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22 Mar 2007 : Column 1108W—continued


Education and Skills

Adoption

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) placement orders and (b) adoption orders were made in 2006. [118648]

Mr. Dhanda: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Mid-Dorset and North Poole (Annette Brooke) on 6 February 2007, Official Report, column 832W.

Correspondence

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of letters from outside organisations his Department answered within its target time, broken down by (a) directorate and (b) unit of his Department in the latest period for which figures are available. [117673]

Mr. Dhanda: For statistical purposes the Department does not differentiate between letters and emails, or whether the correspondence is from an individual or an organisation. For general correspondence (excluding freedom of information requests) our performance for the first three quarters of this operational year (1 April 2006 to 31 December 2006) is as follows:

Directorate Answered within target (Percentage)

Children Young People and Families

86

Communications Directorate

49

Corporate Services and Development

97

Finance and Analytical services

92

Higher Education Directorate

90

Lifelong Learning and Skills

82

Private Office

90

Schools Directorate

94

Chief Information Officer Group

93

Emails not assigned to a Directorate

100

Overall

93


Freedom of information (FOI) requests are not available by directorate. The total FOI inquiries answered within the deadline for the period 1 April 2006 to 30 September 2006 is 89 per cent. The figures for the following quarter 1 October 2006 to 31 December 2006 are not yet available as the 20-day deadline for reporting did not end until 26 January 2007.

Curriculum: Expenditure

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2007, Official Report, column 1702W, on curriculum expenditure, what exact amount his Department spent in 2005-06 on the delivery of the free entitlement for three and four year olds; what the exact level of funding has been in each of the last five years; and in relation to which duties set out in the Childcare Act 2006 each local authority spent the budget in 2005-06. [128747]

Beverley Hughes: The information available on expenditure for three and four year olds is shown in table 8.3 in the Departmental Report 2006. The
22 Mar 2007 : Column 1109W
estimated outturn for 2005-06 is £3.443 billion. This includes expenditure on under fives in nursery schools, in primary schools and in the private, voluntary and independent sectors. For the outturn figures for the previous five years, I refer the hon. Member to row (c) of the answer I gave on 28 February 2007, Official Report, column 1396W.

The Childcare Act 2006 received Royal Assent on 11 July 2006 and, therefore, none of the duties contained in it were in force in 2005-06.

Departmental Office Space

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what area of office space his Department and its agencies used in central London in (a) 2004 and (b) 2006; and if he will make a statement. [112187]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Education and Skills used 36,840.20 sq m of leased office space in central London in 2004 and 35,663.20 sq m in 2006. The Department used no freehold office space in central London in 2004 or 2006, and had no agencies in central London in those years.

The Department aims to further reduce its central London office space by over 13,000 sq m by the end of 2008.

Departmental Staff

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether people employed (a) through employment agencies and (b) on a consultancy basis are included in the calculations for the full-time equivalent staff mentioned in his Department’s annual report. [102998]

Mr. Dhanda: People employed through employment agencies and on a consultancy basis are not included in the numbers of full-time equivalent staff mentioned in the Department’s annual report. Office for National Statistics guidance to Departments provides that self-employed contract workers and agency workers not paid directly from the payroll should be excluded from counts measuring the number of employees in the public sector and that only employees with an employment contract who are being paid by the organisation should be included.

Departments: Work Permits

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many work permits were applied for by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years. [126799]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department has not applied for any work permits during the last five years and has not had any agencies since 2001.

Entry to Employment Programme: Gloucestershire

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people joined the E2E programme in Gloucestershire in each year
22 Mar 2007 : Column 1110W
since its inception; and if he will make a statement. [129286]

Phil Hope: Entry to Employment (E2E) is the main programme for young people not yet ready for an apprenticeship, a job or further learning. The number of young people joining E2E since it began for each funding year (August to July) in Gloucestershire is as follows:

Number

2003/04

1,051

2004/05

741

2005/06

597

2006/07 (First six months)

309


Since 2005/06, additional pre-level 2 provision has been available locally through European social funds. Take-up of such programmes continues to rise in 2006/07. To date, 367 young people have started on this type of provision in Gloucestershire. This is aimed at young people who are not immediately ready to undertake E2E or the minimum attendance of 16 hours per week that E2E demands so offering a wider choice of provision at this level.

E2E has been successful. We will be looking to absorb its good practice into the new system we will be introducing in the next couple of years.

