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3 July 2006 : Column 672W—continued

Eligibility for EMA in 2005/06
Gloucestershire LA

Projected number eligible

4,654

Actual take-up

3,821

(1 )By end of June 2006.

English Language Support

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how much funding his Department has provided for English as an additional language support in schools in (a) England and (b) the London borough of Newham in (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2006-07; [80627]

(2) whether his Department plans to increase funding for English as an additional language support in schools. [80628]

Jim Knight: Schools receive funding to provide English as an additional language (EAL) support to
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their pupils through two sources: mainstream school funding and the ethnic minority achievement grant (EMAG).

Mainstream school funding is calculated to take account of the additional cost of support required by pupils, EAL needs.

Figures below for 2004-05 and 2005-06 represent the funding allocated through the EAL part of the education formula spending. The changes to school funding following the introduction of the dedicated schools grant in 2006-07 mean that it is no longer possible to identify the exact proportions of the overall funding allocated on the basis of EAL. For illustrative purposes, however, an estimate is provided below for 2006-07:

£ million
Programme year England Newham

2004-05

257.651

11.081

2005-06

282.693

11.81

2006-07

305.000

12.400


Mainstream school funding through the dedicated school grant has increased by 6.8 per cent. per pupil in 2006-07 and 6.7 per cent. in 2007-08. Funding levels beyond 2007-08 are subject to the outcomes of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.

Each local authority receives an ethnic minority achievement grant (EMAG), which must be used to support underachieving minority ethnic pupils and pupils with EAL needs. Local authorities are required to pass 85 per cent. of their allocation to schools using a locally agreed formula. Newham's EMAG allocation has increased significantly and well above the rate of inflation over the period 2004-05 to 2006-07 and will increase further in 2007-08. Allocations beyond 2007-08 are subject to the outcomes of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.

£ million
National Newham

2004-05

162

2

2005-06

168

3

2006-07

178

3.9

2007-08

188

4.5


European Cultural Identity

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to promote (a) European cultural identity and (b) positive attitudes to (i) mathematics, (ii) foreign languages and (iii) the English language. [79930]

Jim Knight: Promoting cultural identity is an integral and important part of the way languages are taught and studied in England. Intercultural understanding is promoted at each key stage. For example, at Key Stage 2 intercultural understanding is one of the five key strands of the Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages. At Key Stage 3 the programme of study, produced by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), states that pupils should make progress in developing cultural awareness, and in QCA's Key Stage 4
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document, “Modern foreign languages in the Key Stage 4 curriculum”, it states that studying languages develops students’ understanding and appreciation of different countries, cultures and communities, making students aware that they are citizens of the world as well as of the United Kingdom.

Citizenship teaching is compulsory at Key Stages 3 and 4. Pupils are taught about the world as a global community, and the political, economic, environmental and social implications of this, and the role of the European Union, the Commonwealth and the United Nations and about the United Kingdom's relations in Europe, including the European Union, and relations with the Commonwealth and the United Nations. Through the citizenship curriculum, pupils are also taught to think about political and cultural issues which could include a discussion about cultural identity. It is also possible for European cultural identity to be taught through the non-statutory framework for PSHE, which covers teaching about and developing a sense of their own identity.

Following on from the recommendations of the Adrian Smith report on mathematics, published in 2004, and our 14-19 White Paper, we have appointed a chief adviser for mathematics to be the champion of mathematics and lead in developing the mathematics strategy. We are establishing a National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics that will support the professional development of teachers of mathematics at every stage of their career. We are adopting a range of measures at GCSE and A-level to promote a positive attitude amongst pupils, teachers and employers to mathematics. For example, we will be targeting our support to ensure that the teaching of ‘functional mathematics’ is available to all; from this September, attainment of at least a ‘C' grade in both Maths and English will be a key component of our understanding of the 5 good GCSEs benchmark; in the longer term, the curriculum and qualifications in mathematics for 14 to 19-year-olds will be revised as part of the wider reform programme; and finally, improvements planned for A-level as part of our 14-19 reforms will benefit all those embarking on A-level programmes.

Our national languages strategy ‘Languages for All; Languages for Life—a strategy for England' outlines our positive approach to language learning and stresses the importance for society and the global economy for learners of all ages to acquire “the ability to understand and communicate in other languages”. Our commitment to language learning is backed by considerable investment, and by the end of the financial year 2007-08 we will have invested £137 million in the promotion of, and support given to, language learning programmes at all stages of education.

English is a core subject and statutory from Key Stages 1-4. The national curriculum programmes of study for English set out the importance of English. English is a vital way of communicating in schools, in public life and internationally. In studying English, pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Literature in English is rich and influential, reflecting the experience of people from many countries and times. It enables pupils to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to
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communicate with others effectively. Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts. The study of English helps pupils understand how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Using this knowledge, pupils can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations.

