Previous Section Index Home Page

8 Nov 2006 : Column 1754W—continued


Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which local education authorities (LEAs) do not have a specialist sports college; which have plans to establish such a college; whether there is a target for the provision of these facilities in each LEA; and if he will make a statement. [99918]

Jim Knight: There are 12 local authorities in England without a specialist Sports College or an academy with a sports focus:


8 Nov 2006 : Column 1755W

Of these, the City of London has no maintained secondary schools and the Isles of Scilly has one.

It would be inappropriate to predict the outcome of schools’ specialism applications. There are no national targets for a Sports College in each area, but we are working to ensure that there is a balanced network of specialisms across each local authority—this includes Sports Colleges. Nationally, there are 402 Sports Colleges, including 14 academies with a sports focus, exceeding our target to have 400 Sports Colleges.

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which sports are taught to children at (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in each London local authority. [99919]

Jim Knight: The National Curriculum for Physical Education does not stipulate which precise sports a school should teach. Instead it sets out the types of activities that should be taught at each key stage:

Science and Mathematics

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to improve the teaching of (a) science and (b) mathematics in schools. [99903]

Jim Knight: The Government are improving the quality of teaching in science and mathematics through measures to improve the recruitment, retention and professional development of teachers. These include:

Secular Schools

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) whether he has received any expressions of interest in establishing atheist or secular voluntary-aided schools on the same basis as maintained faith schools; [99823]


8 Nov 2006 : Column 1756W

(2) whether it is his policy to permit the creation of atheist or secular schools within the maintained sector on the same basis as voluntary-aided faith schools. [99824]

Jim Knight: We have received a number of enquiries from a range of groups and organisations expressing interest in establishing new maintained schools. Schools of any faith or ethos may come into the maintained sector provided they meet the requirements for maintained schools and where parents and the local community want them. Promoters can propose voluntary or foundation schools.

Decisions about whether new schools should open are made locally, following consultation, by the School Organisation Committee or schools adjudicator if the committee are not unanimous. Ministers play no role in the decision making process. Decisions are made on the merits of the individual proposals, and in the light of local circumstances.

All maintained schools must deliver the national curriculum and must also provide religious education and collective worship.

Special Educational Needs

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will bring forward provisions to require local education authorities to decide within 26 weeks of a written request for a statement of special educational needs whether to issue such a statement. [99058]

Mr. Dhanda: The Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001 already require local authorities to draw up statements of special educational needs (SEN) within set time limits. Under these regulations local authorities have to tell parents within 16 weeks of a request for assessment of a child's SEN whether they intend to issue a statement. Local authorities have a further two weeks to draw up the proposed statement and a further eight weeks, making 26 weeks in all, to issue the final statement.

There is already a local authority performance indicator for producing draft statements within 18 weeks and the Department committed itself in its response to the Education and Skills Committee's report on SEN to establish a new performance indicator for completing final statements within 26 weeks to complement the current one.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what proportion of special educational needs co-ordinators in maintained schools are (a) qualified teachers and (b) teaching assistants; [99029]

(2) which schools have more than 10 per cent. of pupils with statements of special educational needs; [99088]

(3) which local authorities maintain statements of special educational needs for (a) fewer than two per cent. of pupils and (b) over four per cent. of pupils; [99089]


8 Nov 2006 : Column 1757W

(4) what percentage of children permanently excluded from maintained schools in each of the last five years had special educational needs; [99090]

(5) which (a) primary and (b) secondary schools have 50 per cent. of pupils with special educational needs; [99094]

(6) what percentage of children diagnosed as having social, emotional or behavioural difficulties were given statements of special educational needs in each of the last five years; [99096]

(7) how many new statements of special educational needs were issued in 2005. [99126]

Mr. Dhanda: Information is not collected centrally on the number or status of special educational needs coordinators in maintained schools.

All special schools would be expected to have more than 10 per cent. of pupils with a statement of special educational needs (SEN). The available information on the maintained schools which have more than 10 per cent. of pupils with a statement of SEN has been placed in the Library. Some of these schools will have special units or specially resourced provision.

Information on the local authorities which maintain statements of SEN for fewer than 2 per cent. of pupils has been placed in the Library. There are no authorities which maintain statements of SEN for more than 4 per cent. of pupils.

Information on the percentage of children with special educational needs permanently excluded from maintained school in each of the five years was published in the Permanent and Fixed Period Exclusions from Schools and Exclusion Appeals in England 2004-05 June 2006 available at:

A table has been placed in the Library.

Information on maintained primary and secondary schools which have 50 per cent. of pupils with SEN has been placed in the Library.

