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Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many academies are sponsored by (a) religious groups, (b) educational groups, (c) companies and (d) individuals. 
Jim Knight: There are 47 academies now open. We do not classify sponsors according to whether they are religious groups, educational groups, companies and individuals as these categories will frequently overlap. Some academies have more than one sponsor, usually from more than one of the categories included in the question.
|Open academy name||Sponsor(s)|
Funding Agreements for academies do not place any restrictions on promotional activities by
sponsors. However, the use of data held by academies on individual pupils is restricted by the Data Protection Act.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) educational experience and (b) advisory staff he requires sponsors of academies to have; and how he assesses their ability to make an educational contribution to the schools they sponsor. 
Jim Knight: Sponsors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including universities, educational foundations, businesses, individuals and faith communities. There is no set requirement of prior educational experience, nor a requirement for specific advisory staff. The suitability of sponsors and their ability to make a significant contribution to the academies programme is assessed during the process of brokering a project before an expression of interest is agreed by the Secretary of State.
The Department carries out rigorous checks to establish the suitability of individuals and organisations wishing to become sponsors of academies. These include checking their financial viability to supply the funds pledged as well as their general suitability.
Transparency of business arrangements (both in the EU and overseas) and ability to account for funds (including donations from other parties);
Evidence of a successful business background including evidence of consistent and sustained trading (where appropriate);
A long-term commitment to the UK education sector and the aims of the academies programme;
Potential to run a successful school and to contribute towards raising standards;
Ability to enhance the reputation of the academies programme;
Ability to promote community cohesion;
Financial status commensurate with academy sponsorship and/or evidence of ability to raise the necessary funds.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what schemes are in place to support school pupils' mathematics education by using university students to mentor them; and how many pupils are participating in such schemes. 
Jim Knight: The Department for Education and Skills currently funds, through the Training and Development Agency for Schools, the Student Associates Scheme. The scheme's twin aims are to encourage undergraduates into teacher training and to use the undergraduates as role models for school pupils with a view to increasing participation into higher education. Undergraduates spend up to 15 days in a school working with individual pupils, groups and whole classes. The majority of placements are in secondary priority shortage subjects. In the academic year 2006/07, we expect that, of a total of 7,955 potential allocated places, approximately 1,390 will be mathematics placements. Provisional allocations for the academic year 2007/08 suggest that the mathematics figure will arise to around 1,415.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what meetings took place between Ministers in his Department and outside interest groups between 1 January and 31 March; and what the date was of each such meeting. 
Compass International Business Machines; British Telecomm; CISCO UK; Lockheed Martin Aerospace; Astra Zeneca; Confederation of British Industry; Thales UK; Association for Science Education; Sector Skills Council and Association of School and College Leavers UK
Confederation of British Industry; Healthcare Commission; National Youth Agency; Parentline Plus; Teenage Pregnancy Strategy's Independent Advisory Group; NCH Children's Charities; National Council for Voluntary Youth Services; The Children's Society; Royal College of Nursing; Coram Family; Association of Chief Police Officers; National Children's Bureau; National Council of Voluntary Child Care Organisations; Association of School and College Leaders; Children's Rights Alliance for England; Association of Directors of Children's Services; National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and United Nations Children's Fund
National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers; Association of School and College Leaders; Association of Teachers and Lecturers National Association of Advisors for Computers in Education
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