In addition, both primary and secondary national strategies, through their work with schools and local authorities, provide strong and varied support to teachers. This support enables teachers to provide effective and tailored teaching that engages all pupils across the range of subjects and enables them to fulfil their potential. The national strategies provide a range of materials to support teachers, school librarians and others to ensure that their schools both provide high quality teaching and learning, and promote an environment which encourages children's enthusiasm for reading and writing and helps them achieve their potential. Reading for pleasure is essential as it increases children's chances of success and the Department is taking action on several fronts to encourage children and young people to read more. Both strategies have a specific remit for raising attainment in mathematics and English. The secondary strategy extends this remit to modern foreign languages.

Examination Boards

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action his Department has taken against examination boards which have delivered (a) GCSE, (b) AS and (c) A-level examination papers containing errors or omissions to schools in each of the last nine years. [82269]

Jim Knight: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is responsible for the regulation of awarding bodies in England. QCA expects awarding bodies to make sure that question papers do not contain any errors that might affect candidates. The regulator’s code of practice for GCE and GCSE examinations requires awarding bodies to have procedures in place to ensure the suitability and accuracy of the papers. QCA monitors the awarding bodies to ensure they comply with the regulatory requirements.

QCA has set performance expectations for awarding bodies governing the quality and accuracy of the question papers they produce. These performance expectations allow QCA to monitor and report on awarding body performance each year. QCA has collected and reported the number of question papers containing errors or omissions since 2004 but does not hold data for previous years.

If a question paper does contain an error that requires correction, awarding bodies are expected to send an erratum notice to centres (schools and colleges) before the examination is sat to make sure candidates are aware of the errors.

Data on the number of question papers issued without errors in June 2006 will be finalised after the examination series and published by QCA in March 2007.


3 July 2006 : Column 676W

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) errors in and (b) omissions from (i) GCSE, (ii) AS and (iii) A-level examination papers there were in each of the last three years. [82274]

Jim Knight: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) collects data each year from awarding bodies regarding the number of examination papers issued requiring correction including errors and omissions. These data are collected in the autumn following each examination series and are normally published in March the following year. Consequently, data on the summer 2006 examination series are not yet available.

In 2004 out of the 3,400 question papers produced by the England-based unitary GCE and GCSE awarding bodies (AQA, Edexcel and OCR) 83 question papers contained errors that required correction. This represents 2.4 per cent. of the total number of examination papers issued.

In 2005 out of more than 1,500 GCSE question papers 18 contained errors that required correction. Out of more than 1,700 GCE question papers 22 contained errors that required correction.

Although the figures quoted indicate the number of instances of papers that contained errors requiring correction, in nearly all cases centres were informed of the errors before the date of the examination. In both 2004 and 2005 centres were not informed about errors in nine GCSE, AS and A-level question papers. This represents 0.27 per cent. of the total number of question papers produced in 2005 and 0.26 per cent. of the total number of question papers produced in 2004.

Free Tuition

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many eligible adults have taken up the level 2 entitlement for free tuition, as announced in the White Paper, 21st Century Skills, broken down by (a) race, (b) gender and (c) disability; and what proportion of participants have dropped out. [75966]

Phil Hope [holding answer 12 June 2006]: In October 2005, 122,000 adults aged 19+ were studying on full level 2 programs in LSC-funded FE colleges—this is an increase of 3.4 per cent. on the previous year. Approximately 70 per cent. of these students received free tuition because of the level 2 entitlement or because of other reasons.

The chief executive of the Learning and Skills Council, Mr. Mark Haysom, has written to the hon. Member with a detailed breakdown of level 2 entitlement recipients. A copy of his letter has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Rob Wye, dated 28 June 2006:


3 July 2006 : Column 677W
LSC-Funded adults in FE in 2005/06 on a first full level 2 and claiming tuition fee remission
Ethnicity Participation Percentage of total participation

Asian or Asian British

1,900

7

Black or Black British

2,400

8

Chinese

100

0

Mixed

700

2

White

22,100

78

Any other

550

2

Not known/not provided

650

2

Total

28,400

100


LSC-Funded adults in FE in 2005/06 on a first full level 2 and claiming tuition fee remission
Gender Participation Percentage of total participation

Female

16,350

58

Male

12,050

42

Total

28,400

100



3 July 2006 : Column 678W
LSC-Funded adults in FE in 2005/06 on a first full level 2 and claiming tuition fee remission
Disability Participation Percentage of total participation

Visual impairment

50

0

Hearing impairment

150

1

Disability affecting mobility

100

0

Other physical disability

50

0

Other medical condition (for example epilepsy, asthma, diabetes)

350

1

Emotional/behavioural difficulties

50

0

Mental ill health

150

1

Temporary disability after illness (for example post-viral)

0

Profound complex disabilities

0

Multiple disabilities

100

0

Other

250

1

No disability

24,400

86

Not known/information not provided

2,750

10

Total

28,400

100

Notes: 1. Results are rounded to the nearest 50. 2. Volumes <10 are suppressed. Source: F01 2005/06 ILR.

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