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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria the Schools Adjudicator will use when taking decisions under the Education (New Secondary School Proposals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007. 
Jim Knight: The Education Act 2005 requires that the School Organisation Committee and Schools Adjudicator must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State when deciding secondary school competition proposals. The relevant guidance was issued in August 2006 and is available on the Departments School Organisation website. The guidance sets out a range of factors that must be considered including: the effect on local standards and contribution to school improvement; whether the proposed admission arrangements are fair and equitable; the extent of parental demand for the type of school; the impact on local diversity; cost effectiveness; the views of interested parties; the contribution to local community cohesion and also the needs of families and the wider community. The guidance also makes it clear that the decision maker must balance the different strengths of all the proposals and decide which best meets the criteria for a new school overall and also the specific requirements for the new school.
Jim Knight: Schools adjudicators operate independently of the Department but are appointed by the Secretary of State on the basis of a fair and open competition in a process overseen by the Public Appointments Unit. There are no specific qualifications required for the post of schools adjudicator. Applicants are considered on the basis of their experience and skills. The criteria used to select adjudicators are: a wide experience of education or education planning at senior level; the ability to act independently and impartially; keen analytical skills; and highly developed communication and presentational skills.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the Schools Adjudicator will publish all materials relevant to his decision-making process once he has made a decision under the Education (New Secondary School Proposals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: All decisions taken by the schools adjudicator are published on the Office of the Schools Adjudicator website and include the full details of the determination and reasons for the final decision. Under the Education (New Secondary School Proposals) (England) Regulations 2007 the schools adjudicator is required to inform the proposers, the local authority, all objectors (except where there is a petition signed by more than one objector), the Secretary of State and local School Organisation Committee of his decision on school competition proposals.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether his Department has produced guidelines for the Schools Adjudicator relating to the Education (New Secondary School Proposals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007. 
No specific guidance has been issued to the schools adjudicator in relation to the Education (New Secondary School Proposals) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2007. Where proposals for
new secondary schools are referred to the adjudicator under the regulations the adjudicator will determine the proposals in accordance with the guidance to decision makers which applies to the consideration of all secondary school competitions proposals.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will place in the Library a copy of the consultation document for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority secondary curriculum review. 
Jim Knight: Copies of the revised programmes of study and modified level descriptions on which the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority are consulting, along with the consultation questionnaire, have been placed in the House Library.
The number of people employed by local authorities who are classified as social workers as at 30 September 2005 is 47,300 of which 24,400 are classed as working with children and 22,900 working with adults. In addition there will be other people who are registered with the General Social Care Council as social workers but who are not captured by the survey.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment (a) his Department and (b) the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has made of the effectiveness of (i) constructivist, (ii) Piagetian developmentally appropriate, (iii) whole language and (iv) direct instruction approaches to learning. 
Jim Knight: The Department has made no formal assessment of the effectiveness of these different approaches in the abstract. When offering guidance on teaching approaches to use for specific areas of learning, we always seek to use the approach or approaches most suited to those areas.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many unauthorised absences from schools in (a) Skelmersdale and (b) West Lancashire there were in each year since 1997; 
Jim Knight: The percentage of half days missed due to unauthorised absence in Skelmersdale North and Skelmersdale South administrative wards and West Lancashire parliamentary constituency in each year since 1997 are shown in the following table.
|Percentage of half days missed in maintained primary schools( 1) due to unauthorised absence( 2)|
|Percentage of half days missed in maintained secondary schools( 1) due to unauthorised absence( 2)|
|(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.|
(2) Due to local government reorganisation, regional figures are not available prior to 1998.
Unauthorised absence is absence without leave from a teacher or other authorised representative of the school. This includes all unexplained or unjustified absences, such as lateness, holidays during term time not authorised by the school, absence where reason is not yet established and truancy.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many young people were not in education, employment or training in each local authority area in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Jim Knight: The following table gives the number of 16 to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) by local authority in England, averaged for the period November 2005 to January 2006.
Data are drawn from the operational client management systems maintained by Connexions services. It only includes those people known to the
service (about 85 per cent. of the population); some young people who attended independent schools or were at school outside England are excluded. The age relates to those of calendar year age 16-18 on the date of measurement.
These NEET measures are those used for setting and monitoring local authority NEET targets. The definition differs from that used to measure the national departmental PSA NEET target. Along with not covering the entire population, the Connexions NEET measure excludes those on gap years, those in custody and those undertaking voluntary work. The PSA measure is for academic rather than calendar age 16-18.
|Percentage of 16 to 18-year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEET), November 2005-January 2006|
|Local education authorities||Estimated number NEET||Percentage NEET|
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, and Tower Hamlets and City of London cannot be separated.
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