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13 Sep 2006 : Column 2385W—continued

Pupil Performance

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the local education authorities in England in order of percentage of pupils achieving (a) A* to A, (b) A* to B and (c) A* to C in five or more subjects including English and Maths at GCSE in 2006, stating in each case whether the local authority is selective, partially selective or comprehensive. [91067]

Phil Hope: Figures showing GCSE attainment in 2006 by local authority are not yet available. It is also not possible at this stage to calculate numbers of pupils achieving GCSEs or how many GCSEs they achieved. Provisional results, based on the information collected for the School and College Achievement and Attainment Tables, will first be published as National Statistics in October 2006.

School Meals

Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that school meals contain popular, nutritionally balanced staple foods. [90659]

Phil Hope: To ensure that school meals contain nutritionally balanced staple foods we have introduced new standards for school lunches. In addition the School Food Trust has issued guidance ‘Eat Better Do Better—a guide to introducing the Government’s new food based standards for school lunches’. The guidance explains why the new school food standards need to be in place, offers serving suggestions and gives advice on good practice to school caterers.

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Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the average (a) fat and (b) saturated fat content is of manufactured potato chips (i) deep fried and (ii) baked in ovens as their final cooking method in schools; [90660]

(2) whether manufactured chips which are (a) deep-fried and (b) baked in ovens as their final cooking method are classified in the same way under the new food-based standard for school meals in terms of the frequency with which they are allowed to be served; [90662]

(3) when he has met the School Food Trust to discuss the classification of deep-fried products; and what advice and recommendations he has received from the Trust on this subject. [90663]

Phil Hope: The following data on the fat and saturated fat content of fried and oven baked chips is taken from the UK food composition tables McCance and Widdowson's “The Composition of Foods, sixth edition (2002)”.

Fat g/100g Saturated Fat g/100g

Oven chips, frozen, baked



Chips straight cut, frozen fried in blended oil



These figures are averages based on analysis of samples cooked according to normal domestic practice. They are not based on chips cooked in schools.

The regulations that set new school lunch standards place restrictions on the frequency that foods which are deep-fried in the cooking or manufacturing process can be served in schools. This means deep-fried chips and chips that are ‘flash-fried’ during the manufacturing process and baked in ovens as their final cooking method would be restricted by the regulations.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills has not met with the School Food Trust (SFT); however the Minister responsible for School Food has quarterly meetings with the SFT. The meetings are an opportunity to discuss progress made against targets and policy issues, including school food standards. Deep-frying issues have been discussed in general terms although no specific advice or recommendations have been received.

Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which foods meet the relevant Food Standards Agency voluntary nutritional specifications for their category, but are excluded or restricted from school menus by the food-based standards. [90661]

Phil Hope: There will be a number of foods that meet the Food Standards Agency's voluntary Target Nutrient Specifications (TNS) for manufactured foods used in school meals but which are restricted by the new statutory school lunch nutritional standards in England. Of foods covered by the Food Standards Agency's TNS only savoury snacks and crisps are excluded by the new standards.

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The purpose of the TNS is to assist school caterers across the UK to choose healthier products for use in school meals. The TNS will help schools to meet the wider nutrient-based school lunch standards that will be introduced in primary schools and secondary schools in England from September 2008 and September 2009 respectively.

Schoolchildren (Bristol)

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of children of school age living in Bristol local education authority
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area attend (a) primary and (b) secondary schools which are located outside the local education authority boundaries; and what percentage of these schools are in the independent sector. [90586]

Phil Hope: We are unable to provide residency based figures for children educated in the Independent sector as the Department does not collect individual level information for pupils in the Independent sector.

The information for primary and secondary schools in the maintained sector has been provided in the following table:

Number of pupils( 3) residing within Bristol local authority Number of pupils( 3) residing within Bristol local authority who attend schools outside of the local authority Percentage of pupils( 3) residing within Bristol local authority who attend schools outside of the local authority













(1) Includes primary and middle deemed primary. (2) Includes secondary, middle deemed secondary, City Technology Colleges and Academies. 3 Includes pupils aged 5 to 15 years, solely registered or main registration of dually registered pupils, excludes boarders. Source: School Census 2006

Schoolchildren (Expenditure)

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent in real terms on each school child in (a) England, (b) Waltham Forest and (c) Redbridge in (i) 2005-06 and (ii) 1995-96. [90879]

Phil Hope: The available information is contained in the following tables. The Department is currently collecting the financial information for 2005-06.

Expenditure per pupil on education in Waltham Forest, Redbridge and England in financial year 2004-05—Real terms figures at 2005-06 prices( 1) as reported by local authorities in their 2004-05 outturn statements as at 6 September 2006( 2)
2004-05 at 2005-06 prices
Primary school based expenditure per pupil( 3) Secondary school based expenditure per pupil( 3) Combined local authority and school based expenditure per pupil( 5)

Waltham Forest












1995-96 at 2005-06 prices
Pre-primary/ Primary school based expenditure per pupil( 3,4) Secondary school based expenditure per pupil( 3) Combined local authority and school based expenditure per pupil( 5)

