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8 Oct 2007 : Column 410W—continued


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools in special
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measures in each reporting period since 2003 had come from serious weakness or requiring significant improvement categorisation; and if he will make a statement. [150683]

Jim Knight [holding answer 10 September 2007]: The following table shows the number and proportion of schools that have moved from the serious weaknesses and significant improvement categories to special measures. The significant improvement category was introduced on 1 September 2005 as part of the revised Ofsted inspection framework. No schools were newly placed into the serious weaknesses category after this date.

Academic year 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Number of schools placed in special measures from the serious weaknesses category

51

20

9

2

Number of schools removed from the serious weaknesses category (including closures)

215

142

167

106

Percentage of schools removed from the serious weaknesses category placed in special measures

23.0

14.0

5.0

2.0

Number of schools placed in special measures from the significant improvement category

n/a

n/a

n/a

9

Number of schools removed from the significant improvement category (including closures)

n/a

n/a

n/a

276

Percentage of schools removed from the significant improvement category placed in special measures

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.0


The number and proportion of schools moving from the serious weaknesses category to special measures has reduced considerably since 2003. Ofsted have reinspected the majority of schools that were placed in the significant improvement category during 2005-06 and over 90 per cent. have now been judged to be providing a satisfactory standard of education. The trends in the table suggest that local authorities are increasingly able to prevent such schools falling into more serious failure represented by special measures.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which schools in special measures have been in such a category for over two years, broken down by date of special measures declaration. [150684]

Jim Knight: The following table lists the schools that have been in special measures for more than two years. It also shows the schools’ unique reference number, the relevant local authority and the date of the inspection when the school was placed in special measures. The list reflects the position on 1 October 2007.

URN School name Local authority Date of inspection

107228

Usher Street Primary School and Nursery

Bradford

10 July 2003(1)

125272

Thomas Knyvet College (previously Ash Technology College)

Surrey

3 March 2005

107774

Birkdale High School

Kirklees

30 June 2005

117781

Berkeley Junior School

North Lincolnshire

7 July 2005

(1) Re-inspected November 2005

These schools represent only 1.6 per cent. of the schools currently in special measures and 0.02 per cent. of all schools. On average schools are spending less time in this Ofsted category. For example, primary schools are now spending an average of 16 months in special measures compared to 23 months in 1997. The equivalent figures for secondary show a reduction from 28 to 22 months.

Building on this progress, the Department's reforms to tackle failing schools in the Education and Inspections Act 2006 demand radical action from the school and local authority with a clear expectation that schools are turned around rapidly.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his policy is on the relationship between school standards and structural reforms; and if he will make a statement. [154757]

Jim Knight: Raising standards in education and narrowing the attainment gap are key priorities for the Department. Structural reforms, whether through changes in schools governance, partnering schools with
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business, HE or FE stakeholders, or greater collaboration between schools, can have an important role to play in tackling those priorities. Please refer to my reply dated 16 July 2007 PQ 149939, which provides more details about the links between structural reforms and school standards.

Secondary Education: Curriculum

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what consideration was given to the teaching of lessons in (a) child care and (b) parenting skills in the development of the new curriculum for secondary schools. [151512]

Jim Knight [holding answer 24 July 2007]: There has always been scope for including lessons on child care and parenting skills within Personal, Social and Health Education and this remains true in the new curriculum for secondary schools.

For example, discussion of the roles and responsibilities of parents, carers and children in families is included in aspects of both the Personal Well Being and Citizenship programmes of study. In addition, some schools also offer child care and health and social care qualifications to their 14-16 year olds. In 2005-06, 28,816 Key Stage 4 pupils were entered for GCSE examinations in these subjects.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority classifies the new secondary curriculum as (a) outcomes-based and (b) child-centred. [154335]

Jim Knight: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority classifies the new secondary curriculum as being the fundamental body of knowledge, skills and understanding to which every pupil has a statutory entitlement up to age 16.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families where the programmes of study for the new secondary curriculum reject (a) constructivism, (b) whole language teaching and (c) fuzzy maths as stated by the Chief Executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in his speech on the launch of the new secondary curriculum. [154340]

Jim Knight: The new secondary curriculum programmes of study set out the minimum subject content which must be taught to all pupils. No programme of study makes mention of constructivism. No programme of study requires whole language leaching. No programme of study requires the teaching of fuzzy mathematics.

Schools will continue to decide how they organise their curriculum, lessons and timetable to meet the requirements of the national curriculum.

Secondary Education: Science

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what experiments were banned in science lessons in secondary schools in each year since 1997. [153829]


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Jim Knight: The science curriculum programmes of study do not list which experiments can and cannot be taught in the classroom. There is however legislation that restricts the kinds of experiments that can be undertaken. For example, under the Specified Risk Material (Amendment) Regulations 1997 bulls' eyes can only be taken from cattle of six months or younger; and under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 (amended 1992 and 2002), benzene and genuine crude oil are banned nationally. The Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services publishes tables of materials which schools can and cannot use in science, and suggests appropriate alternatives. Further information on this can be accessed on the CLEAPSS website at:

Secondary Education: Teaching Methods

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of children in secondary schools were taught in classes with (a) streaming and (b) setting in each year since 1996-97; and if he will make a statement. [153953]

Jim Knight: This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 6 August 2007:


8 Oct 2007 : Column 415W
September 1996 to August 1997
All (excluding PE)
Total lessons Percentage banded Percentage setted

Year 7

25,307

7

18

Year 8

25,263

8

33

Year 9

25,179

8

40

Year 10

22,758

4

42

Year 7 to 11

35,439

4

38

Total 7 to 11

133,946

6

34


September 1997 to August 1998
All (excluding PE)
Total lessons Percentage banded Percentage setted

Year 7

15,080

1

22

Year 8

15,016

10

35

Year 9

15,434

10

43

Year 10

15,690

5

41

Year 11

16,336

5

41

Total 7 to 11

77,556

8

37


September 1998 to August 1999
All (excluding PE)
Total lessons Percentage banded Percentage setted

Year 7

20,585

5

21

Year 8

20,057

6

38

Year 9

21,739

7

45

Year 10

22,483

4

41

Year 11

22,663

4

42

Year 7 to 11

107,527

5

38


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