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25 July 2007 : Column 1129W—continued

Children, Schools and Families

Children: Adoption

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many children were adopted in (a) 1997 and (b) each of the last three years; [147715]

(2) what the average age was of children who were adopted in (a) 1997 and (b) each of the last three years. [147716]

Kevin Brennan: The information provided only relates to children who were looked after by local authority social services in England and not to all children who may have been adopted.

The number of looked after children who were adopted and the average age at adoption in the years ending 31 March 1997 and 2004 to 2006 are shown in the table as follows.

Children looked after who were adopted in the years ending 31 March 1997, 2004, 2005 and 2006( 1,2) —England
Year ending 31 March
1996-97 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06

Number of children looked after adopted

1,900

3,800

3,800

3,700

Average age at adoption (years:months)

5:5

4:5

4:2

4:1

(1) Source: SSDA903
(2 )To maintain the confidentiality of each individual child, data at national level are rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000 to the nearest 10 otherwise.
(3) Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials.

Children: Databases

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many people the Government estimate will have access to ContactPoint. [150733]

Kevin Brennan: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on 18 July 2007, Official Report, column 412W.

Children’s Centres

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what additional resources he is providing to ensure the delivery by 2010 of the planned Sure Start children's centres; and what training programmes are in place to ensure each centre has access to sufficient trained staff to effectively run the centre. [152281]


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Beverley Hughes: We have secured additional resources through the recent comprehensive spending review settlement to meet our manifesto commitment of 3,500 Sure Start Children's Centres by 2010. The Department will be advising all 150 local authorities in England of their children's centre revenue allocations for 2008-10 shortly.

Over the next few years we will train sufficient numbers of centre managers, through the National College for School Leadership, and early years professionals, through the Children's Workforce Development Council, to support the expansion of centres.

Our practice guidance encourages children's centres to work towards all staff being qualified to at least National Vocational Qualification level 2 and makes it clear that we expect all centre managers to undertake training specifically designed for their new role—the National Professional Qualification for Integrated Centre Leadership. Our Children's Workforce Strategy recommends the development of local workforce strategies as an integral part of local Children and Young People's Plans. These should set out local approaches to developing the workforce. We published in July statutory guidance on the local authority duty to secure the provision of training to the early years and childcare workforce.

National Council for Educational Excellence

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the (a) membership and (b) remit is of the new National Council for Educational Excellence; and if he will make a statement. [149865]

Jim Knight: The membership of the National Council for Educational Excellence (NCEE) is as follows:


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National Council for Educational Excellence (NCEE)
Members

Prime Minister

Chairs

Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

Sir Michael Barber

Adviser to the Council

David Bell

Permanent Secretary, DCSF

Damon Buffini

Managing Partner, Permira

Julia Cleverdon

Head, Business in the Community

Ann Clynch

Principal, Loreto College, Manchester

Jo Davidson

Director of Children’s Services, Gloucestershire

Bernadette Duffy

Head, Thomas Coram Centre, Camden

Jackie Fisher

Chief Executive and Principal, Newcastle College

Christine Gilbert

HM Chief Inspector, Ofsted

Edward Gould

Ex-Chairman, Independent Schools Council

Richard Lambert

Director General, CBI

Sir Terry Leahy

CEO, Tesco

Ed Mayo

Chief Executive, National Consumer Council

Felicity Martin

Head Teacher, Eggar’s School, Alton

Stephen Munday

Principal, Comberton Village College

Howard Newby

Vice Chancellor, University of the West of England

Professor Alison Richard

Vice Chancellor, University of Cambridge

Sir John Rose

Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce

Sir Alan Steer

Head Teacher, Seven King’s High School, Ilford

Professor Steve Smith

Vice Chancellor, Exeter University

Bob Wigley

Chairman (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Merrill Lynch


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools and Learners and I also attend Council meetings.

The Council has a remit to provide advice to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families about strategy and measures to achieve world-class education performance for all children and young people from birth to age 19.

The Council members will act as advocates and champions to transform expectations and aspirations for the education system, and to rally the teaching profession, businesses, the third sector, universities and colleges, schools and parents to raise standards in schools year on year.

The Council will be a standing body with priorities, terms of reference and membership to be reviewed by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State every year.

Parents: Taxation

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what representations he has made to HM Treasury on changing the tax system to support families; and if he will make a statement. [149142]

Kevin Brennan: The Government have in place a range of policies to support families, however I can confirm that no representations have been made at the current time to HM Treasury with regard to changing the tax system in relation to the Department's policies for families.

