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Private Education: Assessments

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what proportion of English private schools have dropped the use of tests at key stages one, two, three and four; and if he will make a statement; [161036]

(2) what the average number of GCSEs taken by each pupil in English schools was in each year since 1987; and if he will make a statement. [161068]

Jim Knight: The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Private Education: Standards

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of children in private schools in England achieved an A or A* grade in (a) GCSEs, (b) AS levels and (c) A levels in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [161037]

Jim Knight: In 2007, 82.2 per cent. of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in independent schools achieved at least one A or A* grade at GCSE. The proportion of 16 to 18-year-olds who sat GCE A-levels in 2007 in independent schools who achieved at least one A grade was 65 per cent. The figure for AS-levels is 46 per cent.

These figures are provisional and are likely to change as a result of the Achievement and Attainment Tables checking process.

Pupil Exclusions

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many serious case reviews were conducted in each London constituency in each year since 2000; [159879]

(2) how many serious case reviews were conducted in each year since 2000. [159880]

Kevin Brennan: The Commission for Social Care Inspection, which until April this year was responsible for inspecting and monitoring local authority children’ social care, entered on a database information notified by local authorities about cases subject to a serious case review (SCR). As at March 2007, the following figures are given on the database for cases where a SCR has been confirmed (with the SCR being completed or under way):

SCRs (ongoing or completed) Of which : notified by London authorities

2000

35

0

2001

45

0

2002

75

17

2003

96

12

2004

88

13

2005

73

10

2006

55

1


It should be noted that, particularly for the later years, the figures may not yet reflect all SCRs because ongoing cases may not have been recorded prior to March 2007. Figures for London are the sum of entries on the database recorded against local authorities within London for each year.

Pupils: Walking

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government have taken to encourage children and their families to walk to and from school, where possible, since 1997. [160761]

Jim Knight: In 2003 the Departments for Transport (DfT) and for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) established the joint Travelling to School Initiative to encourage more sustainable travel to school, thereby improving child health and activity levels and reducing congestion and pollution caused by the number of cars on the school run. The primary tool in helping schools achieve a reduction in car travel is the development of a School Travel Plan (STP). This helps to identify specific measures which could reduce the number of car journeys and promote and encourage more walking and cycling to school, or the use of public transport for longer journeys.

In September 2003 the Departments published ‘Travelling to School: An action plan’ and ‘Travelling to
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school: a good practice guide’. These outline how schools and local authorities can increase the number of children travelling to school on foot or by other sustainable methods.

The Government (DfT and DCSF) are providing a total of over £100 million during 2004-08 to help support the development of STPs. This includes £7.5 million each year for local authority based School Travel Advisers who help schools carry out surveys and prepare plans.

DCSF also allocates capital funding to help those schools upgrade their sustainable travel facilities. Between 2004 and 2007 more than 14,000 schools have developed STPs and been allocated more than £77 million to invest on capital items which promote or enable sustainable travel. We want every school to have a STP by 2010.

In addition to STPs schools have, for the first time in 2007, been able to apply for DfT funding to establish Walking Buses. 3,231 primary schools have received funding under this scheme in 2007-08 to enable them to set up Walking Buses to encourage children to walk to school.

Schools: Finance

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) if he will amend the methodology for the Basic Needs Allocation to take into account in its funding formula increases in the number of school places required in a locality due to the establishment of new communities; [161320]

(2) if he will take steps to ensure that local authorities experiencing an increase in the number of school places required in one locality offset by a fall in the number of places required in another locality receive adequate funding under the Basic Needs Allocation to allow for the additional places required in the locality experiencing an increase. [161322]

Jim Knight: The Department supports local authorities’ responsibilities to provide sufficient pupil places through our strategic capital programmes and the local formulaic programmes. The formulaic allocations take account of each local authority's pupil forecasts, on a district basis where local authorities have them, and taken together allow authorities to respond to the need in their area.

In addition, in each spending review period, the Department operates the Basic Need Safety Valve which is a mechanism whereby an authority can apply for additional funding to meet the needs arising from exceptional growth where the mainstream allocation is insufficient.

Schools: Sutton

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what (a) central and (b) local government funding was available to schools in the London Borough of Sutton in (i) 2004-05 and (ii) 2006-07; and how much funding was passed on to schools in each case. [160843]

Jim Knight: In 2004-05 the Schools Formula Funding Share for Sutton local authority was £100 million and budgeted revenue schools grants (central Government funding) were £9 million—a total of £109
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million. This funding covers various central services as well as funding delegated to schools. In 2004-05 Sutton local authority budgeted to pass £101.6 million directly to schools.

In 2006-07 the funding system for schools had changed. Sutton local authority had a dedicated schools grant of £107.4 million and budgeted revenue schools grants of £9.7 million—a total of £116.1 million. £120.7 million was budgeted to be passed directly to schools.

