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Increase the evidence base with regard to what works in reducing deaths and harm from VSA.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessment he has made of the teaching of sex and relationships education in schools; and what plans he has to standardise teaching according to age and content; 
Jim Knight: The Department has not undertaken or commissioned any recent assessment of sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools. Ofsted is responsible for assessing the quality of schools provision in the area of personal, social and health education (PSHE), including SRE, through its inspection framework and subject reports, and last reported on SRE in Sex and Relationships Education in Schools in 2002.
The Department's Sex and Relationship Education Guidance for schools outlines their responsibilities in this area and provides information on the issues to be covered at each of the four key stages, taking account of the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the young people. The guidance is clear that schools need to make sure that SRE meets, and is sensitive to, the needs of all pupils whatever their developing sexuality. Pupils should be helped to understand difference and respect themselves and others in order to prevent and remove prejudice.
Certain aspects of SRE must be delivered as part of the statutory curriculum for science, and legislation requires that head teachers and school governing bodies must have regard to the Department's guidance when delivering a broader range of SRE within the framework for PSHE. All schools are expected to meet the statutory requirements and have an up-to-date policy on SRE. Beyond this, there are no plans to regulate SRE further, as this would be contrary to curriculum reforms designed to give schools greater flexibilities.
It is for schools to determine whom they employ to deliver any area of the curriculum. We are however committed to helping schools improve their planning and delivery of this important area, and there is a Government-funded continuing professional development programme for PSHE, which all teachers of SRE are encouraged to undertake. The programme, which is also open to community nurses, supports standards in the delivery of PSHE teaching, including SRE. To date, over 6,000 teachers and nurses have benefited from the programme.
(1) The Department's funding for a new PSHE subject association. The association provides support and advice to teachers in all areas of PSHE, including SRE;
(2) Increased funding (£13.2 million) in 2007-08 for the national Healthy Schools Programme. This key programme requires schools, for the purposes of accreditation, to demonstrate that they have a SRE programme in line with DCSF guidance. We expect all schools to have reached or be working towards Healthy School status by 2009;
(3) Detailed guidance to teachers from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, covering how schools can evaluate what young people are learning through PSHE, including SRE; and
(4) Developing a SRE pupil assessment tool for use by schools and teachers to establish whether SRE provision is meeting the needs of the young people receiving it.
Jim Knight: The Secretary of State has no plans to request separate inspections of local authority education functions. These functions are within the scope of Ofsteds annual performance assessments of childrens services, and of joint area reviews of childrens services by Ofsted and other inspectorates. The Secretary of State has approved a timetable for a programme of joint area reviews, to cover every local authority in England between 2005 and 2008.
Kevin Brennan: In the last 10 years 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. The analysis is shown in the following table.
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