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8 Mar 2007 : Column 2224W

Even though there were still nearly four million publicly funded adult learning places available in 2005/06, the realignment of funding to meet our priorities has resulted in a reduction of publicly funded adult places. The majority of the loss in funded adult learner places was in non-priority learning with much of it being for short, non-accredited provision, which does not offer sufficient opportunities for progression to further learning or the necessary skills for employment.

However, the reduction in publicly funded adult learner places needs to be considered in the wider context of total adult provision where we expect to see over 350,000 learners in the Train to Gain programme in 2007/08. Along with increases in adult apprenticeships, these will partially offset reductions in publicly funded places.

Recent surveys also indicate that colleges are responding positively to the changes in fees where it is reported that most colleges expected growth in full cost activity in 2006/07, following growth for most in 2005/06. These increases in full cost provision could further offset the reduction in publicly funded places and we are encouraging further growth in full costs provision.

Finally, just as the LSC does not fund all available learning, so its report on learner numbers does not offer a full picture. Opportunities are no longer confined mainly to publicly funded or publicly available courses, with ever more learning opportunities through the private sector, the internet and broadcasting. Partly as a result, more adults are learning than ever before. The National Adult Learning survey (NALS) published on 30 November, showed 80 per cent. of adults had participated in some form of learning over the previous three years, an increase from 76 per cent. in 2002.

Children: Day Care

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many families in Warrington, North (a) are eligible for and (b) have taken up free or subsidised childcare. [125797]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 6 March 2007]: Information is not available in the form requested.

At December 2005 the Office for National Statistics shows Warrington having a population of 4,400(1) three and four-year-olds, and the 2006 Early Years and Annual Schools Censuses show the number of part-time early education places funded by the free entitlement for three and four-year-olds in Warrington local authority area was 4,200(2).

Data on eligibility and take up of free or subsidised child care overall is not available centrally.

Child care used by parents can be subsidised in a variety of ways, including the child care element of the working tax credit, local authority subsidies, Jobcentre Plus, new deals, Care to Learn, learner support funds and NHS child care allowances.

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Children: Protection

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many part 8 reviews took place in England in the last year for which figures are available; and what conclusions his Department has drawn from these reviews. [123836]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 27 February 2007]: The Child Protection Database, maintained by the Commissioner for Social Care Inspection, indicates the cases that were the subject of a Serious Case Review (SCR). To date, in the year 2005-06, 55 cases have been confirmed as the subject of a Serious Case Review.

The Department for Education and Skills is responsible for identifying and disseminating common themes and threads across SCRs, and acting on lessons for policy and practice. An ‘overview’ report on the previous case reviews which took place in the period 2003-05 will be published in the summer of this year.

Children’s Centres: Greater London

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children’s centres there are in each London borough. [124605]

Beverley Hughes: As of 28 February 2007 there are a total of 171 designated Sure Start children’s centres in London, with the numbers in each borough set out in the table:


Barking and Dagenham












City of London












Hammersmith and Fulham














Kensington and Chelsea
















Tower Hamlets


Waltham Forest






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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many letters to his Department sent from hon. Members during Session 2005-06 remain unanswered, broken down by those which are (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four and (e) over six months old. [114609]

Mr. Dhanda: According to records held on the Department’s correspondence tracking system there are no letters from hon. Members that remain unanswered in the 2005 and 2006 calendar years.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many letters were received by his Department from hon. Members in each of the last 12 months; how many such letters were responded to within (a) 10 and (b) 20 days of receipt; how many were answered after 20 days from the date of receipt; and if he will make a statement. [114667]

Mr. Dhanda: The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members/Peers correspondence. The report for 2005 was published on 30 March 2006, Official Report, columns 75-78ws. Information relating to 2006 is currently being collated and will be published as soon as it is ready.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many temporary employees were contracted to work for his Department in 2005-06; and what the total cost of such employees was in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 1997-98. [106695]

Mr. Dhanda: During 2005-06, the Department employed an average of 48 temporary staff per month. The total cost of such employees in 2005-06 was £2.227 million, and in 1997-98 they were £1.442 million.

Education Maintenance Allowance: Leeds

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students living in Elmet constituency were in receipt of education maintenance allowance (EMA) in each year since its inception; and what total amount was paid to students living in the Elmet constituency in EMA payments in each year since its inception. [118424]

Phil Hope: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council, who operate education maintenance allowances for the DfES and hold the information about take-up of the scheme. Mark Haysom, the Council’s Chief Executive, has written to the hon. Member with the information requested and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 8 February 2007:

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Educational Attainment

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) maintained secondary schools and (b) independent secondary schools fell within each percentage point in terms of the proportion of pupils at the end of key stage 4 who took a GCSE in (i) English, (ii) mathematics, (iii) a modern foreign language, (iv) history and (v) geography. [117651]

Jim Knight: The information requested has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

This analysis is based on the revised 2006 KS4 data.

Extended Schools: East Sussex

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex offer extended hours. [125446]

Jim Knight: There are currently over 4,000 extended schools in England. This includes 27 schools in the East Sussex local authority area, of which six are in the Eastbourne area (two secondary, three primary and one special school).

All these schools are providing a core offer of extended services. This is comprised of a varied menu of study support activities and high quality childcare 8am to 6pm all year round in primary schools. These services will be provided on the school site or in partnership with local private, voluntary and independent providers. They will also offer parenting support; swift and easy referral to a wide range of specialist support services such as health and social care; and wider community access to ICT, sports and arts facilities, on the school site including adult learning.

Faith Schools

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many unsuccessful applications there were to faith schools in 2006. [125322]

Jim Knight: The requested information is not collected centrally.

8 Mar 2007 : Column 2228W

Free School Meals

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his latest estimate is of the annual cost of free school lunches; what proportion of the English school population takes free school lunches; and if he will make a statement. [125074]

Jim Knight: The Department does not collect information on the cost of free school meals. Individual local authorities or, where the budget for school meals is delegated to them, school governing bodies decide the monetary ‘value’ of a free school meal. We believe that they are best placed to know the individual circumstances within their area, or school, and that is why the decision should be made at local level.

The table provides information on pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and who took a free school meal.

Maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools( 1) : School meal arrangements( 2) —as at January 2006—England
Nursery and primary schools Secondary schools

Number on roll



Number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals



Percentage of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals



Number of pupils who took a free school meal on the day of the Census



Percentage of pupils who took a free school meal on the day of the Census



(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(2) Includes pupils with sole and dual (main) registration.
School Census

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