Waltham Forest












(1) Real terms figures calculated using GDP deflators as at 30 June 2006. (2) 2004-05 data are subject to change by the local authority. All figures are rounded to the nearest £10. (3) School-based expenditure includes only expenditure incurred directly by local authority schools. This includes the pay of teachers and school-based support staff, school premises costs, books and equipment, and certain other supplies and services, less any capital items funded from recurrent spending and income from sales, fees and charges and rents and rates. This excludes the central cost of support services such as home to school transport, local authority administration and the financing of capital expenditure. The pupil data are drawn from the DFES Annual Schools Census adjusted to be on a financial year basis. (4). Expenditure was not distinguished between the pre-primary and primary sectors until the inception of Section 52 for financial year 1999-00. (5) Combined local authority and school-based expenditure includes all expenditure on the education of children in local authority maintained establishments and pupils educated by the authority other than in maintained establishments. This includes both school-based expenditure and all elements of central LA expenditure except youth and community and capital expenditure from revenue (CERA). Certain elements of central local authority expenditure cannot be attributed to a particular phase of education and consequently a sector breakdown is not available. Pupil figures include all pre-primary pupils, including those under-5s funded by the authority and being educated in private settings (only available from 1999-00), pupils educated in maintained mainstream schools and any other local authority maintained pupils. All pupil numbers are adjusted to be on a financial year basis.

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Schools (Outside Bodies)

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of schools permit activities of outside bodies on their premises. [90592]

Phil Hope: Schools may offer activities, both directly and through third-party providers from the private, voluntary and independent sectors, on their premises. They may also let their premises to outside bodies, such as sports clubs and community groups. The Department does not collect data on all such usage centrally; however, a baseline survey of extended services in a sample of maintained schools in 2005 found that 75 per cent. of primary schools and 97 per cent. of secondary schools permitted some outside use of their facilities. We are committed to ensuring that by 2010 all maintained schools in England become extended schools, providing access to a core offer of opportunities and services, including activities for pupils, family learning and adult learning available to the wider community. We are on track to achieve our target for 2,500 schools to provide this offer by the end of this month; and for half of all primary schools and third of secondary schools to do so by 2008. More than 10,000 schools are already working with their local authorities and with our partner organisation, TDA Development, to develop extended services.

Sexual Orientation Regulations

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the content of school assemblies will be covered by the sexual orientation regulations. [90706]

Phil Hope: The sexual orientation regulations currently being developed by the Department for Communities and Local Government are being put in place to prevent discrimination against individual pupils on grounds of their sexual orientation, or that of their parents or other people with whom they are associated. It is not the intention of the regulations to place a duty on schools to change the content of the curriculum, collective worship, assemblies or any other aspect of teaching in schools.

Special Needs Education

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps are being taken by his Department to increase awareness among (a) parents and (b) professionals working with children on how to support children with a speech and language disability. [90684]

Phil Hope: Parental awareness of speech, language and communication difficulties is very important. In 2005, the Department published a detailed information booklet for parent on speech and language difficulties under our Early Support Programme. This resource was produced in close collaboration with specialist organisations in the voluntary sector and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. It explains how children normally develop communication, language and speech, how adults can help in this, the difficulties that can arise and how to seek help from professionals.

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The Department has supported a longitudinal study by the University of Warwick looking into the learning needs of a group of children with specific language and communication difficulties, the characteristics of the current provision made for them and its impact, their aspirations for the future and the ways in which services can best support them. The results of the study are due to be published in autumn 2006.

The Primary and Secondary National Strategies have also produced a range of support and guidance to schools and childcare settings on the teaching of English and the development of speaking and listening skills, including frameworks to help teachers meet the requirements of the National Curriculum. We are reviewing the frameworks to provide more detailed and up to date guidance for schools which will be available before half term. We have also provided national training materials—“Communicating Matters”—for practitioners in early years Foundation Stage settings to specifically support children’s early language acquisition.

The DfES and the Department of Health have jointly commissioned an independent scoping study to identify, for relevant professionals and other interested parties, examples of good practice in the effective delivery of speech and language therapy services to children and young people with special educational needs aged 0 to 19. A research team from Canterbury Christ Church University is carrying out the study and the fieldwork in currently under way. We expect to receive the final report on the scoping study early in the new year.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether he plans to change the statementing process for children with special educational needs; and if he will make a statement. [90685]

Phil Hope: The Government have no current plans to change the statementing process. We are considering the recent report of the Education and Skills Committee's inquiry into special educational needs in which a review of policy is recommended and will respond in due course.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if his Department will set national guidelines on assessment and categorisation of special educational needs. [90686]

Phil Hope: Guidance on carrying out statutory assessments of special educational needs are given in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2001), to which all local education authorities and schools must have regard. The code recognises that there are no hard and fast categories of need for assessment purposes. It identifies four broad types of need: communication and interaction; cognition and learning; behaviour, emotional and social development; and sensory and/or physical needs, but it stresses that each child is unique and that children may have needs that fall into more than one area. The code makes clear that children's needs must be considered on an individual basis.

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Student Loans Company

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment has been made of the (a) security and (b) reliability of the Student Loans Company's IT systems. [90802]

Phil Hope: The Student Loans Company (SLC) routinely commissions independent security assessments before new online services are launched to highlight any weaknesses and addresses these prior to the service becoming operational.

A major independent review of the single IT system, administered by the SLC and used by local authorities and the SLC to process and pay student loan applications, was conducted over the period June to September 2005 by Gartner Consulting, a recognised global leader in technology futures and evaluation methodologies. Gartner reported average system
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transaction times and the handling of peak volume throughput to be on par with industry examples and system availability when tested to be 100 per cent. within service level hours.

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