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3 Dec 2007 : Column 970W—continued


Schools: Absenteeism

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the pupil absence rate during the second half of the summer term 2007; when the decision was taken not to collect school absence data for the second half of the summer term; and if he will make a statement. [168197]

Kevin Brennan: The Department has collected pupil attendance data up to the first half of the summer term since 1993-94. That arrangement continues through the termly school census. Data in the second half of this term are unrepresentative of the year as a whole, given the study leave of many Year 11 pupils (and further absences following their exams).

To estimate the pupil absence rate during this period would require an extension to the scope of the school census.

Schools: Admissions

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what financial provision is made for schools which accept new pupils outside the normal admissions timetable and after budget allocations have been made; and what (a) financial and (b) other assistance is provided to schools for such pupils whose first language is not English. [166913]

Jim Knight: At the beginning of the financial year, local authorities are required to provide to the Governors of a school a budget based upon the number of pupils on roll at the School Census in the previous January. In order to provide stability to schools, that budget may not be amended after the start of the financial year and schools are therefore required to organise within that budget for the whole year, taking into consideration admission numbers. No adjustments may be made, regardless of whether a pupil leaves or joins and there may be turnover in both directions. Local authorities may, however, choose to include within their formula a factor for schools with significantly rising rolls. This is likely to be based upon an estimate of numbers where it is anticipated there will be a significant influx of pupils arriving after the School Census is taken the previous January, or a factor which provides additional funds in the following financial year.

The Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG) gives ring-fenced funding for minority ethnic pupils and pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL). The grant is approx £179 million in 2007-08, rising to £206 million in 2011. Longstanding guidance and funding is in place to support schools in teaching English as an additional language. Furthermore, the New Arrivals Excellence Programme (NAEP), launched in July 2007 gives support, advice, guidance and training to schools in offering the best provision for learning EAL. Selected local authorities with schools that have little experience of integrating children who are new arrivals will have access to outreach support from a dedicated Regional Adviser. This will ensure they can access the curriculum as quickly as possible.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has recently announced an additional Exceptional Circumstances Grant to local authorities with significant extra pressures on their schools budgets from new arrivals, between January and the start of the school-year. This will be on a case-by-case basis when there is a significant increase in pupil numbers in a local authority; or where the proportion of EAL pupils significantly increases in a local authority.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effect of inward migration on schools in Peterborough constituency over the last 10 years. [167563]

Jim Knight: Local authorities are responsible for balancing the demand and supply of school places in their area. They have a duty to ensure there are sufficient school places, the needs of the local community are served and good quality education is provided in a cost-effective way.

The Department collects information from each local authority on the number of school places and the
3 Dec 2007 : Column 971W
number of pupils on roll via an annual survey. Local authorities also provide area-wide forecasts of pupil numbers at primary and secondary levels. The earliest data available are for 2003 and the most recent are for 2007.

The following table shows the number of school places, pupil numbers and the level of surplus places in Peterborough for the past five years. The local authority's forecasts of pupil numbers for the next five years (primary) and seven years (secondary) do not show a significant increase in pupil numbers.

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

Primary

Capacity(1)

18,014

17,553

17,248

17,267

17,374

NOR(2)

15,339

15,295

15,176

15,064

15,065

Surplus(3)

2,756

2,299

2,276

2,257

2,309

Secondary

Capacity(1)

14,878

14,875

14,875

15,313

15,472

NOR(2)

12,980

12,838

12,925

13,183

13,187

Surplus(3)

1,898

2,037

1,958

2,210

2,285

(1) Capacity is the number of school places as at January. (2) NOR relates to the number of pupils on role as at January. (3 )Surplus relates to the difference between the capacity of a school and the number of pupils on roll.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of schools in England have admissions criteria based on (a) ability, (b) aptitude and (c) faith; and if he will make a statement. [168198]

Jim Knight: There are 164 schools designated as grammar schools under section 104 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 which select
3 Dec 2007 : Column 972W
substantially all of their pupils by ability, representing 4.9 per cent. of all secondary schools. In addition, some 40 schools which did so before 1997 select a proportion of their pupils by ability, or 1.25 per cent. of secondary schools.

The Department does not collect data on selection by aptitude.

Schools designated as having a religious character under section 69 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 may give priority, when oversubscribed, to children on the basis that they are members of or practise their faith. This use of oversubscription criteria is tightly regulated by the Admission Code. We know that practices vary widely and that a number of schools with a religious character do not give priority on the basis of faith and others offer a proportion of places to children without reference to faith. We do not collect this information centrally and have no plans to do so.

Schools: Arson

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the cost of arson in schools in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) region and (b) local education authority. [169046]

Mr. Dhanda: I have been asked to reply.

