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18 Dec 2007 : Column 1282W—continued


Sports: Females

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which sport has the highest rate of participation for females in schools in (a) Staffordshire and (b) England. [173255]

Kevin Brennan: These data have not been collected centrally. The annual School Sport Survey collects data relating to PE and School Sport at a school, rather than pupil level. The 2006-07 survey found that dance was the most widely offered activity in single-sex girls’ schools. No such maintained schools exist in Staffordshire.

Teachers: Public Opinion

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether his Department conducted (a) focus groups and (b) other qualitative or quantitative opinion research of teachers. [173367]

Jim Knight: The Department often commissions research which involves both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Qualitative research may involve collecting data from the school work force using discussion groups, but other methods can be also used such as face to face interviews and lesson observation. Quantitative methods my involve commissioning a survey of teachers or the secondary analysis of existing survey data.

The choice of an appropriate data collection method is dependent on the research aims and the time and budget available to carry out the research project.

Telephone Services

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the suitability of his Department’s call centre automated response systems in meeting the needs of customers; and if he will make a statement. [173100]

Kevin Brennan: The Department’s telephone inquiry line does not operate an automated response system. All callers are put through to an available operator. An answer machine is in operation outside the hours of 9 am to 5 pm.

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what measures are in place to ensure his Department’s customer contact centres are helpful to people who need to deal with a variety of queries in one call. [173101]

Kevin Brennan: The Department’s telephone inquiry line does not operate an automated response system. Customers are put straight through to available operators who are able to deal with a variety of inquiries. Our target is to answer 80 per cent. of the calls without transferring and our performance to date is 88 per cent. Customer satisfaction is monitored by way of an annual survey.

Unemployment

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of children were living in workless households in each region in each quarter since January 1997, broken down by ethnicity. [174725]

Beverley Hughes: It has not proved possible to provide a break-down of the proportion of children of each ethnicity who were living in workless households in each region in each quarter since January 1997. Data from the Labour Force Survey provide very small sample sizes when the data are broken down by both region and ethnicity, leading to figures that may be misleading. Officials are currently investigating ways of overcoming this problem, and I will write to the hon. Member in the near future, if the analysis is feasible.

Historical data at a national level is however readily available. The proportion of children living in workless households stood at 18.4 per cent. in 1997. Since then the overall trend has been falling; in 2006, the proportion of children living in workless households
18 Dec 2007 : Column 1283W
stood at 15.3 per cent. In 2007 the Labour Force Survey moved from spring to calendar quarters (Q2), consequently the 2007 figure of 16 per cent. is not directly comparable with previous years.

Children living in workless households (Great Britain)( 1)
Percentage

1992

18.7

1993

19.1

1994

19.8

1995

19.3

1996

19.3

1997

18.4

1998

18.5

1999

18.0

2000

16.4

2001

16.1

2002

16.7

2003

16.1

2004

15.9

2005

15.7

2006

15.3

2007

16.0


The break-down by ethnicity at a national level in 2006 is as follows (the last complete calendar year for which these data are available).

Proportion of children living in working age workless households in GB
Ethnic group Percentage

White

13.8

Mixed: White and Black Caribbean

34.2

Mixed: White and Black African

15.6

Mixed: White and Asian

13.8

Mixed: Other

20.4

Indian

6.8

Pakistani

25.4

Bangladeshi

42.1

Other Asian

15.8

Black Caribbean

34.9

Black African

26.4

Other Black

12.8

Chinese

4.1

Other

39.5

GB

15.5

(1) Percentage of children aged under 16 in a working-age household where no adult works. A working-age household is a household that includes at least one person of working age (a woman aged between 16 and 59 or a man aged between 16 and 64). Workless individuals are those who are either unemployed (International Labour Organisation definition) or economically inactive (that is, not in employment).
In line with the 2006 Eurostat directive, the Labour Force Survey has shifted away from the use of seasonal data (spring) and instead refers to second quarter (Q2) figures, in order to assess the progress of the Children in Workless Households target. The Q2 data covers the months April to June whereas the previous spring datasets covered the months March to May. Due to the slight difference in the time periods covered by the new datasets there are marginal differences between the seasonal and calendar data. Accordingly, the Labour Force Survey figures quoted may differ from previous versions.
Note:
Figures not adjusted for households with unknown economic activity.
Source:
Labour Force Survey, Spring 2006

