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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the programmes run by his Department to modify behavioural patterns of children since 1997; and what the cost was in each case. 
Jim Knight: Funding for behaviour improvement in schools comes from a wide variety of sources and is aggregated to varying degrees with funding for other activities, in particular, on initiatives which have the combined purpose of improving behaviour and attendance and on reducing exclusions. It is therefore impossible to give discrete totals just for behaviour improvement related activities.
The information in the following table lists the main programmes funded by this Government since 1997 that most directly relate to improving behaviour and attendance in schools and the amounts of funding in each case.
|Grant/scheme||Amount £ Million|
|Open academy||Current agreed capital cash limit (£)|
The average amount of funding per academy released by my Department during the feasibility phase is £252,959. This figure is based on the funding released to the 27 open academies and to 30 other academies yet to open but which have entered feasibility and to which payments have been made.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he will make a statement on the operation of section (a) 512, (b) 512ZB and (c) 512A of the Education Act 1996; what recent representations he has received on the operation of these sections; if he will place in the Library copies of such representations; and whether he plans (i) to amend and (ii) to repeal these sections; 
Jim Knight: Section 512 of the Education Act 1996, as amended by Section 201 of the Education Act 2002, sets out a local authority's responsibilities in relation to meals, milk and other refreshments provided in local authority maintained schools in England. This includes a duty on local authorities to provide:
Free school lunches to eligible pupils;
Paid for lunches where one is requested; and
Free milk to eligible pupils where provision is made.
Section 512ZB of the Education Act 1996; The Education (School Lunches) (Prescribed Requirements) (England) Order 2003; The Education (Free School Lunches) (Prescribed Tax Credits) (England) Order 2003; and The Education (Free School Lunches) (State Pension Credit) Order 2005 set out free school lunch eligibility criteria.
In September 2005, the School Meals Review Panel recommended, in their report Turning the Tables: Transforming School Food', that the Secretary of State should consider the impact of possible increases in the cost of school meals on low income families, whose income level places them just outside eligibility for free school meals.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the strategies introduced by his Department to support and enhance food education in schools; if he will introduce further professional development for teachers in this area; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) will put a greater emphasis on practical cooking skills in the review of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3. QCA is also revising the criteria for food related GCSEs to put a greater emphasis on diet and health, consumer awareness, food safety and hygiene and food preparation skills. The Training Development Agency is aiming to increase the number of food technology training places in initial teacher training. We have invested £1.5 million in professional development for primary teachers through our Food in Schools programme. However, in each school, headteachers and governors set priorities for professional development and it is for them to decide whether further food education provision is needed for their staff.
In addition, our aim is for all schools to be working towards Healthy Schools status by 2009. The programme now includes a compulsory healthy eating strand. Schools develop whole school food policies, linking what is taught across the curriculum with the food children eat at school, to ensure that consistent messages about healthy food choices run throughout all aspects of school life. Healthy Schools co-ordinators are being trained to support schools, including on healthy eating.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much income has been received from the sale of assets of schools closed under the Fresh Start scheme; and how much of this came from the sale of school playing fields. 
Jim Knight: The Fresh Start scheme involves the closure of a struggling school and the opening of a new school on the same site, usually in refurbished buildings, and under an approved plan to improve standards at
the new school. Comprehensive data on subsequent disposal of assets at Fresh Start schools, and therefore income, is not centrally available. However, since 1998, disposal of areas capable of forming a sports pitch has needed approval from the Secretary of State, and there is no recorded instance of such an approval at a Fresh Start school.
Jim Knight: GCSE examinations have not yet been taken in 2006. The following table shows the percentage of 15-year-old pupils(1) achieving five or more GCSEs or equivalents(2) at grades A* to C in 1997 and 2005.
|(1) Pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year (i.e. 31 August). (2) For 1997 includes GNVQ equivalences and for 2005 all other equivalences approved for use pre 16. (3) LA level figures only cover maintained schools. (4) England figures cover all schools including independent schools, hospital schools and PRUs.|
The Department does collect statistics on learners starting Skills for Life courses?adult literacy, numeracy and language courses. In the academic year 2003/04 around 18,000 adults aged 60 to 69 and 9,000 adults aged 70 and above in England started Skills for Life courses.
Jim Knight: The Department contracts with Veredus Interim Management to provide school improvement support for open academies. To deliver this contract, Veredus Interim Management used successful current or very recently retired headteachers, who had an
excellent track record in raising standards to high levels and have experience of working in schools in challenging circumstances. Des Smith was one of the consultant headteachers provided via this contract. His role was to provide support for two newly opened academies. This support involved practical help and advice to the new senior leadership teams helping them to establish monitoring systems and to implement effective school improvement strategies.
The Department made no direct payments to Mr. Smith. The work of individual consultants, including Mr. Smith, was managed by Veredus Interim Management. The contract with Veredus Interim Management was managed by the academies division within DfES.
Mr. Smith ceased doing this consultancy work in January 2006. He did not transfer to the specialist schools and academies trust. Separate from his consultancy work, Mr. Smith was also a member of the SSAT council. He joined the council as a co-opted headteacher representative in November 2005 and resigned in January 2006. He also undertook a very small amount of consultancy work for the trust.
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