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Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance his Department gives schools on the subject of vetting potential employees; and what changes to this guidance are planned should the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill be passed. 
Mr. Dhanda: Pre-appointment vetting checks are necessary to ensure that people who are appointed to work with children are safe to do so. My Department's guidance to schools on the vetting of potential employees is contained in Child Protection: Preventing Unsuitable People from Working with Children in the Education Service (May 2002) and Criminal Records Bureau: Managing the Demand for Disclosures (December 2002).
Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for reply.
You asked what criteria Ofsted use to assess school sporting provision.
Since September 2005 Ofsted's school inspections have focused on the school's overall effectiveness. During one of these inspections Ofsted inspects sports provision in a very general way as part of the inspection of the quality of education provided. There is not a specific focus on physical education unless it is a particularly important subject in the school. Schools with specialist sports college status, for example, will have their distinctive aims and characteristics taken into account and the extent to which the specialist aims are met.
Every child matters: The Framework for the inspection of schools in England from September 2005 sets out the principles for school inspections. The guidance outlines what inspection will cover and the work that inspectors need to do. This common inspection schedule for schools and other post-1 provision is supported by non-statutory guidance, published in two parts:
Guidance on using the schedule
Guidance on conducting inspections.
The Guidance on using the schedule contains specific criteria and benchmarks to support inspectors in knowing where to pitch their judgments. Equally, they should be an aid to schools in the process of self-evaluation. The amount of evidence on physical education will vary according to the priorities and focus of the inspection.
In addition to section five inspections, Ofsted has a new subject inspection programme which, in the case of physical education, involves 30 primary and 30 secondary schools each year. Every third year a report on physical education is published using the accumulated evidence from these visits. The first is due
in 2008. General guidance is provided for the HMI and additional inspectors who are involved with this programme. Ofsted is currently developing subject-specific guidance which exists in draft form. The contents are intended to help inspectors and all other staff to evaluate standards and achievement, quality of provision, leadership and management and other factors that might have a bearing on what learners achieve in physical education. For example, when reporting on the standards achieved by pupils in physical education inspectors:
interpret test, examination results and awards gained by pupils
judge the standards of work seen, highlighting what pupils do well and could do better
evaluate how well pupils are achieving, evaluating standards by the ends of the different key stages and highlighting any differences in achievement for different groups of pupils.
During the inspection, an inspector's view of standards is supplemented by:
examining pupils' targets in physical education and the basis on which they were set and progress towards achieving them any performance trends over time
identifying strengths and weaknesses in attainment against the knowledge, skills and understanding set out in the National Curriculum attainment target.
Grade characteristics are illustrated in order to help inspectors make judgments. For example, when judging standards in physical education to be good, inspectors will look for the following characteristics:
Standards achieved in examination courses are good, above national averages or as reflected in contextual value added. Standards show upward trends over time. Learners' skills, knowledge and understanding in most of the four aspects of the attainment target and across most areas of activity are good. The progress of the great majority of learners, across key stages, is good and for some it is very good, and show that almost all achieve well compared with their prior attainment and ability in physical education, and compared with those in similar schools.
When making judgements on standards and achievement, inspectors will also look for evidence on the 10 high quality outcomes promoted by the Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) strategy.
Most subject inspections focus on a specific subject issue, identified from the previous inspection, performance data or as part of a specific survey on, for example, the PESSCL strategy. For the subject 'issue' being inspected, a single grade is required and for this the general grade criteria have been interpreted in terms of the particular issue. Guidance pages are provided for each issue to support grading.
A copy of this reply has been sent to Jim Knight and will be placed in the Library of both Houses.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what provision there is for British sign language in the school curriculum; and what plans he has for changes to that provision. 
Jim Knight: British sign language is not recognised as a foreign language for the purposes of the national curriculum, or for the prospective entitlement for pupils learning a language at Key Stage 2. Schools may, however, choose to offer pupils the opportunity to study British sign language over and above the national curriculum requirements. We have no plans to change this.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the
number of Somali children in (a) primary and (b) secondary education in each education authority in England. 
