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|Pupils at the end of key stage 4|
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of pupils from independent schools achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and mathematics in each year since 1996. 
|Independent school pupils achieving 5+ A*-C at GCSE or equivalent including English and mathematics|
| Note: Data for 2006 are provisional. Data for all other years are final.|
|Number and percentage of 15-year-old pupils( 1) achieving the following GCSEs or equivalents|
|7 or more A*-C grades|
|(1 )Aged 15 at the start of the academic year i.e. 31 August.|
Most recently graduate employability was also included in wider discussions on a visit to Cambridge University on 6 September, Liverpool John Moores University on 10 October and in a speech the Secretary of State recently gave to Vice Chancellors at the Universities UK conference in Exeter on 14 September 2006.
Both the Secretary of State and I continue to encourage and support developments in the HE sector that help UK graduates compete effectively in the domestic and global employment market. These include the inclusion in degree programmes of elements of work-based learning and high-level world of work skills such as business awareness and negotiation. My response to my hon. Friends question, 25 October 2006, Official Report, columns 1913-14W, contains some relevant examples of this.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of mature students born before 1979 undertaking a foundation degree who now require a GCSE or equivalent in science to apply to enter the teaching profession; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advice has been given to education authorities on the level of grants they should provide to private sector providers of nursery education; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: Local authorities receive funding for all pre-16 provision through the dedicated schools grant (DSG). This is a ring-fenced DfES grant provided to local authorities to fund educational provision in all types of setting, including private, voluntary and independent settings offering free early education.
Local authorities are responsible for deciding how best to apply the funding across different age groups and between different types of provider taking account of local needs and circumstances. The Code of Practice on the Provision of Free Nursery Education places for Three and Four-Year-Olds makes clear that local authorities should fund all providers delivering the free early education entitlement equitably, fairly and transparently.
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 23 October 2006, Official Report, column 1565W, on partially selective schools, if he will list the 38 schools to which he refers. 
Further to the answer of 23 October, I attach a list of 38 schools we are aware of which operate forms of pre-existing partial selection that it would not now be lawful to introduce. This is not a
definitive list as admission arrangements are determined locally and we do not collate information on every school.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) performance management and (b) key performance indicators have been put in place to monitor the service quality for the (i) key stage 3 strategy and (ii) strategic improvement partner initiative; and what external scrutiny of each will take place. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 26 October 2006]: The services provided by the national strategies, whether as part of the secondary strategy (formerly the key stage 3 strategy) or specific programmes like school improvement partners (SIPs) are set out annually in the national strategies annual plan. The Department has set in place governance arrangements for monitoring the quality and progress of specific programmes set out in the annual plan. The detailed key indicators measuring the performance of the national strategies contractor are commercially confidential.
In the case of the SIPs programme, there is a quality assurance framework covering both the initial accreditation and impact of SIPs. This framework
together with the progress reports have been shared with all local authorities (LAs) who are responsible for the delivery of the SIPs programme, as well as representatives of the teaching profession who form part of a wider consultative group.
The Department uses a variety of mechanisms for evaluating quality, progress and impact of the national strategies including: the strategies own quality assurance processes; Ofsted; the Prime Ministers delivery unit on specific aspects of delivery; and externally commissioned evaluations from research organisations such as the National Foundation for Education Research (NfER).
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