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Wave 3

Child Care

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made towards increasing the number of people working in childcare since 2002-03. [107554]

Beverley Hughes: The 2005 Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey shows there are 318,200 paid workers in the childcare workforce (including childminders). This figure is not directly comparable with the figure of 279,100 from the 2002-03 Childcare and Early Years Workforce Survey. This is because the basis for collecting information on the number of childminders and those working in out-of-school provision has changed.

We are confident that childcare employers continue to recruit and retain sufficient numbers of good quality staff to support the sector's expansion.

City Academies

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if his Department will take steps to ensure that the funding agreements for future city academies can be amended to bring them into line with updates to his Department's model funding agreement; and what recourse would be available to him if a sponsor refused to agree to such amendments. [109717]

Jim Knight: The Funding Agreement between an Academy Trust and the Secretary of State is a contract which sets out the terms upon which the Academy is funded and the framework within which it must operate. Like any contract it can only be amended with the agreement and signature of both parties, thereby offering protection to both the Academy and the Secretary of State in that the contents cannot be changed without both parties' knowledge or consent.

Both the Department and Academy Trusts may decide from time to time that the Funding Agreement needs updating. Agreement to these changes will be reached through a process of negotiation and the Funding Agreement model itself states:

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Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills why the legislative provisions relating to (a) the composition and operation of the governing body under Chapter 1 of Part 3 of the Education Act 2002, (b) Freedom of Information and the general provision of information to parents and (c) human rights applying to maintained schools do not apply in the same way to city academies. [109718]

Jim Knight: Academies are independent schools and the statutory provisions that provided for their establishment were enacted by Parliament with the intention that the majority of requirements would be contained within a contract: the Funding Agreement. In many respects the model Funding Agreement includes provisions equivalent to those in maintained school legislation.

The legislative provisions on the composition and operation of governing bodies allow for the Secretary of State to prescribe regulations in this regard, and these regulations are broadly enforced through equivalent provisions in the memorandum and articles of association of the Academy Trust (the company limited by guarantee which conducts the school).

The Department takes the view that Academies are public authorities in the context of the Human Rights Act 1998 and, as such, the provisions of this Act apply as they do to schools maintained by local authorities.

Although the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not currently apply to Academies, the first of which opened in 2002, Academies are required to provide parents with a wide range of information, including that set out in Schedule 3 to the Education (School Information) (England) Regulations 2002(SI 2002/2897).

Credit Transfers

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on progress on the development of credit transfer and accreditation programmes in higher education. [110311]

Bill Rammell: On 14 December, Universities UK published proposals for national arrangements for the use of academic credit in higher education in England. The proposals derive from extensive consultation with the higher education sector and respond to a need for a more systematic approach to credit nationally that the Government highlighted in its 2003 White Paper “The future of higher education”. This is welcome progress and establishes a programme that will lead to English institutions voluntarily credit-rating their provision by 2009/10 and thereafter including the credit value in a published description of each of the programmes they offer. A more consistent, transparent approach to the use of credit will benefit learners by helping to establish better progression routes into and through higher education, especially as those routes become more varied and adaptable. The proposals also take account of developments in credit arrangements across Europe.

Domestic Visits: Leicester

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which Ministers in his Department have visited Leicester in the last year; and where they visited in Leicester. [108686]

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Mr. Dhanda: In the last year, the following Ministers have visited the following places in Leicester:

Venue Date

Alan Johnson

Leicester University

24 July 2006

Beverley Hughes

New College Leicester

17 July 2006

Phil Hope

Arnhem House, Learn Direct Call Centre

5 January 2006

Leicester College, Wigston

20 September 2006

Leicester Jobcentre Plus

6 November 2006

Parmjit Dhanda

Sir Jonathan North Community College

7 December 2006

New College Leicester

7 December 2006

All ministerial visits are conducted in accordance with the “Ministerial Code” and “Travel by Ministers”.

Examination Results

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will rank English local education authorities by (a) average performance at Key Stage 3 and (b) the percentage of pupils gaining five grades A*-C at GCSE. [108039]

Jim Knight: The information requested has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Extended Schools: Sunderland

Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding was allocated to Sunderland city council local education authority to support the development of extended schools (a) up to March 2006 and (b) for 2006 to 2008. [110061]

Beverley Hughes: A total of £1,311,802 funding was allocated to Sunderland city council in the period up to March 2006. A total of £2,244,853 funding has been allocated to Sunderland city council for the period 2006 to 2008 to support the delivery of extended school services.


Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which schools fingerprint children for administrative purposes, broken down by education authority; and if he will make a statement. [109815]

Jim Knight: My Department keeps no records of which schools have or have not fingerprinted school pupils.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advice his Department gives to schools on consultation of parents on fingerprinting children at school for administrative purposes. [109817]

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Jim Knight: Schools and local authorities are responsible for deciding their own policies relating to information about children which they wish to hold and use for administrative purposes, subject to the relevant legislation on Data Protection and Freedom of Information. My Department has published guidance for schools on implementing the legislation. We are currently considering what further guidance might be necessary on the collection and use of biometric data.

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of school children who are fingerprinted by schools for administrative purposes. [109819]

Jim Knight: The Department keeps no records of the number of school children who have been fingerprinted by schools for administrative purposes.

Foreign Languages

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students opted to study a foreign language at (a) A level and (b) degree level in each of the last five years. [109045]

Bill Rammell: Information is not collected on the subjects studied in schools and colleges. However, it is possible to provide the numbers of people entered for examinations in modern foreign languages.

The following table shows the number of 16 to 18-year-old candidates entered for at least one GCE A level in a modern foreign language in all English schools and FE colleges for each academic year.












1. The figure for 2006 is provisional and subject to change.
2. Age is at start of academic year (i.e. 31 August).

The latest available information since 2002-03, covering English domiciles entering foreign language first degree courses, is given in the following table. Figures for earlier years are not comparable due to a change in the methodology of coding subject of study. Data for 2005-06 will be available in mid-January 2007.

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English domiciled entrants to foreign language( 1) first degree courses at UK HE institutions (excluding the Open University( 2) ), 2002-03 to 2004-05
Academic year Entrants aged 18 or younger Entrants aged 19 or over










(1) Students are not counted on a headcount basis but instead are apportioned between each of their main subjects of study. The figures in the table count the proportions of students where a part or all of their qualification is a foreign language.
(2) Figures exclude the Open University as they have not been recorded consistently over the time period. In 2003-04 there were 325 entrants to languages at the OU and in 2004-05 there were 455. Prior to this, the majority of first degree students at the Open University were classified as studying for combined courses.
Figures are on a standard registration population basis and are rounded to the nearest 5.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Foundation Degrees

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students are studying for foundation degrees; and at which institutions. [109525]

Bill Rammell: The latest available information is for 2005-06 and is taken from the Higher Education Students Early Statistics Survey (HESES) and the Higher Education in Further Education: Students Survey (HEIFES) which are carried out annually by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Figures are given in the table.

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