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19 Dec 2005 : Column 2412W—continued

Family Fund Trust

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she last reviewed the remit of the Family Fund Trust; and if she will make a statement. [37349]

Maria Eagle: Following open competition, the Department commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to carry out a triennial review of the Family Fund in April 2005.

The review considered the continuing need for the Family Fund; the future role of the Family Fund following devolution; the Fund's aims, objectives and priorities; the organisational management of the Fund; the financial management of the Fund; and the relationships of the Fund to the UK funding Government Departments.

The Department has discussed the findings of the review with the chair of trustees and chief executive of the Family Fund and with officials in the Governments of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The recommendations are being considered alongside recommendations in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit report which relate to improving the life chances of disabled children.
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Foster Carers (Abuse Allegations)

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance she (a) has issued and (b) plans to issue to (i) local authorities and (ii)other agencies on dealing with allegations of abuse against foster carers. [37328]

Maria Eagle: The Government takes the issue of allegations of abuse against all people working with children very seriously. Encouraging all organisations to have good systems and clear guidance in place forms a vital part of establishing safe environments for children and young people. Guidance about managing cases of allegations of abuse against all people who work with children will be set out in Chapter 4 and Appendix 4 of Working Together to Safeguard Children" which we will publish early next year.
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In addition, we are currently funding the development of materials aimed at highlighting some of the specific issues around allegations against foster carers. These include an information leaflet to inform foster carers and others about the process for handling allegations, as well as training materials which are designed for use at the pre-and post-approval stages of foster carer training.

Free School Meals

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils in (a) infant, (b) primary and (c) secondary schools in Dartford constituency (i) are eligible for and (ii) receive free school meals. [36718]

Jacqui Smith: The available information is shown in the table.
Maintained primary and secondary schools(21): school meal arrangements2
January 2005 Dartford parliamentary constituency
Number on rollNumber of pupils taking free school meals(23)Percentage taking free school mealsNumber of pupils known to be eligible for free school mealsPercentage known to be eligible for free school meals
Maintained primary8,9727308.18699.7
Maintained secondary7,0323324.74816.8

(21)Includes middle schools as deemed.
(22)Includes solely and dually registered pupils and boarding pupils.
(23)Based upon school level numbers of pupils who had a free school meal on 20 January 2005.
Annual Schools Census

Further Education (Funding)

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many further education colleges are receiving no funding for some of their students owing to the threshold for these colleges having already been met. [38292]

Bill Rammell: My Department allocates funds for further education (FE) colleges to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) which is the planning and funding body for post-16 education and training in England. For FE the LSC distributes funds regionally and local offices allocate funds to providers based on locally agreed development plans. I can confirm that the LSC will fund these plans. This guarantee that college plans will be funded has been widely welcomed by the sector as ensuring stability and provides confidence that colleges can make commitments for the year based on assured funding levels. This guarantee means that those colleges recruiting above their agreed plans cannot expect to receive additional funding in the current year over and above the levels they have agreed with the LSC.

Information on the number of students completing courses in the academic year is not available until after the end of that year. Consequently where colleges have delivered higher volumes in priority areas we would expect this to be reflected in their plans for the following year.

Head Teachers

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools were without a permanent head teacher for any period in the past 12 months. [38146]

Jacqui Smith: Information is not collected on the number of schools that were without a permanent head at any time in a 12 month period.


Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the 50 schools with the lowest average GCSE scores; and which of these have received support from the London Challenge New Views programme. [38001]

Jacqui Smith: School level figures for 2005 are not available until the School and College Achievement and Attainment Tables are published in January 2006. The lowest 50 maintained mainstream schools by average uncapped point scores at GCSE and equivalent in 2004 are given in the following table. Hayes Manor (Hillingdon) and Mitcham Vale (Merton) schools have had the opportunity to benefit from the London Challenge New Views programme and are in italics in the table.
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Lowest 50 maintained mainstream schools by average uncapped GCSE point score(24)(5508560025) in 2004

Institution(26)Local authorityNumber of 15-year-old pupils in reporting school yearAverage uncapped point score
Manchester AcademyManchester119125.2
Thamesbridge CollegeReading82136.1
Rushall Community CollegeWalsall105143.1
New College LeicesterLeicester342150.4
East Brighton College of Media ArtsBrighton and Hove111151.2
Montgomery SchoolKent54161.1
William Sharp SchoolNottingham149164.5
The College High SchoolBirmingham217166.3
The Ridings SchoolCalderdale155167.5
The River Leen SchoolNottingham136171.6
Endeavour High SchoolKingston Upon Hull247173.5
Withywood Community SchoolBristol, City of183176.4
The Ramsgate SchoolKent123179.4
Kaskenmoor SchoolOldham137180.5
Elliott Durham SchoolNottingham97181.6
The Gateway Community CollegeThurrock238187.0
Isaac Newton SchoolKingston Upon Hull125188.1
The International School and Community College, East BirminghamBirmingham238188.1
Henry Mellish Comprehensive SchoolNottingham137188.8
Sir Henry Cooper SchoolKingston Upon Hull174189.2
Langleywood SchoolSlough138191.7
Agnes Stewart Church of EnglandLeeds120192.0
Campion Catholic High SchoolLiverpool109192.1
The Thorpe Bay SchoolSouthend-on-Sea127192.6
Ribbleton Hall High SchoolLancashire103193.1
Parklands High SchoolManchester148193.1
Belle Vue Boys' SchoolBradford79193.6
The Hayes Manor SchoolHillingdon113193.9
Kingswood High SchoolKingston Upon Hull220194.3
Halton High SchoolHalton172194.9
Corby Community CollegeNorthamptonshire142195.1
Unity City AcademyMiddlesbrough241195.4
Kings Norton High SchoolBirmingham122195.7
Mitcham Vale SchoolMerton211195.9
Queen's Park Technology CollegeBlackburn with Darwen131197.2
Birkdale High SchoolKirklees98197.7
The Newark High SchoolNottinghamshire128198.7
Barstable SchoolEssex170199.2
South Halifax High SchoolCalderdale86201.6
Fazakerley High SchoolLiverpool127201.8
City of Leeds SchoolLeeds70201.9
St. Benedict's CollegeLiverpool137202.4
Woodway Park School and Community CollegeCoventry114203.1
John Smeaton Community High SchoolLeeds276204.3
Buttershaw High SchoolBradford283205.4
Fairham Community CollegeNottingham129205.7
The Alfred Barrow SchoolCumbria110206.5
Riverside Community CollegeLeicester174207.0
Central Technology College(27)Gloucestershire92207.6
Hengrove Community Arts College(27)Bristol, City of215207.6

(24)Average uncapped point score for pupils aged 15 at the beginning of the academic year (i.e. 31 * of August).
(25)Figures for 2004 include GCSEs and other approved qualifications.
(26)These figures include all maintained mainstream schools published in the Achievement and Attainment Tables with 30 or more pupils.
(27)Central Technology College and Hengrove Community Arts College had the same average points score and both are therefore included in the table.

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