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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the performance of local education authorities in England; which authorities have been assessed by his Department as having unsatisfactory performance; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The performance of local authorities and their partners in improving outcomes for children and young people is assessed by Ofsted and other inspectorates. Since 2005, they have made an annual performance assessment of children's services in each local authority, and have been undertaking a programme of joint area reviews which will include every local authority area in England once between 2005 and 2008. Ofsted's April 2007 publication "Narrowing the Gap: The Inspection of Children's Services" found an improving picture, with children's services in 107 out of the 139 authorities covered by the report making a good or excellent contribution towards delivering better outcomes for children and young people.
A number of areas have been assessed, by either an annual performance assessment or a joint area review, to be making an inadequate contribution to improving one or more aspects of children's services. They are Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Herefordshire, Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Medway, North East Lincolnshire, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Sandwell, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Thurrock.
The Government support and challenge all local authorities to improve their performance, with activity co-ordinated through the appropriate Government Office. Where a local authority is failing to perform functions to an adequate standard, the Secretary of State will, as a last resort, consider use of his statutory powers to secure the proper performance of functions. This can include directing that functions are performed in a particular way or by a specified person on behalf of the authority.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which academies that (a) have opened have been and (b) are under development will be delivered through Partnerships for Schools. 
Jim Knight: 47 Academies are now open; of these 27 have completed construction. None of these buildings were delivered/are being delivered by Partnerships for Schools (PfS). We expect that all Academies which have yet to enter into development will be delivered by PfS. There are currently 100 academies in development. 55 of these buildings are being delivered through PfS and these are:
Birmingham, an Academy to replace Heartlands
Birmingham, a new Academy in the East
Birmingham, an Academy to replace Shenley Court
Bolton, an Academy to replace Withins
The Stadium Academy, Brent
Palmer Academy, Brighton
Oasis Academy, Bristol
The Bristol Brunei Academy, Bristol
Colston's Girls' Academy, Bristol
Cumbria, an Academy to replace Ehenside
Cumbria, an Academy to replace North Cumbria
Eastbourne Church of England Academy, Darlington
Derbyshire, an Academy to replace Shirebrook
Essex, an Academy in East Basildon
Essex, a second Academy in East Basildon
Hackney Skinners Academy
Hammersmith and Fulham Academy
Herefordshire, an Academy to replace Wyebridge
Isle of Sheppey, Kent
Kent, an Academy to replace Cornwallis
Kent, an Academy to replace Oldborough
Lancashire, an Academy to replace Accrington Moorhead
Lincolnshire, an Academy to replace Priory, Joseph Rushton, City of Lincoln
Lincolnshire, a second Academy to replace Priory, Joseph Rushton, City of Lincoln
Barnfield West Academy, Luton
Barnfield South Academy, Luton
Manchester Digital Communications Academy
Manchester Construction and the Built Environment Academy
Manchester Creative Media Academy
Manchester Finance and Professional Service Academy
Manchester Business Enterprise Academy
Manchester Health Academy
Milton Keynes, an Academy to replace Sir Frank Markham
The Open Academy, Norfolk
Havelock Academy, North East Lincolnshire
North Lincolnshire, an Academy to replace High Ridge
Hirst Academy, Northumberland
Nottingham Bulwell Academy
The Samworth University Academy, Nottingham
The Samworth Church Academy, Nottinghamshire
The Oxford Academy
St Anne's Academy, Rochdale
Salford, an Academy to replace Hope High
Shireland Collegiate Academy, Sandwell
George Salter Collegiate Academy, Sandwell
Walworth Academy, Southwark
St Michael's and All Angels CofE, Southwark
St Helens, an Academy to replace St Aelred's
Pennywell/Quarry View Academy, Sunderland
Castle view Academy, Sunderland
Red House Academy, Sunderland
New Charter Academy, Tameside
Telford and Wrekin, an Academy to replace Abraham Darby
Wellesley Academy, Wiltshire
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will place in the Library a copy of the letter sent by the Department for Education and Skills to Partnerships for Schools asking it to take on the delivery of academies. 
Jim Knight: The announcement that Partnerships for Schools (PfS) would take on delivery of the academies buildings programme was made on 23 March 2006 by written statement in the House of Commons and House of Lords, Official Report, column 28WS. This was then consolidated as part of the PfS business plan which is agreed with the Department.
Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what discussions he has had with the entertainment industry on the effectiveness of child performance licensing by local authorities; 
Kevin Brennan: The Department has not had recent discussions with the entertainment industry on the effectiveness of child performance licensing by local authorities and has not issued guidance to local authorities on child performance licensing. Local authorities are responsible for licensing children who take part in performances, and for the enforcement of child performance legislation.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what area of school playing fields in (a) England, (b) the North West and (c) Ribble Valley has been sold in the last 10 years. 
Jim Knight: Since October 1998 the Secretary of State has approved 187 applications that involve the sale of an area of land capable of forming a sports pitch of at least 0.2 hectares at schools in England. Of these 89 were in respect of closed schools. The number of these at schools in the north-west is 34 (16 of these at closed schools). There have not been any applications approved that involve the sale of a sports pitch at a school in Ribble Valley. Prior to October 1998 there was no regulation of the sale of school playing fields at local authority schools.
Data on school playing fields were supplied to the Department by local authorities in 2001 and 2003.
However, because the data were incomplete, it is not possible to assess accurately the number and area of school playing fields.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of children achieved (a) level 4 and above and (b) level 5 in Key Stage 2 (i) mathematics, (ii) English and (iii) science in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Primary standards are at their highest levels ever. Since 1997 there have been significant improvements in the percentage of pupils achieving level 4 and level 5 in the National Curriculum tests.
Last year 79 per cent. of 11-year-olds achieved the target level 4 or above in English and 76 per cent. did so in maths. In 1997 less than two thirds of 11-year-olds reached this level in either subject (63 per cent. in English and 62 per cent. in maths). The proportion of 11-year-olds reaching level 5 has doubled in English since 1997in 2006 32 per cent. reached this level compared with just 16 per cent. in 1997 and 33 per cent. did so in mathematics compared with 18 per cent. in 1997.
|Percentage of pupils at KS2 achieving level 4 or above and level 5 or above, 1995-2006Key Stage 2|
|Percentage at Level 4 or above||Percentage at Level 5 or above|
1. Figures for 2006 are based on revised data. Figures for all other years are based on final data.
2. Levels W and 1 were valid in 1995 and 1996 only. Level 6 was valid from 1995-2002 only.
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