18 Dec 2007 : Column 1284W

Voluntary Schools

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many schools in England secured voluntary aided status for the first time within the last five years; [173596]

(2) what criteria he uses to assess applications for new voluntary aided schools. [173597]

Jim Knight [holding answer 13 December 2007]: Since January 2003, 85 new voluntary aided schools have been established. During the same period, 49 maintained schools changed category to become voluntary aided schools.

Proposals to establish new schools, or change category to become voluntary aided, are decided under local decision-making arrangements. Prior to 25 May this year, decisions were taken by the local School Organisation Committee or schools adjudicator. Under the current arrangements, the local authority is the decision maker in most cases, 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. An appeal to the schools adjudicator can be made in specific cases. Decision makers must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State, which sets out the factors that must be considered when deciding proposals. For proposals to establish a new school this includes: the impact of standards and levels of diversity; the need for school places; the demand for the particular type of education the new school will offer; the contribution to community cohesion and a range of other factors.

Voluntary Schools: Religion

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many voluntary aided schools there are whose trustees are faith groups, broken down by faith. [173595]

Jim Knight [holding answer 13 December 2007]: The available information is shown in the table.

The table shows the religious character of voluntary aided schools. The religious character of the trust is the same as that of the school.

Maintained primary and secondary schools( 1) : number of voluntary aided schools by their religious character—January 2007 England
Maintained primary schools Maintained secondary schools

No Religious Character

15

40

Church of England

1,956

137

Roman Catholic

1,696

341

Methodist

2

0

Other Christian Faith(2)

28

22

Jewish

28

9

Muslim

4

3

Sikh

1

1

Other

1

1

Total

3,731

554

(1) Includes middle schools as deemed. (2) Includes schools of mixed denomination or other Christian beliefs. Source: School Census and Edubase

18 Dec 2007 : Column 1285W

Duchy of Lancaster

Deborah Mattinson

Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether Deborah Mattinson has (a) a desk, (b) a telephone, (c) office facilities and (d) administrative support provided in the Cabinet Office. [172750]

Edward Miliband: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) today.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidelines issued to staff maintaining (a) the Cabinet Office's and its agencies' corporate identity and (b) the Office of the Prime Minister's corporate identity; and what the estimated annual cost is of (i) producing and (ii) complying with such guidelines. [170240]

Gillian Merron: I have placed in the Library copies of the corporate guidelines for the Cabinet Office, the Office of the Third Sector and the Social Exclusion Task Force. There are no corporate identity guidelines for the Office of Prime Minister.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether Government facilities have been provided to (a) Bob Shrum, (b) Stan Greenberg and (c) Deborah Mattinson since 27 June. [164726]

Edward Miliband: I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) on 30 October 2007, Official Report, columns 1075-76W. I can also confirm that Mr. Stan Greenberg and Ms Deborah Mattinson have not been provided with the use of Government facilities in the Cabinet Office or No. 10 Downing street.

Voluntary Organisations: Community Development

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the progress of implementation of the conclusions of the 2004 voluntary and community sector in service delivery. [173030]

Phil Hope: The Third Sector Review report was published on 24 July 2007. It sets out the Government's vision for the next 10 years and how it will invest over £515 million over 2008 to 2011 in supporting an environment for the third sector to thrive.

It was informed by the largest consultation the Government has held with the sector, including over 90 consultation events, designed to reach the diversity of third sector organisations across the country.

The investment of £515 million includes developing a sector skills strategy; investing £117 million in youth volunteering through the youth-led charity v, including £75 million for vinvolved, the national youth
18 Dec 2007 : Column 1286W
volunteering programme; and creating a grass root grants programme that will allow front-line community organisations to access funding they need.

As part of the development of the sector skills strategy, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills announced the extension of the Train to Gain skills programme to volunteers.

Other key investments include


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