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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the allocation to the Geography Development Fund in improving continuing professional development for non-specialist primary teachers. 
The Geography Development Fund was established in 2004, to improve the teaching, learning and status of geography in schools. We judge the allocation to be sufficient to lay the foundations for subject development. The Fund is targeting strategic priorities identified by the subject community. In 2004/05 a significant part of the Fund was devoted to supporting primary teachers. The 'Geography from Square One' project provides accessible teaching ideas, particularly for non-specialists and the pilot 'Primary Geography Quality Mark' helps schools deliver quality geography and be recognised for doing so. These developments have been well received by teachers and will be built on through further work supported by the Geography Development Fund in 2005/06.
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Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 7 November 2005, Official Report, column 118W, on gifted and talented youth, how many members of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth there are in the Bognor Regis and Littlehampton constituency, broken down by school. 
Jacqui Smith: 67 members of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth are resident in the Bognor Regis and Littlehampton constituency. These pupils attend The Angmering School in Littlehampton in the neighbouring constituency of Arundel and South Downs.
Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the plans to sell off Holland Park Secondary School; and whether the governors of Holland Park Secondary School had apprised her Department of their proposal to sell off the school. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 10 November 2005]: In January 2004, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea applied, with the knowledge and consent of the Governors of Holland Park Secondary School, to dispose of part of the school site. The land to be sold consists of a hard play court, a gymnasium and a small swimming pool. Only the sale of the hard play court needs the Secretary of State's consent.
The proceeds of sale of this land will be used towards the costs of redeveloping the school on its northern site. The outcome will be a brand new state-of-the art school with some first class sports facilities. Consent was given on 25 March 2004.
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will ask the regional offices of the Learning and Skills Council to base the allocation of public funding to each qualification level available to adults on an assessment of the skills needs of their respective regions. 
Bill Rammell: The Department allocates funds for education and training in the post-16 learning and skills sector to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to meet agreed national priorities and targets. We do not agree specific regional budgets with the LSC for adult learning. It is for the LSC to determine for itself the most appropriate balance of investment in adult learning provision, within the funds allocated to it and within the overall framework set by Government. The LSC works closely with Regional Skills Partnerships, whose role is to bring together key partners including the regional development agencies, the Skills for Business Network, Jobcentre Plus, local authorities, and the LSC, to ensure that emerging skills needs are identified and addressed.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 18 October 2005, Official Report, column 962W, to the hon. Member
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for Fareham (Mr. Hoban), on the Learning and Skills Council, how many learners will be funded in (a) 200506, (b) 200708 and (c) 200809. 
Bill Rammell: We are broadly maintaining the overall public funding that the LSC will be able to allocate to support adult learning on average through to 200708. But the pattern of that learning will change. To meet our national priorities, we need to shift the pattern so that we provide a greater number of longer and more expensive courses for adults, to equip them with the range of skills they need for employability and further progression to higher levels of training.
As a consequence, the number of publicly funded places on shorter courses which do not lead to national qualifications is likely to fall by around 500,000. But set against this, there will be some 400,000 places available through the National Employer Training Programme and over 260,000 places for adults taking full Level 2 programmes in mainstream further educationwhich is a total increase of 274,000 full Level 2 places compared with 200506. So while maintaining the overall volume of adult training, we estimate there will be a net reduction in publicly-funded places of around 230,000 (about 6 per cent.). That will result in a total of some 3.5 million places available for adults by 200708. We expect that this reduction can be offset by colleges and other providers offering a wider range of programmes at full cost. In addition, public funding will support an expected additional 46,000 16 to 19-year-olds in learning in FE colleges and schools by 2007/08 compared with 2005/06, and maintain the numbers on apprenticeships while increasing the numbers successfully completing the full apprenticeship framework.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 7 November 2005, Official Report, column 124W, on offender learning schemes, when new offender learning and skills delivery arrangements will be extended to the rest of England. 
My Department began collecting data on parenting contracts (in cases of non-attendance and exclusions from school) from September 2004. Between September 2004 and 31 July 2005 local authorities in England have reported that 5,717 parenting contracts in cases of non-attendance have been agreed with parents. During the same period 418 parenting contracts in cases of exclusion from school were agreed with parents. Milton Keynes local authority has reported no parenting contracts between September 2004 and 31 July 2005. Data for this autumn term will be published in March 2006.
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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps are being taken by her Department to promote a pro-achievement ethos, culture and environment within (a) schools and (b) communities. 
Jacqui Smith: The Government have introduced a wide range of reforms which have promoted substantial improvements in achievement rates since 1997. These include our Specialist Schools policy which enables some of our best schools to drive innovation and play a leading role in the system; the introduction of Academies to raise attainment in communities in the areas of greatest need; and the targeted challenge and support provided through the National Strategies to raise achievements in the core subjects. These reforms have been supported by an unprecedented level of investment in better teachers' pay; in more support staff; in new computers and other equipment; and in new school buildings.
Real improvements have followed. Compared with 1997, around 84,000 more 11-year-olds started secondary school this year with the basic literacy and numeracy skills to do well; and 50,000 more 14-year-olds achieved the target standard in English and mathematics this year than did so in 2001, when the Key Stage 3 Strategy was introduced. Schools in the most deprived communities have achieved faster than average improvements, especially in the proportion of good passes at GCSE, thanks to programmes such as London Challenge and Excellence in Cities which has also promoted collaboration between schools to raise standards.
The Schools White Paper published last month sets out our plans to improve the school system further, in particular by putting parents and the needs of their children at the heart of it, freeing up schools to innovate and succeed, bringing in new dynamism and external support and ensuring that failure or coasting is not an option for any school.
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