Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his policy is on the inclusion of teaching about (a) the European Communities and (b) EU policies in educational establishments; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Government recognise the importance of pupils gaining an understanding of the workings of the European Union and its history, and this is reflected in the national curriculum. In history, pupils are taught about the history of Britain in its European context. In citizenship, pupils learn about the world as a global community, the role of the European Union and the UKs relations in Europe, including the European Union. Teaching also reflects the underpinning values and principles of democratic life which are already covered in the European and United Nations human rights conventions.
Jim Knight: The Government recognise the importance of pupils gaining an understanding of the workings of the EU and its history, and that is reflected in the national curriculum. Pupils are taught about the history of Britain in its European context in history and about the world as a global community, the role of the European Union and the UKs relations in Europe, including the European Union in Citizenship. Teaching also reflects the underpinning values and principles of democratic life which are already covered in the European and United Nations human rights conventions. Although the EU can encourage co-operation between member states, the content and organisation of education systems is the responsibility of member states.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many examination boards have been approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to set (a) GCSE, (b) AS and (c) A-level examinations for the academic year 2005-06. 
Jim Knight: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) works jointly with the regulatory authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland to recognise organisations which have demonstrated that they have fulfilled the relevant regulations for offering GCSE and GCE A-level (AS and A2) qualifications.
There are currently five organisations which are recognised by the regulatory authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as providers of GCSE, AS and A2 examinations. These are the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), Edexcel, Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR), the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) and the Council for Curriculum Education and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.
Jim Knight: It was only in 2002-03 that the Department began collecting information in sufficient detail to answer this question. Therefore no comparable data are available for previous years. The information in the following table covers the cost of test and examination entry fees and any accreditation costs related to pupils, and includes GCSEs, A/AS levels and GNVQs.
|Amount spent on examination entries (£ million)
We announced in the FE White Paper Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances (paragraph 7.16) that the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority will lead a review of examination fees. The review will consider both the level of fees, and how a common format might be created for implementation by the start of the 2007/08 academic year.
Jim Knight: The Department does not have this information. However, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that fire risk assessments are carried out. With a school maintained by a local authority, the responsibility for ensuring that this happens is likely to be shared between the local authority, the governing body and the head teacher.
Jim Knight: To promote the study of foreign languages for learners of all ages, the Government published its national languages strategy: Languages for All: Languages for Lifea strategy for England in December 2002. To oversee the implementation of the strategy, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills appointed Dr. Lid King as national director for languages in September 2003.
In March 2005, the Secretary of State announced a £115 million Boost for Modern Foreign Languages, providing support for language teaching and learning until March 2008. For primary schools the funding will provide continuing support for initial and existing teacher training as well as training for support staff. To date we have trained over 2,000 new primary teachers with a specialism in languages. Last October we published, in hard copy and online, our Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages, which sets out learning objectives for the four years of key stage 2. It is supported by a national training programme, guidance and a planning tool.
The funding will also support new approaches for teaching and learning for 11 to 18-year-olds, including alternative qualifications and vocational options at key stage 4 which will provide more flexibility for pupils in
their studies. We are also funding a range of projects and materials to promote languages and to develop innovative curricular models which will be show-cased to provide schools with delivery ideas and support. For example, we funded CILT, the National Centre for Languages to produce Languages Work, a suite of materials designed to promote the value of language learning, support take-up of languages beyond key stage 3, and how language skills can enhance future employability.
Our key stage 3 strategy continues to impact positively on pupils attainment in languages, especially boys. We plan to provide additional key stage 3 strategy training for teachers in the next academic year.
We have expanded the list of qualifications that count towards performance table scores to include more language qualifications. Most significantly, in September 2005 the new national, voluntary languages recognition scheme, the languages ladder, became available nationally. The scheme can be used by learners of all ages and is currently available in eight languages, including Mandarin Chinese. In September 2006, 13 other languages will be made available through the scheme. The scheme differs from existing approaches to assessment in that there are separate qualifications in each language for reading, writing, listening and speaking. To date over 800 centresincluding local authorities and specialist language collegeshave registered to take part in the scheme, with over 10,000 learners entered for qualifications across all sectors taking over 26,000 qualifications.