Nurseries: Qualifications

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to increase the number of individuals possessing level three and level two qualifications for running play and child care groups. [129290]

Beverley Hughes: In our 10-year strategy for childcare, ‘Choice for parents, the best start for children’ published in December 2004 and in our response to the Children’s Workforce Strategy consultation published in February 2006, we set out our commitment to establishing a better qualified and more professional early years workforce. To help achieve this, we have introduced a £250 million Transformation Fund aimed at improving the quality of early-years provision without the cost of doing so being passed on to parents.

Between 2006 and 2008, a significant part of this Transformation Fund is being spent on increasing the number of early-years workers with at least a level three qualification. This fund adds to existing funding to local authorities and the Learning and Skills Council being used to increase the number of those with level 2 qualifications and to develop the early-years workforce more generally.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will take steps to ensure that playgroup qualification courses place appropriate emphasis upon work-based training. [129291]

Beverley Hughes: It is for the appropriate Sector Skills Council to specify the content of training courses. However, I can give an assurance that most of the courses available to those working in playgroups do involve work-based training.


22 Mar 2007 : Column 1111W

Overseas Students: English Language

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students undertook English for Speakers of Other Languages courses in each year between 2000 and 2005, broken down by nationality of students. [128808]

Phil Hope: The number of enrolments to ESOL courses in each year between 2000 and 2005 is as follows:

Number

2000/01

159,000

2001/02

302,000

2002/03

413,000

2003/04

488,000

2004/05

484,000

2005/06

(1)504,000

(1) Based on data up to October 2006, both confirmed and estimated.

Data on learners is gathered through the individualised learner record (ILR). Its primary function is to capture learner suitability to a learning aim and ensure correct payment to the provider of learning, and as such, there is no field on the ILR designed to capture a learner’s nationality.

Runaway Children

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance is given to local authorities on children in their area who have run away or are missing from home, specifying in each case the (a) document, (b) paragraph and (c) line references; and whether each has statutory status. [128741]

Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 20 March 2007]: Government issued “Children Missing from Care and Home—a guide to good practice” in tandem with the social exclusion unit’s report “Young Runaways” in 2002. This includes information for local authorities and their partner agencies on responding to children in care who go missing from their placements and to children who go missing from their homes.

Sections 1 to 7 of this guidance from pages 5 to 19 set out the issues to be considered and the processes to be followed so that local authorities respond effectively to children who go missing from their care placement.
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Sections 8 to 10 from pages 23 to 29 set out the issues and processes to be followed for those who run away from home.

This guidance and its related circular, LAC(2002)17, were issued under section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 which means that, except in exceptional circumstances, councils must follow its advice.

We are currently working with the Children’s Society to review how local authorities are meeting the needs of runaways under the Every Child Matters framework, and will consider the case for fresh guidance on runaways when that work is completed.

Schools: Coventry

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools in Coventry offer extended hours; and if he will make a statement. [118999]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 7 February 2007]: There are currently over 3,800 extended schools in England. This includes 18 extended schools in the Coventry local authority area (15 primary and three secondary).

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 child care 8 am to 6 pm 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.

Special Educational Needs: East Yorkshire

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of children in East Yorkshire (a) had special educational needs and (b) were educated in special schools in each year since 2000. [126201]

Mr. Dhanda: The available information is shown in the tables.

All schools: Number and percentage of pupils with special educational needs (SEN)—position in January each year: 2000 to 2006—East Yorkshire parliamentary constituency
Maintained mainstream schools( 1) Maintained special schools( 2)
Pupils with statements of SEN Pupils with SEN without statements( 3) Pupils with statements of SEN Pupils with SEN without statements( 3)
Number of pupils( 4) Number Percentage( 5) Number Percentage( 6) Number of pupils( 4) Number Percentage( 5) Number Percentage( 6)

2000

13,733

263

1.9

1,816

13.2

63

49

77.8

n/a

n/a

2001

13,968

343

2.5

1,874

13.4

63

55

87.3

n/a

n/a

2002

14,168

273

1.9

1,902

13.4

72

55

76.4

n/a

n/a

2003

14,246

320

2.2

1,556

10.9

71

55

77.5

0

0.0

2004

14,245

339

2.4

1,938

13.6

75

59

78.7

16

21.3

2005

14,156

325

2.3

1,977

14.0

79

64

81.0

15

19.0

2006

14,075

329

2.3

2,092

14.9

85

70

82.4

15

17.6


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