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19 Dec 2005 : Column 2420W—continued

Office for Disability

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether a Minister in her Department is planned to be nominated to take responsibility for liaison with the Office for Disability Issues; and if she will make a statement. [37065]

Maria Eagle: Anne McGuire, the Minister for Disabled People, has overall responsibility for the Office for Disability Issues (ODI). The Minister for Disabled People chairs a cross-government steering group which includes ministerial representatives from the Department of Health, Department for Education and Skills, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Department for Transport, and Department of Trade and Industry. The Minister in this Department nominated to take responsibility for liaison with the ODI is Lord Adonis.

Ofsted Team Inspectors

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many individuals have been removed by Ofsted from the list of team inspectors in each of the last five years; and how many were reinstated. [36409]

Jacqui Smith: This is a matter for Ofsted. HM chief inspector, David Bell wrote to my hon. Friend today, and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

Letter from David Bell, dated 19 December 2005:

Individuals removed by Ofsted from the list of team inspectors in each of the last five years

Number of primary, secondary and special schools team inspectors removed from the role by Ofsted
Individuals re-instated

n/a=No data available.
(29)2 September to 31 August.
(30)One team inspector was re-instated by Ofsted following a successful appeal to the DfES Appeals Tribunal against HMCI's decision to remove the team inspector from the roll in the year 2003–04.

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Outdoor Learning

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what assessment she has made of the burden on families of the costs associated with school trips; [37984]

(2) pursuant to the answer of 24 October 2005, Official Report, column 147W, on outdoor learning, when she expects the recommendations of the working group set up to examine exclusion and school trips to be made public. [37997]

Jacqui Smith: On 25 November 2004, the results of 'The Cost of Schooling' survey carried out by BMRB social research on behalf of the Department were published. The survey looked at the costs associated with schooling that parents have to meet, including those related to school trips. A copy of the report is available on the Department's research website.

When published in spring 2006, we expect the Manifesto for Education Outside the Classroom to reflect proposals made by the 10 manifesto working groups, including the group looking at exclusion and school trips.

Performance Indicators

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on progress with the consultation on new English and mathematics performance indicators on secondary school achievement and attainment tables. [36026]

Jacqui Smith: The 14–19 education and skills implementation plan states that we will be publishing a supplement to the 2005 achievement and attainment tables, due to be published in January 2006, showing a range of indicators reflecting achievements in English and mathematics. The supplement will show performance against the key target measure of 5+A*-C including English and mathematics GCSEs and invite views on whether there might be additional English and mathematics indicators published in the achievement and attainment tables to supplement this key measure. Around 450 schools who are helping us pilot other tables developments will be asked for their views at conferences in the new year and a questionnaire seeking views on the indicators including English and mathematics will be available online.

Personal, Social and Health Education

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if she will make personal social and health education a statutory subject in all primary and secondary schools in England; [37810]
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(2) which recommendations made in the Personal, Social and Health Education in Schools: Time for Action report compiled by the Government's independent advisory groups on sexual health and teenage pregnancy she plans to implement; [37811]

(3) if she will ensure that sex education is taught as a compulsory subject in all faith-affiliated primary and secondary schools. [37812]

Jacqui Smith: There are no plans to make Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) statutory. The Government's focus is on improving the quality of PSHE teaching. Over the last three years we have funded the PSHE certificate, a continuing professional development programme which sets standards for the teaching of PSHE. Over 2,000 teachers have already gained certification and a further 1,800 teachers are undertaking the programme this year. We have also worked with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to produce new teaching and learning materials and assessment guidance for PSHE. We have also produced a DVD resource for teachers, PSHE into Practice", which will support teachers' professional development in PSHE.

The Government normally responds to the annual report of the Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy, which comments on and makes recommendations for the further development of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. The yet unpublished report 'Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) in schools: Time for Action' is a separate, ad-hoc report. When it is published the Government will consider its recommendations, but does not intend to publish a formal response.

All maintained schools, including those with a religious designation, are required to deliver the statutory elements of sex education, as set out in the National Curriculum Science Order, at primary and secondary levels. The DfES further recommends that all maintained schools use the PSHE framework to expand their provision and deliver a planned programme of SRE appropriate to the age, maturity and needs of pupils. This should be developed in consultation with the Governing Body and parents.

Primary Education (Gloucestershire)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent discussions she has had with Gloucestershire local education authority (LEA) on its reorganisation of primary education; and what guidance she is offering the LEA on proposals to close schools, with particular reference to small rural primary schools. [38109]

Jacqui Smith: The Secretary of State has had no recent discussions with Gloucestershire LEA on its reorganisation of primary education. Changes to school provision in an area are essentially matters for local decision. All local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that there are sufficient places and that high quality education is provided in a cost effective way.

The Secretary of State has provided statutory guidance on the process that must be adhered to when considering any reorganisation of school provision. We recognise the importance of rural schools to their local area which is why we introduced the presumption against their closure in 1998. Although this does not
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mean that no rural school will ever close, the case for closure needs to be strong and clearly in the best interests of education in the local area.

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