To address the decline in take-up at key stage 4, my predecessor wrote to all secondary schools setting out her expectations that, from September 2006, 50-90 per cent. of a schools key stage 4 cohort should study a foreign language leading to a recognised qualification.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of 18-year-olds in each constituency went on to further education in the last year for which figures are available. 
Bill Rammell: 38.4 per cent. of 18-year-olds were estimated to be participating in full-time education in England at the end of 2005; 59.3 per cent. were participating in education and training. These are the latest available figures, published in the Statistical First Release Participation in Education, Training and Employment by 16 to 18 Year Olds in England (SFR21/2006) on 8 June 2006. The SFR is available on the DfES website at:
Percentage figures on participation in education by 18-year-olds are not available for parliamentary constituenciesfigures at local authority level in England are available, but for 16 and 17-year-olds only. The latest figures are for 2004, published in the Statistical First Release "Participation in Education and Training by 16 and 17 Year Olds in Each Local Area in England" (SFR13/2006) on 30 March 2006. The SFR is available on the DfES website at:
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to review guidance and secondary legislation in relation to the operation of section 8 of the Children Act 1989 in respect of the requirement for grandparents to seek leave to apply for a contact order from the family court for access to their grandchildren; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 12 June 2006]: During the House of Commons Third Reading of the Children and Adoption Bill on 20 June 2006, the Government undertook to review the current requirement, as it applies to grandparents without parental responsibility, that the leave of the court must be sought before they may apply for a contact order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989. The review will consider if there is evidence that, where grandparents are denied contact with their grandchildren, they are unable to seek redress through the courts. I expect to publish the findings of the review by the end of 2006.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) women and (b) people from ethnic minorities became (i) head teachers and (ii) deputy head teachers in each of the last 10 years. 
Jim Knight: The table provides the number of female teachers promoted to head and deputy/assistant head teacher in each year from 1995-96 to 2002-03, the latest year for which information is available.
|Full-time regular female teachers promoted to head and deputy/assistant head teacher, 1995-96 to 2002-03
|(1) Includes promotions from qualified classroom teacher grades, deputy head and, from 2001 onwards, assistant head.
(2) Includes promotions from qualified classroom teacher grades.
(3) Includes promotions to assistant head from 2000-01 onwards. The assistant head grade was introduced in 2000-01 and this affects comparison with earlier years.
(4) Provisional estimates subject to future revision.
Database of Teacher Records.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will place in the Library (a) copies of advice his Department gives to parents of (i) primary and (ii) secondary school pupils on the recommended daily amounts of sleep required and
(b) research his Department has (A) undertaken and (B) plans to undertake into sleep and young people; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Department has not issued guidance to parents of primary or secondary school pupils on the recommended daily amounts of sleep required. The Department has not commissioned any research into sleep and young people. There are no current plans to undertake research in this area.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what information he has collated on the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils who (i) fell asleep in class and (ii) arrived late in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on his policy on (a) the teaching of religious studies and (b) teaching about (i) Islam and (ii) atheism within the national curriculum. 
Jim Knight: All maintained schools must provide religious education (RE) which must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian while taking account of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. This could include Islam. Religious education syllabuses for maintained schools without a religious designation are drawn up by an agreed syllabus conference which advises the local education authority. These bodies represent faith groups, teachers and local schools. For schools with a religious designation the syllabus is drawn up by the governing body according to the trust deed of the school. It is for local authorities, advised by agreed syllabus conferences, and individual faith schools to decide if study of atheism is included as part of the RE syllabus.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), in partnership with the Department, launched a new non-statutory national framework for religious education in 2004. The framework provides for opportunities for pupils to study all of the principal religions in Great Britain, including Islam, and other religious traditions and secular philosophies in line with the Governments goals of inclusion, tolerance and diversity. All of the major UK faith and belief communities and professional groups were involved in its development.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his policy is on the teaching of (a) modern (i) East European, (ii) West European, (iii) Asian and (iv) African and (b) ancient languages within the national curriculum.