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21 Mar 2006 : Column 221W—continued

School Exclusions

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils were permanently excluded from (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in Lancashire local education authority areas in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [59600]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is shown in the table.
Maintained primary and secondary schools(14): number and percentage of permanently excluded pupils(15) 1999/2000 to2003/04—Lancashire local authority area


(14)Includes middle schools as deemed.
(15)Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(16)The number of permanent exclusions expressed as a percentage of the number (headcount) of pupils, excluding dually registered pupils.
(17)Figures are as confirmed by local authorities via the data checking exercise.
Annual Schools Census

School Leavers

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people have left school at 16 in (a) Carlisle constituency and (b) Cumbria with less than the equivalent of five GCSEs at A to C grade in each year since 1994. [58586]

Jacqui Smith: Figures at constituency level are only available from 1996/97 onwards. Information is provided below for each academic year from 1996/97 to 2004/05 for Carlisle constituency, Cumbria local authority and England.
15-year-old pupils not achieving the equivalent of five GCSEs at A*-C

Academic year

(18)Local figures are based on maintained schools only.
(19)National figures are based on all schools.

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School Meals

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what estimate she has made of the number and percentage of schools which have kitchens; [58620]

(2) in how many and what percentage of local authorities school meals are (a) produced in-house and (b) outsourced. [58622]

(3) how many and what percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools provide a hot school meals service. [58623]

Jacqui Smith: The Department for Education and Skills does not collect this information.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much is spent on average for each school meal for (a) primary school pupils, (b) secondary school pupils and (c) juvenile offenders. [60038]

Jacqui Smith: Estimates based on responses to a recent survey indicate that, on average, local authorities (LA) delegate £1.49 per pupil eligible for free school meals per day at primary school and £1.53 per pupil eligible for free school meals per day at secondary school.

The Department's Cost of Schooling Survey indicated that, on average, parents with a child at primary school spent £1.46 for a school meal and parents with a child at secondary school spent £1.92 for a school meal in 2004.

The Department does not collect other information about per pupil spending on school meals or any information about spending on meals for juvenile offenders.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what plans she has to increase funding for school meals; [60039]

(2) when the Government expects to reach the targetof spending 60 pence on each child for school lunches; [60040]

(3) what recent representations she has received on the issue of increasing the nutritional content of school lunches. [60041]

Jacqui Smith: The Government are determined to transform the quality of food in schools and supports the work local authorities and schools are doing to raise the nutritional standards of school meals.

In March 2005 the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Ruth Kelly, announced a £235 million package to transform the quality of school meals. In
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October 2005, as part of a three year package and paid as part of their Standards Fund Allocations, schools received a share of £30 million to enable them to fund local improvements such as increased training and working hours for school cooks. A further £60 million (£30 million/£30 million) will be paid in 2006 and 2007. Over the same period, local authorities will receive £130 million (£30 million/£50 million/£50 million).

There is no Government target for spending. The School Meals Review Panel report: Turning the Tables: Transforming School Food, concluded that the average cost of ingredients in primary schools was 48.5p; and in secondary schools was 59.8p. This shows that schools are already well on the way to meeting the Government's aspiration of helping schools to provide meals with ingredients costs of 50p for primary schools and 60p for secondary schools. In some cases, where they have already made significant improvements, schools are spending more than 50/60 pence.

The public consultation carried out between 3 October 2005 and 31 December 2005 on the recommendations in the School Meals Review Panel's Report generated 261 responses. The School Food Trust has announced its advice for the nutritional standards that should apply to school food offered across the school day, including items offered in vending machines and tuck shops. We will seek the views of key stakeholders during March.

Additionally, officials from the School Food Team have met with a number of industry representatives, who requested an opportunity to discuss specific issues, as part of the consultation process.

School Nurses

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which primary care trust areas have at least one full-time year-round qualified school nurse. [53585]

Mr. Byrne: I have been asked to reply.

September 2004 census showed that there were 2,409 (1,619 full-time equivalent) qualified nurses working in the school nursing service, of whom 856 (607 fte) have a post registration school nursing qualification.

On average each primary care trust (PCT), who provided data for the census on school nurses, has six (four fte) qualified school nurses providing year round cover.

The number of full-time qualified school nurses by PCT and trust has been placed in the Library.

Schools (Religious Ethos)

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made ofthe compatibility with Article 2 of Protocol 1 and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights of circumstances where the only practical choice of school is a school with a religious ethos; and if she will make a statement. [58888]

Jacqui Smith: Article 2 of Protocol 1 gives children the right of access to education. It also places an obligation on the state to acknowledge or take into account the
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right of parents to ensure that their child's education conforms to their own religious and philosophical convictions. However, it does not guarantee the right to a place at a particular school.

Article 14 prohibits discrimination in the enjoyment of Convention rights on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

Taking into account section 71 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 which gives parents the right to withdraw their child from religious education or collective worship, in our view, Article 2 of Protocol 1 is not infringed in cases where a school with a religious ethos may be the only one available to a parent.

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