|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on what dates Ministers in his Department and its predecessors made official visits to the London boroughs of (a) Tower Hamlets, (b) Newham and (c) Waltham Forest in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent on (a) fee remission and (b) other areas to provide English for speakers of other languages in each of the last five years; and how much is expected to be spent in each of the next three years. 
Phil Hope: Since 2001, English for speakers of other languages has been delivered as part of the skills for life strategy. In that period, funding has tripled and almost 1.9 million learners have been supported in improving their skills. English language skills are essential for those people coming to the UK to seek refuge, to settle and to work and the Government intend to maintain its commitment to fund ESOL and to invest in improvements in the teaching and learning infrastructure.
I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question regarding the funding spent on fee remission and other areas to provide English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) for the last five years and what is expected to be spent in the next three years.
Currently all ESOL provision is free to eligible learners, so effectively everyone has their fees remitted. I have set out in the following table what the Learning and Skills Council has spent on ESOL over the last five years.
Because of the changes in the funding systems from 2004-05 we are only able to calculate the fee remission element paid to providers for the last two years. In 2004-05 fee element was £37 million and in 2005-06 £44 million.
The 2005-06 final spend has still to be confirmed but we expect this to be more than £270 million on ESOL provisionjust under 14 per cent. of the entire adult budget for that year. This amount is likely to increase by around 13 per cent. to £306 million in 2006-07. A further 5.5 per cent. increase in funding (to £323 million) is estimated for 2007-08.
From August 2007 automatic fee remission will be withdrawn and while we expect the fees collected to increase it is not possible to calculate how many learners will continue to be eligible for fee remission and therefore not possible to provide fee remission information for the next three years.
In 'Raising our Game' the LSC makes clear our expectation that spend on ESOL will not reduce, with achievements broadly remaining the same. ESOL remains a priority area for the Learning and Skills Council.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost was of producing the family engagement toolkit, broken down by (a) design and production, (b) printing and (c) distribution. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Reading Connects family engagement toolkit was produced by the National Literacy Trust on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills as part of the national reading campaign. The toolkit will support schools in reaching out to parents and the wider family and helping them to encourage children to enjoy reading. It contains tried and tested practical ideas to help schools engage effectively with family members and show them how easily they can support their children and how much of a difference they can make.
The cost of designing and producing the toolkit was £2,704 and a print run of 3,000 copies cost £4,761. The toolkit is downloadable for free from the Reading Connects website www.readingconnects.org.uk and is distributed on request only to all existing Reading Connects schools via second class post at a cost of 49p. All new Reading Connects member schools receive on joining both the family engagement toolkit and the Reading Connects handbook at a combined cost of 68p. In addition, copies of the toolkit will be distributed to new members at conferences, incurring no distribution costs.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teaching staff were employed in further education colleges in Portsmouth, North in each year between 2001 and 2005. 
Bill Rammell: Staff numbers in further education (FE) are recorded on the Staff Individualised Record (SIR) which is compiled by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Figures are available disaggregated by local LSC areas; the following table shows the number of staff in FE in the relevant local LSC (Hampshire and Isle of Wight) identifying staff whose primary role is classed as either Teaching and Learning or Support Teaching and Learning. Figures are given for 2001/02 to 2004/05; the LSC will publish results for 2005/06 on their website when the data are available, likely to be at some point in March 2007.
|Hampshire and Isle of Wight|
|Teaching and learning staff||Support teaching and learning staff|
| Source: Staff Individualised Record (SIR) for 2001/02 to 2004/05.|
Mr. Dhanda: I am not aware of a project of this name. However, I understand that Lancashire county council runs a specialist fostering scheme entitled Fostering Focus. The scheme aims to provide highly skilled foster carers able to care for children with the most complex needs.
The recent Green Paper Care Matters sets out the Governments proposal for a tiered model of placement types. The tiered model would be structured around the needs of children, with carers being trained and skilled to a greater or lesser degree depending on the needs of the child. The principle behind Lancashires Fostering Focus scheme is consistent with such an approach and I welcome the steps which local authorities are taking to ensure that children are placed with carers who have the skills, training and ability to meet their individual needs.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent estimate he has made of the cost to (a) schools, (b) Early Years settings and (c) local education authorities of (i) compiling and (ii) publishing the Foundation Stage Profile national results. 
Beverley Hughes: We have not estimated the cost to schools and Early Years settings of compiling the Foundation Stage Profile because this forms part of their duty to monitor the progress of each child and plan for the next stage of his or her learning and because it replaced the Baseline Assessment in 2003. There is no cost to schools, Early Years settings or local authorities of DFES publishing the foundation stage national results.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what consultation there has been with maintained schools on the abolition of coursework for geography A-level students; 
Jim Knight: In June 2006, QCA provided advice to Government on the future of coursework in different subjects. In the advice, QCA stated that they had held a number of seminars where teachers, head teachers, nominees from local authorities, subject associations, subject experts, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and fellow regulatory authorities, were all in attendance.
