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8 Dec 2005 : Column 1538W—continued

School Deficits (Essex)

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in Essex are expected to run a deficit in the current financial year; and what the reasons given for a deficit are in each case. [35811]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not yet available. The Department is due to collect the section 52 out-turn data relating to the 2005–06 financial year from October 2006.

Sexual Abuse

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action her Department is taking to prevent sexual abuse involving children. [34792]

Maria Eagle: The Government's guidance documents 'What to do if you you're worried a child is being abused' (2003), 'Safeguarding Children in Education', and 'Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004' set out the roles and responsibilities of practitioners who work with children, and of a wide range of organisations, to promote children's welfare and safeguard them from harm. We
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are currently revising 'Working Together to Safeguard Children', the core inter-agency guidance on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The revised version will include updated guidance on female genital mutilation, forced marriage, child prostitution and internet safety. My Department is leading work to update the National Plan to Prevent the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and is contributing to the Home Office review of prostitution. We provide support for the Stop It Now! campaign run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and also to ChildLine. We are implementing the recommendations of the Bichard Inquiry relating to improved vetting arrangements for workers with children and the provision of training for school governors and head teachers to ensure that staff selection interviews reflect the importance of safeguarding.

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance is given to schools to encourage children to report acts of sexual abuse. [34793]

Maria Eagle: My Department's guidance for all local authority education departments, schools (including independent schools) and further education colleges in England, 'Safeguarding Children in Education', explains the duty, roles and responsibilities placed upon them by sections 157 and 175 of the Education Act 2002 to carry out their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The guidance makes clear that schools should demonstrate to children that they are in a safe environment where they will be listened to, and that schools should have a child protection policy in place, which emphasises the importance of listening to children and taking their concerns seriously.

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent discussions she has had with children's charities about child sex abuse. [34794]

Maria Eagle: In November I addressed the annual conference of the Coalition for the Removal of Pimping (CROP). My right hon. Friend, the Minister for Children, Young People and Families, has recently written to the NSPCC in response to their recent 'Talk 'til it Stops' campaign, which asked the Government to introduce and resource public awareness campaigns to prevent child abuse.

Sick Leave

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many of her Department's employees who are within one year of the official retirement age are on extended sick leave. [32601]

Maria Eagle: My Department remains committed to managing sickness absence effectively and to putting in place the recommendations of the recently published report Managing Sickness Absence in the Public Sector".

There is currently one person within one year of the official retirement age on extended sick leave.
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Sixth-form College (Shrewsbury)

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will visit the sixth-form college in Shrewsbury. [33890]

Ruth Kelly: My Ministers and I are keen to visit educational establishments of all types and get many invitations, which we try to accept as far as our diaries permit.

Special Advisers

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the names of the special advisers who have served in her Department since 2001; what the dates of service were of each; and what policy areas each covered. [33851]

Maria Eagle [holding answer 2 December 2005]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 16 November 2005, Official Report, column 1257W.

Special advisers support their Ministers across the range of the Department's policy areas. Their responsibilities are set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers which is available in the House Libraries.

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children received a statement of special education needs in (a) each local authority in Essex, (b) each London borough and (c) England in the last year for which figures are available. [34216]

Maria Eagle: The information requested is shown in the table.
Children for whom a statement was issued for the first time during calendar year 2004

Inner London1,711
City of London(21)
Hammersmith and Fulham104
Kensington and Chelsea36
Tower Hamlets190
Outer London2,810
Barking and Dagenham114
Kingston upon Thames98
Richmond upon Thames75
Waltham Forest186

(21)Fewer than five pupils.
SEN2 Survey.

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Sure Start

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children living in (a) Leeds and (b) Leeds West constituency are participating in Sure Start schemes. [35137]

Beverley Hughes: There are eight Sure Start local programmes in Leeds reaching a total of 6,026 children under the age of four. Sure Start Seacroft covers 1,345 children; Sure Start Bramley covers 993 children; Sure Start Middleton covers 502 children; Sure Start Chapeltown covers 783 children; Sure Start Beeston Hill covers 905 children; Sure Start Burley covers 466 children; Sure Start Harehills covers 499 children and Sure Start Little London involves 533 children under four. All eight Sure Start local programmes are part of or are becoming children's centres. There are also 24 neighbourhood nurseries in Leeds providing 730 full day care places. 13 of these nurseries are involved in becoming children's centres.

In 2004–06, Leeds planned to develop 25 children's centres reaching a total of 10,706 children under the age of five. 14 of these centres have been designated as children's centres by the Sure Start unit and eleven have received approval to proceed.

Five of these children's centres are based within the Leeds West constituency serving a total of 2,450 children under five; two have been designated as children's centres. There are also two Sure Start local programmes within the constituency covering 1,458 children under four; both are part of children's centres. There are four neighbourhood nurseries based within Leeds West, offering a total of 147 full day care places.

University Staff (Salaries)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Education and Skills what discussions the Department has had with the relevant trade unions on the salaries of university staff. [35214]

Bill Rammell: The Department has had no such discussions. Universities are autonomous and responsible for determining their own academic and administrative affairs, including deciding what to pay their own staff. Pay
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and conditions of service are subject to negotiations between employers, their staff and their representative trade union bodies. The Government plays no part in this.

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