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12 Dec 2005 : Column 1701W—continued

Missing Children

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children in local authority care were reported missing from care to the police in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by (a) local authority area, (b) age and (c) sex. [36475]

Maria Eagle: The information requested is not collected centrally by the Department. Details of looked after children with at least one missing placement, in the years ending 31 March 1994–2004 may be found on theDepartment's website at: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/VOL/v000569/index.shtml.

National Curriculum

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will amend the national curriculum in (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools to include a section that informs students of the benefits of wearing seat belts; and if she will make a statement. [36189]

Jacqui Smith: There is sufficient scope within the non-statutory framework for personal social and health education for schools to explore road safety, including the wearing of seat belts. The Department has issued Safety Education: Guidance for Schools" to support schools in developing effective approaches to teaching and learning in safety education.

Parental Rights

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether she plans to shift the legal presumption in legal disputes concerning parental rights towards providing a more equal balance between mothers and fathers; and if she will make a statement. [26999]

Maria Eagle: There is no statutory presumption concerning parental rights in the Children Act 1989. Instead, the Act requires the court to have the welfare of the child as its paramount consideration in determining any question relating to his or her upbringing. It is clear that, in general, the children of separating parents will benefit from ongoing meaningful relationships with both of their parents, so long as these are safe and in their best interests. However, we believe that the addition to the Children Act 1989 of a statutory
 
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presumption focused on parental rights would lead to a move away from the current clear focus on the needs of children and towards focusing on the wishes of parents. We consider such a move to be harmful to the interests of children.

Post-16 Education

Edward Miliband: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of teenagers in Doncaster North have stayed in education after reaching 16 years of age in each year since 1995. [35600]

Bill Rammell: The percentage of 16-year-olds in full-time education at the end of 2004 was estimated to be 73.3 per cent.—the highest ever rate. Percentage figures on participation in education by young people are not available for parliamentary constituencies, but are available for local authorities—including Doncaster LEA. These were published in the Statistical First Release Participation in education and training by 16and 17-year-olds in each local area in England"—SFR11/2005 published on 31 March 2005.

The publication is accessible on the DfES website via the link, http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000568/index.shtml

The specific figures are available through the following link: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000568/SFR11–2005tables_lea.xls

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the learning participation and school sixth forms categories of the grant letter equate to the adults and young people categories of the Learning and Skills Council annual report and accounts 2004–05. [36605]

Bill Rammell: I confirm that the learning participation and school sixth forms categories of the 2004–05 LSC grant letter do equate to the adults and young people categories in the LSC annual report and accounts 2004–05.

Prison Education

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 14 November 2005, Official Report, column 946W, on prison education, what proportion of the £1.05 million for higher education and access to higher education courses for offenders in custody is expected to be spent on fees for external tutors attending prisons. [35737]

Phil Hope: On the basis of information up to June, the Open University have estimated that up to £140,000 may be spent on fees for external tutors during 2005.

School Buildings Repair

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the backlog of school buildings repair and maintenancework in Southend; and if she will make a statement. [34132]

Jacqui Smith: Based on data supplied to the Department by the Authority in 2003, schools in Southend have repair and maintenance requirements of £20 million. Costs have been updated to current costs.
 
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In addition to backlog repair work, the figure covers work needed over a five year period from the dates of the assessments, including cyclical and scheduled maintenance.

Southend and its schools have been allocated nearly £26 million of capital support over the next three years (2005–08).

School Improvement Partners

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the (a) pay levels and (b) gender balance will be of school improvement partners who (i) are also serving head teachers and (ii)are not head teachers but are drawn from the complement of local authority educational advisory and related staff. [35145]

Jacqui Smith: Pay levels are not determined centrally, because school improvement partners work under contract to the maintaining authorities of the schools with which they work. In each case it is for the authority to negotiate the pay level, either with the school improvement partner or with the school improvement partner's employer. We have no plans to set up central records of pay levels.

The gender balance of the school improvement partners is not determined in advance. At present there are school improvement partners for about one fifth of the secondary schools in England. The numbers, broken down by gender, are given in the following table.
WomenMen
Serving head teachers2857
Local authority educational advisory staff3939
Independent consultants67
Total73103

Among those who are not head teachers, there is nogender imbalance. Among the head teachers, the proportions of men and women match closely the proportions among secondary head teachers as a whole:
WomenMen
Percentage of secondary head teachers
(2003)
32.567.5
Percentage of secondary head teacher school
improvement partners
32.967.1

School Nursing

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many school nurses there were in England in each of the past 10 years. [24431]

Mr. Byrne: I have been asked to reply.

School nurses were counted fully for the first time in the September 2004 national health service work force census, which showed that there were 2,409 qualified nurses working as school nurses. The next count will be available from the September 2005 census.
 
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Schools (Haringey)

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in Hornsey and Wood Green are expected to run a deficit in the 2005–06 financial year; what the reasons given for a forecast deficit are in each case; and if she will make a statement. [36758]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not yet available. The Department is due to collect the section52 outturn data relating to the 2005–06 financial year from October 2006.

Secondary Schools (Ethnic Composition)

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the ethnic composition is of the pupil population at each secondary school in the (a) West Yorkshire and (b) Greater Manchester Metropolitan area. [34709]

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


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