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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the operation of sections (a) 403, (b) 404, (c) 405, (d) 406 and (e) 407 of the Education Act 1996. 
Jacqui Smith: The Department issued Sex and Relationship Guidance" to head teachers and school governors in 2000. This outlines the requirement to have an up-to-date policy on sex and relationship education available to parents for inspection. The guidance reminds schools to teach children about the nature of marriage and its importance for family life. The guidance also outlines the right of parents to withdraw children from the non-statutory elements of sex education. We have explained the rights of parents in the SRE and Parents leaflet and on the DfES Parents Centre website. Ofsted in its survey Sex and Relationship Education in Schools" (2002) reported that over nine out of 10 schools have a sex and relationship education policy. Ofsted has also indicated that 0.04 per cent. of parents exercise the right to withdraw their children from sex education lessons.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures will be taken to address the underperformance of pupils from (a) black and (b) gypsy and traveller communities under the provisions of the White Paper Higher Standards, Better Schools for All. 
We will focus on raising the attainment of black, and gypsy, roma and traveller pupils by putting in place targeted national programmes designed to provide advice, training, resources and challenge to schools with large numbers of underachieving pupils from these groups. These programmes will build on the test bed work that we have piloted through the Aiming High: Raising the Achievement of Ethnic Minority Pupils strategy.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether restrictions will be introduced to the freedom self-governing schools have to set their own admissions criteria under the provisions of the White Paper Higher Standards, 'Better Schools for All'. 
The existing regime which is designed to ensure a fair admission system, that is flexible enough to take account of local circumstances, will apply to trust schools in the same way as it does to other maintained schools. No trust school will be able to introduce any form of selection by ability and all will have to comply with the restrictions on selection by aptitude that apply to all maintained schools. Admission authorities for
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maintained schools must comply with admissions and equal opportunities legislation, and have regard to the School Admissions Code of Practice when setting their admission criteria. Other schools and local authorities can object to the Schools Adjudicator about any criteria that they consider are unfair or are not in line with the Code. Where the Adjudicator upholds an objection, his decision is binding.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the White Paper Higher Standards, Better Schools for All, what she expects the buildings of schools closed due to failure will be used for. 
Jacqui Smith: It will be a local decision what use is made of the buildings of schools which close due to failure. Our expectation is that they will continue to be used for educational purposes where they are suitable. This could include replacement schools, additional schools for new providers, or resited schools. Local authorities may also consider other educational or community use where this will give value-for-money. Where a closed school is sold, we expect that the proceeds will be reinvested in other schools to improve educational provision and attainment in the area.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures will be taken under the White Paper Higher Standards, Better Schools for All, to encourage poorer parents to become more involved in their children's education. 
Jacqui Smith: The Schools White Paper proposes a series of measures to support increased parental engagement in their child's learning and increased influence in the schools system as a whole, enabling parents to support their own child's achievement and promote system-wide improvement. We will ensure that new measures will reach all parents, particularly those who might not normally engage. Parents find it difficult to engage for many reasons, not just poverty or socio-economic factors.
To enable parents to become more engaged in their child's learning, we will require schools to share progress on children's learning three times a year, rather than annually. We also recognise that some parents, including from poorer families, do not feel they have real choices available to them. We will improve the information available to parents, enabling them to make informed decisions when choosing a secondary school. Through the White Paper, we will provide choice advice, focused on those who need it most, to support parents to make the best choice for their child.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what safeguards will be put in place under the provisions of the White Paper Higher Standards, Better Schools for All", to prevent a significant number of large failing schools being closed in the same area. 
Authorities are expected to consider the appropriate solution for a failing school in the light of the circumstances of the school. Under the White Paper's
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proposals they are expected to consider closure where a failing school is making inadequate progress after 12 months.
However, authorities will retain the responsibility to secure the provision of school places and to promote high standards. Where there is a need for a new school either to replace an existing closing school or to meet population growth, the LA will be able to hold a competition and invite promoters to bring forward proposals for a new school.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the level of funding per pupil in further education has been in each year since 1997 in Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency. 
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). The LSC was established in 2001 bringing the planning and funding of post-16 education together under one body.
Since 1997 government funding for further education has increased by around £2.5 Billionequivalent to around 48 per cent. in real terms. Between 1997 and 2005 funding on participation per full-time equivalent student has increased by 49 per cent. in cash terms and 23 per cent. in real terms
My Department does not hold figures on what the level of funding per pupil in further education has been in each year since 1997 in Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency. As the allocation of funding in local areas relates to the LSC's operational responsibilities, the LSC's Chief Executive, Mark Haysom, has written to the hon. Member with the information requested. A copy of his reply has been placed in the Library.
The LSC came into being on 1 April 2001 and the information you have asked for is, therefore, only available for 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05 and 2005/06. The figures for 1618 year olds (average rate per full-time equivalent) are shown below for Kendal College, the only further education college in your constituency, and distinguishes between the Council's allocation and the College's final claim (except for 2005/06 which, of course, is not yet known).
You may be aware that a recent independent report by the Learning and Skills Development Agency identified a number of technical anomalies" where the application of the LSC's methodology differs between the school and further education sectors. The report highlighted these anomalies as contributing to the difference in the funding for 1618 year old students in school sixth forms and those in sixth form and FE colleges.
The statement on schools' funding made in July 2005 by Jacqui Smith, the Schools Minister, included a programme of work to address the anomalies between school sixth form and college funding. This will be taken forward as part of the LSC's agenda for change programme.
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