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Maria Eagle: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council, who operate education maintenance allowances for the DfES and hold the information about take-up of the scheme. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, has written to my hon. Friend with the information requested and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.
Information on the number of young people who have applied, enrolled and received EMA is available at local education authority (LEA) level, but not at constituency level. By the end of February 2006,4,201 young people in the Durham LEA area had received one or more EMA payments in the academic year 2005/06.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of progress made by schools in (a) deprived areas and (b) affluent areas in raising educational standards since 199697; and if she will make a statement. 
We have seen significant progress in the narrowing of the attainment gap at GCSE between schools in deprived and affluent areas, compared with the situation in 199697. The Excellence in Cities (EiC) programme and excellence clusters were introduced in 1999 and 2000, respectively, to target areas of significant deprivation. Between 2001, the year in which the 3rd phase of EiC began, and 2005, the percentage of pupils
24 Apr 2006 : Column 946W
achieving 5+A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ and equivalents in EiC areas increased by nearly 10 percentage points, rising from 39.8 percentage in 2001, to 49.4 percent (provisional) in 2005. The rate of improvement in non-EiC schools over the same period was around 5percentage points, rising from 52.2 per cent. in 2001 to 57 percent (provisional) in 2005.
As shown in the following table, performance data also indicate that the schools with the highest proportions of disadvantaged pupils, as assessed by free school meal (FSM) entitlement, have made more improvement than those with the lowest proportions. This improvement is evident, both at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 in English and Maths; and at GCSE/GNVQ.
|Schools with Low FSM||Improvement in attainment between 19962004 (percentage)||Schools with High FSM||Improvement in attainment between 19962004 (percentage)|
|KS2 English L4+ threshold||8% or less pupils eligible for FSM||14||50% or more pupils eligible for FSM||28|
|KS2 Maths L4+ threshold||8% or less pupils eligible for FSM||14||50% or more pupils eligible for FSM||28|
|KS3 English L5+ threshold||5% or less pupils eligible for FSM||10||50% or more pupils eligible for FSM||19|
|KS3 Maths L5+ threshold||5% or less pupils eligible for FSM||10||50% or more pupils eligible for FSM||27|
|GCSE/GNVQ 5+ A*C threshold||5% or less pupils eligible for FSM||5||50% or more pupils eligible for FSM||15|
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2006, Official Report, column 995W, on employer training pilots, which organisations from the (a) private and (b) public sector with over 250 staff participated in the employer training pilots in (i) 2004 and (ii) 2005; and how many trainees in each sector took part in the pilots in each year. 
Phil Hope: The information requested is not held centrally by the Department, but is collected by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Mark Haysom, LSC chief executive, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of his response has been placed in the House Library.
Please find attached a table setting out the number of private and public sector employers who participated in the pilots and have more than 250 employees. The table also provides figures on the number of trainees who participated by sector in the pilots during 200405.
|1 to 49||7,178||34,391|
|50 to 249||2,107||25,034|
|250 or greater||1,371||20,913|
|1 to 49||690||3,154|
|50 to 249||250||1,786|
|250 or greater||433||8,337|
|1 to 49||7,828||34,435|
|50 to 249||2,483||26,568|
|250 or greater||1,755||28,969|
|1 to 49||710||2,627|
|50 to 249||281||2,562|
|250 or greater||550||10,689|
Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many vacancies there were on average for headteacher positions in (a) Kingston upon Hull and (b) Hull, North constituency in each year since 1997. 
Jacqui Smith: The following table gives the number of full-time head teacher vacancies in maintained schools in The City of Kingston Upon Hull local authority and England, in each January 1997 to 2005, the latest information available.
|City of Kingston upon Hull||(34) England|
John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether (a) the Government or (b) local education authorities can direct a school governing body to dismiss a head teacher. 
Jacqui Smith: In almost all circumstances the dismissal of a head teacher is a matter for the governing body of the school. However, in exceptional circumstances, there is limited scope for this decision to be taken in conjunction with the local authority, or at their suggestion. This may happen when the school's delegated budget has been suspended or it is determined that the head teacher has failed to secure the National Professional Qualification for Headship within set limits. Additionally, in the most extreme circumstances the Government can become directly involved. Where it can be clearly shown that a governing body has acted illegally in not dismissing a head teacher, the Secretary of State has the power under Section 496 and 497 of the Education Act 1996 to intervene and direct the Governing Body to dismiss the head teacher.
John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether primary legislation will be needed in order for learning and skills councils to direct a governing body of a further education college to dismiss the principal. 
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