To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of (a) White British,
(b) Black Caribbean, (c) Black African, (d) Pakistanis, (e) Indian, (f) Bangladeshi and (g) groups of other ethnicity pupils who were entitled to free school meals achieved five or more A*-C GCSEs in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by gender. 
Jim Knight: The latest published data relate to 2005 and are shown in the following table. Provisional 2006 data by pupil characteristics will be available on Thursday, 23 November from the Department's Research and Statistics Gateway (www.dfes.gov.uk/statistics).
|Percentage achieving 5 or more grades A* to C at GCSE and equivalent in 2005, by ethnicity, FSM and gender|
|Not entitled to FSM||Entitled to FSM||All Pupils|
|(1) Includes pupils for which information was not sought or refused.|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions have taken place on establishing a formal set of guidelines for schools and other educational establishments on undertaking recycling, energy and water saving and lowering emissions. 
Jim Knight: The Department for Education and Skills went out to public consultation this year on its strategy for sustainable schools. The Departments response to the consultation and its Sustainable Schools Action Plan will be published in the next few weeks. The strategy establishes guidelines for schools on all aspects of sustainability including recycling, energy and water saving and reducing carbon emissions. The Learning and Skills Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England have been leading discussions on establishing guidelines for their respective education sectors. DfES, LSC and HEFCE actions in these areas are detailed in the DfES Sustainable Development Action Plan for Education and Skills(1).
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many new school sixth forms he expects to be created under paragraphs 36 to 42 of the Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners (Cm 6272) in (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009. 
Jim Knight: By December 2006, 13 schools are likely to have submitted proposals to the Schools Organisation Committee under the arrangements announced in the Five Year Strategy and 14-19 White Paper, where there is presumption of success for sixth form proposals from high performing vocational specialist schools. We expect that 26 schools will be eligible to make proposals under these arrangements in 2007, although it is not known how many will take up the opportunity. By 2008, we anticipate that 60 high performing schools will have used the presumption arrangements to establish new sixth forms. Assumptions cannot be made at this time about 2009.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what effect a school applying for foundation trust status will have on a programme to replace that schools building under the Building Schools for the Future initiative. 
Jim Knight: As local authority maintained schools, trust schools will remain part of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and must be fully included in their authoritys strategy for change and investment project. Indeed, as BSF promotes diverse and responsive local provision, the schools in each project will consider whether trust status would be appropriate for them.
We are also providing the capital investment to back this up. Refurbishment and new building of school science laboratories is a priority in most of the Departments capital programmes. Overall, we are supporting capital investment in schools of £5.5 billion in 2005-06, £5.9 billion in 2006-07 and £6.4 billion in 2007-08. Every secondary school and every local authority is, for example, able to invest in laboratories, where this is needed. Our strategic programmes, Building Schools for the Future and Academies, are also providing brand new science laboratories: planning is underway for almost a third of secondary schools, with every school due to benefit over the longer term.
To back up the strategy and the investment, we are also ensuring that science facilities are designed to meet curriculum needs and to inspire excellent teaching and learning. Project Faraday has been launched to address this need. Teams of leading designers and educationalists with expertise in science teaching will develop a range of exemplar designs for school science laboratories by mid-2007. Science demonstration projects will then be built to provide practical examples, to act as benchmarks and to disseminate the learning. We will evaluate the project over a number of years.
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the impact of new school sixth form provision on the (a) overall retention of 16 to 19-year-olds in an area and (b) the overall proportion of young people not engaged in education, employment or training in an area. 
Jim Knight: Recent academic research published by the Learning and Skills Network finds that the local mix of post-16 institution types is not the most important determinant of whether or not a student goes on to participate post-16.
We believe that choice and diversity are powerful levers for driving up quality and increasing participation rates. This will include more school sixth forms and we have introduced measures to make it easier for successful schools to open sixth forms where there is pupil and parental demand to extend quality and choice for local students.
The recent FE White Paper showed that the staying-on rate for those with any good GCSE passeswho now form the majority of the cohortis higher in schools with sixth forms, and also that the overall staying-on rate is higher in such schools.
Collaboration post-16 between schools, and between schools and colleges, will be essential to ensure critical mass and sufficient choice for learners, particularly in light of the development of specialised diplomas, which will be available nationwide.
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools applied (a) successfully and (b) unsuccessfully to open a sixth form in (i) 2004, (ii) 2005 and (iii) between January and October 2006. 
Jim Knight: Proposals to establish new school sixth forms, made by local authorities or school governing bodies, are decided locally. The Secretary of State plays no part in the decision making process.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he has had with the (a) Chairman and (b) Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council on the future of centres for vocational education. 
Bill Rammell: Ministers have had discussions on a number of occasions with the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council on the future of centres of vocational excellence (CoVE).
Gillian Merron: The Government intend to publish a draft Bill in the current Session which will include provisions to improve local bus services. Regarding matters that are devolved in Wales, it will be for the National Assembly to decide which provisions should apply to Wales and which should not. Officials will be working closely with the Welsh Assembly Government as detailed proposals are developed.
Dr. Ladyman: In most cases delivery restrictions have been imposed for good reasons, usually to protect the quality of life of the local residents. Local authorities are therefore best placed to make any assessment of the suitability of local conditions for any relaxation.
Guidance on delivery restrictions to retail outlets such as supermarkets was published on the Department's website on 1 November. Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of the House. The guide is a concise overview of central and local government policy on road freight delivery restrictions.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with retailers and other companies on making greater use of inland waterway and coastal freight transport in their supply chain. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department's main work in this area is through the funding it provides for Sea and Wateran industry body which Government established in 2003 with a remit to promote the movement of freight and coastal shipping. Sea and Water holds frequent meetings with potential users of water freight services and hosts seminars on the issue, including one in 2005 specifically for the retail sector.
Sea and Water is an industry body, partly funded by Government, with a remit to promote the movement of freight by inland and short sea shipping. Details about the organisation and its promotional activities can be found on their website at:
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