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6 Feb 2006 : Column 996W—continued


Academy Schools

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list sponsors of academy schools making donations of £100,000 or more since 1997. [47300]

Jacqui Smith: The sponsors of academies, which are open or in implementation, who will be making donations of £100,000 or more since 1997 are:

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Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average A-level points score per pupil was for 11 to 18 years schools with sixth forms containing (a) 50 or fewer, (b) 51 to 100, (c) 101 to 150, (d) 151 to 200, (e) 201 to 250 and (f) more than 250 pupils in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [47826]

Jacqui Smith: The average GCE/VCE A/AS point score per candidate aged 16 to 18 in school sixth forms (excluding independent schools), split by size of sixth form for 2003 to 2005 is as follows:
Number of pupils aged 16 to 182002–032003–042004–05
50 or fewer164.9179.0169.0
51 to 100196.2203.0202.1
101 to 150222.6226.8229.1
151 to 200255.9261.4256.8
201 to 250282.3282.8290.9
250 or more291.9298.5301.6

Average point score calculations are based on A-level candidates only. The size of the sixth form has been estimated by using the total number of students aged 16–18 at the school, whether they were entered for an A-level or not.

Asset Sales

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the income derived from sales of assets resulting from the tier simplification of education structures in the North East; if she will list the items sold; and if she will make a statement. [48127]

Jacqui Smith: We have not made any estimates of the income to local authorities from the disposal of surplus school assets resulting from the reorganisation of education structures in the North East. It is for the local authorities to determine which assets are no longer needed by schools and the community which may use them.

The organisation of school provision is a local matter and local authorities have overall responsibility for ensuring that there are sufficient schools to meet local needs and final decisions on proposals to change the pattern of provision would normally be made by the local School Organisation Committee (SOC) or schools adjudicator.
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In the North East there are three local authorities with middle schools (Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland and North Tyneside). Following approval from the schools adjudicator in April 2004 Newcastle upon Tyne LA has now completed its reorganisation of schools (3 to 2 tier) in the Outer West area. The Gosforth area will remain 3 tier. Northumberland LA has published proposals and obtained approval for a reorganisation scheme to remove some of its middle schools for implementation from 2005 onwards. We understand that North Tyneside LA has no current plans to reorganise its school structure.

Avian Influenza

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what contingency plans her Department has prepared for schools in case of a reported outbreak of avian influenza within the UK. [48679]

Jacqui Smith: I refer the hon. Member to the earlier replies given to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow) on 7 December 2005, Official Report, column 1341W and my hon. Friend the Member for Bury North (Mr. Chaytor) on 30 January 2006, Official Report, column 96W.

Boarding Schools

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the terms of reference are of her Department's working group on boarding schools; and who are the members of the working group. [47124]

Jacqui Smith: The Department chairs an informal group of external partners who are assisting in exploring the potential for greater use by local authorities of boarding education provision for vulnerable children, where a careful assessment of the child's individual needs indicates that this would be beneficial. The group is focusing on designing a series of pathfinder projects with a sample of local authorities, boarding schools and representatives of educational trusts to develop and evaluate tools for identifying and assessing those children whose needs could be met by appropriate boarding provision.

In addition to the DfES officials, the group's current membership is:

Catch-up Classes

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in what subjects she proposes to provide catch-up classes as referred to on page 21 of the White Paper Higher Standards, Better Schools for All. [47762]

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Jacqui Smith: Schools are best placed to know the learning needs of their pupils and must use their own professional judgement to decide in which subjects they need to provide catch-up classes.

We will continue through our National Strategies programme to offer advice, guidance and support to primary and secondary schools on catch-up classes in English and mathematics. In addition, we will be investing £565 million by 2007–08 to support the personalisation of learning in schools, focusing particularly on helping children who have fallen behind in English and mathematics, and a further £60 million in each of the next two years to provide effective one-to-one and small group tuition for the lowest attaining pupils in targeted schools.

Citizenship Curriculum

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will take steps to ensure that the citizenship curriculum includes the teaching of (a) the words of the National Anthem and (b) knowledge of the flags and patron saints of the nations of the United Kingdom; and if she will make a statement. [48858]

Jacqui Smith: The flags, patron saints and the national anthem of the United Kingdom are not a separate element of the Citizenship National Curriculum. However, understanding the origins and implications of the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom is an important part of Citizenship curriculum which became statutory for 11 to 16-year-olds in September 2002. In this context pupils have the opportunity to explore the unique qualities that are part of the shared identities of the countries of the United Kingdom. They may consider the political, religious, social and constitutional systems that affect their lives and communities and that may include learning about the flags, patron saints and the national anthem. These are presently not a separate element of the Citizenship National Curriculum and there are currently no plans to change this.

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