The latest data available from my Department are for the year 2005. The following tables shows the cost of arson in schools by English region and by fire and rescue authority using my Department's most recent economic costs of fire model (2004) to estimate the costs of fire in schools for the period 2001-05. My Department does not collect data on arson by local education authority.

£
Region( 1) 2001( 1) 2002( 1) 2003( 1) 2004( 1) 2005

East

1,864,800

1,531,800

2,164,500

2,297,700

1,798,200

East Midlands

1,665,000

1,698,300

1,831,500

2,031,300

832,500

London

2,997,000

732,600

1,798,200

1,798,200

1,198,800

North-east

1,731,600

2,897,100

1,265,400

965,700

865,800

North-west

6,826,500

5,094,900

5,494,500

5,328,000

3,996,000

South-east

3,230,100

2,331,000

3,330,000

3,762,900

2,097,900

South-west

2,364,300

1,465,200

1,798,200

1,065,600

732,600

West Midlands

2,630,700

2,164,500

2,763,900

2,231,100

2,364,300

Yorkshire and Humberside

5,161,500

4,162,500

4,662,000

3,096,900

2,331,000

(1) Cost of arson based on average cost of school fire of £33,000.


3 Dec 2007 : Column 973W

3 Dec 2007 : Column 974W
£
Fire and rescue authority( 1) 2001( 1) 2002( 1) 2003( 1) 2004( 1) 2005

Avon

566,100

666,000

965,700

399,600

233,100

Bedfordshire

333,000

566,100

399,600

266,400

66,600

Berkshire

66,600

399,600

266,400

0

133,200

Buckinghamshire

299,700

0

166,500

632,700

333,000

Cambridgeshire

0

133,200

499,500

399,600

233,100

Cheshire

333,000

566,100

366,300

166,500

333,000

Cleveland

166,500

1,298,700

166,500

33,300

99,900

Cornwall

0

0

199,800

233,100

33,300

Cumbria

233,100

99,900

166,500

233,100

133,200

Derbyshire

466,200

466,200

599,400

266,400

233,100

Devon

699,300

333,000

199,800

99,900

99,900

Dorset

432,900

0

133,200

99,900

166,500

Durham

333,000

432,900

166,500

166,500

199,800

East Sussex

532,800

0

299,700

765,900

299,700

Essex

499,500

166,500

732,600

399,600

466,200

Gloucestershire

166,500

166,500

299,700

0

0

Greater London

2,997,000

732,600

1,798,200

1,798,200

1,198,800

Greater Manchester

3,363,300

2,597,400

2,530,800

2,164,500

1,631,700

Hampshire

799,200

466,200

832,500

765,900

199,800

Hereford and Worcester

166,500

133,200

166,500

299,700

233,100

Hertfordshire

266,400

499,500

199,800

333,000

266,400

Humberside

1,065,600

865,800

1,431,900

832,500

432,900

Isle of Wight

0

0

0

0

33,300

Isles of Scilly

0

0

0

0

0

Kent

566,100

499,500

566,100

299,700

366,300

Lancashire

1,398,600

899,100

965,700

1,298,700

932,400

Leicestershire

699,300

532,800

632,700

532,800

233,100

Lincolnshire

0

66,600

133,200

233,100

33,300

Merseyside

1,498,500

932,400

1,465,200

1,465,200

965,700

Norfolk

133,200

133,200

166,500

133,200

233,100

North Yorkshire

166,500

166,500

166,500

199,800

266,400

Northamptonshire

366,300

33,300

166,500

466,200

466,200

Northumberland

166,500

0

266,400

0

66,600

Nottinghamshire

499,500

632,700

466,200

999,000

333,000

Oxfordshire

366,300

199,800

399,600

299,700

66,600

Shropshire

0

0

299,700

566,100

166,500

Somerset

499,500

299,700

0

233,100

199,800

South Yorkshire

1,431,900

932,400

799,200

666,000

599,400

Staffordshire

632,700

299,700

432,900

199,800

499,500

Suffolk

266,400

0

0

299,700

66,600

Surrey

266,400

0

466,200

233,100

199,800

Tyne and Wear

1,065,600

1,165,500

666,000

765,900

499,500

Warwickshire

166,500

333,000

266,400

233,100

233,100

West Midlands

1,665,000

1,398,600

1,598,400

932,400

1,232,100

West Sussex

0

732,600

333,000

765,900

299,700

West Yorkshire

2,497,500

2,197,800

2,264,400

1,398,600

1,032,300

Wiltshire

333,000

33,300

0

0

166,500

(1) Cost of arson based on average cost of school fire of £33,000.

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