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To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of students in each London borough were unable to secure
a secondary school place within their borough of residence in each of the previous five years. 
Jim Knight: We do not currently hold those data. However, we are consulting on draft regulations that propose to require local authorities to submit data on secondary preferences in future, including the number of children being offered a school place within their authority area. The consultation document is available on the DCSF website at:
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what his Departments expectation is of the level of take-up of (a) vocational and (b) academic diplomas in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what his latest estimate is of the proportion of the school population in each age cohort who will be studying (a) GCSEs, (b) A-levels, (c) academic diplomas and (d) vocational diplomas in each year from 2008 to 2015; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Government do not recognise the distinction between vocational and academic Diplomas. All 14-19 Diplomas will include theoretical and applied elements and are designed to move the country on from the sterile debates of the past about the academic vocational divide.
Figures put forward by the successful consortia applying through the first Gateway Process indicate that there will be approximately 39,000 places available for learners on the Phase 1 five new 14-19 Diplomas from September 2008. We anticipate that this will increase so that around 140,000 young people will be engaged in one of the first 10 Diploma lines from September 2009. These are the first steps on a phased roll-out of the new Diplomas. All 17 Diplomas will be available to young people from 2011. Projections of study broken down by other type of qualification are not available.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what additional funding will be provided to each local authority area for the new diploma programmes in each year from 2006-07 to 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We provided through dedicated schools grant an increase of £40 million in 2006-07 and a further £70 million in 2007-08, a total of £110 million, to support more practical learning options at key stage 4. That funding is now part of the DSG baseline going forward and we expect local authorities to utilise it to support the roll out of diplomas. We will announce allocations for 2008/09 of specific formula grant to further support the roll out of diplomas in December: allocations for subsequent years will be announced after we have received the results of the relevant gateway processes.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the extent to which spending on specialist schools has targeted educational disadvantage; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Specialist Schools Programme is a universal offer open to all maintained secondary schools in England which meet the required standard. Over 86 per cent. of schools are now specialist and many are based in and around areas of social deprivation. The Departments CVA research uses detailed data about individual pupils taking into account factors like gender, ethnicity and deprivation and maps pupils prior attainment at primary school on to their eventual results at GCSE level. This allows us to calculate that, on average, individual pupils (regardless of their social background) make good progress at specialist schools. Specialist status is linked to higher results at GCSE whether this is on the 5+A*-C measure, VA or CVA, which is why we continue to invest some £422 million a year in specialist school funding.
Specialist schools benefit from external sponsors, links with their community and an achievement ethos. They are focused on whole-school improvement through their specialism, backed up by challenging targets and partnerships with other schools. By working collaboratively with other schools to share specialist facilities and resources, the effects of specialist school funding are disseminated beyond the individual school.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many Phase (a) 1, (b) 2 and (c) 3 Sure Start centres (i) there are and (ii) are planned in each (A) local education authority and (B) Parliamentary constituency; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: The Government are on track to meet their commitment to deliver a Sure Start Children's Centre for every community in England by 2010, offering integrated services that will improve outcomes for young children, and reduce inequalities between the most disadvantaged and the rest. The following table shows, for each local authority, the number of centres (1) operational as at 9 November 2007 (2) planned for delivery by 2008 and (3) calculated by DCSF as required to reach the remaining children under five in phase 3. The Department does not record a breakdown of centres by constituency.
|Local Authority||(1) Number operational centres (includes phase 1 and phase 2)( 1)||(2) Number phase 2 centres planned for designation by 2008||(3) DCSF calculation on centres required in phase 3|
|(1) A significant number of centres that started development in phase 1 (2004-06) were not designated until the phase 2 period (2006-08). The Department did not make a rigid. distinction for centres in this categoryphase 1 and 2 designation figures are therefore presented as a combined total.|
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