
Total Capital Funding4,8735,5155,7556,265

(63) The forecast Targeted Capital Fund figures for 2006–07 and 2007–08 represent a total allocation of £1.1 billion, phased over three years. The balance is to be allocated in 2008–09.
(64) The Building Schools for the Future figures include PFI credits. The forecast figures for 2006–07 and 2007–08 represent available budget.
(65) There is no forecast for Successful and Popular Schools as this is a demand led programme. The figures in the table represent incentive funding provided by the Department.
(66) The Other line includes the following programmes; Voluntary Aided Schools, local authorities' Basic Need, Other ICT, Academies, smaller programmes.

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