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17 May 2007 : Column 856W—continued


Mandarin

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the difficulty of Mandarin GCSE in comparison with other modern language GCSEs. [137462]

Jim Knight: The Department has not made any assessment of the difficulty of Mandarin in comparison with other modern language GCSEs. However, the Key Stage 3 programme of study for languages sets out statutory modifications to the level descriptors for listening, responding and reading for pupils studying Mandarin and Cantonese. These modifications assume that Mandarin may be spoken at a slower speed, the range of topics may be more limited and pupils may work with a limited number of characters. There are no similar modifications for other languages.

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding has been provided for the teaching of Mandarin in schools. [137461]

Jim Knight: We do not promote the teaching of one language over another, and have not provided any specific funding for the teaching of Mandarin in schools. It is for individual schools to decide which languages they offer. However, the Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hanban (Office of the Chinese Language Council International) in July 2006 designed to promote Chinese learning and teaching in English schools and to increase cooperation between the two countries.

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he has had with education providers on the teaching of Mandarin in schools. [137463]

Jim Knight: The Secretary of State has not had any discussions with education providers on the teaching of Mandarin in schools. The Languages Review, published in March 2007, proposed widening the range of languages taught in schools. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has recently finished consulting on the revised Key Stage 3 languages curriculum. The consultation proposed removing the requirement that schools must first teach a European language to allow them to teach any major spoken world language, including Mandarin, depending on local need and circumstances. We are considering the potential implications of these changes for the school workforce.

Nursery Nurses

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people were employed as nursery nurses in the most recent period for which figures are available; how many unfilled nursery places there were in that period; what the balance was of provision between private and non-private nurseries; and if he will make a statement. [135689]

Beverley Hughes: There are no figures available for the number of nursery nurses employed in the nursery sector. However, the Government's latest survey of nurseries carried out in 2005 (Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey 2005—Full Day Care Providers) showed that 104,800 paid staff, 80 per cent. of all paid staff, working in children's nurseries in England had a qualification relevant to working with children and young people.

The 2005 Childcare and Early Year Providers Survey also estimated that in summer 2005 there were approximately 88,400 vacant full day care places in England, 17 per cent. of all places; and that 60 per cent. of full day care provision in England was privately owned, with the remaining 40 per cent. split across the voluntary, local authority, school and other sectors.

Pre-school Education: Finance

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what proportion of the money allocated to local authorities to provide the nursery education grant was passed to nursery providers in the latest period for which figures are available; [137215]

(2) for what reasons nursery providers in different local authorities do not receive a uniform amount for the nursery education grant per child. [137216]

Beverley Hughes: Nursery education grant was phased out in 2001/02. Funding for the free entitlement to early education for three and four-year-olds is provided through general school funding.


17 May 2007 : Column 857W

Estimated expenditure on under fives by local authorities in 2005-06, the latest year for which outturn data is available, is £3,473 million.

Local authorities—in consultation with their School Forums—are responsible for deciding how best to apply their total school and early years funding across all age groups and between different types of provider, based on an assessment of local circumstances. Therefore it is a matter for each local authority to determine the levels of funding for providers in their area. The 2006 Code of Practice on the provision of free nursery education places for three and four-year-olds makes clear that local authorities should fund providers equitably, fairly and transparently.

The Schools, Early Years and 14-16 Funding consultation which ends on 1 June sets out a number of proposals for changes to the way the early years
17 May 2007 : Column 858W
funding system operates and can be accessed at:

Schools: Finance

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding has been allocated for each One School Pathfinder Project; when he expects each project to be completed; and when the decision was made on each allocation. [127650]

Jim Knight: The following table shows funding allocations for each BSF One School Pathfinder project. Funding for phase one projects was initially approved in May 2006. Funding for phase two projects was initially approved in January 2007. Phase one projects were given an ambitious target of completion in September 2008, and phase two by September 2009. The following dates indicate our latest information on when new facilities will be open at each school.

Phase 1 projects Name of school Current estimated opening date Funding (£ million)

Barnet

East Barnet school

September 2009

25.5

Bexley

New school

September 2010

23.8

Cornwall

Penryn college

September 2008

22

Devon

Bideford college

December 2009

31.7

Dorset

Queen Elizabeth’s CE VC school

April 2009

28.4

Gloucestershire

Rednock school

July 2009

27.2

Kingston-upon-Thames

Chessington community college

April 2008

23

Leicestershire

King Edward VII school plus sixth form

September 2009

24.1

North Yorkshire

Richmond school

September 2009

29.6

Richmond-upon-Thames

Teddington school

September 2009

30.0

Torbay

Torquay community college

March 2009

22.2

Warrington

Culcheth high school

September 2009

21.7

Wiltshire

George Ward school

September 2009

25.1

Phase 2 projects

Bath and North East Somerset

Writhlington school

April 2010

25.5

Bracknell Forest

Garth Hill college

September 2009

33.2

Bromley

Langley Park school

September 2009

34.2

Buckinghamshire

Cressex community school

September 2009

30.5

East Sussex

Bexhill high school

September 2010

33.1

Harrow

Whitmore high school

September 2009

31.5

Herefordshire

The Minster college

December 2009

21.2

Isle of Wight

Cowes high school

September 2010

30.5

North Somerset

Nailsea community school

January 2010

28.8

Plymouth

Estover community college

September 2009

26.5

Redbridge

Loxford school of science and technology

September 2009

38.6

Rutland

Vale of Catmose college

September 2009

17.4

Sefton

Litherland high school

April 2010

22.3

Shropshire

William Brookes school

September 2009

19.8

South Gloucestershire

Filton high school

September 2010

25.4

Southend-on-Sea

Belfairs high school

September 2009

25.1

Sutton

Stanley Park high school

September 2009

32.9

Trafford

St. Ambrose college

September 2009

20.7

West Berkshire

St. Bartholomew’s school

September 2009

31.6

West Sussex

Bognor Regis community college

September 2009

35.9

Wigan

Abraham Guest high school

September 2009

18.1

Windsor & Maidenhead

Holyport Manor special school

September 2009

23.6

Wirral

Woodchurch high school

September 2010

25.2

Wokingham

Waingels college

September 2010

29.1

York

Joseph Rowntree school

September 2009

25.4


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