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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will make a decision on the application by Churchdown School, Gloucester, for permission to dispose of school playing fields; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 3 May 2006]: The application by Churchdown School, Gloucester, to dispose of school playing fields is under consideration. Officials are in communication with the school, but it is too soon to say when a decision will be made.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the (a) GCSE and (b) A-level examination results were in (i) 2002, (ii) 2003, (iii) 2004 and (iv) 2005 of the three non-selective state secondary schools nearest to each of the academies opened in (A) September 2002, (B) September 2003 and (C) September 2004; and what the equivalent results were in each of the three academies. 
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the schools where (a) closures and (b) standard number reductions are planned, broken down by parliamentary constituency. 
Jacqui Smith: Where a local authority or governing body plan to close a school they must first consult interested parties, then, after considering views, and if they wish to proceed, must publish statutory proposals. Following publication, and a period for representations, the proposals will be decided by the local authority (if they published the proposals and there are no objections), the local School Organisation Committee (SOC) or the Schools Adjudicator (if the SOC cannot reach a unanimous decision). The
Department is not routinely informed of consultations but must be provided with copies of published proposals and the final decisions taken.
I have placed two tables in the House Library. Table A lists the 378 schools for which the Department has been informed statutory proposals for closure have been published and approved. Table B lists the 75 schools for which the Department has been informed statutory proposals for closure have been published but has not yet been informed of a decision.
Both tables include schools that are closing, or have been proposed for closure, for a range of reasons. These include cases where the schools proposed for closure are: to be replaced by another school, sometimes on the same site (for example by an academy or a school with a religious character); amalgamating (for example, infant and junior schools) or are part of another local reorganisation. The tables exclude special school and nursery school closure proposals.
Standard numbers were abolished by the Education Act 2002. They were replaced by a net capacity formula which assesses the capacity of the school and derives an indicated admission number. When setting the admission number for the school, the admission authority must have regard to the indicated admission number however they can set a number that is higher or lower if they wish. If they set a number that is lower, they must publish a notice to inform local parents. The Department does not maintain a central record of proposals to lower admission numbers.
Jim Knight: Of paramount concern is the safety of pupils, teachers and other users of schools, and regulations are in place to ensure the risk to life posed by school fires is low. Regulation 17 of the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 requires that every part of a school building, and of the land provided for a school, shall be such that the safe escape of the occupants in case of fire is reasonably assured. Schools are also covered by the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 and by subsequent related regulations. These include aspects of fire safety.
Since April 2001, all new building work in schools has been subject to approval under the Building Regulations. If a building is designed in accordance with the guidance in Approved Document B (Fire Safety), which accompanies Part B of the Building Regulations, a satisfactory standard of life safety will be achieved.
Jim Knight: The Office of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is the lead Department for fire safety policy. The latest figures we have from DCLG are for 2003-04 and show
that 1,359 school fires were attended by local authority fire and rescue services. This is broadly in line with the previous year and a drop of around 130 on 2001-02. Using ODPMs latest Cost of Fire Estimates, published last year, the total cost of property damage due to school fires in 2003-04 amounted to just under£62 million.
Jim Knight: All new building work at schools is subject to approval under the Building Regulations. These regulations do not currently require the installation of sprinklers in schools, but that does not stop local authorities from specifying their use. In our Managing School Facilities Guide 6, Fire Safety, we give the example of a school in an area of high arson risk as being a suitable candidate for having sprinklers installed (see www.teachernet.gov.uk/fire). However, we recognised the need to provide more detailed guidance than before.
We work closely with colleagues in the new Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and, liaising with them, we produced new draft guidance on fire safetyBuilding Bulletin (BB) 100, Designing and Managing Against the Risk of Fire in Schools. It stresses the value of using risk assessments to determine what sort of fire detection and alarm systems should be used in each school, and whether or not sprinklers should be installed. While saying that a building designed in accordance with the guidance in Approved Document B (Fire Safety), which accompanies the Building Regulations, will achieve a satisfactory standard of life safety, it also suggests ways of improving property protection.
Public consultation on the draft BB 100 was completed in November last year, to the same timeframe as DCLGs consultation on its review of the fire safety aspects of the Building Regulations. An analysis of the responses is almost complete and we aim to publish the final version of BB 100 in the autumn.
We are also doing specific work on sprinklers.We have commissioned the Building Research Establishment to carry out a cost benefit analysis of installing sprinklers in schools. Work on this is due to be completed shortly and it should provide robust figures for installation costs, and how these might be partially offset, together with a set of tools to help those carrying out risk assessments.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of pupils (a) are in receipt of free school meals, (b) have special educational needs and (c) are from ethnic minority families in each secondary school in England that selects (i) wholly and (ii) partly by ability; and what the equivalent percentages are for the local authority in which each school is located. 
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will take steps to ensure that the dispute between the University and Colleges Employees Association and the Association of University Teachers does not adversely affect students taking final examinations this year. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 8 May 2006]: It is a matter for higher education institutions (HEIs) to consider how best they can minimise the adverse effects on students of the current dispute, including making contingency arrangements for exams and assessment. HEIs, as autonomous bodies, are responsible for determining their own academic and administrative affairs, including deciding what to pay their own staff. Pay and conditions of service are subject to negotiations between employers, their staff and their representative trade union bodies. The Government play no part in this.
While this is a matter for unions and employers, I am disappointed that this has come to industrial action and that students' progress is being threatened by this dispute. The employers have made an offer of 12.6 per cent. over three years, which I believe the academic unions should now formally put to their members with a view to ending this damaging dispute.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils are being taught in temporary classrooms in each school in the East Riding of Yorkshire; how many pupils he expects to be being taught in such classrooms at the start of the 2006-07 academic year; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: East Riding of Yorkshire local authority advises that a total of 1,663 pupils are currently housed in temporary classrooms, with 1,628 anticipated at the start of the 2006-07 academic year. The number at each school is as follows:
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