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5 Dec 2006 : Column 237W—continued


Education and Skills

16 to 19-year-olds: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of 16 to 19-year-olds in York were (a) in education, training or work and (b) registered as unemployed in each year since 1992. [106459]

Bill Rammell: The information requested is as follows.

(a) The percentage of 16 and 17-year-olds in education and work-based learning in York since 1997 is shown in Table 1. Data is not available at this local education authority level before 1997. Also reliable data is not available at this local level on the proportion in work or for 18 and 19-year-olds.

Table 1: 16 and 17-year-olds in York in education and work-based learning
Percentage

1997

91

1998

88

1999

87

2000

85

2001

85

2002

82

2003

81

2004

82


(b) The percentage of 16 to 19-year-olds claiming jobseekers' allowance in York in January of each year since 1992 is shown in Table 2.


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Table 2: 16 to 19-year-olds in York claiming jobseekers' allowance in January (claimant count)
Percentage

1992

4

1993

6

1994

6

1995

5

1996

6

1997

4

1998

3

1999

3

2000

3

2001

2

2002

2

2003

2

2004

2

2005

2

2006

2


Apprenticeships: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many apprenticeships there were in York in each year since 1997. [106476]

Bill Rammell: Figures for those participating in apprenticeships (previously called modern apprenticeships) funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) can be derived from the Individualised Learner Record (ILR). This was collated for the first time in 2001/02 (as an interim ILR) and consistent and comparable figures are currently only available for the three following years.

The following table shows the total number of apprentices in York (based on the home postcode of the learner) for each year from 2002/03 to 2004/05.

York Advanced apprenticeship Apprenticeship Total

2002/03

530

850

1,380

2003/04

490

980

1,470

2004/05

480

1,110

1,590

Note:
Figures rounded to nearest 10.

Building Schools for the Future

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many councils have had proposals submitted under the Building Schools for the Future Programme rejected; and what the reasons were for the rejection in each case; [106496]

(2) how many and what proportion of proposals under the Building Schools for the Future Programme not involving an academy have been rejected since the start of the programme. [106497]

Jim Knight [holding answer 30 November 2006]: So far, within the Building Schools for the Future programme, no proposals involving academies or otherwise have been rejected outright. When local authorities submit their proposals to the DFES most are returned to the authority for further clarifications before receiving full departmental approval. This is part of the normal scrutiny of BSF projects to ensure they are deliverable and within the Government's overall objectives.


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Connexions

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the total lifetime contract cost of the Connexions scheme contract with Capita. [107146]

Mr. Dhanda: It is estimated that the total lifetime contract costs of the Connexions Card scheme will be £89.1 million (of this £83.1 million relates to payments to Capita Business Services Ltd.).

Creationist Teaching

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what estimate he has made of the number of schools teaching creationism in (a) Oxfordshire, (b) the South East and (c) England; [106583]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of (a) academies and (b) other maintained schools which teach creationism or intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in (i) religious education and (ii) science lessons; [106666]

(3) what (a) guidance and (b) advice he has given to maintained schools on the teaching of creationism or intelligent design as a valid alternative to evolution in (i) science lessons, (ii) religious education lessons, (iii) scripture unions or religious clubs and (iv) collective worship; and if he will make a statement. [106665]

Jim Knight [holding answer 30 November 2006]: Ofsted, the official body for inspecting schools, has not found any evidence that creationism is being taught in science lessons. The Department has not made an estimate of the number of schools or academies teaching creationism or intelligent design in religious education lessons.

The national curriculum for science clearly sets down that pupils should be taught: how uncertainties in scientific knowledge and scientific ideas change overtime; the role of the scientific community in validating these changes; variation within species can lead to evolutionary changes; and, similarities and differences between species can be measured and classified. To meet the requirements of the national curriculum for science teachers have to teach about scientific theories. Neither intelligent design nor creationism is a recognised scientific theory and should not therefore be taught as part of the science curriculum.

Creationism and intelligent design can be explored in religious education as part of developing an understanding of different beliefs. It is up to the local SACREs (Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education) to set the syllabus for how this should be done. The guidance for schools on collective worship states that every school must provide a daily act of collective worship for its pupils. There is no specific reference to creationism or intelligent design. The Department does not produce guidance on what should be discussed at scripture unions or religious clubs.

The Department is currently working with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to communicate this message to schools.


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Departmental Staff

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what change there has been in the number of staff in his Department dealing with (a) gender, (b) disability and (c) ethnic minority personnel issues since 1997. [107198]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department has only been in existence since 2001. Our policy is to mainstream equality and diversity into all our personnel policies/processes, which includes gender, disability and black and minority ethnic issues. To support that process and advise colleagues, we have in place a specialist team of three to formulate and drive through our equality and diversity delivery plan. The team has been in place since 2001.

