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23 Mar 2006 : Column 549W—continued

School Admissions Code

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the draft Schools Admissions Code related to the Education and Inspections Bill will be published. [60240]

Jacqui Smith: We plan to consult on a draft School Admissions Code in September so that, if the Bill is enacted, the new Code will become effective for admission arrangements for 2008. In the meantime, a skeleton document is due for presentation at Commons Committee stage and this will set out the new Code's proposed shape and content.

School Buildings

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to her answer of 6 March 2006, Official Report, column 1230W, on school buildings, what the terms of reference are of the analysis by the Building Research Establishment on the installation of sprinkler systems in school buildings. [60748]

Jacqui Smith: The Building Research Establishment has been commissioned to produce the following:

A guidance document will also be produced, detailing how to approach the fire risk assessment and cost/benefit analysis of fire precaution works, including use of automatic sprinkler systems in school buildings. It will also cover the reasoning behind the process, the importance of having reliable and accurate information, and recommendations for the use of the tools.

School Finance (Swindon)

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much Swindon borough council will receive each year for the next two years from the Youth Opportunity Fund. [59442]

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Maria Eagle: Swindon local authority will receive £111,219 for each of the next two years from the Youth Opportunity Fund. This funding is to be used at young people's discretion to give them choice and influence over things to do and places to go in their area. In addition to this Swindon will receive £96,196 for each of the next two years from the Youth Capital Fund. This funding is to improve facilities and to provide equipment which young people want in their neighbourhood. The two funds are designed to work in tandem. The combined funding for each year is £207,415 which amounts to a total of £404,830.

School Food Trust

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) on what research the School Food Trust based its (a) recommendation for healthier snack models and (b) decision to ban the sale of confectionery in secondary schools; and whether this research has been published; [60782]

(2) whether the School Food Trust has surveyed foods on offer outside lunch in secondary schools to provide baseline data to assess the impact of its recommendations on obesity rates among secondary school pupils. [60783]

Jacqui Smith: The School Food Trust's advice to ban the sale of confectionery in schools reflects the Government's healthy eating guidance set out in the Balance of Good Health", which indicates that these foods may be eaten occasionally but should not be part of a child or young person's everyday diet.

The School Food Trust's advice on standards for school food other than lunch was informed by evidence from companies selling foods in schools, people providing food in schools and others including researchers and academics. This included evidence from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey: young people aged four-20 years, which showed that sugars comprise about 17 percent. of food energy in children compared to a recommended average of 11 percent. and the main source is soft drinks and confectionery. The full advice, including a list of those who gave evidence, is published on

School Toilets

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if she will set standards of school toilet provision for pupils to match those required by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, for workers; [60437]

(2) what estimate she has made of the number of school toilets in need of refurbishment; [60438]

(3) if she will undertake a review of toilet facilities in schools in England. [60439]

Jacqui Smith: The standards for school toilet provision are given in the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 for maintained schools and in the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2003 for Independent Schools. It is our view that in principle there is little difference between the health, safety and welfare needs of children and adults as regards such things as hygiene and therefore the majority of the requirements concerning toilets set out
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in the Code of Practice published to inform the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 are equally applicable in the case of accommodation for children or adults.

The Department has not made an assessment of the number of school toilets in England and Wales in need of refurbishment.

The Department is not planning to undertake a review of toilet facilities in schools in England. Local education authorities and schools should already be reviewing both the condition and suitability of the toilets in schools as part of the asset management plan condition and suitability surveys and prioritising work to upgrade the toilets where necessary. Schools themselves are responsible for keeping the toilets in a clean and orderly condition.

Schools (Lewes)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average number of pupils in an infant class in Lewes constituency was in each year since 1997. [60894]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Legislation limits infant class size to a maximum of 30 pupils to a school teacher. The statistics show that since 1997 there has been a decrease in the average size of infant classes in Lewes falling from 27.8 in 1997 to 25.8 in 2005 and across England as a whole falling from 26.9 in 1997 to 25.6 in 2005.

Data on infant class sizes at national, local authority and parliamentary constituency level can also be found at the following link: Schools and Pupils in England: January 2005 (Final) in the additional information" sections 4 and 5.


Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps her Department takes to ensure that the science curriculum is scientifically rigorous. [59296]

Bill Rammell: Development of the new key stage 4 Programme of Study for science was informed by a number of university-led research projects funded by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). These included research into assessment methods by Kings college university and Southampton university, keeping national curriculum science in step with changing world of 21st century by the university of Leeds and curriculum models by the university of York. In addition a three-year pilot was developed to model the new scientific approaches and was evaluated to ensure scientific rigour. The QCA and the National Foundation for Educational Research also carried out a widespread consultation process on the Programme of Study with schools, colleges, universities and the wider science community. The majority of those included in the consultation supported the changes.
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Special Educational Needs

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will increase resources for schools to allow children with severe behavioural difficulties to remain in mainstream education. [59910]

Jacqui Smith: Children with severe behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) are educated in a range of settings including mainstream schools, PRUs and special schools. We are committed to the principle of inclusion and are providing mainstream schools with the necessary resources to enable them to make suitable provision for children with severe BESD, where possible. Overall total revenue funding per pupil is now £1,070 higher in real terms than in 1997–98 and is set to rise by a further £400 per pupil in real terms by 2007–08.

Within a rising total of overall funding, the funding currently provided by Excellence in Cities and the Behaviour Improvement Programme that can be used for more specialised behaviour provision like learning mentors, learning support units and multi-agency behaviour support teams will continue. The Government have also made available an additional £300 million over the last three years to support the general expansion of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), helping to improve access to more specialist mental health support and advice. These additional resources alongside the new, integrated, multi-agency children services, mean that schools will be better able to support pupils with a wide variety of needs, including those with severe BESD, within mainstream education.

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