Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what freedom (a) academies and (b) other maintained schools have to set head teacher pay; what local authority approval over pay levels is required; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Academies are independent schools. One of their key features is the freedom to be innovative in the way they reward and retain staff, including their principals. However, we know that many academies base their pay and conditions on the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), which governs the pay of teachers and heads at maintained schools.
Under the STPCD, heads at maintained schools must be paid on a seven-point range on the leadership group spine, but there are a number of flexibilities as to the basis for determining the range. Heads may also receive recruitment and retention incentives and benefits. Pay decisions are the responsibility of the governing body in all maintained schools with delegated budgets, and no local authority approval of decisions is required.
Jim Knight: This Department is committed to supporting equality and diversity through the National Curriculum. The revised secondary curriculum for history, to be taught from September 2008, now includes compulsory study of the "British Empire and its impact on different people in Britain and overseas, pre-colonial civilisations, the nature and effects of the slave trade, and resistance and decolonisation". To mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade a new resource pack for teachers was developed by the Understanding Slavery Initiative as a key element of a national competition for schools, funded by the Government. In addition, the new Citizenship curriculum, aligned with the history curriculum, covers "Living together in Modern Britain", including themes on immigration, the Commonwealth, and links to the study of the British Empire in history. In line with the recommendations of Sir Keith Ajegbos review of diversity, the new citizenship curriculum will ensure young people will develop a historical understanding of issues that have shaped contemporary life in the UK and the values we share.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what estimate he has made of levels of literacy amongst school children in (a) England, (b) Teesside and (c) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each of the last 10 years; 
Jim Knight: There have been significant improvements in the standards of literacy in primary schools. This year 80 per cent. of pupils achieved the target level 4 and above in English, an increase of 17 percentage points compared to 1997.
We have a strong platform for securing further improvements. From this autumn every primary school
is using the renewed primary framework which puts phonics at the heart of the teaching of reading. We are also introducing nationally the Every Child A Reader (ECAR) programme. By 2011 this programme will provide 30,000 six-year-olds who have difficulty reading with intensive one-to-one tuition each year.
We are also developing a new programme of intensive support for writing in primary schoolsEvery Child a Writerto ensure that every teacher uses the best teaching methods, including one-to-one coaching, in areas of writing which primary children find hardest to master.
The time series for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland are shown in the following table below, but data are not yet available for 2007. The figures for Teeside are not published and therefore cannot be provided except at disproportionate costs. For England, comprehensive figures for all key stages with time series are published in the Statistical First Releases available in the House of Commons Library.
|Key stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 results by Parliamentary constituency of school: 1997-2006 Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
|(1) Figures for 5+A*-C including English and maths not available from 1998 to 2004
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what discussions Stroud district council has had with (a) Gloucestershire city council and (b) his Department on a proposal to open a new primary school at Hunts Grove. 
Jim Knight: The Department has not had any discussions with Stroud district council about proposals to establish a new primary school at Hunts Grove. It would be for Gloucestershire county council to confirm whether they have had such discussions with the district council.
The normal route by which a new school can be established is for a local authority (LA) to run a competition, which enables a range of providers to put forward proposals for the new school. The process involves six statutory stages: Consultation; Published Notice Inviting Bids; Published Notice Summarising Bids; Representations; Decision; and Implementation. Our guidance on establishing new schools requires the LA to inform the Department when it begins the consultation stage. We have not been informed that Gloucestershire LA is consulting on plans for a new school in Hunts Grove.
Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of parents did not receive their first choice of primary school for their children in the Newcastle local education authority area in the last period for which figures are available. 
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) when his Department commissioned the report on the Integrated Childrens System: An Evaluation of the Practice, Process and Consequences of the ICS in CSSRs; 
(2) when he plans to publish the report commissioned by his Department on the Integrated Childrens System: An Evaluation of the Practice, Process and Consequences of the ICS in CSSRs; and when his Department received the report. 
Kevin Brennan [holding answer 5 December 2007]: The study was commissioned in June 2004. The first draft of the report was received in September 2006. A summary of the key findings from the research is being prepared for publication on the Departments website in early 2008.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many fixed period exclusions there were of boys in each local authority aged (a) 12, (b) 13, (c) 14 and (d) 15 years in each year from 2001-02 to 2007-08; what proportion of the total school population this represented in each year; and if he will make a statement. 
1. This covers funding through the Dedicated Schools Grants (DSG).
2. This figure does not represent the totality of education funding allocated in that year. There are other grants that support the schools budget whose allocations have not yet been finalisedthese are not included in the provided DSG figure.