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15 Feb 2006 : Column 2069W—continued


Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many vacancies there were on GNVQ courses in (a) Leicester and (b) England in each year between 1997 and 2005. [50144]

Phil Hope: The figures requested are not collected centrally.

Grammar Schools

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many grammar schools have a specialism; and what proportion of pupils achieved five GCSEs A*-C including mathematics and English in grammar schools with a specialism in the last year for which figures are available. [50045]

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Jacqui Smith: The information requested is outlined in the table.
2005 GCSE and equivalent results for 15-yea- old pupils in grammar schools: results broken down by specialist status as at September 2004.

Percentage of 15-year-old pupils
SpecialistNumber of schools5+ A*-C5+ A*-C including English and Maths

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Head Teachers

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of the introduction of the extended schools scheme on head teachers' work-life balance. [49310]

Jacqui Smith: By 2010 we expect all schools to be providing access to a core offer of extended services, including child care from 8 am to 6 pm; a varied menu of study support activities; parenting support; swift and easy referral to specialist services and wider community use of facilities. Head teachers, along with others, will want to ensure that these services are planned to support the overall vision of the school and contribute towards the School Improvement Plan. However, we do not expect teachers to provide or head teachers to directly manage all these new services.

Schools working with their local authority may wish to nominate an extended schools co-ordinator to develop services, and may work in clusters with other schools and children's centres in their area. We are also encouraging schools to work in partnership with existing local private and voluntary sector providers.

The National Remodelling Team will take a lead role in supporting schools through the development of extended services to ensure that it is consistent with the tenets of work force reform. Extended services can help remove barriers to learning and give support to pupils with their non-educational problems, helping school heads and teachers focus on their core job of teaching.

We do recognise that the context of school leadership continues to evolve quickly, and so we have welcomed the School Teachers Review Body's timely recommendation for an independent study to report by December 2006 on the roles, responsibilities, structures and reward systems of the leadership group, looking at both current practice and likely future developments. We will announce shortly further details on the independent study.

Higher Education

Edward Miliband: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many 16 to 19-year-old parents have returned to higher education in Doncaster North constituency since 1997. [50587]

Bill Rammell: The information is not held centrally.

Infant Schools

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will take steps to amend the funding formula for infant schools to reduce fluctuations arising from unpredictable pupil numbers. [50983]

Jacqui Smith: With the introduction of new funding arrangements from April 2006, all local authorities will be required to use a single pupil count, based on pupil numbers in the January before the start of each financial year, to determine their schools' budget shares. The use of a single pupil count will make a significant contribution to improved certainty of funding for our schools.
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At the same time, fluctuations in pupil numbers may cause difficulty for some schools and so our school funding regulations allow authorities to vary school budget shares in the face of exceptional pupil turbulence. The new funding arrangements also recognise that primary and infant schools may operate an admission point for their reception pupils in the summer term that the use of a single pupil count would not recognise. Our school funding regulations therefore allow authorities to make an adjustment in the January pupil numbers used to determine a school's budget share, by taking account of the number of pupils admitted at the beginning of the previous summer term.

International Baccalaureate

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment her Department has made of the potential for use of the International Baccalaureate for post-16 education. [51009]

Jacqui Smith: We have always acknowledged the particular strengths of the International Baccalaureate (IB). But we are clear that the IB was not designed to be, and is not, a suitable model to meet the needs of all young people in this country.

Key Stage 2

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of primary school leavers had a reading age of 11 in each of the last five years. [48129]

Jacqui Smith: The requested information is not available. The Department does however; collect data on pupils' achievements in the end of Key Stage 2 National Curriculum tests. At the end of Key Stage 2 pupils are expected to reach Level 4 in English. Pupils are assessed in both reading and writing to arrive at their overall level in the English test.

The National Curriculum tests measure the literacy skills that children are able to demonstrate at different levels of attainment. Children who reach Level 3 of the National Curriculum are assessed as having effective English skills and can demonstrate a good standard of reading. They are able to read a range of texts accurately and independently, tackle unfamiliar words and self correct when their reading doesn't make sense. Children achieving Level 4 have access to more complex forms of language and can access more complex ideas. They can use inference and deduction and can locate and use ideas and information.

Achievement of the target Level 4 provides children with a solid foundation in learning from which to access the full secondary curriculum. Pupils who achieve level 4 or above at the end of primary school are six times more likely to achieve 5 A*- C grades at GCSE. This is why the Government has set a target for 85 per cent. of 11-year-olds to achieve Level 4 or above in English.

The information provided in the table shows the proportion of pupils achieving Level 3 and Level 4 or above in the KS2 National Curriculum reading tests since 2001.
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Percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 or above in KS2 reading8280818384
Percentage of pupils achieving Level 3 or above in KS2 reading9291919192

(7) 2005 figures are provisional. All other figures are final.

Learning and Skills Council

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the impact of industrial action on the re-structuring of the Learning and Skills Council; and if she will make a statement. [50038]

Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council has been having regular discussions with the trade unions at both national and local level. I am encouraged that these discussions have continued beyond the end of the formal consultation period. There is currently no industrial action as a result of LSC restructuring, and I very much hope that it can be avoided.

List 99

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of those who received a caution for having indecent pictures of children were placed on List 99 in the last year for which figures are available. [48436]

Jacqui Smith: The Department does not collect the information that you require in the format requested.


Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to introduce further measures to combat poor literacy and numeracy skills among adults. [49435]

Phil Hope: The Skills for Life Strategy, launched by the Prime Minister in 2001, is the first comprehensive strategy to tackle adult literacy, language and numeracy skills across England. Since 2001, 3.7 millions adults have taken up 7.8 million learning opportunities and 1,130,000 of these learners went on to achieve at least one Skills for Life qualification. The Government plans to help 2.25 million adults to achieve a literacy, language or numeracy qualification by 2010.

Since the launch of the strategy, the Government have put in place the first national literacy, language and numeracy infrastructure, consisting of national standards, curriculum and qualifications. The next phase of the Skills for Life strategy will focus on raising the quality of teaching and learning, professionalizing
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the workforce, engaging adults who can benefit most from improving their skills, embedding literacy and numeracy learning in wider learning programmes (particularly vocational learning), and fostering progression to wider and higher levels of learning.

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the progress of the review of the national literacy strategy. [49998]

Jacqui Smith: The Primary National Strategy has been asked to renew and update its framework for the teaching of literacy. It has been conducting a period of informal consultation, including discussions with consultancy groups drawn from national samples of head teachers, teachers, local authority representatives, subject and professional organisations and higher education institutions. A consultation forum has been set up on the DfES website.

The Primary National Strategy has started work on writing a draft revised framework for more formal consultation, taking into account points arising from the informal consultation and the interim report of the Rose review of the teaching of early reading. This work will be completed by drawing on the findings that Jim Rose will set out in his forthcoming final report. The draft document will set out key learning objectives for the Foundation Stage and each year of Key Stages 1 and 2, giving a clear sense of the progression expected. It will also provide examples based on a particular year of the range of supporting material that the revised framework will marshal to ensure that teachers and practitioners have easy access to guidance and resources to help them plan and execute high-quality teaching. The draft revised framework will be published for consultation at Easter 2006.

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