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13 Nov 2007 : Column 172Wcontinued
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time teacher vacancies there were in local authority maintained (i) primary, (ii) middle and (iii) upper schools in Suffolk in each of the last five years. 
Jim Knight: Information on teacher vacancies is available for nursery/primary and secondary Schools. Middle schools are included within both these two phases, as deemed, and upper schools within the secondary figures but neither group can be identified separately.
The following table provides the number of full-time and part-time vacancies in local authority maintained nursery/primary and secondary schools in Suffolk local authority and England in each January since 2003.
|Full-time( 1) and part-time vacancy( 2) numbers in local authority maintained nursery/primary and secondary schools in Suffolk local authority and England, in January 2003 to 2007|
|Nursery and primary||Secondary|
|(1) Advertised vacancies for full-time permanent appointments (or appointments of at least one terms duration). Includes vacancies being filled on a temporary basis of less than one term.|
(2) Part time vacancies were not collected prior to 2004.
DCSF Annual 618g Survey
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many teachers working in English schools reside in Wales. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 12 November 2007]: The information requested is not collected centrally.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to reduce the levels of truancy in local education authority areas in Hampshire; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: The Government are focused on driving down all unnecessary absence so that pupils get their full entitlement to education. I have asked every local authority to aim to reduce absence in all their schools to below 2002/03 average levels for similar schools; and to ensure that pupils who miss a fifth or more of the school year are brought back into education. We have targeted authorities such as Portsmouth and Hampshire for extra support to reduce persistent absence.
The support given to pupils and their families is focused on their individual circumstances and needs using multi-agency approaches, such as Targeted Youth Support and support for pupils with longer term and recurring illnesses, to address the underlying causes of the absence and, where appropriate, sanctions such as penalty notices and prosecutions.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which Minister in his Department is responsible for implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 
Jim Knight: The Minister for Children, Young People and Families, Beverley Hughes, is the Minister with responsibility for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make a statement on the future provision of voluntary aided faith primary schools. 
Jim Knight: The Government are committed to a diverse system of schools driven by, and responsive to, parental needs and aspirations. We do not have targets for numbers of new faith schools, but we remain committed to supporting the establishment of new schools by a range of providers, including faith organisations, where local consultation has shown that this is what parents and the community want, and where this greater diversity will help to raise standards.
School place planning is the statutory responsibility of each local authority. The Secretary of State plays no part in this process.
If an authority wishes to make any changes to voluntary school provision they must work with the local diocese, and any other relevant school providers in the area, and publish statutory proposals.
Where the need for a new school has been identified, faith providers may enter their own proposals for a new voluntary aided school in response to a competition held by the local authority. Providers may also publish their own proposals to establish a new voluntary aided school, with the Secretary of State's consent, outside of a competition.
Decisions on statutory proposals are normally made by local authorities, except for proposals for a new school where the local authority is the proposer or has a role in the trust of a proposed trust school. Other proposals may be decided by the schools adjudicator if
the local authority fails to decide proposals within two months or following an appeal by the bodies for which there is explicit provision in the relevant legislation.
When taking decisions on statutory proposals the local authority and schools adjudicator must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. This guidance sets out a range of factors that must be considered including a requirement to consider the impact on the balance of denominational provision when deciding proposals to close a school with a religious character.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of (a) 11-year-olds, (b) 13-year-olds and (c) 16-year-olds in London who were functionally illiterate in each of the last 12 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Improving standards of literacy is one of the Governments top priorities. Since 1997 the results achieved by 11-year-olds and 14-year-olds as measured by National Curriculum tests in English have risen dramatically. Provisional data for 2007 shows that 80 per cent. of 11-year-olds in England reached the expected level or above, an increase of 17 percentage points since 1997; and 74 per cent. of 14-year-olds reached the expected level or above, an increase of 17 percentage points since 1997.
We judge childrens attainment at age 11, 14 and 16 through Key Stage tests and GCSEs. The tables show the proportion of pupils in London achieving the expected level for their age, but failing to meet the expected levels is not equivalent to functional illiteracy.
The table shows the proportion of pupils in London achieving the expected level (level 4) or above in Key Stage 2 English tests for each year since 1998(1.)
(1) Local government boundary changes mean that comparisons before 1998 are not valid.
|Proportion of pupils|
At age 11 (the end of Key Stage 2) the expected level of achievement is level 4. Provisional figures show that while 79 per cent. of 11-year-olds achieved at least level 4 in English in 2007, 93 per cent. achieved at least level 3. That means they can read a range of texts accurately and independently; and their writing is organised, legible and clear. Level 4 is a much more demanding standardchildren achieving level 4 have literacy skills that mean they can access complex forms of language and complex ideas. They can use inferences and deduction and can locate and use ideas and information. Their writing in a range of forms is
lively and thoughtful. Their handwriting style is fluent, joined and legible. They use full stops, capital letters and question marks accurately and can use punctuation within a sentence. Of the 7 per cent. of children who do not achieve either level 3 or level 4, many have special and in some cases severe educational needs.
The following table shows the proportion of pupils in London achieving the expected level (level 5) or above in Key Stage 3 English tests for each year since 1998:
|Proportion of pupils|
At age 14 (the end of Key Stage 3) the expected level of achievement is level 5. Pupils achieving level 5 are able to speak in ways which suit different situations. They show understanding of the different things they are reading and can explain how writers influence readers. They can write in different ways that are interesting to the reader, using different sentence structures, putting writing in paragraphs and using punctuation accurately.
The following table shows the proportion of pupils in London achieving five or more grades A*-C or equivalent, including GCSE English and mathematics for each year since 1998:
|Proportion of pupils|
The provisional figures for 2007 show that 60 per cent. of pupils in England achieved at least Grade C in GCSE English. We do not publish disaggregated figures for GCSE subjects at local authority level.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many 16 and 17 year olds are not at school, attending a full-time training course or in work. 
Jim Knight: The following tables show participation in education, training and employment for 16 and 17-year-olds in 2006 (proportions and numbers).
|Participation in education and training of 16 and 17-year-oldsmales and females, England, end of calendar year 2006|
|16||17||16 and 17 together|
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