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19 Feb 2007 : Column 412W—continued

Child Protection

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will ask local authorities to take steps to identify child protection cases to which they have been party since 1997 where requests for medical records were made by any party to the case of Gene Morrison, and to report to him any such cases. [111593]

Mr. Dhanda: Child protection cases are the responsibility of local authorities and the Government would not usually intervene in these matters.

Corporate Parenting Responsibilities

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what provision is made to ensure that staff in (a) district councils, (b) other local authorities, (c) primary care trusts, (d) other NHS bodies and (e) learning and skills councils have a full understanding of their corporate parenting responsibilities. [116481]

Mr. Dhanda: The duties set out in Section 10 of the Children Act 2004 require that local authorities must take a lead in making arrangements to promote co-operation between “relevant partners”, including those agencies referred to in this question, whose work impacts on children, including those that are looked after, within the local area. The “relevant partners”, must co-operate with the authority in the making of such arrangements and will wish to help shape them so as to ensure that co-operation leads to sound service delivery promoting improved outcomes for children. The details as to how these arrangements will operate at local level to improve outcomes for children in the authority’s care will need to be developed between individual children’s services authorities and their partners.

As part of our Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme, “Statutory guidance on inter-agency co-operation to improve the wellbeing of children: children’s trusts”, was issued in 2005. A copy is available in the House Library.


19 Feb 2007 : Column 413W

Curriculum: Assessments

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of 14 year old (a) boys and (b) girls reached level 5 in the national curriculum tests in (i) English, (ii) mathematics and (iii) science in each year since 2002. [120327]

Jim Knight: The requested information is as follows:

Percentage
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Boys

English

59

62

64

67

65

Mathematics

67

70

72

73

76

Science

67

68

65

69

71

Girls

English

76

76

78

81

80

Mathematics

68

72

74

74

77

Science

67

69

67

70

73

All pupils

English

67

69

71

74

72

Mathematics

67

71

73

74

77

Science

67

68

66

70

72


Curriculum: Financial Education

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will bring forward proposals to introduce the compulsory study of financial literacy in the national curriculum; and if he will make a statement. [121134]

Jim Knight: We have no current plans to do so. Personal finance education is already delivered through a range of subjects across the school curriculum, including Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), Mathematics, Business Studies, Careers and Enterprise Education and through Citizenship Education, which is compulsory for all 11 to 16-year-olds. We are also introducing functional mathematics to the maths GCSE from 2010, which will ensure that all pupils who achieve a grade C or above will have mastered the basics, including elements of financial capability.

In addition, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority is currently leading a review of the secondary curriculum. New draft programmes of study were published on 5 February 2007, in which financial education is given a more secure place within PSHE through a discrete ‘economic well-being’ strand. The programmes of study for key stage 4 say that students should be able to


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Curriculum: PSHE

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what factors were taken into account when deciding whether to include personal, social and health education as a statutory part of the National Curriculum. [121246]

Jim Knight: There has been ongoing consideration of the status of personal, social and health education (PSHE) since the introduction of the National Curriculum. In considering the statutory position of PSHE, we have taken a number of factors into account. Firstly, many aspects of PSHE (sex education, drug education and careers education) already have a statutory basis. Secondly, further statutory requirements would run counter to the overall aim of current curriculum reform to give schools greater flexibilities to plan and deliver the school curriculum. Thirdly, legislation would not necessarily lead to improvements in teaching and learning in PSHE.

The Department's priority for PSHE is to improve the effectiveness of what is taught by providing clear guidance, supporting high quality continuing professional development for teachers, identifying and disseminating good practice, and helping schools to meet the standards for PSHE required by the National Healthy Schools Programme. We are also supporting the new PSHE Subject Association which will provide advice, guidance and support to those delivering PSHE.

Curriculum: Reform

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority consultation on the curriculum review is being conducted in line with the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Consultation; and if he will make a statement. [121238]

Jim Knight: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) are conducting the secondary curriculum review based on the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Consultation, although as a non-departmental public body they are not required to do so.

