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David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the items valued at over £100 that have been reported as stolen from buildings occupied by her Department in the past 12 months. 
Maria Eagle: The following table details how much was spent by the Department on refreshments from 1999 to date. It is not possible to provide information from 1997 without incurring disproportionate costs.
|2005/06 to date||313,375.56|
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance she has issued to local authorities regarding supporting disabled parents in getting their children to school. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 23 January 2006]: The Department has not issued any guidance to local authorities specifically in relation to supporting disabled parents with their responsibility to ensure the regular attendance of their children at school.
We would expect, however, that where the attendance of individual pupils gives cause for concern, the local authority's education welfare service would work closely with the family to resolve any problems.
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 23 January 2006]: Free home to school transport is a service that local authorities provide to parents of school pupils where they consider it 'necessary' to secure a child's attendance at school. Local authorities must consider transport necessary for all pupils of compulsory school age (including those with disabled parents), and who attend their nearest suitable school, provided that the school is beyond the statutory walking distance.
From December 2006, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, places a duty on the public sector to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people and to eliminate discrimination. This duty is anticipatory, meaning that public authorities will have to review all their policies, practices, procedures and services to make sure they do not discriminate against disabled people and ensure that all their services are planned with disabled people's needs fully considered in advance.
In the Department's view, this means that local authorities will be under a duty to amend their home to school transport policy if, for example, that policy relied on disabled parents accompanying their children along a walking route for it to be considered safe, and where the parents' disability prevented them from doing so. In
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such circumstances, a reasonable adjustment would be for the local authority to provide free home to school transport. The Department will publish guidance to this effect in advance of the duty coming into force.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the impact of the education maintenance allowance in encouraging 16 to 18-year-olds to stay in education. 
Jacqui Smith: The Department's Spending Review 2004 Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets are set out in the 2005 Departmental Report (cm 6522), a copy of which is in the House Library. The current PSA target at key stage 2 is to raise standards in English and mathematics so that:
Good progress has been maintained towards delivery of this target. A record 79 per cent. of pupils achieved level 4 or above in English and 75 per cent. achieved level 4 or above in mathematics last year. Compared to 1997, the proportion achieving level 4 or above has increased by 16 percentage points in English and by 13 percentage points in mathematics.
Significant reductions have been made in the number of schools where fewer than 65 per cent. of pupils achieve level 4 or above. In 2003 (baseline), 2,849 schools in English and 3,570 schools in mathematics were achieving below the target. In 2005, these figures dropped to 1,871 schools in English and 2,800 schools in mathematics. Compared with 2003 this means an overall reduction of 34 per cent. (978 schools) in English and 21 per cent. (770 schools) in mathematics towards the floor target of 40 per cent. reduction by 2008.
The current PSA targets at Key Stage 4 are: (a) by 2008, 60 per cent. of pupils achieve five or more GCSEs or equivalent at grades A*-C; and (b) in all maintained secondary schools at least 25 per cent. of 16-year-olds achieve five or more A*-C grades by 2006 and 30 per cent. by 2008.
Good progress has been made towards achievement of these targets. In 2005, 56.3 per cent. of 15-year-olds achieved five or more GCSEs or equivalenta 2.6 percentage point increase on 2004 results and an increase of 11.2 percentage points compared with 1997.Over 67,000 more pupils are now achieving at this level than did so in 1997.
Jacqui Smith: Educational establishments which are publicly funded are covered by the provisions of the Health Bill currently before Parliament. The Bill, when passed, will prohibit smoking in enclosed public places including early years education settings, Sure Start children's centres, schools, colleges of further education and institutions of higher education, with some exemptions for residential accommodation for students and staff. Young people living in residential schools homes who are over the legal minimum age at which smoking is permitted, currently 16, would have the same right to smoke as other young people of the same age in their own rooms.
Currently, nurseries and pre-schools are required, under national standards, to have a no smoking policy. We already encourage schools to be smoke-free environments. All schools should aim to become healthy schools and should be smoke free or be working towards being smoke free by September 2007 to gain healthy school accreditation. The national minimum standards for residential special schools encourage smoke-free policies. Higher education institutions must comply with all smoking legislation for their premises: it is for individual institutions to decide their own smoking policies in line with current legislation.
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