Geography will still include coursework, but instead of the current teacher set and marked arrangements, it will be replaced by controlled assessments. These changes will be introduced in September 2009.
The Secretary of State has received representation from a wide range of stakeholders, including subject associations and subject experts. They express a wide range of views on the best way forward for the geography A-Level. QCA will work with partner organisations and teachers, to ensure that the new controlled assessment elements are rigorous and manageable.
Beverley Hughes: We have not produced a privacy impact assessment for the information sharing index and have no plans to do so. Our preferred approach is to develop an ongoing systematic engagement of children, young people and parents, both at national and local levels, throughout the index implementation to ensure that any concerns about privacy are addressed and that the benefits that the index will bring are explained.
It is important that children, young people and their families have confidence in the way the index handles data and protects their privacy. That is why the data held on the index will be minimal, will contain no case information and will not be used to make any automated assessment of risk. Contrary to what some recent media coverage has suggested, there will be no subjective opinions or observations about a child or their parents.
The index will simply provide a tool to support better communication among practitioners. It will help practitioners identify a child with whom they have contact, and whether that child is getting the universal services (education, primary health care) to which they are entitled. It will enable them to contact one another more quickly and easily than they can now.
The national index communications strategy and plan and those developed by local authorities emphasise the importance of engaging with children, young people and parents to raise awareness and understanding of the index. Since May 2006, Triangle, an independent
organisation, has engaged a Children and Young People's Reference Group in a key programme of work to share their views on the index and inform its development. The group commented on the draft Information Sharing Index (England) Regulations 2007 as part of the public consultation that closed on 14 December 2006. One third of the 254 responses came directly from children, young people and parents. Focus groups facilitated by the British Youth Council and the Commission for Social Care Inspection (comprised of approximately 300 children and young people and 70 parents/carers) have also participated. A number of local authorities also held local/regional events to gather the views of children, young people, parents and front- line practitioners, and submitted responses on their behalf.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations he has received on the introduction of a national information sharing index for children; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: We have recently held a public consultation on the draft Information Sharing Index (England) Regulations 2007. The regulations, once in force, will provide a legal framework for the operation and maintenance of the information sharing index. The consultation, which concluded on 14 December 2006, attracted 254 responses, one-third of which came directly from children, young people and parents.
Almost one-fifth of the responses came from local authorities. There were also responses from health, education, social care, police, voluntary and community sector and representative bodies. A number of local authorities held local/regional events to gather the views of children, young people, parents and front-line practitioners, and submitted responses on their behalf.
Also, as part of the consultation, we commissioned a number of organisations that work with children and young people to seek their views. The responses from Triangle, the British Youth Council and the Commission for Social Care Inspection represent the views of just under 300 children and young people. These were submitted as combined responses from each group. We also commissioned Triangle to seek the views of parents and carers. This single response represented the views of over 70 parents and carers.
We are currently analysing the responses from the consultation and will publish an official Government response and summary statistical report in the spring, when the Regulations will be laid before Parliament. When the response and report are available, my officials will be happy to send the hon. Member a copy.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much the Learning and Skills Agency spent on programme expenditure in Canterbury local authority area in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Bill Rammell: The programme expenditure incurred by the Learning and Skills Council at Local Authority level is not collected by the Department. This is an operational matter for the LSC as they determine the level of funding required at local level to deliver their key priorities and targets. Mark Haysom, the Council's chief executive, has written to the hon. Member with further information and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.
Further to your recent question to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills asking how much the Learning and Skills Agency spent on programme expenditure in Canterbury local authority area in the most recent year for which figures are available. I can provide the following response.
The Learning & Skills Council (LSC) records expenditure on a financial year basis, 1 April to 31 March. Therefore the most recent year for which figures are available is 2005-06.
The LSCs ledgers record expenditure based upon the boundaries of responsibility of each of the individual learning and skills councils as set out in the Learning & Skills Act 2000. Canterbury falls within the boundaries of the Kent & Medway learning and skills council.
Regretfully the LSC does not also record expenditure on the basis of local authority boundaries. This would require significant levels of additional information to be captured and prove overly burdensome for learning and training providers, inevitably diverting focus away from the delivery of the priorities we have outlined for the sector in the LSCs Annual Statement: Raising our game((1)).
In 2005-06 £252.9 million was the LSCs expenditure on programme delivery in the Kent & Medway area.
In addition it is estimated that £38.3 million was spent on national schemes such as, capital grants, financial support for learners and learndirect provision, which can be attributed to the Kent & Medway area, increasing the total programme expenditure to £291.2 million.
I hope you find this information useful.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|