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1 Nov 2005 : Column 994W—continued

Child Care

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many child care places were available in each of the past 30 years. [20318]

Beverley Hughes: We are unable to provide figures for the period requested other than at disproportionate cost. Details of the number of child care places available in England for each year between 1990 and 2005 are given as follows.

(a) Figures from day care facilities surveys, 1990–2001
Total number of child care placesChildmindersFull day careOut of school/holiday clubsSessional care
1989–90303,100205,60097,500No figures416,400
1990–91339,400233,300106,100No figures428,400

(b) Using data from

Total child care placesChildmindersFull daycareOut of school/holiday clubsSessional care

The apparent discrepancies between the two data sets during the period 1996–97 to 2000–01 reflect different data collection methodologies. For instance, the Daycare Facilities Survey (DCFS) treats Out of School/Holiday Club places in a different manner to the Ofsted/LA figures. The DCFS counted a Holiday Club place that is available during each school holiday as three places (one at Easter, one in the summer, and one at Christmas) whereas the Ofsted/LA figures would consider it as just one place. The DCFS childminder places count methodology itself underwent major revision between 1991–92 and 1992–93, which explains the sudden leap in the figures there.

Since 2003 the Sure Start, Extended Schools and Families Group has used quarterly registration data from Ofsted to measure the stock of, and fluctuations in, childcare place. Prior to that figures were generated from comparable data included within local authorities' annual returns to the Early Years and Childcare Unit (now part of the Sure Start, Extended Schools and Families Group). These administrative data figures have less statistical validity than the Daycare Facilities Survey, which were published as National Statistics.

Departmental Property

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what property her Department owns in the Kettering constituency. [24131]

Maria Eagle: The Department does not own any property in Kettering.
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Departmental Staff

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what assessment she has made of the (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills of new recruits to her Department; [21012]

(2) what training in (a) literacy and (b) numeracy is offered to employees of her Department. [21112]

Maria Eagle: My Department has a Skills For Life (basic skills) framework which sets out how we support staff with basic skills needs.

The Department provides advice and guidance to any member of staff who wants to enhance their literacy and numeracy skills, and can arrange for screening and diagnostic assessment.

Earlier this year the Department ran an in-house basic skills course for staff. The programme gave people with an identified skills need three hours tuition per week, delivered by tutors from the local adult education
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service. The tutor is still on-site for three hours per week to provide additional learning support to participants to help them enhance their skills.

In 2002, the last time the Department undertook a large recruitment of administrative staff, candidates were assessed via a selection process, which included written tests for numeracy and literacy.

Departmental Consultation

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list formal consultations being sponsored by her Department and its agencies; and what the (a) commencement date and (b) deadline for responses is in each case. [22566]

Maria Eagle: My Department is sponsoring 13 formal consultations. These are in the following list with corresponding commencement dates and deadlines for responses.

My Department has no agencies.
Department for Education and Skills

Title of consultationCommencement dateDeadline for responses
Consultation on Proposals to Extend the Streamlined Route for Schools to Acquire Foundation Status to Primary Schools5 July 20058 November 2005
Youth Matters18 July 20054 November 2005
Somewhere To Go, Something To Do18 July 20054 November 2005
A Single Inspectorate for Children and Learners29 July 20054 November 2005
New Fire Safety Guidance for Schools1 August 200518 November 2005
Cross Government Guidance—Sharing Information on Children and Young People23 August 200515 November 2005
European Qualifications Framework31 August 200523 November 2005
Review of the Regulations Governing the Registration of Pupils in Schools1 September 200514 December 2005
Improving the HE Applications Process9 September 20055 December 2005
Turning the Tables—Transforming School Food—Recommendations for the Development and Implementation of Revised School Lunch Standards3 October 20053 December 2005
Consultation on the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) (Further and Higher Education) Regulations 20065 October 200530 December 2005
Consistent Financial Reporting Framework 2006/713 October 20055 January 2006
Draft Standards for Support and Outreach Services24 October 200527 January 2006

Education Maintenance Allowance

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students in Oxfordshire were in receipt of education maintenance allowance (a) in total and (b) at the rate of (i) £30, (ii) £20 and (iii) £10 per week in the last year for which figures are available. [18040]

Maria Eagle: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council, who operate Education Maintenance Allowances for the DfES and hold the information about take-up of the scheme. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Gentleman with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom to Mr. Andrew Smith, dated 25 October 2005:

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