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14 Feb 2006 : Column 1929W—continued

Learning Difficulties

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what support and services are available in (a) Staffordshire and (b) Tamworth constituency for new parents whose children have been diagnosed at birth as suffering from learning difficulties; and whether she plans to increase this assistance. [48653]

Maria Eagle: The Government are committed to improving services for all children and their families, including those with learning disabilities. The Every Child Matters programme, alongside the implementation of the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services and the Government's SEN
 
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strategy Removing Barriers to Achievement", supports and promotes early intervention to help families of very young disabled children and special educational needs. In particular, the Government's Early Support Programme has been funded to improve support to parents of disabled children aged 0–3 and to provide timely interventions at the very earliest stages of disabilities being identified. All local authorities have now been asked to begin using the Early Support approaches and can access the resource materials to help improve services for families with young disabled children. The roll out of Sure Start Children's Centres across the country will also improve the integrated support provided to families with children under five who are disabled or who have special educational needs.
 
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In the Staffordshire area there are currently three designated Children's Centres. Although none of these are in the Tamworth constituency, the Tamworth Sure Start Local Programme and another early years centre in the constituency are planning to become children's centres in 2006–07. Across the county, child development centres (which provide specialist health support services to children with disabilities and SEN) are being co-located with children's centres.

As well as mainstream services, families of children with learning disabilities are entitled to access a range of specialist local authority and health support services, such as the Parent Partnership service and portage services providing home based support to parents. Details about these local services are not collected centrally and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

Looked-after Children

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many looked-after children there were on the latest date for which figures are available; and how they are cared for. [48067]

Maria Eagle: At 31 March 2005, the latest date for which information is available, there were 60,900 children who were looked after. Information on the numbers of children in the various types of care placement can be found in Table 1 of the Department's statistical first release on children looked after in England (including adoptions and care leavers), 2004–05. This can be downloaded from the internet at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000615/index.shtml.

Post-16 Education (Funding)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions she has had in the last three years about equalising funding per student in sixth-form schools and further education colleges; and if she will make a statement. [48939]

Bill Rammell: Ministers have had a number of discussions with a range of organisations in recent years about the different levels of funding for school 6th forms and further education (FE) colleges. The organisations we have met include the Association of Colleges, Sixth Form Colleges' Forum, Trade Unions and a very large number of individual colleges. The funding gap between school sixth forms and further education colleges for like-for-like 16–19 provision is longstanding. The removal of the FE sector from local authority control, efficiency cuts during mid 1990s and increases in schools funding have all contributed to it. When the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) took over responsibility for funding schools sixth forms in April 2002 it became easier to compare the relative funding.

The LSC as part of their 'agenda for change' proposals commissioned the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) to review the funding gap between school sixth forms and colleges. The LSDA report was the first attempt to consider all the elements that contribute to the funding gap and while the report showed a convergence in funding rates it estimated the overall size of the gap to be in the region of 13 per cent.
 
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On 16 November 2005 the Secretary of State announced our plans for narrowing the funding gap. We recognise that the funding gap will not be easy to close but we have taken some important steps in the funding package we announced on 21 October 2005. We have confirmed that for young people in FE in 2006/07 we will match the Schools' Minimum Funding Guarantee of 3.4 per cent. We estimate that this, together with other measures to correct technical anomalies, will reduce the gap from 13 per cent. to 8 per cent. by 2006/07. From 2008 we will look to bring consistency to the treatment of student retention and achievement across school sixth forms and colleges which we expect to narrow the gap by a further 3 per cent. Beyond that we will work to establish a common funding approach across the two sectors as part of the Learning and Skills Council's 'agenda for change'.

Primary Schools (Results)

Edward Miliband: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the Key Stage 2 results in (a) each primary school in Doncaster North and (b) the constituency as a whole were in each year since 1995. [36389]

Jacqui Smith: The 1996 to 2005 Key Stage 2 results for each primary school are published in the Achievement and Attainment Tables (formally Performance Tables) and are available on the Department's website at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/performancetables/index_archived.shtml

They are also available in the House Library.

The 1997 to 2004 results for the constituency have been placed in the in the Library and are also available within the Department's 'In Your Area' website available at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/invourarea.

Results for 1996 are not available at constituency level. Results for 2005 will be placed in the Library and made available on the 'In Your Area' website shortly.

Qualifications

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) GCSE passes at grade A-C and (b) GNVQ full intermediate passes there were in (i) media studies and (ii) child care in each of the last 20 years. [44702]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested (where available) can be found in the following tables.
Number of A*-C passes in GCSE media. film and TV studies, by 15-year-old pupils(46)

Number
2000
2001
200215,300
200317,600
200420,700
200524,500







 
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Number of full intermediate GNVQ passes in media: communication and production, by 15-year-old pupils(46)

Number
200015
20019
200248
2003137
2004134
2005761


(46) Age at the start of the academic year.

Figures for GCSE Media Studies are not available pre 2002 and GNVQ Media pre 2000. Courses in Child Care are not available at GCSE or GNVQ level.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of pupils have obtained a GCSE pass at grade A-C in (a) mathematics and English and (b) mathematics, English, a science subject and a modern foreign language in each of the last 20 years. [44703]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested (where available) can be found in the following table.
Percentage of 15-year-olds(47) achieving A*-C grades in the following GCSEs

English and mathematicsEnglish, mathematics, science and a modern language
19953424
19963525
19973625
19983726
19993928
20004029
20014230
20024330
20034329
20044428
20054628


(47) Age at the start of the academic year.

Figures on these combinations of GCSE subjects are not available before 1995.

Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many staff in (a) day nurseries and (b) schools in (i) Wakefield District and (ii) Normanton constituency are qualified to (A) Level 2, (B) Level 3 and (C) Level 4 standards. [48388]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected centrally.


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