Curriculum: Surveys

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) which organisations will be responsible for providing the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority with analysis and evaluation of responses to the Secondary Curriculum Review questionnaires hosted by (a) Ipsos MORI and (b) surveymonkey.com; [121410]

(2) for what reason the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority chose to have separate online surveys for the revised programmes of study and supporting materials as part of the consultation on the Secondary Curriculum Review; [121411]

(3) on what basis the Qualifications Curriculum Authority chose (a) Ipsos MORI and (b) surveymonkey.com to host questionnaires as part of the consultation on the Secondary Curriculum Review. [121412]


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Jim Knight: The statutory consultation required for proposed changes to the statutory programmes of study and level descriptions at Key Stages 3 and 4 is taking place from 5 February to 30 April. The contract for this consultation was put out to tender by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and Ipsos Mori was awarded the contract. It is a reputable company and the service offered represented value for money. Ipsos Mori will analyse the responses and the results will inform QCA's formal advice to the Secretary of State about proposed changes to the programmes of study and level descriptions.

There is no statutory requirement to consult on the supporting materials which accompany the proposed programmes of study. QCA wishes to invite separate comment on these materials, through a different questionnaire using an IT facility called surveymonkey. The analysis of these comments is about to be put out for tender. The analysis will inform any development of the supporting materials.

Danley Middle School

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what price per acre Kent county council obtained for the sale of the redundant land at Danley Middle School. [118273]

Jim Knight [holding answer 2 February 2007]: The Department has no record of the sale of any redundant land at Danley Middle School.

Departmental Staff

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of staff employed in his Department were registered disabled in each year since 2001. [104467]

Mr. Dhanda: Data on the disabled status of staff employed in the civil service, including the Department for Education and Skills, for the years requested are available on the civil service website. The latest available data are as at April 2005 and these, together with previous years’ data, can be found at the following website addresses:

for previous reporting periods.

Declaration of a disability is voluntary.

Departments: Equal Opportunities

Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to implement the gender equality duty due to come into force on 6 April. [120618]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Education and Skills is taking steps to integrate gender equality into all its policies and programmes, in line with the gender
19 Feb 2007 : Column 416W
duty and is committed to eliminating unfair discrimination on the grounds of gender.

We have already started to engage with our policy and programme colleagues with awareness seminars on the gender duty led by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and a:gender, the civil service wide network for transsexual people.

The gender equality scheme, which has to be published by the end of April 2007, will combine a DfES narrative on our overall planning as an employer and sector leader, alongside policy and programme action plans. Those policies and programmes will have the gender duty in mind when promoting gender equality and ensuring there is no discrimination. The gender equality scheme will then be reviewed every three years as a whole. The action plans will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department has taken to implement the Race Equality Duty since 2000. [120646]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Education and Skills has taken steps to implement the race equality duty in everything we do. Action on race equality has been and will continue to be a priority within our policies and programmes. We have engaged with all policy and function areas of the DfES to ensure that all are aware of the duty to promote race equality, and also to ensure that new and existing policies are impact assessed for race equality.

Since 2000 the Department has taken a close look at its policies and programmes and after a process of impact assessment and consultation, produced its first race equality scheme in 2002. The Department has since updated its race equality scheme overall after three years, in 2005. We have also updated the action plans every year.

We also expect our partners and non-Departmental public bodies (NDPBs) to work within the same ethos, although not all of those organisations have a duty to produce a race equality scheme. We are currently commissioning our policy and programme colleagues for the 2007 update of the action plans. The 2007 version of that scheme will be published by the end of May 2007.

We expect to streamline our race equality schemes within a single equality scheme, in line with the thinking of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, as soon as possible.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to ensure that it and related bodies are in compliance with the gender equality duty in the Equality Act 2006 by the April 2007 deadline. [120981]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Education and Skills is taking steps to integrate gender equality into all its policies and programmes, in line with the gender duty and is committed to eliminating unfair discrimination on the grounds of gender.


19 Feb 2007 : Column 417W

We have already started to engage with our policy and programme colleagues with awareness sessions on the gender duty led by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and a:gender, the civil service wide network for transsexual people. We are also inviting academic and sector specialists to help us steer our production of the Gender Equality Scheme (GES).

The GES, which has to be published by the end of April 2007, will combine a DfES narrative on our overall planning as an employer and sector leader, alongside policy and programme action plans. Those policies and programmes will have the gender duty in mind when promoting gender equality and ensuring there is no discrimination. The GES will then be then be reviewed every three years as a whole. The action plans will be reviewed on an annual basis. We also plan to hold sessions for our partner organisations and non departmental public bodies (NDPBs).


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