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30 Oct 2006 : Column 206W—continued

Church Mead Junior School, Leyton

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the outcome was of the bid to his Department by Church Mead Junior School, Leyton (a) to become a fresh start school and (b) for capital spending. [97394]

Jim Knight: My officials met with Waltham Forest local authority and its partner, “EduAction”, on a number of occasions to discuss Fresh Start proposals for Church Mead Junior School. During these discussions Ofsted visited the school and noted it had made satisfactory progress since it was placed in special measures and good progress since the previous monitoring inspection. It was not, therefore, a strong candidate for a Fresh Start, which is normally reserved for intractable cases of failure. Although the school could not be supported with additional Fresh Start funding under the programme’s criteria, the local authority took the decision to close the school in August 2006 and it reopened as Willow Brook Primary in September with a new head teacher.

However, under the London Challenge programme, Waltham Forest LA received £250,000 revenue funding in 2006-07. This was to secure radical improvements in achievement at six persistently low attaining primary schools in the authority. We understand the authority has allocated some of this funding to Willow Brook School.

Departmental Contracts

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which contracts were awarded by his Department to Capita in each year from 2000-01 to 2005-06; what the cost was of each contract; what penalties for default were imposed on contract provisions; what the length was of each contract; and what provision was made for renewal without re-tender in each case. [97371]

Jim Knight [holding answer 26 October 2006]: A complete answer to this question could be supplied only at disproportionate cost. I can tell the hon. Gentleman, however, that the Department let the following major contracts to Capita in the years 2000-01 to 2005-06:


30 Oct 2006 : Column 207W
Contract Year let Contract length (year) Contract value (£ million)

Individual Learning Accounts

2000-01

(1)5

55

Connexions Card

2001-02

(2)6

109

Education Maintenance Allowances

2003-04

(3)5

48

Teachers’ Pensions

2003-04

7

61

London Challenge

2004-05

1

1

National Strategies

2005-06

5

180

(1) Terminated October 2002. (2) Terminated August 2006. (3) Contract novated to Learning and Skills Council April 2005.

No contract has penalties for default as ‘penalties’ are not enforceable under English law. There are however a range of complex incentive mechanisms in operation.

While some of these contracts have an in-built optional extension period as part of the original contract, no contracts will be renewed without re-tender.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the date of commencement is of each contract awarded to Capita for the operation of the school improvement partner initiative; what tendering process was followed; how many companies were short-listed; and what arrangements are in place for external scrutiny of the tendering and outcome processes. [97374]

Jim Knight [holding answer 26 October 2006]: The National Strategies contract went live on 1 April 2005, following a rigorous procurement process which conformed to Government procurement guidelines. Six companies tendered for the National Strategies contract of which two were short listed. The contract was awarded to Capita on 1 September 2004.

The service requirements for the National Strategies contract were designed to deliver across a wide range of school improvement services, including the emerging SIP initiatives. Separate tendering processes were not required for each principal element of the SIPs programme.

The procurement process was scrutinised by the Department's internal audit and legal advisers, and as a “mission critical” programme went through rigorous external scrutiny by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) gateway process.

Disability Equality

Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) information gathering and (b) other actions his Department is taking to inform the production of the report on progress towards disability equality within the education and skills policy sectors. [91996]

Jim Knight: The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 imposes a legal duty upon public authorities to look proactively at ways of ensuring that disabled people are treated equally. Furthermore the Act also requires certain Secretaries of State to publish a report by December 2008 which:


30 Oct 2006 : Column 208W

Policy officials are currently in the process of preparing my Department's first Disability Equality Scheme which, in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, will be published on 4 December 2006. Furthermore training and awareness-raising within the Department have included information about both the Department's own Disability Equality Scheme and the Secretary of State’s report upon the children's, education and skills sectors due to be published in 2008. We are beginning work to collect information across the sectors for which the Secretary of State is responsible to inform the latter report.

Education Funding

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether local education authorities are given guidelines from central Government on how to divide funds between schools within their remit. [97717]

Jim Knight: Section 47 of the School Standards and Framework Act enables the Secretary of State to make regulations governing the way in which local authorities must, and in some cases may, distribute funding to the schools they maintain. The most recent set of these regulations is the “School Finance (England) Regulations 2006”. The mixture of prescription and discretion within these regulations enables each local authority to tailor their distribution mechanism to the needs and circumstances of their schools.

