Previous Section Index Home Page

26 Oct 2005 : Column 391W—continued

Private Members' Bills

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on what occasions since 1997 Ministers from her Department have (a) authorised parliamentary counsel to assist in preparing amendments to private Members' Bills on behalf of other private Members and (b) authorised officials to instruct parliamentary counsel to prepare amendments which were subsequently passed to private Members. [20142]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected.


Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 10 October 2005, Official Report, column 361W, on school play areas, if she will publish the data her Department collects from local education authorities on the suitability of sports provision within school premises. [18871]

Jacqui Smith: Data collected by my Department from education authorities on the suitability of sports facilities will be published by the end of December on the Department's Teachernet website.

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what is the average distance travelled by children from home to (a) secondary schools and (b) primary schools is in (i) Ribble Valley and (ii) Lancashire. [21894]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested has been provided in the following table.
Average distance(7) travelled from home to school in miles

Primary pupils(8)Secondary pupils(9)
Lancashire local authority0.82.0
Ribble Valley parliamentary constituency1.02.9

(7) Distances calculated are straight line and take no account of the route pupils follow in order to get to school.
(8) Includes middle deemed primary.
(9) Includes middle deemed secondary, CTCs and academies.
Annual School Census 2005 Final.

26 Oct 2005 : Column 392W

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many recorded incidents of physical assault by students on staff there were in each secondary school in (a) Havering, (b) Essex and (c) Greater London in each of the past five years. [20582]

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 (HSE)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. The following table shows the number of non-fatal injuries to secondary school workers involving acts of violence where the assailant was a student reported to HSE's Field Operations Directorate in Essex and Greater London between 2001/02 and 2003/04, the only years for which data are available.
HaveringEssexGreater London
Non-fatal major injury000
Over-3-day injury000
All reported injuries000
Non-fatal major injury000
Over-3-day injury003
All reported injuries003
Non-fatal major injury012
Over-3-day injury055
All reported injuries067

Secondary school level data is not available.
Health and Safety Executive.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance she has issued to local authorities on improving capacity within schools to increase parental choice. [19393]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 18 October 2005]: This Government are wholeheartedly committed to the principle of real choice for parents and pupils so that they can chose between excellent local schools. Parents have the right to express a preference for whatever school they wish their child to attend and we want as many parents as possible to be able to send their child to their preferred school.

School admission authorities have a statutory duty to comply with parental preference, unless a particular school is oversubscribed, in which case places must be allocated according to the published admission arrangements.

We have introduced a number of measures to make it easier for the best schools to expand in line with parental demand including making dedicated capital funding available for the expansion of successful and popular secondary schools. Schools wishing to expand must follow a statutory process—consulting interested parties and publishing a statutory notice. The final decision is taken by the local School Organisation Committee (SOC) or an independent Schools Adjudicator. Our guidance to SOCs and adjudicators
26 Oct 2005 : Column 393W
makes it clear that there is a presumption in favour of approving proposals to expand a successful and popular school.

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her Department's policy is on supplying schools directly with printed publications for use in classrooms. [19694]

Jacqui Smith: The Department's method on sending printed publications automatically to schools in England is set out in the new relationship with schools document. The Department ceased sending printed publications to schools in 2004 as detailed research showed that schools wanted to be able to choose the printed publications they required.

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.

This has resulted in schools being able to order a wider variety of publications from the Department, putting schools in direct control of what they receive and when they receive it.

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on what basis funds from the Schools Access Initiative are allocated to local education authorities. [21805]

Jacqui Smith: Funds from the Schools Access Initiative are allocated to local authorities on the basis of the relative number of pupils in each authority, aggregated from schools' census data. £84 million per annum has been allocated to local authority schools, and £16 million per annum to voluntary aided schools. Further information on the initiative can be found on

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the servicing of historic debt relating to the land and buildings of foundation schools will be transferred to such schools; whether a group of schools can become a single foundation; and if she will set out the financial regime for foundation schools. [21074]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 24 October 2005]: When a school changes category to become a foundation school, all land (including buildings) held by the local authority for the purposes of the school transfers to and vests in the foundation body or the governing body of the new school if it has no foundation. The transfer would include any rights or liabilities enjoyed or incurred by the authority in connection with the land and may include certain contractual financial liabilities. However, any liability of a local authority in respect of the principal of, or any interest on, a loan is excluded from transfer. In the first instance it is for the local authority and the school to agree on what land, rights and liabilities should transfer.

It is possible for a charitable foundation to act for more than one school and so far as recurrent funding is concerned, there is no difference in the arrangements between community, foundation and voluntary schools.
26 Oct 2005 : Column 394W

Student Finance

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many university students have been affected by the decision to take the income of step-parents into account when calculating student support. [19693]

Bill Rammell: The number of new students in England and Wales beginning their studies in the 2004/05 academic year who could have potentially been affected by the change in regulations to include the income of co-habiting partners in the means-testing of student support is around 10,000.

However, not all of these students may have been affected by the change in regulations since family income may remain below the threshold at which private contributions towards support begins. Similarly, income may have already been above the threshold at which means-tested support ends without the inclusion of a co-habiting partner's income.

Data cover parents who are single, separated, divorced or widowed who are living with a partner, either married or unmarried.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what estimate she has made of the costs incurred by local education authorities in transferring to a national system of processing student loan applications in 2004; whether a regulatory impact assessment was published; what reimbursement such authorities received for such costs; and if she will make a statement; [19881]

(2) what estimate she has made of the costs incurred by local education authorities in processing student loan applications in 2005–06; and by what system such authorities will be reimbursed for such costs. [19882]

Bill Rammell: Provision for the costs of administering student finance applications is made within the overall funding for education provided to local authorities (LA). It is for LAs to determine how much they spend on student finance administration within that settlement. Some LAs have claimed that their costs increased as a result of the introduction of the national Protocol IT system in 2004–05. We are therefore investigating this issue but do not intend to make a decision on reimbursement until the costs for the 2005–06 financial year are known. This work will be completed around early summer 2006.

When the policy was being developed, the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) process was not triggered by impacts purely on the public sector. Although we therefore did not conduct a RIA, we consulted extensively with LAs throughout policy development and implementation and agreed all major decisions with them.

Next Section Index Home Page