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Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what terms of reference were set by his Department for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in relation to the secondary curriculum review. 
Jim Knight: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority was asked to undertake a review of the key stage 3 curriculum to enable schools to have the flexibility to meet better students' individual needs and strengths. It was asked to review the content of all core and foundation subjects and to focus in particular on those subjects that were content heavy, namely history, geography, science, design and technology, citizenship and the non-statutory framework for personal, social and health education. QCA was also asked to consider the implications on key stage 3 English, mathematics and ICT of the review of these subjects at key stage 4, including the definition of functional skills.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which foreign languages were studied by pupils in Tamworth constituency at (a) GCSE level, (b) A/S level and (c) A-level in 2006. 
(b) Students aged 16 to 18 attending secondary schools and further education sector colleges located in Tamworth constituency in 2006 were entered for GCE AS-levels in the following modern foreign languages:
Mr. Dhanda: Educational psychologists (EPs) are employed by local authorities, and it is for those authorities to determine how many to employ in light of their assessment of local needs and available resources, and to plan for future needs. The Department does not undertake any manpower planning assessment for this group of local employees.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1498W, which companies have signed Train to Gain contracts; how many staff each company employs; and how many of these staff will receive Train to Gain funded training. 
Train to Gain is a new service aimed at supporting businesses in improving their productivity through increased investment in the skills of their workforce. Skills brokers conduct an organisational needs analysis to understand the problems facing the company. They then source the most appropriate training provider to meet that needs analysis giving the employer a real choice in the selection of the training provider. Skills brokers then help the company put together a fully costed action plan, setting out the likely
levels of public subsidy together with any investment from the employer. Employers do not sign a contract but do enter into a non-contractual agreement setting out their commitment to the delivery of the action plan. By the end of January 2007, more than 25,000 employers have engaged with Train to Gain with more than 90,000 employees starting on a course of training.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many UK-domiciled students were studying for a (a) full-time and (b) part-time undergraduate degree in each British university in 2006, broken down by income decile of their parents. 
Bill Rammell: The available information on the destination of graduates is taken from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey collected annually by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). The DLHE survey collects information on the first destination of graduates six months after qualifying. The latest figures are shown in the table for students qualifying in the 2004/05 academic year. Figures for the destinations of students qualifying in the 2005/06 academic year will be available in summer 2007. The table shows that, of those computer science graduates in employment, 3,200 or 41.6 per cent. of them were working in an IT occupation.
|Destination and type of work of first degree computer science graduates( 1) from the UK six months after graduation, English higher education institutions academic year 2004/05|
|Employment circumstances||Number||Proportion( 2)|
|(1) The response rate for this questionnaire for computer science graduates was 77 per cent.; the figures cover students qualifying from full-time and part-time modes of study. (2) Employment circumstance as a proportion of all known circumstances. (3) Includes all employment circumstances that cover some form of work: full-time paid work only (including self-employed), part-time paid work only, voluntary/unpaid work only, and work and further study. Note: Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).|
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what support is provided to early years providers and primary schools to ensure an effective transition for children from the Foundation Stage to the National Curriculum for (a) speech, language and communication and (b) reading and literacy; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment his Department has made of the recommendations made by Ofsted in its report The Foundation Stage on (a) guidance on (i) raising standards in communication, language and literacy, (ii) supporting the achievement of boys and (iii) providing effective challenge for more able children and (b) training by local authorities on improving the links between communication, language and literacy and other areas of learning; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what support his Department provides to assist staff working in early years settings to raise standards in the provision of support to children for communication, language and literacy needs; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Government welcome the recent Ofsted report and accept many of the recommendations. Evidence in this report was collected before the launch last September of the new programme of high quality phonics work to address the findings of Jim Roses review of early reading. We are confident that this programme will deliver higher standards of communication, language and literacy skills.
The Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage already makes it clear that practitioners should plan a curriculum that helps all children to make good progress towards the early learning goals and, where appropriate, beyond. The Department has reinforced this by producing guidance on the identification of gifted and talented children and by asking the Primary National Strategy to produce guidance on better support for boys learning. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which takes effect in September 2008 and replaces the Foundation Stage guidance will set out equally clear expectations for all children.
The Department has produced a training package, Communicating Matters, to help local authorities to support staff working in early years settings to raise standards in communication and language. In addition, the Primary National Strategy will shortly publish a new document to replace Progression in Phonics and Playing with Sounds which will support
effective phonics teaching from the EYFS through to the end of key stage 1. Training and briefing for practitioners emphasises the links and interdependencies between all the areas of learning and development.
The EYFS and the Primary Framework for literacy and mathematics which support planning progression and personalisation of learning have been developed in parallel, with relevant sections of each mirroring the other to ensure that there is continuity between the EYFS and key stage 1. In conjunction with the Primary National Strategy, the Department has also produced guidance on the importance of providing continuity of experience for young children and their families.
Jim Knight: There has been no recent assessment of the standard of difficulty of modern language (a) GCSEs and (b) A-levels. However, Lord Dearing's Languages Review, published on 12 March, considers the view that languages GCSEs are more demanding than other subjects, and that this perception has a negative impact on the number of pupils continuing to study languages post-14. He recommends that there is a study to resolve this issue as soon as possible. The Secretary of State has welcomed Lord Dearing's recommendations and we are considering how to take this recommendation forward.
Jim Knight [holding answer 15 March 2007]: These matters are for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to my hon. Friend and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Library.
Your recent parliamentary questions have been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for reply. I will address these in turn:
I. You asked how many members of staff have made formal complaints of bullying in the last 12 months (PQ127625).
Of the 20 grievances raised between February 2006 and February 2007, four have related to "bullying and harassment". Of these, two have been heard and the grievance was not upheld, in one case the individual resigned before the hearing took place and a decision is pending on the fourth. This compares to seven
complaints of bullying and harassment in 2004-2005; two in 2003-2004 and one in 2002-2003.
The increase in the number of complaints has partly been due to a revised bullying and harassment policy and initiatives implemented following Ofeted's 2004 staff survey results. These raised awareness of this issue and encouraged individuals to come forward with concerns they had. This issue remains a priority for Ofsted.
II. You asked how many grievances have been raised by staff at Ofsted in each of the last three years (PQ127626).
Until fairly recently, Ofsted has not kept records of all types of grievance. Those relating to bullying and harassment are on file as these are reported in our equal opportunities reports. Ofsted started collecting general grievance data as of November 2005 and our data therefore reflects this period onwards.
From the data we hold, we are able to report that, over the last 16 months, we have 22 grievances in total from members of staff (this figure includes the 20 grievances noted in response to PQ127625). Four of these were from the same individual, one was a collective grievance (from four members of staff) and the others were all individual one-off grievances.
III You asked how much Ofsted spent on (a) in-house training and (b) external training in each of the last three years (PQ127627).
The following internal costs (rounded to the nearest £5k) include a programme of courses that have been developed specifically for an Ofsted audience; these include management development, IT skills and nationally supported qualifications such as specialist degrees. They also include the cost of our corporate learning and development team:
IV. You asked what the total cost of consultants employed by Ofsted was in each of the last three years (PQ127628) and how many consultants have been contracted to work for Ofsted in each of the last three years (PQ127629).
Based on the DfES definition of consultancy services, which is "investigating problems, providing analysis or advice, or assisting with the development of new systems, new structures or new capabilities within the organisation", we will have spent around £2.5 million (including VAT) in the financial year 2006-07. This spend is through 42 consultants.
Within this total around three quarters is for Information Services related consultancy to build new systems ready for the creation of the New Ofsted with effect from 1 April 2007. The remainder covers other corporate areas such as estates, personnel and finance.
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