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10 Nov 2005 : Column 739W—continued


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils attend each (a) primary and (b) secondary school in (i) Ribble Valley and (ii) Lancashire. [24313]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much has been spent on counselling services in schools in (a) Hemel Hempstead constituency and (b) Hertfordshire in each of the last five years. [25568]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which schools in the Putney constituency are included in the Building Schools for the Future Programme; which wave of the programme each school will be in; what the agreed funding is for each school; and what stage each project already under way has reached. [27245]

Jacqui Smith: Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is our long-term programme to provide 21st-century facilities to all secondary pupils. We aim to do this in 15 waves of investment from 2005–06, subject to future public spending decisions. All schools in Putney serving secondary-age pupils will be eligible for investment, as part of the London borough of Wandsworth's single BSF project. We have indicated to Wandsworth that its project may start in waves 4 to 6, which we hope to announce in 2007 after the next spending review. The funding and time scales for individual schools will not be agreed until after the project has started.

Science Teaching

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will publish the syllabus used for the Twentieth Century Science and Science for the Citizen pilots. [27227]

Jacqui Smith: A copy of the Twenty-First Century Science pilot specification is available on request from OCR, 9 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1PB. This pilot has informed the development of OCR's GCSE Science Suite A, which is available on OCR's website. A copy has been placed in the House of Commons Library. The term science for the citizen" refers to the approach taken through the new specifications and examinations to develop scientific literacy and does not refer to a particular qualification or pilot.
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Sure Start

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children have benefited from the Sure Start scheme in Morley and Rothwell constituency; and what plans she has to extend such schemes in the constituency. [26170]

Beverley Hughes: There are currently no Sure Start local programmes in Morley and Rothwell. From March 2006 a designated Sure Start Children's Centre will be based at the Seven Hills Primary School and Queen St. Early Years Centre. It will provide services to children and families in the area and is expected to work with around 1,100 children aged under 5 and their families. It will also provide 50 additional full day care places.

Leeds city council is currently consulting key stakeholders as part of the process of planning for further possible children's centres in the second phase of their development from 2006–08.


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations she has received on tackling the impact of socio-economic status upon educational performance. [26033]

Beverley Hughes: The Secretary of State regularly meets individuals and representatives of organisations throughout the education system who share the priorities she set out in her speech to IPPR on 26 July 2005. This detailed the Government's commitment to maintaining a genuinely comprehensive education system—a system that meets the needs of all children, whatever their backgrounds, their preferences or their ability.

The White Paper Higher Standards, Better Schoolsfor All" sets out our proposals for ensuring that a good education is available to every child in every community. We look forward to continued representations on how these proposals can improve social mobility as we discuss the White Paper and when we introduce the associated legislation.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the provision of extended schooling upon under achievement by children from low socio-economic backgrounds; [26061]

(2) what assessment she has made of the capacity of schools to provide extended schooling; [26062]

(3) what steps are being taken by her Department to improve the (a) availability and (b) accessibility of extra-curricular activities, including sports for children from low socio-economic backgrounds. [26046]

Beverley Hughes: Since 2002 my Department has supported three evaluations of extended schools. The reports of these evaluations have shown that it is likely that extended services accessed through schools generate a range of educational benefits for pupils, families and communities in disadvantaged areas. These include: raised pupil attainment; improved pupil attendance, behaviour and attitudes towards learning; and increased parental involvement in their children's
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education. Access to extended services at or through schools can reduce barriers to learning through multi-agency working to support vulnerable children and families, help develop learning cultures in deprived communities, and support non-working parents back into work, so reducing child poverty.

The latest of these reports, of the first year of the evaluation of full service extended schools, was published on 29 September 2005. The evaluation involved schools in areas of disadvantage and shows that there is considerable anecdotal evidence of positive outcomes from extended services accessed through schools. Although this does not yet amount to robust evidence of effectiveness it suggests that there will be longer term and wide-ranging outcome for pupils and families from low socio-economic backgrounds. Furthermore, the schools involved in the evaluation said that the extended schools initiative allowed them to address issues previously beyond their reach, such as drug problems and malnutrition, but which affect their pupils' achievement and other outcomes. This evaluation will continue until 2007 by which time we hope to have more substantial evidence on impacts.

We know, through a base line survey of extended services in schools published in September 2005, that the vast majority of schools, 95 per cent. of secondary and 87 per cent. of primary schools, are already offering after schools activities or childcare. The extended schools agenda is not about increasing the workload of existing school staff or schools providing all these services directly themselves on the school site. The evaluation of extended schools has shown that when managed properly the provision of extended services could free heads and teachers to concentrate on their core business. Schools are being encouraged to work with existing providers from both the private and voluntary sectors, other children's services and other nearby schools to deliver extended services and to make good use of their expertise and skills.

A package of support is in place to support schools develop extended services. We have made available £680 million over the period 2006–08 to local authorities and schools. This is additional to the £160 million we have provided to date. This funding can be used flexibly by local authorities and schools to help overcome barriers to developing extended services. The National Remodelling Team has been appointed to work with local authorities and schools to help them develop extended services and in a way that is consistent with school workforce reform.

By 2010 we want all schools to provide a varied range of study support activities with half of all primary schools and a third of all secondary schools doing so by 2008. Funding for a school's or local authority's study support (out of school hours learning) programme is available through their base budgets, and the School Development Grant. Furthermore, the recently published White Paper: Higher Standards, Better Schools for All", announced that £335 million has been earmarked for 2007–08 to support the personalised learning agenda, of which study support will form an intrinsic part. Helping children from deprived families is a priority for this funding.
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The Government are also implementing the national school sport strategy. The strategy is delivering an ambitious public service agreement target to increase the percentage of 5–16 year olds who spend a minimum of two hours a week on high quality PE and school sport within and beyond the curriculum to 75 per cent. by 2006 and then 85 per cent. by 2008. The long-term ambition, by 2010, is to offer all children at least four hours of sport every week. This will comprise at least two hours of PE and sport at school and at least an additional 2–3 hours of sport beyond the school day (delivered by a range of school, community and club providers). In the five years to 2008 over £1.5 billion is being invested to implement the strategy. The 2004/05 school sport survey results found that overall, 69 per cent. of pupils were participating in at least two hours of high quality PE and school sport a week. The results were published on 2 September 2005 and copies have been placed in the House Libraries.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps are being taken by her Department to improve the home literacy environment for children from low socio-economic backgrounds. [26092]

Jacqui Smith: With Government funding, Bookstart is now extending to reach all children in England at six to nine months with a baby bag, at 18 to 24 months with a toddler bag, and at three years old with the 'My Bookstart Treasure Chest'. The objective is to encourage parents to read with their children. The scheme promotes the important role libraries play in supporting children's early learning. In addition the Family Literacy, Language and Numeracy programme enables parents and their children to improve their literacy, language and numeracy skills together. It is funded by the Learning and Skills Council and delivered locally mainly in schools and is focused on the most deprived LEAs in England to help parents and children from low socio-economic backgrounds.

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