Information was collected for the first time in 2004 on the primary and, where appropriate, secondary needs of pupils supported in school at School Action Plus or with statements of SEN. The following table shows, for the three years 2004-06, the number of pupils with statements who had behavioural, emotional and social difficulties as their primary need.

There are a number of sensitivities about categorising pupils by type of SEN. It is important that anyone using the data should understand the limitations of the data's reliability and validity. The range of factors which may affect the recorded data include the local interpretation of definitions; classification of children with multiple needs; differences in diagnoses between education and health professionals and availability of school based provision.

24,044 new statements were issued in 2005. The information derives from SEN2 returns made by local authorities in January each year.


8 Nov 2006 : Column 1758W
Maintained primary, secondary and special schools( 1) : Number and percentage of pupils with behaviour, emotional and social difficulties (BESD)( 2. ) Position in January each year: 2004 to 2006, England
Number Percentage

2004

32,570

13.8

2005

32,290

13.9

2006

31,910

14.1

(1)Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools. Excludes general hospital schools.
(2)Excludes dually registered pupils.
Source:
Schools’ Census

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the local funding policy is for special educational needs at the West Somerset college. [98459]

Mr. Dhanda: Since 1997, total revenue funding per pupil has increased by 1,440 (47 per cent.) in real terms. Following the introduction of the Dedicated Schools Grant in April 2006 all local authorities and schools have received a multi-year budget covering the period 2006 to 2008. In 2006-07, the funding for Somerset increased by 6.7 per cent. per pupil over the 2005-06 baseline funding level. In 2007-08, it will increase by a further 6.5 per cent. per pupil representing an overall increase of 13.6 per cent. per pupil over the two year period.

It is for local authorities in consultation with their local schools forum to decide on the detailed distribution of the dedicated schools grant including the amount for funding allocated to special educational needs.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to increase funding for special educational needs in Coventry. [99734]

Jim Knight: Since 1997, total revenue funding per pupil has increased by £1,440 (47 per cent.) in real terms. Following the introduction of the Dedicated Schools Grant in April 2006 all local authorities and schools have received a multi-year budget covering the period 2006 to 2008. In 2006-07 the funding for Coventry increased by 6.6 per cent. per pupil over the 2005-06 baseline funding level. In 2007-08 it will increase by a further 6.7 per cent. per pupil representing an overall increase of 13.7 per cent. per pupil over the two-year period.

It is for local authorities in consultation with their local Schools Forum to decide on the detailed distribution of the Dedicated Schools Grant including the amount for funding allocated to special educational needs.

Sign Language

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the merits of teaching sign language up to GCSE level. [99902]

Jim Knight: Sign language is not a National Curriculum subject, but schools and further education colleges are free to offer sign language programmes to
8 Nov 2006 : Column 1759W
pupils to meet local needs and preferences. Whilst there is not a GCSE in British Sign Language, there are a number of British Sign Language and other signing media qualifications from simple awareness to degree level.

Statemented Children

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of children were statemented in each local education authority in the last academic year for which figures are available. [100386]

Mr. Dhanda: It has not proved possible to respond in the time available before Prorogation.

Student Maintenance Grants

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 25 October 2006, Official Report, column 1926W, on student maintenance grants, what the basis is of the estimate that 30 per cent. of new full-time English domiciled students would receive a full grant. [99876]

Bill Rammell: The Department’s forecasts that around 30 per cent. of new full-time English domiciled students who started their course in September 2006 will be eligible to receive the full maintenance grant is based on data from the Student Loans Company. This includes household income assessment and HE grant entitlement data for students who applied for support in the 2005/06 academic year. We also take into account growth in household income between 2005/06 and the current academic year.


8 Nov 2006 : Column 1760W

Figures on the distribution of the new maintenance grant will be published for the first time in the National Statistics Statistical First Release “Student Support for Higher Education in England, academic year 2006/07 (Provisional)” on 28 November 2006.

Teach First

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the Teach First programme is planned to be extended to Liverpool and Birmingham; and to which cities it will be further extended. [99600]

Jim Knight: Plans for the further expansion of Teach First will be announced in the next couple of months.

Teacher/Teaching Assistants

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teacher assistants were employed in each (a) local education authority and (b) constituency in each of the last 20 years. [93844]

Jim Knight: Table 1 provides the full-time equivalent number of teaching assistants in the maintained sector by local authority and Government Office Region in each January from 1997 to 2006. Information prior to 1997 is not readily available and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Table 2 provides the full-time equivalent number of teaching assistants employed in the local authority maintained sector by constituency in each January from 1997 to 2006. This information is not available for years prior to 1997.


Next Section Index Home Page