Education Expenditure

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what Government expenditure was on (a) schools and (b) universities in (i) 1996-97 and (ii) 2005-06; and what the percentage change was for each figure in real terms over that period. [106385]

Jim Knight: (a) The following table gives the information requested for schools. (b) Government expenditure on Higher Education for 1996-97 was £3,448 million and the total for 2005-06 was £6,172 million. It is calculated that the real terms increase is 44 per cent.

Education expenditure( 1,2) by central and local government( 3) within schools in real terms( 4) in England, excluding Ofsted expenditure
1996-97 outturn (£ million) 2005-06 estimated outturn (£ million) Percentage increase 1996-97 to 2005-06

Schools capital(5, )(6)

1,254

3,080

145.7

Current(7)

21,866

35,073

60.4

Current total(7,8)

23,120

38,153

65.0

(1) Figures within Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL). Excludes DFES administration costs and expenditure on other areas of education, for instance on children and families and on skills. 2005-06 figures are resource-based. Central Government figures for 1996-97 are cash-based. (2) Differences between the totals above and the figures for primary education spending in HM Treasury's Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) Report due to are the data coverage: the exclusion of Annual Managed Expenditure (AME) items in the above table and (b) further minor data coverage and timing differences. (3) The recurrent local authority figures in this table are drawn from the Local Government Education Expenditure table of the Departmental Annual Report (table 8.3 of the 2006 DAR); the footnotes to that table set out the underlying data sources. (4) All figures have been converted to 2005-06 price levels using the 27 September 2006 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) deflators. (5) Includes expenditure on county, voluntary aided, special agreement, grant-maintained schools, city technology colleges and other specialist schools. Central Government funding on grant-maintained schools has been apportioned to under-fives, primary and secondary sectors using pupil numbers. (6) Excludes private finance initiative (PFI) credits (£1,200 million in 2005-06). (7) 2005-06 figures reflect the transfer of responsibility from the Department to LEAs of costs relating to teachers' pensions. Under five figures include education expenditure on Sure Start (Sure Start figures exclude current grant). Includes local authority services to schools, expenditure on City Academies, on small remodelling programmes and on teacher training. (8) 2005-06 figures taken from the Education Select Committee table, 1996-97 figures from November 2005 Education Bulletin.

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Educational Facilities: Sprinklers

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) financial and (b) other assistance his Department provides to local education authorities to provide sprinkler facilities in new educational facilities; and if he will make a statement. [107090]

Jim Knight [holding answer 4 December 2006]: The Department does not set aside funding specifically for the installation of sprinklers in schools. It is for local authorities to decide what they do with the funding they are allocated. They can use it to install sprinklers where their need is demonstrated by a risk assessment, or where they represent value for money. Where a local authority has a general policy of installing sprinklers in schools, and need or value for money is not demonstrated in a particular project, it can of course provide additional funding to cover sprinklers.

The Department is preparing a new publication on fire safety in schools—Building Bulletin 100, “Designing and Managing Against the Risk of Fire in Schools”. This includes guidance on sprinklers but, following public consultation, we saw the need to do more work in this area. We therefore commissioned consultants to analyse case studies of school projects where sprinklers have been installed. They are establishing reliable figures for both installation and maintenance costs, and developing these into a full cost benefit analysis. This work will be completed in January and then integrated into the final version of Building Bulletin 100, which we expect to publish several months later.

Energy Use

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the impact of energy prices on school budgets. [106620]

Jim Knight [holding answer 30 November 2006]: The funding that individual schools receive via their school budget shares is a matter for individual local authorities to decide locally through their own local funding formulae (subject to satisfying the minimum funding guarantee for schools).

Over the past three financial years (2003-04 to 2005-06) the cost pressure attributed to expenditure on energy has been increasing. Expenditure by schools on
5 Dec 2006 : Column 242W
energy as a percentage of total gross school expenditure (less staffing costs) has increased from 5.0 per cent. of the total in 2003-04 to 6.2 per cent. of the total in 2005-06. Energy costs, in particular, increased by 16.1 per cent. between 2003-04 and 2004-05 and by 28.5 per cent. between 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Of the increases in total gross expenditure (less staffing costs) by schools, 8.8 per cent. can be attributed to increases in energy costs between 2003-04 and 2004-05 and 15.3 per cent. to increases in energy costs between 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Foreign Languages

Mr. Drew: : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to increase the teaching of (a) Russian and (b) Chinese. [106318]

Jim Knight: While our National Languages Strategy “Languages for All: Languages for Life—a strategy for England” does not promote the teaching of one language above another, the United Kingdom has signed Memoranda of Understanding with both Russia and China to promote the teaching and learning of both languages in schools.

A number of specialist language colleges offer Russian and Chinese. The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) also hosts Russian and Chinese Networks.

In addition, the Department for Education and Skills and the Higher Education Funding Council for England are agreed that languages, such as Russian and Chinese, are of strategic importance to the UK and are working together to support initiatives to stimulate demand and increase the supply of languages places at higher education level.

Our national recognition scheme—the Languages Ladder—introduced in September 2005 also offers alternative assessment opportunities for learners of both languages to have their skills recognised.


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