Primary Education: Capital Investment

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the total capital spending on (a) primary and (b) secondary schools was in each year since 1996-97 in real terms; what the planned real-term figures are for each year to 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [149967]

Jim Knight: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 118W.

Pupil Exclusions

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many fixed period exclusions were made in each year since 1994-95,
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broken down by local education authority (LEA); and what proportion of children were on fixed period exclusions in each LEA in the latest year for which figures are available; [150804]

(2) how many (a) permanent and (b) temporary exclusions there were in each (i) government region and (ii) local education authority in each of the last five years. [151176]

Jim Knight: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone) on 23 July 2007, Official Report, column. 871W.

Pupil Exclusions: Greater London

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many exclusions per pupil from schools there were in each London borough in each year since 1997. [150377]

Jim Knight: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone) on 23 July 2007, Official Report, column 871W.

School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much the Government spent on supplying free fruit and vegetables in school in each year since 1996-97; what assessment has been carried out on the effectiveness of the scheme; and if he will make a statement. [152301]

Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

The Lottery provided £16 million towards the original pilots of the National School Fruit Scheme (NSFS) between 2000 and 2002. Lottery funding also provided £42 million to support scaling up of the original pilots across five government regions between 2002 and 2004. The Department spent £0.75 million in 2001-02 and £0.3 million in 2002-03 on administering and evaluating the NSFS pilots. The national rollout to all local education authority infant, primary and special schools across England of the scheme was completed at the end of 2004 and in the year 2004-05, the Department spent £28.5 million on the Scheme.

From April 2005, the Department has fully funded the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS). The cost of the Scheme in 2005-06 was £37.83 and £36.77 million in 2006-07. As the Scheme has developed, we have been able to achieve efficiencies in its overall administration and the supply and distribution of the fruit and vegetables which has resulted in spending on the scheme reducing over the last year.

An initial evaluation of the SFVS was carried out in November 2004. At that stage, the children who participated in the evaluation had only been receiving free fruit and vegetables since June 2004. The results provided a useful insight into the initial impact of the Scheme but it was recognised that further work would need to be undertaken to measure the impact of the Scheme over a longer period. In 2006, we commissioned a further evaluation of the Scheme and the report will be published shortly.


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School Meals

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in each local authority area have no on-site facilities for producing hot school lunches; [149105]

(2) what information his Department collects on the (a) quality, (b) availability and (c) take-up of school lunches; and if he will make a statement; [149106]

(3) whether all English schools meet the food-based and nutrient standards for lunch and non-lunch food. [149119]

Kevin Brennan: The Department does not collect data on how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in (i) England and (ii) each local authority area have no on-site facilities for producing hot school lunches. However, the School Food Trust (SFT) estimate that approximately 20 per cent. of primary schools and 0.2 per cent. of secondary schools have no facilities for food preparation or regeneration.

Figures from the School Food Trust’s 2006 annual survey of school meals take-up in England showed that take-up of school meals in 2005-06 was 42.3 per cent. in primary schools and 42.7 per cent. in secondary schools. Findings from the 2007 survey will be available in August.

The Department does not collect data on the (a) quality, (b) availability (c) take-up of school lunches. However, the schools’ census collects information on the number of pupils known to be eligible for free school lunches, and of those, the number of pupils who take up this entitlement. Provisional data at January 2007 reports that 659,100 (15.9 per cent.) of pupils in maintained nursery and primary schools and 429,930 (13.1 per cent.) of pupils in maintained secondary schools were known to be eligible for free school lunches with 544,340 (13.1 per cent.) pupils in nursery and primary schools and 314,680 (9.6 per cent.) pupils in secondary schools taking up their entitlement.

All schools in England are currently required to meet interim food-based standards for school lunches and will be required to meet food-based standards for other school food and drink from September 2007. They will also be required to meet nutrient-based standards for school lunches in primary schools from September 2008 and secondary schools from 2009.

Young People: Unemployed

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of 17-year-olds in England are not in education, employment or training. [150697]

Beverley Hughes: The figures provided in the table are for individuals at academic age 17(1) who were not in employment, education or training (NEET) in 2006.


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Total NEET Percentage NEET of the population 17 year old population

2006 (provisional)

62,700

9.5

659,500


These figures are available in the Statistical First Release published by the Department in SFR 22/2007, please see the following web link:


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