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Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what provision is made in the national curriculum for educating children about renewable energy; and what measures are in place to ensure that all school children are suitably educated about climate change. 
Jim Knight: Under both the current national curriculum in England for science and the new science curriculum to be taught in schools from September 2008, pupils aged 11-14 are taught about renewable energy and the possible impact of human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, on the environment. The current geography curriculum for 11 to 14-year-olds requires pupils to be taught about resource planning and management issues, for example developing alternative energy sources. From September 2008, environmental interaction and sustainable development will be one of the key concepts in the new geography curriculum for 11 to 14-year-olds with a requirement to study climate change.
In May 2007, DCSF and DEFRA sent a climate change pack to every secondary school in England. The online teacher guidance accompanying the pack provides material to support the teaching of climate change in geography, science and citizenship. The pack is part of the wider DCSF Sustainable Schools programme which aims to embed sustainability in the curriculum, how schools operate (eg reducing energy usage) and in their work with the local community www.teachernet. gov.uk/sustainableschools. In addition to work being supported by DCSF, DEFRA have sponsored a number of projects aimed at raising awareness of climate change through the Climate Challenge Fund. Seventeen out of the 83 projects have schools as their main audience or have specifically targeted aspects of their project, www.climatechallenge.gov.uk. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has developed programmes for renewable energy education for primary and secondary schools www.berr.gov.uk/energy/sources/renewables/renewables-schools. BERR has provided grant funds to hundreds of schools for installations of microgeneration on their properties, and currently provides these through phase 2 of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme www.lowcarbonbuildingsphase2.org.uk.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessment he has made of the ability of schools in disadvantaged communities to pay 50 per cent. of the costs of engagement in the Creative Partnership programme; and if he will make a statement; 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many people in his Department and its predecessor have been (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed for (i) inappropriate use of the internet while at work and (ii) using work telephones to access premium rate telephone numbers in the last 12 months. 
Kevin Brennan: From May 2006 to June 2007 in the Department, and its predecessor, one person was disciplined for inappropriate use of the internet while at work, and one person was disciplined for using work telephones to access premium rate telephone numbers.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many ministerial red boxes his Department and its predecessor bought in each of the last five years; what the cost of each was; who the suppliers were; and what tendering process was used in selecting them. 
Kevin Brennan: Red boxes are ordered as and when they are needed from the Department's stationery supplier, Business Banner Supplies. Ministerial boxes are used by successive Ministers over many years.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. 
Kevin Brennan: No complaints of racial abuse were investigated in my Department, and its predecessor, in the last 12 months. Formal complaints of racial abuse would be investigated quickly and thoroughly and, where complaints were upheld, appropriate disciplinary action would be taken. All cases are treated seriously.
The Department believes that each and every individual has the right to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect. As such, we do not tolerate unacceptable behaviour towards others. The overall aim of our harassment and bullying policy is to prevent such unacceptable behaviour occurring but, where it does occur, to ensure that appropriate and effective action is taken to deal with it and prevent it happening again. This applies to everyone in the Department. Every individual is personally responsible for their own behaviour, and every manager is responsible for enforcing the policy in accordance with the guidance and procedures set out in our staff handbook.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what evidence he has evaluated on whether there has been grade inflation in (a) GCSEs and (b) A levels since 1990; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: It is for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) as the independent regulator to act to ensure that standards in both GCSE and A level are maintained. Since 1997, QCA has carried out reviews of standards in a wide range of A level and GCSE subjects. The reports are available on their website at http://www.qca.org.uk
no examination system at the school or other level is so tightly or carefully managed;
strategies for maintaining comparable examination standards across awarding bodies are adequate to the task;
the awarding bodies have broadly consistent and well-regulated systems for setting question papers, managing marking and awarding grades; and
QCA has robust systems in place to monitor and regulate the work of the awarding bodies.
Jim Knight: It is for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) as the independent regulator to ensure that exams are fit for purpose and to make judgments on how to govern the use of multiple choice questions.
While elements of multiple choice testing may be included, this would be within the context of an exam that maintains the high standards of GCSE and requires a suitably challenging breadth and depth of knowledge. For instance, candidates will still have to read Shakespeare, write essays and give reasoned, individual responses to texts to pass English GCSE.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families for which public service agreement targets of the former Department for Education and Skills his Department now has responsibility. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department is responsible for the following PSA targets, each of which were agreed between the former Department for Education and Skills and HM Treasury as part of the 2004 Spending Review:
1. Improve children's communication and social and emotional development so that by 2008 53 per cent. of children reach a good level of development at the end of the Foundation Stage; and reduce inequalities between the level of development achieved by children in the 30 per cent. most disadvantaged Super Output Areas and the rest of England by four percentage points from 16 per cent. to 12 per cent. (Joint with the Department for Work and Pensions)
2. As a contribution to reducing the proportion of children living in households where no-one is working, by 2008: increase the stock of Ofsted-registered childcare by 10 per cent.; increase the number of children in lower-income working families using formal childcare by 120,000; and introduce by April 2005 a successful light-touch child care approval scheme. (Joint with the Department for Work and Pensions)
3. Reduce the under-18 conception rate by 50 per cent. by 2010 as part of a broader strategy to improve sexual health. (Joint with the Department of Health)
4. Halt the year-on-year rise in obesity among children under 11 by 2010 in the context of a broader strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole. (Joint with the Department of Health and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
5. Narrow the gap in educational achievement between looked after children and that of their peers; and improve their educational support and the stability of their lives so that by 2008 80 per cent. of children under 16 who have been looked after for 2.5 or more years will have been living in the same placement for at least two years, or are placed for adoption.
6. Raise standards in English and mathematics so that: by 2006, 85 per cent. of 11-year-olds achieve level 4 or above, with this level of performance sustained to 2008; and by 2008 the proportion of schools in which fewer than 65 per cent. of pupils achieve level 4 or above is reduced by 40 per cent.
7. Raise standards in English, mathematics, ICT and science in secondary education so that: by 2007 85 per cent. of 14-year-olds achieve level 5 or above in English, mathematics and ICT (80 per cent. in science) nationally, with this level of performance sustained to 2008; and by 2008 in all schools at least 50 per cent. of pupils achieve level 5 or above in English, mathematics and science.
8. Improve levels of school attendance so that by 2008, school absence is reduced by 8 per cent. compared to 2003.
9. Enhance the take-up of sporting opportunities by 5 to 16-year-olds so that the percentage of school children in England who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality PE and sport within and beyond the curriculum increases from 25 per cent. in 2002 to 75 per cent. by 2006 and to 85 per cent. by 2008, and to at least 75 per cent. in each School Sport Partnership by 2008. (Joint with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10. By 2008, 60 per cent. of those aged 16 to achieve the equivalent of 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C; and in all schools at least 20 per cent. of pupils to achieve this standard by 2004, rising to 25 per cent. by 2006 and 30 per cent. by 2008.
11. Increase the proportion of 19-year-olds who achieve at least level 2 by three percentage points between 2004 and 2006; and a further two percentage points between 2006 and 2008, and increase the proportion of young people who achieve level 3.
12. Reduce the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) by two percentage points by 2010.
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