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The Dedicated Schools Grant Guaranteed Unit of Funding for 2007-08 is based on each authoritys 2006-07 Guaranteed Unit of Funding, with a basic
increase of 5 per cent. per pupil (5.1 per cent. for London authorities) and headroom allocated to reflect three ministerial priorities. £30 million was again distributed between authorities who spent below the level of undamped Schools FSS in 2005-06.
Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to encourage the provision of secondary sector mainstream support for pupils with autistic spectrum disorder. 
Mr. Dhanda: It is for local authorities to keep under review their arrangements for special educational needs (SEN) provision, including provision for children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs), and to secure sufficient primary and secondary schools. The Good Practice Guidance on ASDs which the Department published, in association with the Department of Health, in 2002 encourages local authorities to develop the range of provision to meet the range of autistic childrens needs. This would include provision in mainstream schools and in units attached to such schools.
The Good Practice Guidance gave pointers to good practice for local authorities, schools, including mainstream secondary schools, and others to help them develop and audit their autism provision. A number of local authorities and the Regional Partnerships, funded by the Department, have produced guidance to support pupils with ASDs in mainstream secondary schools, such the North West Regions guidance on strategies for accessing the curriculum at key stages 3 and 4 for children with autism.
The Department, through its Autism Working Group, is beginning to develop an ASD resource pack for schools, including mainstream secondary schools. The pack will complement the Good Practice Guidance by giving practical advice to schools on meeting the needs of children with ASDs and will be developed as part of the SEN strategys Inclusion Development Programme in association with the National Primary and Secondary Strategies.
[holding answer 6 February 2007: I refer the hon. Member to my answer given to the hon. Member for South-West Bedfordshire (Andrew Selous) on 13 June 2006, Official Report, column1099W. School governing bodies determine school uniform policy and dress codes under powers conferred by the 1998 School Standards and Framework Act. The Department's guidance does not specifically mention jewellery with religious significance, but states that in deciding the format of their uniform, governors should have regard to their responsibilities under anti-discrimination legislation. It also states that in setting a
policy, the school should be sensitive to pupil's cultural and religious needs and differences.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will rank education authorities in (a) London and (b) England by the (i) number and (ii) percentage of pupils with a first language other than English; and if he will make a statement. 
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate the number of children who received debriefing interviews after running away from home or care in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 5 February 2007]: No information is held centrally. However, the Childrens HomesNational Minimum Standards (NMS) and Children Missing from Care and from Homea guide to good practice, issued by Government in 2002, specifies that upon return to a childrens home after being missing, a young person should be given the opportunity for a return interview, to discuss the reasons for their absence. These standards require childrens homes to keep written records of the circumstances of all missing incidents, including reasons for absence given by the young person. Records are made available when homes are inspected by officers from the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
Also, it has always been policing good practice to interview all runaway and missing persons on return, to establish why they went missing, where they went, were they victims or perpetrators of crime, and whether they came to any other form of harm. The National Centre of Police Excellence estimate that 90 per cent. of children are spoken to as part of this return-home process. This is formalised in the 2005 Association of Chief Police Officers document Guidance on the Management, Recording and Investigation of Missing Persons.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate the number of local authority childrens services that have a named lead officer for safeguarding children who run away from home or care. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 5 February 2007]: No information is currently held centrally but we are working with the Childrens Society to review services to runaways in local authorities, and early indications from that work suggest that most respondents so far have been able to provide a named lead officer.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many local authorities in England included references to runaway children in their current Children and Young People Plans. 
Mr. Dhanda: Recent research undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research found that 4 per cent. of current Children and Young Peoples Plans, from a representative sample of 75 local authorities, make specific reference to runaway children. However, local childrens services view running away as a symptom of broader problems in young peoples lives. We are working with the Childrens Society to review the services that help runaways in local authorities.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what account he has taken of recent decisions by local authorities to close secondary schools when formulating his policy of extending the age of compulsory education. 
Bill Rammell: Local authorities are under a statutory duty to secure sufficient primary and secondary schools for their areas. In order to fulfil this duty they have powers to propose changes to the provision of schools. These include the power to propose the closure of a secondary school where this is judged to be in the best interests of local pupils. In doing so, local authorities will take account of the number of pupils to cater for and the range of provision to be offered. They will continue to do so in the future.
We have an aspiration for 90 per cent. of 17 year olds to participate in education or training by 2015, and are currently considering ways to move beyond this rate. This participation can of course be in schools, colleges, or work-based learning, and could be full or part-time.
Mr. Dhanda: Prue Leiths appointment as Chair of the School Food Trust was announced on 9 November 2006. This followed an open competition in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. She began her two year term of office on 15 January 2007. She is a renowned businesswoman, charity founder, cook and food writer. She will lead the School Food Trusts work to raise catering and nutritional standards in schools, increase the uptake of school meals and build awareness of healthy eating and food skills among children and young people. The Secretary of State commented on her appointment that
her business acumen, high-profile and passion about changing public attitudes towards healthy eating, make her an outstanding candidate for this role.
Her terms and conditions stipulate a commitment of 36 days of work per annum and her duties involve Chairing a Board of professionals from a variety of
educational and food-related backgrounds. She has responsibility for overseeing the overall strategic direction of the Trust and the successful delivery of its targets in relation to the supply of and demand for healthy food in schools. The Chief Executive, an employee of the School Food Trust, is responsible for day-to-day managerial and operational matters in relation to the delivery of its targets.
