|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on how many occasions special advisers have been consulted in replying to Freedom of Information requests to his Department; and what his Departments policy is on the role of special advisers in the answering of Freedom of Information requests. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Education and Skills does not keep such records. Special advisers carry out their duties in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many items of furniture were (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in each year since 1997; and what the value was of those items in each year. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many state-funded programmes within his Departments responsibilities have had members of staff awarded Nobel prizes in the last 30 years. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will deposit in the Library a list of courses that are made available to members of his Department as part of the Investors in People programme. 
Phil Hope: Within the Department, the prime responsibility for developing and coaching staff lies with line managers, and most people's learning takes place on the job. Access to learning and development (which includes events, online learning, books, coaching and mentoring) is agreed between staff and line managers.
The Department does not provide courses specifically to support Investors in People but I will write to the hon. Member with details of wider corporate skills and development provided by the Department's learning and development unit.
Jim Knight: There is no legal definition of full-time education contained in the various Education Acts in relation to either maintained or independent schools. In providing full-time education to pupils, maintained schools should consider DfES Circular 7/90 and Guidance 00432/2003 as to the number of hours recommended for pupils at each key stage. Neither publication imposes a statutory requirement on schools, they provide guidance only. Circular 7/90 establishes a general guide to good practice on lesson times. The suggested weekly lesson times are as follows:
We encourage independent schools to consider the guidance for maintained schools, but recognise that patterns of education in the independent sector vary widely and that a more flexible approach may be needed.
For further education purposes, learners classified for statistical purposes as full-time are defined as those enrolled on programmes of at least 450 guided learning hours per year, or for at least 150 guided learning hours per tri-annual period or more than 16 guided learning hours per week for shorter courses.
The Funding Councils have agreed that a common definition of full-time is that the years of programme of study must involve a minimum of 24 weeks study.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact of the education maintenance allowance scheme in encouraging 16 to 18 year olds to stay on in further education. 
Phil Hope: The June 2006 participation figures(1) showed increases over the past two years of 4.5 percentage points for 16 year olds and 3.4 percentage points for 17 year olds, participating in full-time education This highlighted that the total number of 16-18 year olds in education was at the highest ever level. Whilst it is not possible to say that all of the increase was due to education maintenance allowance (EMA), this was one of the most important initiatives aimed at increasing participation.
EMA has been particularly effective in engaging some of our most vulnerable young people such as teenage parents and is now helping those who for no fault of their own are estranged from their families. EMA has its biggest impact where it is most needed among those from less well off households, those from an ethnic minority background and among boys, closing the gender gap.
The national EMA scheme was rolled out to 16 year olds in the 2004-05 academic year. The phased roll-out out meant it wasnt fully available nationally to the 16-18 cohort until 2006-07 academic year.
(1 )SFR (June 2006), Participation in Education. Training and Employment by 16-18 year olds in England 2004 and 2005 DfES, SFR 21/2006
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how he will measure the quality of outcomes for providers of courses to learners that are not geared towards gaining a qualification within the Framework for Excellence; 
(2) whether it will be possible for all providers within the Learning and Skills sector to achieve excellence when measured against the standards to be set out in the Framework for Excellence; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Framework for Excellence (FfE) is still in its development phase. The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), partnered by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) and the Department for Education and Skills are working closely with the FE sector to develop the framework. Through consultation, piloting, testing and trialling they will continue to explore a range of options to help decide the best and most appropriate measures to assess quality of outcomesincluding those for non-accredited learning.
One of the underpinning principles of the framework is that it will use absolute rather than relative success measures. This means that all providers can aspire to, and achieve, an excellent standard measured against set criteria rather than achieving excellence relative to others. So it will be theoretically possible for all LSC-funded providers to achieve excellence under the framework.
Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the number of hours study required to achieve (a) conversational and (b) newspaper reading ability in Mandarin; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Department has not made such an assessment. The Key Stage 3 programme of study for modern foreign languages does not prescribe the amount of time which should be given to individual language skills. It is for schools to choose how they organise their curriculum to include the programme of study for modern foreign languages. However, the current programme of study does set out the attainment targets for the knowledge, skills and understanding that pupils of different abilities and maturities are expected to reach by the end of Key Stage 3 for each skill. The programme of study also sets out statutory modifications to the level descriptors for listening and responding, reading and responding, and writing for pupils studying Mandarin and Cantonese.
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding was provided by (a) his Department and (b) non-departmental bodies funded by his Department for sports colleges in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of (a) all pupils and (b) pupils receiving free school meals achieved level five in mathematics, English and science combined at key stage three in each year since 1997. 
Pupil characteristics data, including FSM eligibility, were collected at a pupil level for the first time in 2002. Prior to 2002 this information was collected at an aggregated school level and hence cannot be linked to individual level attainment data.
Schools with highest proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals are continuing to close the attainment gap. Since 1998, schools where more than half of pupils are eligible for free school meals have improved by 25 percentage points in English compared with a nine percentage point improvement for schools with fewer than one in 10 pupils who are eligible for free school meals.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of (a) all pupils and (b) pupils receiving free school meals achieved level four in reading, writing and arithmetic combined at Key Stage two in each year since 1997. 
|All pupils||Pupils eligible for free school meals|
Pupil characteristics data, including FSM eligibility, were collected at a pupil level for the first time in 2002. Prior to 2002 this information was collected at an aggregated school level and hence cannot be linked to individual level attainment data
Schools with highest proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals are continuing to close the attainment gap. Since 1997, schools where more than half of pupils are eligible for free school meals have improved by 22 percentage points in English compared with a 10 percentage point improvement for schools with fewer than 1 in 10 pupils who are eligible for free school meals. A large proportion have benefited from receiving targeted support through the Primary National Strategys Intensifying Support Programme for low attaining schools. Schools in the programme improved their results at double the rate of other primary schools by nearly 2 percentage points in English and over 3 percentage points in mathematics.
Jim Knight: From supplier returns to the British Educational Communications Technology Agency between November 2005 and December 2006, 1,618 schools have purchased resources from Micro Librarian Services Ltd.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many of the resources available through the eLearning credits scheme enable schools to collect biometric data on their pupils. 
DfES publishes guidelines which cover the criteria against which software products will be judged to be eligible for certification and inclusion in the curriculum online catalogue, and therefore eligible for eLCs. The guidelines are at:
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|