Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of how long it will take for one million children to benefit from the gifted and talented programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The national gifted and talented programme is designed to meet the needs of all children and young people identified as gifted and talented by their schools. Currently some 91 per cent. of secondary schools and 65 per cent. of primary schools are identifying about 733,000 gifted and talented learners. We want all schools to identify their gifted and talented pupils now, so giving a national population of around one million. We want all to join the new Young Gifted and Talented Learner Academy (YG&T). Every school should already have access to an identified leading teacher for gifted and talented, a lead professional responsible for securing high quality personalised learning and support.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of head teachers in England were within (a) one year, (b) two years, (c) three years, (d) five years and (e) 10 years of normal pension age at the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The normal pension age (NPA) of teachers who entered service before 1 January 2007 is 60. Entrants to the profession from that date have a NPA of 65. NPA is the age at which members of the Teachers Pension Scheme can retire without any actuarial reduction to their pension benefits.
The following table provides the percentage of full-time head teachers in service in the maintained schools sector in England within one year, two years, three years, five years and 10 years of the NPA 60, in March 2005, the latest information available.
|Full-time head teachers in maintained sector schools in England, percentage in service by number of years before the normal pension age (60), March 2006 (provisional)
|Years before NPA
|Percentage of head teachers( 1)
|(1) Percentages are cumulative.
Reforms of the Teachers Pension Scheme that were introduced in January 2007and which include a NPA of 65 for new entrantsincluded new provisions that are specifically aimed at encouraging teachers to extend their working lives. These new provisions will provide a real and attractive alternative to teachers traditional approach to retirement.
Database of Teacher Records
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the most recent vacancy rates were for (a) head teachers and (b) teachers in each local authority area; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The following table provides local authority maintained schools regular full-time teacher and head teacher vacancy rates in each local authority area, in January 2007. Rates for individual local authorities, particularly for head teachers, are based on small numbers and may vary considerably from year to year.
|Full-time regular teachers and head teacher vacancy rates( 1) in local authority maintained schools by, local authority and Government office region in England: January 2007
|Local authority maintained full-time vacancy rates( 2)
|Teacher vacancy rate (percentage)
|Head teacher vacancy rate (percentage)
|(1) Vacancies as a percentage of teachers in post i.e. full-time regular teachers in (or on secondment from) maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools, plus full-time regular divided service, peripatetic, advisory and miscellaneous teachers.
(2) 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.
Totals may not appear to equal the sum of the component parts because of rounding.