Science: Curriculum

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families for what reasons science is designated a compulsory subject for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 tests; and if he will make a statement. [161102]

Jim Knight: The focus on English, mathematics and science in the curriculum and assessment at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 reflects the importance of securing a firm grounding in these subjects to the future prospects of young people in education and the world of work.

Science helps pupils to explore the world around them and understand many things that have relevance to daily life. It is a key element of preparation for life in modern society and is essential to our future economic prosperity.

Scouts and Guides: Shrewsbury

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will meet scout leaders of Monkmoor Scouts in Shrewsbury to discuss a grant for a new scout hut. [159446]

Ed Balls: Due to diary commitments I am unable to meet with the scout leaders at Monkmoor Scouts. Officials in my Department will contact the hon. Member to set up a meeting in the near future.

Secondary Education: Class Sizes

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of year 7 pupils in each English local authority area in each of the next 10 years. [160093]


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Jim Knight: Estimates for the number of year 7 pupils in each English local authority over the next 10 years are not available centrally. The following table shows the estimated number of year 7 pupils in full-time education in schools in England:

Projected numbers of year 7 pupils (thousand)( 1) in maintained schools, academies and city technologies
At January aged 11 at previous 31 August All year 7 pupils

2008

566

2009

576

2010

561

2011

555

(1) Full-time equivalents, counting each part-time pupil as 0.5. The numbers have been rounded to the nearest thousand.
Notes:
1. Pupil numbers in maintained schools includes those in middle, secondary, maintained special schools and maintained Pupil Referral Units.
2. Projections are based on a target of 200 academies by 2011.
3. Projections use 2006 School Census Data and are being updated in November 2007.

Projections are not shown beyond 2011 because of the increasing degree of uncertainty over time.

Shrewsbury Sixth Form College

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) if he will respond to the concerns of teachers of Shrewsbury Sixth Form College on proposals to relocate their college to another part of Shrewsbury; [159444]

(2) if he will meet the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham to discuss the proposals to co-locate Shrewsbury Sixth Form College with Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology College. [159445]

Bill Rammell: I have been asked to reply.

I met with a delegation from Shrewsbury Sixth Form College (SSFC) on 16 July 2007, and listened to the concerns expressed about the proposed co-location of SSFC with Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology College (SCAT).

The decision of the colleges to co-locate is entirely a matter for the respective governing bodies. I understand that all options have been carefully appraised, and that the decision to co-locate will allow learners to access world-class facilities and a broader curriculum offer than they could by staying on the current site.

I understand that numerous consultation meetings have been held with various stakeholder groups over the past three years, including the ‘Let’s Talk’ public consultation held on the 4 October 2006, and the public meeting held on 12 January 2007.

Special Educational Needs Statements

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his estimate is of the proportion of children with a statement of educational needs as a result of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. [161107]

Jim Knight: Figures from the School Census show that in January 2007 14.3 per cent. of those pupils with a statement of SEN in maintained primary and secondary schools and all special schools in England
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(excluding academies) had social, emotional or behavioural difficulties as their primary need.

Specialised Diplomas

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will list each course diploma and examination available in year 11 which was considered as having a value of (a) one, (b) two, (c) three and (d) four GCSEs in each year since 2003; what courses, diplomas and examinations will be available in each year until 2010; and if he will make a statement. [161210]

Jim Knight: A comprehensive and accurate answer can be provided only at disproportionate cost. I will write to the hon. Member with as much information as possible in due course.

Teachers: Mathematics

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to increase the numbers of qualified teachers in mathematics and science subjects. [161144]

Jim Knight: The Government are committed to improving the supply of well-qualified teachers of mathematics and science and make financial incentives available to encourage people to train as teachers of these subjects. In mathematics and science we offer a training bursary of £9,000 to students taking a postgraduate certificate of education (PGCE) and, after successful completion of induction, a golden hello of £5,000.

We fund the Training and Development Agency for Schools to advertise for recruitment to particular shortage subjects, to provide help and advice telephone lines to potential teacher trainees, and to run pre-training enhancement courses in mathematics, physics and chemistry to enable people without a degree in the subject, but with post-A-level knowledge, to train as specialist teachers in these subjects. There are premia for ITT providers who refer mathematics and science candidates to these courses and who accept them onto the Graduate Teacher Programme.

We have extended postgraduate teacher training courses to enable providers to offer significant chemistry, physics and mathematics subject knowledge training. The expansion of Teach First planned up to 2009/10 also gives high class graduates the opportunity to teach shortage subjects in challenging schools.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools is piloting courses to retrain serving teachers as specialist teachers of mathematics, physics or chemistry. The Secretary of State has just announced that, following a recommendation by the School Teachers' Review Body, a £5,000 incentive will be paid to teachers who successfully complete such a course.


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