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Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor on his pledges (a) to have a sports day in every school, (b) to offer after-school sport and links with a range of local sports clubs in every school and (c) to ensure access to playing fields for every school; when he expects to implement these pledges; and what his estimate is of the financial resources required to do so; 
[holding answers 30 October 2006]: My officials and I have regular discussions with the Treasury to discuss PE and sport. Our overall aim, a joint DfES/DCMS public service agreement target, is
to increase the percentage of five to16-year-olds who take part in at least two hours high quality PE and school sport each week to 75 per cent. by 2006 and 85 per cent. by 2008. By 2010, we want to offer all children four hours of sport a week. We are investing over £1.5 billion in the five years to 2008 to transform PE and school sport.
We have already exceeded the 2006 target. The 2005/06 school sport survey found that 80 per cent. of pupils in the 16,880 schools which took part in the survey were doing at least two hours. This is an increase of 29 per cent. on 2003/04. The survey found that almost all schools (97 per cent.) hold a competitive sports day and the percentage of years 2-11 pupils participating in sports clubs linked to their schools has increased from 22 per cent. in 2003/04 to 27 per cent. this year. Copies of the results of the survey have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total number of school closures has been in each Liverpool constituency in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
|Year closed||Annual total|
| Notes: 1. The figures include schools that closed as a result of the amalgamation or merger of two or more schools; schools that have closed but re-opened as voluntary schools with a religious character; and schools that have closed in local education authorities that have moved from a three-tier to a two-tier system. 2. The figures are for maintained schools inclusive of special schools, but exclusive of local authority nursery schools. However, for information, there was only one such closure in 2003 in Liverpool Wavertree. Source: DfES|
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 23 October 2006, Official Report, column 1574W, on science teachers, what the recruitment targets for science teachers are for each year between 2007 and 2014. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 2 November 2006]: The indicative target for recruitment to initial teacher training for science for 2007/08 is 3,225 places. The targets for 2008/09 onwards are yet to be determined.
Jim Knight: No. It is for local authorities to plan and secure the provision of schools in their area which are sufficient in number, character and equipment to provide for all pupils the opportunity of appropriate education. The Education and Inspections Bill adds further focus to these duties, requiring local authorities to secure diversity and increase parental choice when planning the provision of school places.
Around two-thirds of maintained schools in England do not have a religious character. All schools, regardless of whether they have a religious character, are required to contribute to the moral and spiritual development of their pupils, to teach religious education and to hold a daily act of religious worship.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how the policy of personalisation of special educational needs policy will be implemented in the case of children with severe verbal dyspraxia. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice provides advice to local authorities (LAs) schools and others on carrying out their statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision for pupils with SEN, including children with verbal dyspraxia. Some children with dyspraxia may have statements of special educational needs. The statement will set out the childs needs and specify the individualised provision to meet those needs. The LA which maintains the statement has a duty to arrange the specified provision.
a child supported at School Action will be provided with interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the schools usual differentiated curriculum offer; and
a child supported at School Action Plus will be provided with help from external services. Help may be in the form of advice to teachers on target setting and accompanying support strategies; or more specialist assessments to inform planning and measurement of progress; or support for particular activities.
In addition to the support provided to children under the SEN statutory framework, each school will decide how best to implement the policy of personalisation, using the additional funding£990 million for 2006-08allocated for this purpose, and taking account of local priorities. The focus on personalised learning should help improve outcomes for all pupils, especially in core curriculum subjects.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he will provide funding for local authorities to increase the number of collaborative arrangements in which communities of schools work together to provide services for children with special educational needs; 
(2) what steps he has taken in response to evidence from Ofsted that funding delegated to schools for meeting the special educational needs of children has been used for other priorities in schools; 
Mr. Dhanda: All pupils, including those with SEN, are benefiting from the significant increases in investment in education funding under this Government. Total revenue funding per pupil has increased nationally by £1,440 in real terms between 1997-98 and 2006-07. By 2007-08 the increase over 1997-98 will have reached over £1,630 per pupil in real terms. More resources are going into schools to support children with SEN. LA indicative figures show spending rising from £3.5 billion in 2003-04 to over £4.5 billion in 2006-07.
The school funding settlement for 2006-08 provides a national average increase in the dedicated schools grant of 6.8 per cent. per pupil this year (compared with authorities spending in 2005-06) and a further increase of 6.7 per cent. per pupil for 2007-08. The settlement gives schools everywhere the secure and predictable base they need to deliver a wider and more personalised offer to all their pupils. Decisions on funding for subsequent years will be dependent upon the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR07).
DSG is a ring-fenced grant. It is paid to local authorities, who must use it for the purposes of their schools budget. It is for each local authority to distribute funding to its schools using its locally agreed formula, and it is for schools governing bodies to decide how to spend their available resources. We believe that schools are best placed to make decisions about support arrangements for pupils experiencing barriers to their learning. They can intervene early and make effective arrangements promptly and flexibly, within the whole school context.
The Education Act 1996 states that schools must use their best endeavours to make suitable provision for all pupils with SEN. For children with statements, LAs, in partnership with schools, must ensure that the provision specified in the statement can be delivered. The annual review ensures that the continued effectiveness of the statement is monitored and evaluated at least annually.
The SEN code of practice provides detailed guidance to schools and LAs on their respective responsibilities. In addition, the Special Educational Needs (Provision of Information by LEAs) (England) Regulations 2001 require LAs to set out what they expect schools to provide from their budgets for children with SEN but without statements and what LAs expect to provide themselves.
The Departments 2004 guidance The Management of SEN Expenditure recommended the accountability arrangements that should be in place in order to secure positive outcomes for children with special educational needs. The guidance proposed a framework covering: school information and performance data; school self-evaluation; evaluation meetings and accountability to parents.
All schools are required to complete a self-evaluation form (SEF), drawing on improved data and supported by inspection, to identify areas where there is a need to improve performance. School improvement partners (SIPs) will challenge and support schools. The focus on a continuing cycle of school improvement should ensure that the progress of all children is kept under review and that they receive appropriate support.
Collaboration is proving to be a very effective way of addressing school improvement, teaching and learning, and other organisational issues. SEN is certainly one area that can benefit from a partnership approach of both schools and possibly other organisations. However, we believe that schools must have the freedom to make spending decisions and to decide whether they take part in partnership activity, based on their specific local needs. For this reason, from April 2006 the majority of funding to support collaborative work now goes directly to schools as part of their school development grant. The way schools decide to use this funding is therefore a matter for local decision.
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