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9 Oct 2006 : Column 131W—continued

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2006, Official Report, column 1709W, on school playing fields, for what reasons sales were (a) rejected and (b) withdrawn. [90539]

Jim Knight: Since 1998, of the 228 applications involving the loss of an area of grassed land capable of forming a school sports pitch, two have been rejected and 46 withdrawn. Applications to dispose, or change the use, of school playing fields are considered against strict criteria which are set out in the Department's guidance. Briefly, these are:

In the case of the two rejected applications, the School Playing Fields Advisory Panel determined, on appeal, that the applications did not meet the published criteria. Applications have been withdrawn either as a result of the panel's preliminary view that the application failed to meet the criteria or as a result of similar advice from officials. In some instances, the applicant itself has withdrawn its application because it realised that it failed to meet the criteria. In every case, however, the reason for withdrawal was that the application failed to meet the criteria for giving consent. A withdrawn case has the same effect as one that is rejected in that the proposed disposal, or change of use, does not happen.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2006, Official Report, column 1709W, on school playing fields, how many of the closing schools were being merged; and how many merged schools received the monies raised by the sales of the playing fields. [90540]

Jim Knight: The Department's records do not show which, or how many, of the closed or closing schools were being merged.

Science and Innovation Investment Framework

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made in implementing the proposals contained within the Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-14: Next Steps; and if he will make a statement. [91329]

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Bill Rammell: We are making good progress towards implementing the commitments. The consultation document “The reform of higher education research assessment and funding” was published on 13 June. We are working with partners such as the Training and Development Agency for Schools, and Science Learning Centres to deliver a range of other commitments. For example, we have commissioned the Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics Network (SETNET) to recruit an extra 6,000 science engineering ambassadors by 2007-08. We have also remitted the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) to advise on improving the use of current pay flexibilities and incentives to improve the recruitment, retention and quality of science teachers; and on whether science teachers should receive an incentive to encourage them to complete physics and chemistry enhancement CPD leading to an accredited qualification.

Sexual Exploitation (Children)

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many projects providing support to children who have experienced sexual exploitation (a) are located in England and (b) have closed in the last two years. [90123]

Mr. Dhanda: There is no central record of Government funds given specifically to projects that provide support to children who have experienced sexual exploitation. Support services such as these are delivered through many different funding initiatives, central, local and voluntary and across a wide variety of different organisations in both the voluntary sector and health related services. It is therefore also not possible to identify those projects that have closed within the last two years.

Special Educational Needs

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to make special educational needs training modules compulsory at initial teacher training level. [90240]

Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what funding has been made available to schools to provide for in-service training on special educational needs in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement on his policy on this issue; [90269]

(2) what proportion of schools have special educational needs co-ordinators; and how many of these are qualified teachers; [90270]

(3) what plans he has to ensure that special educational needs training modules which are being piloted at initial teacher training level are available at all higher education institutions in England. [90271]

Mr. Dhanda: In order to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status, all trainee teachers must demonstrate that they understand their responsibilities under the statutory Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, know how to seek advice from specialists on less
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common types of SEN, can differentiate their teaching to meet the needs of pupils, including those with SEN, and can identify and support pupils who experience behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

The current standards for teachers are under review. Once revised, it is proposed that they will be strengthened to include a standard which requires teachers to know and comply with current legislation on well being of children and young people, one which requires teachers to know and understand the role of others when dealing with children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, and one which requires teachers to communicate effectively with parents and carers.

Induction Standards require Newly Qualified Teachers to demonstrate that they can plan effectively to meet the needs of pupils in their classes with SEN, with or without a statement, and in consultation with the school’s SEN Co-ordinator, can contribute to the planning for individual needs.

Once qualified, all teachers are expected to discuss their own development needs in performance management reviews, and to address development priorities. This could include strengthening knowledge and understanding of SEN and disability issues. Where schools have identified a need to strengthen knowledge and understanding of SEN/disability, as a school improvement priority, this should be addressed through their school improvement and development plans.

All schools receive a School Development Grant which they are able to use to support improvements in any aspect of teaching and learning. A wide variety of courses are available covering SEN and disability, ranging from awareness-raising through to in-depth studies leading to specific qualifications. It is, however, a matter for individual teachers and their schools to determine their own particular training and development needs; the Department does not direct the amount to be spent on in-service training in relation to SEN/disability. Local authorities may retain a proportion of this grant, under certain conditions, to provide specific training and development in SEN/disability.

The Department’s published SEN Strategy, ‘Removing Barriers to Achievement’ recognised the importance of training and committed us to work closely with the Training and Development Agency for Schools to ensure that initial teacher training and programmes of continuing professional development provide a good grounding in core skills and knowledge of SEN. We have commissioned the TDA to carry forward a range of initiatives designed to improve and strengthen the SEN skills and confidence of trainees, newly qualified and established teachers. These initiatives will be implemented over the period 2005-08 at a cost of approximately £1.1 million.

