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Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average number of pupils attending private finance initiative funded schools was in each of the last 10 years, broken down by local education authority. 
Jim Knight: The Department does not hold this information centrally specifically for PFI funded schools. Detailed information on average number of pupils attending PFI funded schools is held at local authority level.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many private finance initiative funded schools have experienced a fall in pupil numbers since opening in each of the last 10 years, broken down by local education authority. 
Jim Knight: The Department does not hold information centrally on specifically how many PFI schools have experienced a fall in pupil numbers in each of the last 10 years. This level of detailed information is held at the local authority level.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance has been given to local education authorities in relation to surplus school places and the reintroduction of new schools; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Statutory guidance issued to local authorities, in their capacity as decision makers, makes it clear that when considering proposals to establish a new school, they should take into account not only the existence of spare capacity in neighbouring schools, but also the schools' standards and popularity, together with any evidence of parents' aspirations for a new school. Where proposals for a new school will add to surplus capacity, but there is a strong case for approval on parental preference and standards grounds, the guidance includes a presumption to approve the proposals but makes it clear that the local authority should consider parallel action to remove any resulting surplus.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has to separate the assessment of and funding of special educational needs in schools; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: There are no plans to alter the system of assessing and funding provision to meet childrens special educational needs (SEN). However, we will consider carefully the results of the Education and Skills Committees recent consultation on the proposal to separate local authority assessments of childrens SEN from funding the educational provision set out in any subsequent SEN statement.
Kevin Brennan: This Government are committed to the expansion of competitive school sport. The PE national curriculum requires that all pupils are taught competitive games throughout their compulsory schooling. Competition is also a key component of the national school sport strategy. The 2005-06 school sport survey found that:
71 per cent. of pupils are now participating in intra-school competitive activities and 37 per cent. of pupils are taking part in inter-school competition. Both figures have been rising year on year;
97 per cent. of schools held a competitive sports day in the last academic year and the network of school sport partnerships staged over 10,700 festivals of sportmulti-sport events organised by secondary pupils for partnership primary schools.
In addition, the Prime Minister announced on 13 July extra funding to extend the network of competition managers. This will see the number of competition managers rise from the present 59, to a national network of 225 by 2010. The competition managers are creating a stronger framework for competitive sport and working across primary and secondary schools to increase the amount of competitive sport they offer.
Jim Knight: The following table gives the number of schools that were judged to require significant improvement in each term since September 2005 and the number of schools that were removed from this Ofsted category. A school which requires significant improvement is normally re-inspected after around 12 months, when they are either removed from the category, kept in the category for a further 12 months or are placed in special measures.
|Schools requiring significant improvement|
|Autumn 2005||Spring 2006||Summer 2006||Autumn 2006||Spring 2007|
|(1 )No re-inspections|
(2 )No re-inspections; five closures
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the expected cost to the public purse of school improvement partners in each year from 2007-08 to 2010-11. 
Jim Knight: The Department for Children, Schools and Families provides two streams of funding for school improvement partners (SIPs). First, it contributes to the cost to local authorities of providing a SIP for every secondary school and, from April 2008, for every primary school and every special school. The funding is to help local authorities meet the cost of the SIP programme additional to that of previous local authority link adviser arrangements. The funding will be £15.8 million in financial year 2007-08. Allocations of funding for SIPs for 2008-11 will be announced in the autumn as part of wider announcements for the next CSR period.
The second stream of funding is part of the Department's central support provided by the Primary and Secondary National Strategies. The SIP element of that support covers SIPs' accreditation, support to local authorities for introducing and managing SIPs, quality assurance of the programme and regional and national co-ordination of the work of SIPs. The cost of this in 2007-08 is £8.7 million. The cost of this work will vary annually depending on the level of support required and is also subject to the announcement of allocations for 2008-11 in the autumn.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what additional resources his Department provides to schools classified as causing concern to help them improve. 
Jim Knight: A range of resources is made available by my Department to support schools causing concern. This includes guidance on such schools (available on the DCSF Standards website); central funding from a variety of sources, including the Fresh Start programme, that is paid to local authorities through the Standards Fund; a number of intervention and capacity building programmes such as the Raising Attainment in Teaching and Learning (RAIL) programme for secondary schools and the Intensifying Support Programme (ISP) for primary schools; and a network of school improvement delivery agencies some of whose work includes the provision of teaching materials and consultancy support.
Every local authority has been allocated a share of an additional £30 million, over the 2006-07 and 2007-08 financial years, to support their school
improvement work. Additional funding is also available from my Department's interventions budget, to support specific school improvement projects.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools which are private finance initiative funded were (a) categorised as causing concern and (b) placed in special measures in each of the last five years. 
Jim Knight: The Department does not centrally hold information specifically on how many PFI schools are categorised as causing concern or placed in special measures. This level of detailed information is held at local authority level for PFI funded schools.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and what proportion of secondary schools contained more than 1,000 pupils in each year from 1990-91 to 2007-08; 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether it is his policy to make all secondary schools independent specialist schools; and if he will make a statement. 
Any maintained secondary school in England may apply to be designated as specialist in one, or a combination of two, specialisms. Currently over 85 per cent. of all secondary schools in England are part of the Specialist Schools programme and have a subject specialism. The current target for the programme is that 95 per cent. of all schools will be specialist by 2008 and we are well on the way to achieving this.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average time taken was to carry out an assessment for a statement of special educational needs in each year since 1996-97, broken down by local education authority; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government do not collect information on the time taken by local authorities to carry out statutory assessments of children with special educational needs. However, where they have decided that a statement is appropriate, local authorities are required to issue a draft statement within 18 weeks of receiving a request for an assessment and a final
statement within 26 weeks (with exceptions set out in regulations made under the Education Act 1996).
The Audit Commission publish figures on the proportion of draft statements issued by each local authority within 18 weeks of the start of the statutory assessment process. This information(1), broken down by local authority is available from http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk/performance/dataprovision.asp.
(1) Best Value Performance Indicator 43a and b give the proportion of draft statements issued within 18 weeks excluding and including the permitted exceptions to the time limits respectively since 2000-01. The proportion of draft statements issued within 18 weeks excluding exceptions was collected as indicator K12b from 1997-98 until 1999-2000 and as indicator K10b in 1996-97.
|Percentage of draft statements issued within 18 weeks excluding permitted exceptions||Percentage of draft statements issued within 18 weeks including permitted exceptions( 1)|
|(1) Data not collected in this format prior to 2000-01.|
(2) From 2000-01 onwards, these data reflect Best Value Performance Indicator 43a and 43b.
(3) From, 1997-98 until 1999-2000, these data reflect Local Authority Performance Indicator K12b.
(4) In 1996-97, these data reflect Local Authority Performance Indicator K10b.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what percentage of pupils receiving free school meals in each (a) local education authority and (b) type of school had special educational needs statements in each of the last 10 years; 
(2) what percentage of students with special educational needs statements in each local education authority attended a school characterised as one of the top 200 schools in the country in each of the last 10 years; 
(4) what percentage of pupils receiving free school meals in each local education authority attended a school classified as being in a school causing concern category in each of the last 10 years; 
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