The Trust has a challenging agenda and is making good progress in its first full year of operation. I have held quarterly progress meetings with the Chair and the Chief Executive to review progress against targets (contained in the Trusts Strategic Plan, which is available on its website at www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk) and I am pleased with the work they have delivered to date.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding his Department will make available to schools in Coventry South to improve school meals over the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
We are investing close to £500 million between 2005 and 2011 to assist authorities and schools in improving school lunches and other school food. Coventry local authority has already received over £500,000 of that funding and, in each of the years 2005-06 and 2006-07, its schools, including schools in Coventry South have received a lump sum of £1,070 per primary and £1,500 per secondary school, with an additional 50p per pupil. In 2007-08, Coventry local authority and each of its schools will receive similar levels of funding to improve school food and, between 2008 and 2011, each area will receive a share of £240 million to help subsidise the costs of ingredients in school lunches.
Mr. Dhanda: New food-based standards covering all school lunches in England were introduced in September 2006 and food-based standards for school food other than lunch will be introduced in September 2007. Nutrient-based standards for school lunches will be introduced in primary schools by September 2008 and secondary schools by September 2009.
We are also investing close to £500 million between 2005 and 2011 to assist authorities and schools in improving school lunches and other school food. Barnet local authority has already received over £470,000 of that funding and, in each of the years 2005-06 and 2006-07, its schools, including schools in Hendon, have received a lump sum of £1,070 per primary school and £1,500 per secondary school, with an additional 50 pence per pupil.
Supported by this funding, I understand that all school lunches provided by the local authority for Hendon primary and secondary schools meet the nutritional standards. In the last year new menus have been introduced and food is cooked from scratch using fresh ingredients.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what science-based studies underpinned (a) the new school food-based standards and (b) the new school food nutrient-based standards; what advice he received on each of these sets of standards from the Food Standards Agency; what plans he has to monitor uptake of school meals since the introduction of new school meal standards; and when data on the uptake will be published; 
(2) what the division of responsibilities for the new school food standards is between his Department, the School Food Trust and the Food Standards Agency; and what role the recommendations of the School Meals Review Panel played in the development of the new standards for school meals introduced from September 2006. 
Mr. Dhanda: Ministers at the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) are responsible for school food policy, including final decisions on standards for school food. The School Food Trust (SFT) is a Non-Departmental Public Body, established by DfES as its key delivery partner for school food. Its objectives include working with schools, local authorities and others to identify and, where possible, overcome barriers to transforming school food. It is also responsible for developing a strategy to increase demand for school lunches by at least 4 percentage points by March 2008 and 10 percentage points by autumn 2009. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is an independent Government Department established to protect the publics health and consumer interests in relation to food. It advises DfES on scientific and technical aspects including food safety, nutrition and diet.
Responsibility for ensuring the school food standards are met rests with local authorities. This responsibility is transferred to the governing body of any school that has the budgetary element for school lunches delegated to them. Ultimately, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills has powers to direct a school to meet the standards where they are failing to do so.
The School Meals Review Panel (SMRP) was established by DfES to advise on standards for school lunches. It reported to Ministers in September 2005 and, as part of its wider recommendations, recommended the standards it proposed for school lunches be extended to cover food other than lunch. DfES Ministers subsequently commissioned the SFT to develop such wider standards. Based on the recommendations of both the SMRP and the SFT, DfES Ministers announced final standards for all school food in May 2006.
During the formulation of these recommendations, evidence was considered from a variety of sources including published scientific studies, evaluative projects and lessons learnt from schools and local authorities. Reports giving details of the recommendations and sources of information are at:
Officials from the FSA acted as observers at SMRP meetings and provided technical advice on the standards. The FSA has also developed voluntary target nutrient specifications for manufactured foods used in school meals, which will help schools work towards meeting the nutrient standards.
In March 2006, the SFT undertook its First Annual Survey of School Meals Take-up in Schools in England. Results from this survey were published in July 2006. The next SFT annual survey will be undertaken in April 2007 and results will be published in May 2007. All results will be available at:
Jim Knight: The Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are jointly implementing the national PE, School Sport and Club Links strategy in England. In the five years to 2008 over £1.5 billion is being invested (including £686 million lottery funding) to implement the strategy.
The strategy is delivering an ambitious public service agreement target to increase the percentage of 5-16 year olds who spend a minimum of two hours a week on high quality PE and school sport within and beyond the curriculum to 75 per cent. by 2006 and then 85 per cent. by 2008. The 2005-06 school sport survey results found that overall, 80 per cent. of pupils of the 17,122 schools taking part were participating in at least two hours of high quality PE and school sport a weeksurpassing the target by 5 percentage points. The long-term ambition, by 2010, is to offer all children at least four hours of sport every week.
All schools in Hendon are now in a School Sport Partnership. Some are part of the Barnet South Partnership, which was established in 2005 and is receiving funding of £508,286 in 2005-06 to 2007-08. The proportion of pupils in the partnership who are participating in at least two hours of high quality PE and school sport a week is 83 per cent. The national average is 80 per cent. The other schools are in the St. James Partnership, which has the host site in Hendon. The partnership was established in September 2006 and will receive £414,579 in 2006-07 to 2007-08.
The Department is currently developing its plans on how the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We will be using the Games to widen participation in sport for
children and young people. The key aim will be to sustain the impact of the current School Sport Strategy through to 2012 and beyond.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how much his Department has made available for capital expenditure in Hendon schools since 1997; and if he will make a statement; 
Jim Knight: The Department maintains central records on allocations to local authorities, not constituencies. Accordingly, these questions are answered in respect of Barnet education authority. Allocations made available for investment in Barnet schools since 1997 are set out in the following table:
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