Within this package of measures, we are working to develop and pilot some specialist modules on SEN for the longer initial teacher training courses but it is too early to comment on possibilities of wider adoption.

Under the Education (Special Educational Needs) (Information) (England) Regulations 1999, the governing body of every maintained mainstream school must publish prescribed information, including
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the name of the person who is responsible for co-ordinating the provision of education for pupils with SEN, whether or not the person is known as the SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO). Information on SENCO numbers and status of individual SENCOs is not collected centrally.

Student Loans

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the outstanding loan balance is at the Student Loans Company, broken down by (a) public debt amounts and (b) non-public debt amounts. [92070]

Bill Rammell: The total student loan balance outstanding at 31 March 2006 in the UK was £18,665.8 million for publicly-owned loans and £952.2 million for loans sold to the private sector.


Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) academies and (b) fee-paying schools contribute to the teachers’ pension scheme; and whether they are subject to the rules relating to increases in salary during the final years before retirement that apply to maintained schools. [89243]

Jim Knight: All academies and 1,283 independent schools participate in the teachers’ pension scheme (TPS).

The TPS is a defined benefit scheme that provides a pension and lump sum based on salary at retirement. The teachers’ pensions regulations contain provision to restrict the salary used to calculate retirement benefits in circumstances where a scheme member has received substantial increase in salary before retirement. This is to safeguard the scheme against a disproportionate level of pension benefits being paid in relation to the contributions that have been received. The regulations do, however, provide for the employer to make a payment to the scheme to cover the actuarial value of the increased retirement benefits and, if that is paid, the full salary would be used. All provisions of the TPS apply equally to all scheme members regardless of where they are employed.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many newly-qualified teachers have been given a probationary teaching post in each of the last five years; how many of these teachers have completed their probationary years successfully in each year; how many have gone on to find permanent jobs with (a) the education authority with which they were initially placed and (b) with another authority; how many have found permanent employment in teaching after a period of (i) unemployment, (ii) supply teaching and (iii) other employment; and how many have failed to find permanent teaching posts;

(2) how many teachers failed to secure permanent posts for the 2006-07 school year following their probationary period. [89556]

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Jim Knight: In England teachers who have attained qualified teacher status (QTS) are not given a post for their induction period. It is for newly qualified teachers themselves to find suitable teaching experience. The induction period of three terms need not be continuous service or in a single post. The period should normally be completed within five years of achieving QTS.

Since 2000 the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) has recorded the number of newly qualified teachers who have successfully completed their induction. The following table provides this information for each year from 2000 to 2005.

Number of newly qualified teachers passing their teaching induction period in England 2000 to 2005






21 ,400









Source: General Teaching Council for England.

In addition the GTCE also records how many teachers remain in teaching service after passing their induction period. In June 2006, of the teachers who had passed their induction since 2000, 81 per cent. were recorded as being in teaching service. Of the remainder some 16 per cent. were known to have left the profession. The status of four per cent. was unknown. It is not known how many of the teachers who are in teaching service are with the employer with whom they passed their induction, or how many are in a permanent post. The employment status of teachers during any gaps in service prior to finding a permanent post is also unknown.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of working days were missed by teachers because of stress-related conditions in the most recent year for which figures are available, broken down by local authority area. [89557]

Jim Knight: The information requested is not collected centrally for England. Teacher sickness absence in Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Executive.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost of sickness pay to teachers was in the most recent year for which figures are available. [89558]

Jim Knight: There are no figures available in respect of the cost of sickness pay to teachers. Teachers are employed by governing bodies and local authorities and as such figures of this nature may be available at individual local authority level, but are not gathered nationally by the Department.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers have retired on grounds of stress-related illness in each of the last three years. [89559]

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Jim Knight: The information is not available in the format requested.

The following table provides ill health retirements by diagnosis in each 12 month period from 1 October 2002, the earliest date from which data have been collected in this form. The figures given are for England and Wales only. Ill health retirements for teachers in Scotland are a matter for the Scottish Executive.

Ill health retirements by diagnosis( 1)
Diagnosis 2002-03( 2) 2003-04( 2) 2004-05( 2)

Blood and Blood Forming Organs




Chronic Fatigue Syndrome








Congenital Malformations








Ear and Mastoid Process




Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic




Eye and Adnexa








Infectious and Parasitic Diseases




Injury, Poisoning and Other External Causes




Mental and Behavioural Disorders








Musculoskeletal—Non Back








Nervous System




Perinatal Period








Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue




(1) Figures are for ill health retirements from all education sectors in England and Wales pensionable under the teachers’ pensions scheme. (2) Each year covers the period 1 October to 30 September.
(3) Equals less than 5.
Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5.
DfES medical advisers.

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