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Parent Support Advisers

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the cost of each Parent Support Adviser; and if she will make a statement. [43943]

Beverley Hughes: The Government have set aside 20m to support the piloting of Parent Support Advisers in over 600 primary and secondary schools in the most deprived areas. These advisers will offer early preventative support for children and families where there are signs that they could benefit from additional help. Parent Support Advisers will work with families to identify the most effective support for them.

We are in the process of working up delivery proposals for Parent Support Advisers which build on good practice in early intervention with children and families and provide for a range of approaches across the pilot areas.

Pre-school Provision

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what comparative analysis of the effects of pre-school provision on educational attainment in other countries (a) has been and (b) will be undertaken by the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education Project. [43665]

Beverley Hughes: The Department's Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) study has reported that the EPPE findings are similar to those of research studies in other countries, including the US, Canada, Norway, Germany and New Zealand. The EPPE study uses the same quality measures as in key US studies to facilitate comparisons. It will continue to follow children's development to the end of Key Stage2, looking at comparisons with international research. Additionally, in 2003, my Department's Early Years and Childcare International Evidence project reported on the relationship of early years programmes to child outcomes.

This international body of literature shows that early education is especially important for the educational attainment of disadvantaged children, but has positive impacts for all children. Another consistent finding is that integrated early years settings, quality provision and higher staff qualifications are associated with more positive child outcomes.

Public Sector (Graduates)

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in what academic disciplines the
 
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Government have identified a need for more graduates in the public sector work force; and if she will make a statement. [43075]

Bill Rammell: Almost 14 million jobs will need to be filled by 2012 across the economy of which nearly 7 million will demand graduates. Historically we have not precisely identified the balance of provision between different disciplines or the public and private sectors. However, in our response to HEFCE's advice on subjects of strategic importance (a copy of which is being placed in the Library), we indicated that demand and supply side trends in those subjects would be monitored in future.

School Intakes

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether she plans to enable schools to extend the age range of children they teach. [43153]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 18 January 2006]: The Department has no immediate plans to change the existing arrangements whereby local authorities and school governing bodies may publish statutory proposals to change the age range of a school. Proposals are decided locally or by the Schools Adjudicator.

Governing bodies may use their discretionary powers under Section 27 of the EA 2002 to provide directly, or in partnership with others, facilities or services for the benefit of pupils, their families or the wider community. This may include childcare for children aged five and under. Subject to parliamentary approval of the provisions set out in the Childcare Bill, any such provision from 2008, would be based on, and consistent with, the Early Years Foundation Stage. This will ensure that learning and development activities are age appropriate and contribute to improved outcomes for children.

Senior Medical Officer

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people have held the position of Senior Medical Officer in her Department over the past 10 years. [43846]

Ruth Kelly: One person has held the post of Senior Medical Officer in this Department over the past 10 years. In 2003 the post ceased to exist, as the activities performed by the Senior Medical Officer were contracted out.

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) qualifications and (b) experience are required of candidates for the post of her Senior Medical Officer. [43848]

Ruth Kelly: This post no longer exists. Our medical services contractor retains the services of specialist consultants in forensic psychiatry to consider cases that involve child protection issues, including those where an individual may be placed on List 99, and also advises whether assessments and reports should be commissioned by specialists with other professional qualifications and experience.
 
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Sex Offenders

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what arrangements her Department has in place to ensure that registered sex offenders seeking employment in schools are considered for being placed on List 99. [41420]

Ruth Kelly: My statement, and the accompanying report of earlier today set out clearly the Government's analysis of, and response to, issues concerning child protection and List 99, together with the action we are currently taking.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills who advises her on who should be placed on List 99; and how such people are (a) chosen and (b) trained. [42090]

Ruth Kelly: My statement, and the accompanying report, of earlier today set out clearly the Government's analysis of, and response to, issues concerning child protection and List 99, together with the action we are currently taking.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) whether being placed on the sex offenders' register is a criterion for being placed on List 99; [42092]

(2) what criteria she uses when deciding who should be placed on List 99. [42091]

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) whether she has approved any person on the register of sex offenders to work at a school in her period as Secretary of State; [41419]

(2) how many people are on the list of registered sex offenders but not on List 99; [41418]

(3) how many people are on List 99; and how many of these are on the list of registered sex offenders. [41417]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 12 January 2006]: My statement, and the accompanying report, of earlier today set out clearly the Government's analysis of, and response to, issues concerning child protection and List 99, together with the action we are currently taking.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people are on List 99; and how many people were on List 99 in each of the last 10 years. [42105]

Ruth Kelly: The number of people on List 99 is included in the report which accompanied my statement earlier today. The list is continuously updated and data are not collected on an annual basis. Therefore we do not have the information requested about the total number of people on List 99 in each of the last 10 years.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) criteria and (b) procedures are used when it is decided to take someone off List 99. [42107]

Ruth Kelly: My statement, and the accompanying report, of earlier today set out clearly the Government's analysis of, and response to, issues concerning child protection and List 99, together with the action we are currently taking.
 
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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether anyone with a conviction for a sexual offence is working in a school. [42556]

Ruth Kelly: My statement, and the accompanying report, of earlier today set out clearly the Government's analysis of, and response to, issues concerning child protection and List 99, together with the action we are currently taking.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reasons someone on the register of sexual offenders might be allowed to work in a school. [42557]

Ruth Kelly: My statement, and the accompanying report, of earlier today set out clearly the Government's analysis of, and response to, issues concerning child protection and List 99, together with the action we are currently taking.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance her Department issues to schools on the employment of ex-offenders. [42574]

Ruth Kelly: My Department does not issue specific advice in respect of the employment of ex-offenders. The DfES Circular Child Protection: Preventing Unsuitable People From Working With Children and Young Persons in the Education Service" sets out the procedures schools should follow in deciding whether to appoint staff. It emphasises that decisions must be made on after considering a range of pre-employment checks. It points out that a criminal record does not automatically make an individual unsuitable to work with children.

The guidance advises prospective employers to consider several factors, including the nature of any offence(s); the length of time since the offence was committed; and the frequency of offending. It emphasises that sexual, violent, or drugs related offences are likely to indicate that someone is unsuitable to work with children, and that recent offences and/or a history of repeated offending are of much more concern than an isolated minor conviction many years ago.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people on the Register of Sexual Offenders are working in schools; and in what capacities. [42765]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 16 January 2006]: My statement and accompanying report explain the work under way to establish how many people on the list of registered sex offenders are currently employed in schools, which will also establish the capacity of each individual. We are carrying out follow up work with local Multi Agency Protection Panels, which include the police.

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people on the Sex Offenders Register are employed by schools in (a) Blackpool and (b) Lancashire. [42801]

Ruth Kelly: My statement and accompanying report explain the work underway to establish how many people on the list of registered sex offenders are
 
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currently employed in schools in England and Wales. We are carrying out follow up work with local Multi Agency Protection Panels, which include the police.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in Essex have staff who are on the Sex Offenders Register. [42922]

Ruth Kelly: My statement and accompanying report explain the work under way to establish how many people on the list of registered sex offenders are currently employed in schools. We are carrying out follow up work with local Multi Agency Protection Panels, which include the police.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list local education authorities which have schools with staff who are on the Sex Offenders Register. [42923]

Ruth Kelly: My statement and accompanying report explain the work under way to establish how many people on the list of registered sex offenders are currently employed in schools. We are carrying out follow up work with local Multi Agency Protection Panels, which include the police.
 
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