In addition to the core funding a school receives via its local authority's distribution mechanism the Department also makes available a number of other grants to schools. The distribution mechanism of these grants is, in the main, determined by the Department.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what grants are available to secondary schools within the Havering Local Education Authority area for refurbishment of information technology facilities; [97719]

(2) what grants are available to (a) primary and (b) secondary schools within the Havering Local Education Authority area with regards to refurbishment of information technology facilities; [97720]

(3) what grants are available to local education authorities for the refurbishment of information technology facilities. [97723]

Jim Knight: There are no grants specifically for the refurbishment of information and communications technology facilities. Schools (both primary and secondary) and local authorities can choose to use their Devolved Formula Capital Grant, School Development Grant or Connectivity and Learning Systems Grant for refurbishment, if they so wish, taking into account their local needs and priorities.


30 Oct 2006 : Column 209W

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much capital investment his Department (a) made in schools in 2005-06 and (b) plans to make in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; how many new schools (A) were built in 2005-06 and (B) are planned for (1) 2006-07 and (2) 2007-08 under the Building Schools for the Future programme. [97910]

Jim Knight: Capital allocations from the Department for schools in 2005-06 were £5.5 billion. They are planned to be £5.9 billion and £6.4 billion in 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively. Capital investment at local authority level will also be affected by expenditure timing differences and resources that may be available locally.

The Building Schools for the Future programme has, currently, 38 active local authority projects. These cover the building or complete refurbishment of approximately 360 secondary schools. Progress reports from the commissioning local authorities show that the first schools are planned to open in September 2007.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils who received
30 Oct 2006 : Column 210W
the Education Maintenance Allowance did not gain an A-level qualification in each year since 2004. [97144]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 26 October 2006]: EMA was only rolled out nationally from September 2004. It will soon be possible to investigate the impact of the national roll-out of EMA on attainment up to level 3 (A levels and equivalent), as many of that first 16 year old cohort have now gained qualifications. Their first major set of qualifications results will be available in December 2006 and the LSC will commission analysis of the achievement data at this point—the results are expected in summer 2007.

Exclusions

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students have been excluded permanently from schools in Suffolk in each year since 1997. [95462]

Jim Knight: The requested information is given in the table.

Maintained primary, secondary and special schools: number and percentage of permanent exclusions 1997/98 to 2004/05 Suffolk local authority area
Permanent exclusions
Primary schools Secondary schools Special schools Total ( 1)
Number Percentage( 2) Number Percentage( 2) Number Percentage( 2) Number Percentage

1997/98

13

0.03

104

0.21

12

1.38

130

0.13

1998/99

18

0.04

106

0.21

0

0.00

120

0.12

1999/2000

23

0.05

77

0.15

0

0.00

100

0.10

2000/01 (3)

13

0.03

133

0.25

(4)

(4)

150

0.14

2001/02 (3)

26

0.05

135

0.25

0

0.00

160

0.16

2002/03 (3)

22

0.05

126

0.23

(4)

(4)

150

0.15

2003/04 (3)

32

0.07

161

0.30

(4)

(4)

200

0.19

2004/05 (3)

20

0.04

126

0.23

(4)

(4)

150

0.15

(1) Totals across all school types have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(2) The number of permanent exclusions expressed as a percentage of the school population.
(3) Figures are as confirmed by local authorities via the data checking exercise.
(4) 1 or 2 exclusions or a rate based on 1 or 2 exclusions.
Source:
Schools' Census

Faith Schools

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many faith schools there are in (a) Romford, (b) Havering and (c) all London boroughs. [97724]

Jim Knight: The requested information for Romford parliamentary constituency is given in the table.

Maintained primary and secondary schools( 1) : number of schools by religious character, January 2006, Romford parliamentary constituency
Maintained primary Maintained secondary

No religious character

19

3

Church of England

2

1

Roman Catholic

2

1

Methodist

0

0

Other Christian faith(2)

0

0

Jewish

0

0

Muslim

0

0

Sikh

0

0

Other

0

0

Total

23

5

(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(2) Includes schools of mixed denomination and other Christian beliefs.
Source:
Schools' Census and EduBase

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