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Disability Equality Schemes

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in England have published disability equality schemes. [53580]

Maria Eagle: The regulations made under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 require local authorities and secondary schools to publish their disability equality scheme by 4 December 2006, and primary schools and special schools by 3 December 2007. The Disability Rights Commission will be providing guidance for schools on the general duty to promote" and the specific duties, including the duty to publish a disability equality scheme in the autumn 2006.

Dysfluent Children

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance is given to schools regarding children who stammer; and what assessment she has made of services provided to help dysfluent children in schools. [52754]

Maria Eagle: The Department has not issued guidance on stammering as such, but we would normally recommend referral to a speech and language therapist where a child is showing signs of stammering.

In conjunction with the Department of Health, we have commissioned a scoping study to identify good practice in the delivery of speech and language therapy services to children with special educational needs. The study will be undertaken by a team from Canterbury Christ Church University and a report will be submitted to both Departments in August 2006.
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Child Protection (Ministerial Statement)

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the provisions announced in her Statement of 19 January 2006, Official Report, columns 966–70, apply to (a) sixth form colleges, (b) colleges of further education, (c) nurseries and (d) playgroups. [47214]

Maria Eagle [holding answer 31 January 2006]: The Government's ambition is to make safeguarding children everyone's business. We want our children to be safe in all settings—and that requires everyone to play their part—in Government, as parents, citizens, in the police, local authorities, health bodies, voluntary and private sector organisations.

The statement on 19 January covered this wider safeguarding agenda, as well as focusing on specific settings where appropriate. List 99 currently covers positions working with children in schools, FE institutions and LEA education services. PoCA covers child care positions in all regulated child care organisations (as defined in the Protection of Children Act 1999) who have a statutory duty to refer the names of individuals who fulfil criteria making them unsuitable to work with children. The Act also permits other organisations, such as voluntary organisations, sports clubs and scout associations to refer those working in child care positions who met the criteria for possible inclusion in the PoCA list.

Under the new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) employers will be able to check the barred status of all those applying to work or working in jobs that bring them into contact with children, including all those with opportunity for contact in key settings in sixth form colleges, further education colleges; those who regularly care for, train, supervise, advise and counsel, provide medical treatment to or are in sole charge of children; and those in key positions of authority. Most employers will be required to check barred status before employing; parents and domestic employers will be able, but not required, to check.

Of the immediate policy changes announced in the statement, the further work on supply agencies and overseas staff will look across a full range of settings where staff are required to work with children.

Mandatory CRB checks will be implemented for schools, including sixth form colleges through regulations made under sections 35 and 36 of the Education Act 2002 (and s72 of the School Standards Framework Act (SSFA) 1998)—currently the School Staffing (England) Regulations 2003. We will also be looking to apply similar mandatory checks for teachers, tutors and trainers working in FE. Changes announced by the Secretary of State mean that existing arrangements become compulsory for schools through amendments to regulations which will make an on appointment CRB check compulsory for all new appointments of teachers and teaching support staff in further education institutions who have not worked in a further education institution or school for the last three months. It is already a requirement that Childcare for under 8s must register with Ofsted in order to operate. Part of this registration process includes an advanced disclosure to ensure that those working with children are suitable to do so.
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Education Act

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many directions made under section 142 of the Education Act 2002 were revoked in each year since 2002. [47109]

Maria Eagle: The Secretary of State has the power to review a decision to include a person in list 99 except where a direction was given on the grounds that a person is unsuitable to work with children and that person claims he is no longer unsuitable.

Where a direction was given on the grounds that an individual was unsuitable to work with children and that individual claims he is no longer unsuitable, the Care Standards Tribunal has power to review the direction.

A direction may be revoked or varied by the Secretary of State if new information comes to light which is relevant to the original decision to include a person in list 99. The number of directions revoked in each year since 2002 is as follows:
Number of directions revoked

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if she will make a statement on the operation of section 159 of the Education Act 2002; [52409]

(2) how many proprietors were prosecuted for operating unregistered schools in the periods (a) 1991 to 1996, (b) 1997 to 2002 and (c) 2002 to 2006; [52441]

(3) how many times the Chief Inspector of Schools has exercised her powers under section 159(2) of the Education Act 2002 in each year since its enactment. [52442]

Jacqui Smith: The Education Act 2002 defines an independent school as any school that provides full time education for five or more pupils of compulsory school age; or one or more pupils with a statement of special educational need or who is in public care (within the meaning of section 22 of the Children's Act 1989); and is not a school maintained by a local authority or a non-maintained special school. Section 159 (2) of the Education Act 2002 enables the Secretary of State to prosecute the proprietor of an independent school, which meets the definition of an independent school and has not registered with the DfES. In the last 15 years there have been no prosecutions under section 466 of the Education Act 1996 or section 159 of the Education Act 2002.

No records are kept of the number of times the Chief Inspector of Schools has inspected the premises of schools which may be operating illegally.

Education Funding

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether capital devolved to local
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education authorities (LEAs) is controlled by (a) LEAs and (b) schools; whether foundation schools have devolved capital allocations directly devolved to them; and what changes to existing arrangements are proposed in the Education White Paper. [49417]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 8 February 2006]: Capital is allocated both to local authorities and to schools. Capital allocated to local authorities, known as formulaic funding, is controlled by them and prioritised in accordance with local asset management plans. Other funding, called Devolved Formula Capital (DFC), is controlled by schools. Foundation schools are treated on the same basis as other maintained schools regarding both formulaic allocations and DFC. Other programme allocations; relating to Targeted Capital Fund projects, PFI projects, and Building Schools for the Future projects, are spent by the local authority on the specific schools detailed in bid documentation.

Regarding DFC, the only exception to schools controlling the funding applies where a local authority is in a Building Schools for the Future programme. In this case, the local authority is given some flexibility to allocate DFC in accordance with schools short-term capital needs. No changes to the existing arrangements are proposed in the Education White Paper.

DFC guidance, which will shortly be updated for the year commencing 2006–07, can be accessed on the website Other capital guidance can be accessed on

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to increase flexibility in the use of devolved capital funding. [51313]

Jacqui Smith: In the year commencing 2006–07, devolved capital funding which is allocated to schools as Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) will be made more flexible in two ways. DFC will be increased to incorporate ICT capital funding, formerly paid as a separate funding stream, and schools will be able to determine which proportion of their larger DFC allocation will be spent on ICT. Also, in certain circumstances, schools will be able to save up their DFC for a period in excess of three years where they wish to finance a large capital project. Guidance will be issued shortly.

No changes are proposed regarding the separate formulaic funding which is allocated to local authorities. This will continue to be spent by local authorities on the priorities set out in their local asset management plans.

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