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19 Feb 2007 : Column 252W—continued

Since 2004 the secondary (key stage 4) tables have reported results of GCSEs and equivalences. Equivalences are the full range of qualifications approved for use under section 96 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000. Prior to 2004, GNVQs were the only equivalent qualifications that were reported.

Health Education: Drugs

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how much his Department has spent on drugs and alcohol education in schools in each of the last five years; [119428]

(2) how much his Department spent on commissioning Drugscope to produce its guidance on drugs and alcohol education. [119429]

Mr. Dhanda: Since April 2004, it has been for schools and local authorities to decide on the level of funding to support drug and alcohol education in schools taking account of local priorities. In the two financial years prior to April 2004, total Department funding allocated to local education authorities to support drug and alcohol education and prevention in all schools in England was as follows:

£ million





Total funding for Drugscope in relation to the production of “Drugs: Guidance for Schools” (DfES, 2004) was £24,000.

Higher Education: Admissions

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many applicants applied to (a) Oxford, (b) Cambridge and (c) another Russell Group University, broken down by secondary school in 2005-06. [118914]

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Bill Rammell [holding answer 5 February 2007]: The available information is shown in the table. The figures relate to applicants to full-time undergraduate courses from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). My Department does not hold information on the secondary school attended by these applicants.

UK domiciled applicants to full-time undergraduate courses at UK higher education institutions academic year 2005/06
Number of applications( 1) Number of acceptances( 2)

Oxford University



University of Cambridge



Other Russell Group institutions



(1) Students are counted up to six times because they can make up to 6 applications (4 in the case of medicine and dentistry)
(2) Students are counted once as accepted applicants.
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Industrial Training: Trade Competitiveness

Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to develop skills to make the economy of the UK more competitive; and if he will make a statement. [118842]

Phil Hope: The Government’s Skills Strategy was set out in the 2005 White Paper “Skills: Getting on in business, getting on at work” and the 2006 White Paper “Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances”. It is designed to reform the supply of skills; to ensure we deliver economically valuable qualifications and skills which will enhance the UK’s productivity and to raise demand for skills from employers and individuals. We have made good progress towards our skills PSA targets. Since the end of 2001, over 1.4 million learners have achieved first “Skills for Life” qualifications and there are 1.6 million more adults in the work force with level 2 or higher qualifications. The number of apprenticeships has risen from 76,000 in 1997 to 256,000 in 2006. Lord Leitch’s final report “Prosperity for all in the global economy—world class skills” (December 2006) gave a clear analysis of the future skills needs of the UK. We have welcomed the report’s ambitions and recommendations, and will publish an implementation plan to take forward this agenda in the context of the comprehensive spending review settlement.

London Academy

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the academic results of the London Academy, Edgware, since it became a city academy; what the total (a) Government and (b) private sector expenditure has been on the Academy; and if he will make a statement. [118438]

Jim Knight: Ofsted reported last year, following its inspection, that the London Academy has transformed the life chances of children and young people from some of the most socially deprived wards in the country. About 50 per cent. of pupils are entitled to free school meals, well over one-third have a language other than English and a similar percentage have a
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special educational need, yet the achievement of pupils by the end of each key stage places this academy in the top 5 per cent. of schools nationally. Using the Department's new value-added measure, in 2006 London Academy students made much better than average progress between the ages of 11 to 16.

In terms of expenditure to date on this academy:

Looked-after Children

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 218-9W, on looked-after children, if he will commission research to identify how many crisis or emergency accommodation places (a) in (i) family-based and (ii) care homes and (b) with other providers there are in England. [118884]

Mr. Dhanda: We have no plans at present to commission any new research. We are already considering the issue of refuge and emergency accommodation through other work with the Children’s Society, Barnardo’s, and London Refuge and we will consider the need for further research after reviewing the outcome of that work.

Nurseries: Barnet

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what additional funds have been made available to Barnet Local Education Authority to extend free part-time nursery education to 38 weeks a year; and if he will make a statement. [118451]

Beverley Hughes: In 2006-07 Barnet received £569,000 as part of its Dedicated Schools Grants (DSG) to support the costs of increasing the early years free education offer from 33 to 38 weeks. Nationally £82.235 million was allocated to support the extension of this free entitlement.

Playing for Success Initiative

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on recent developments in the uptake and sectoral extension of the Playing for Success initiative. [110933]

Jim Knight: 154 sports clubs and venues are now signed up to “Playing for Success (PfS)”. 108 centres are fully operational and we are on track to exceed our target of 150 centres open by 2008. Starting just under 10 years ago in three premiership football clubs, 15 sports are now represented, including cricket, rugby, water-sports and basketball. The most recent extension, in 2005, brought in 50 new “PfS” centres, covering nine new sports across 12 local authorities
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and included Cheltenham Racecourse, Sale Harriers Athletics and the Silverstone Motor Racing circuit. There will also be a centre at the new Wembley Stadium.

Four successive evaluation studies, undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research, found significant improvements in literacy, numeracy, ICT skills and motivation to learn among pupils attending centres. Over 180,000 students have benefited from “PfS” since it began, and a further 60,000 students are expected to benefit each year once all centres are open.