As part of the Pupil Level Annual Schools Census (PLASC), schools are required to record ethnicity data to reflect the main categories used in the 2001 National Population Census. Children of Somali ethnic origin are recorded under the category of Black African. Following a consultation exercise in 2002, local authorities (LAs) were given the option of using extended ethnicity categories in their schools if they felt that the main ones did not meet their local management needs. The extended ethnicity categories do include a separate Somali code but not all LAs have chosen to use the extended categories. The majority of authorities use a mixture of main and extended codes and, therefore, the Department does not hold complete data for the extended ethnic background categories.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what estimate his Department has made of the number of vacancies for trained specialist school teachers in (a) English, (b) mathematics, (c) science, (d) modern languages and (e) information and communications technologies in rural areas in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many (a) vacancies and (b) temporary replacements there were for head teachers in (i) rural and (ii) non-rural areas in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The information requested is not available in the required format because vacancy level information is collected from a local authority rather than a school level survey and it is not possible to define which of these vacancies are in schools in rural and non-rural areas or which relate to specialist schools.
Table 1 provides the number of full-time classroom teacher vacancies in local authority maintained secondary schools in England in English, mathematics, science, languages and information technology in January 2006.
|Table 1: Full-time classroom teacher vacancy( 1 ) rates in local authority maintained secondary schools in England by subject, January 2006|
|( 2) Number of vacancies 2006|
|(1) Advertised vacancies for full-time permanent appointments (or appointments of at least one terms duration). Includes vacancies being filled on a temporary basis of less than one term.|
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Survey of teachers in service and teacher vacancies, (618g)
Table 2 shows the number of full-time head teacher vacancies and full-time temporarily filled head teacher posts in local authority maintained schools in England in January 2006. For comparison with table 1, it also shows figures for maintained secondary schools only.
|Table 2: Full-time head teacher vacancies and full-time temporarily filled head teacher posts in local authority maintained schools in England, January 2006( 2)|
|All maintained schools||Maintained secondary schools|
|(1) Temporarily-filled full-time permanent appointments. The definition used is wider than the vacancy definition (bullet points (b) and (c) below are in addition to the normal vacancy definition). A post is included in this row of the table:|
a. where there is no incumbent who is expected to return to the post;
b. whether or not filled on a temporary basis, i.e. either without a contract or on a contract of les than one year;
c. whether or not advertised;
d. where an appointment has been made by not yet taken up.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Survey of teachers in service and teacher vacancies, (618g)
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance has been given to employers regarding the repayment of income-contingent student loans; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Her Majestys Revenue and Customs (HMRC) issues a booklet entitled Collection of Student Loans, which outlines an employer's responsibilities in relation to making student loan deductions from pay and tables which show how much they should deduct. This guidance is available in hardcopy or employers can access it via HMRC's employer website. Employers are also able to obtain help and further guidance from the HMRC Employer Helpline and face-to-face advice is available at regular HMRC employer events.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many graduates contacted the Student Loans Company because they believe they were paying too much of their income-contingent student loan back in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The information requested is not available. While the Student Loans Company does record information about categories of inquiries made by customers at individual account level, it is unable to provide a global picture to this level of detail.
Bill Rammell: As at June 2006, Her Majestys Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reports that 5,400(1) borrowers are recorded as repaying on a self-assessment basis (self-employed). An additional 80,700(1) borrowers are recorded as repaying under both PAYE and self-assessment arrangements (self-assessment and in employment). These figures reflect the status at the point at which HMRC originally matched the borrowers to taxpayer records.
(1) Numbers are rounded to the nearest hundred.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which local authorities had an increase in the number of students in (a) Key Stage 3 and (b) Key Stage 4 between 2001 and 2005. 
This shows that 83 local authorities have reported an increase in the number of pupils in the Key Stage 3 age group between 2001 and 2005; and over the same period, 126 local authorities have reported an increase in the number of pupils in the Key Stage 4 age group.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of students continued full-time education after the age of 16 years from comprehensive secondary schools of (a) fewer than 100, (b) 100-199, (c) 200-299, (d) 300-399, (e) 400-499, (f) 500-599, (g) 600-700 and (h) over 700 students in (i) rural areas and (ii) non-rural areas in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: This information is not available. The Youth Cohort Study (YCS) estimates that overall 70 per cent. of young people in England who had attended a comprehensive school in year 11 in 2002/03 were in full-time education in the spring following completion of compulsory education. Neither the breakdown by size of school or rural/non-rural area is available from the YCS.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent on Government media advertisements and promotional activities seeking to attract people to the teaching profession in each of the last five years. 
The key advertising objective is to increase the number of able and committed people recruited to teaching, particularly in the secondary priority subjects (mathematics, sciences, modern languages, religious education, music, design and technology and information and communications technology). The last five years have seen successive increases in the numbers of people entering initial teacher training.
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