I will place a full list of the 154 centres and their sports into the House Library.

Pre School Education: Hendon

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what progress is being made in Hendon in establishing Sure Start and Children’s Centres; and if he will make a statement; [118446]

(2) what expenditure his Department has made on Sure Start and Children's Centres in Hendon; and if he will make a statement. [118447]

Beverley Hughes: Both of Barnet council’s designated Sure Start children’s centres are located in the Hendon constituency—Parkfield Community School and children’s centre, and Wingfield. These centres are offering a full range of services including health and family support, full day care integrated with early learning and links with Job Centre Plus. Barnet council is planning to open a further four children’s centres in the Hendon constituency by March 2008 as part of phase 2 of the programme.

Barnet council has spent a total of £1.15 million in Sure Start capital funding to date to develop Parkfield and Wingfield children’s centres. Between 2003 and 2007 a total of £2.57 million in revenue funding has been allocated to Sure Start developments in the Hendon constituency, the majority of which has funded the Underhill and West Hendon Sure Start Local Programme which has now evolved into Parkfield Community School and children’s centre.

In addition, Barnet council has been allocated a total of £11.64 million in revenue and £6.61 million in capital between April 2005 and March 2008 through the General Sure Start Grant to support the delivery of our 10 year strategy for child care. Barnet council has the flexibility to decide how much of this funding is allocated to the 15 children’s centre projects it is planning to develop before March 2008.

Religious Education

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills at what age children are expected to understand the basic tenets of religion. [110521]

Jim Knight: There is no commonly-understood definition in Religious Education (RE) of what the “basic tenets of religion” means. RE syllabuses for non-denominational schools are set at local authority level by Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (SACREs) so each local authority has an individual and distinct RE syllabus. Denominational
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schools set their own RE syllabus in accordance with the trust deed of the school. In order to bring consistency and an agreed set of standards to RE syllabuses, the Secretary of State launched the non-statutory National Framework for Religious Education in 2004. The Framework was agreed by all the major religious communities and professional RE associations. The standards set out in the Framework are currently informing the reviews of local agreed syllabuses around the country and the shaping of RE programmes in faith schools. It also contained level descriptions for attainment targets against which pupil knowledge, skills and understanding can be assessed. The Framework, including the level descriptions for attainment targets, can be found in the Library and on the RE section of the National Curriculum online website

School Meals: Concessions

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will rank English local education authorities’ by the percentage of children entitled to receive free school meals. [118464]

Mr. Dhanda: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Schools Absence Strategy

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2007, Official Report, column 1486W, on schools, how many of the 370 targeted schools reached their absence targets for the year in which they were being assessed; and what the average ultimate reduction percentage in absenteeism of these targets was in the relevant period. [120217]

Jim Knight: Of the 370 secondary schools identified as having high levels of absence, 158 met their 2005/06 targets as agreed with their local authorities in April 2005.

The overall absence rate for the 370 schools, as a group, was 10.27 per cent. in 2004/05, and fell to 9.80 per cent. in 2005/06.

Schools: Cricket

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many state schools in England and Wales have an established relationship with a cricket club. [119230]

Jim Knight: As part of the National School Sport Strategy, the annual school sport survey collects data relating to provision and take up of PE and school sport from schools in School Sport Partnerships. The 2005/06 survey found that 52 per cent. of schools in England have a formal link with an accredited cricket club. Data is not collected from schools in Wales. Copies of the results of the survey is available in the House Library.

19 Feb 2007 : Column 257W

Schools: Hendon

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in Hendon provide fruit to their pupils each day. [118440]

Caroline Flint: I have been asked to reply.

There are seven schools and 1,300 pupils participating in the school fruit and vegetable scheme in Hendon.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the baseline Dedicated Schools Grant is for schools in Hendon; what the most recent figure is; and if he will make a statement. [118479]

Jim Knight: Mainstream school funding is provided through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) which set local authorities allocations for 2006-07 and 2007-08: it is up to local authorities—in consultation with their School Forums—to distribute the DSG to the schools they maintain.

The allocations for 2007-08 will depend on pupil numbers in schools in January 2007 and the guaranteed unit of funding per pupil set in December 2005. Barnet’s DSG allocation for 2006-07 is £173.792 million or £4,081 per pupil (a 6.6 per cent. increase per pupil). Barnet’s guaranteed unit of funding for 2007-08 is £4,344 (a 6.4 per cent. increase per pupil).

The guaranteed unit of funding per pupil was set in December 2005 to provide authorities with predictability and stability over a multi year period; local authorities were fully consulted as part of this process. I am therefore not planning discussions with individual local authorities on their DSG allocations for 2007-08.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of 14-year-olds in Hendon reached the required standard in English and mathematics in (a) 1997 and (b) 2006; and if he will make a statement. [118490]

Jim Knight: The information requested is as follows:

Percentage of pupils achieving level 5 or above at key stage 3













Figures for Hendon for English and mathematics in 2006 are currently unavailable at parliamentary constituency level. When these figures are available they can be found on the DfES statistics website.

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