Jim Knight: When setting up an academy, the Department places requirements on the academy trust set up by the sponsor, rather than the sponsors themselves. The requirements are set out in the Funding Agreement and Deed of Gift. Copies of the model Funding Agreement and Deed of Gift have been placed in the House Library.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will list the public-sector (a) sponsors and (b) co-sponsors of academies in each quarter since 1 January 2002. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) public sector bodies and (b) local authorities (i) sponsored and (ii) co-sponsored academies prior to 1 May 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Prior to 1 May 2007 Funding Agreements had been signed for academies where the Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Kent county council were co-sponsors, and where the Corporation of London was the lead sponsor. In addition to these, Funding Agreements had been signed where the following public sector bodies are acting as lead sponsors of academies:
Macmillan City Technology College;
Dixons City Technology College;
Thomas Telford School;
John Cabot City Technology College;
Leigh City Technology College;
Harris City Technology College; and
Brooke Weston City Technology College.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what powers are available to (a) his Department and (b) local authorities to deal with underperforming academies; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: A range of possible measures available to the Department to deal with underperforming academies, similar to the range of interventions are available for dealing with other underperforming state-funded schools. These range from providing support through School Improvement Partners and Educational Advisers to powers vested in the Secretary of State, which include the power to close an academy in the unlikely event that other interventions have not worked.
Academies are independent schools, and local authorities have no powers of intervention relating to an Academys performance. However, each academy has at least one local authority representative on its governing body.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what comparative assessment he has made of the comparative effectiveness of academies and fresh start schools in improving academic comparative performance. 
Jim Knight: The February 2007 National Audit Office report on the academies programme found that for three main measures of GCSE performance in 2006, academy pupils gained on average better results than fresh start schools. The percentage of pupils in academies with five or more grades A*-C was 40 per cent. in comparison to 35 per cent. in fresh start schools; the percentage in academies with five or more grades A*-G was 80 per cent. in comparison to 79 per cent., and the percentage with five or more grades A*-C including English and maths was 22 per cent. in comparison to 17 per cent. in fresh start schools.
The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) is responsible for setting the timetable for GCSE and A level examinations and does this after consulting on a provisional timetable a year in advance of when the examinations are taken. In the 2007 summer examination series, the final date for GCSE examinations was 27 June, the final date for GCE examinations was 28 June and for the final date for AEA examinations
was 29 June. Across England local authorities (and independent schools) set term dates in full knowledge of these dates and typically finish summer term in mid-July.
Jim Knight: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 26 September 2007 his intention to establish an independent regulator of examinations and tests. On 17 December my Department, with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, published the consultation paper Confidence in Standards: Regulating and developing qualifications and assessment (Cm 7281), which sets out the detail of our proposals. Copies of the consultation paper are available in the House Library.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will commission a review of the academic literature on the reversibility of biometric templates to recreate fingerprints. 
Jim Knight: The Department has no plans to commission a review of the academic literature on the reversibility of biometric templates to recreate fingerprints. The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency is responsible for monitoring this and other aspects of technology in schools and will take appropriate action as it considers necessary. BECTA published guidance on the use of biometric technology in July 2007.
Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps have been taken to ensure that developments under the Building Schools for the Future programme have the lowest possible environmental impact. 
Jim Knight: The Department recently introduced new standards for carbon emissions from new school buildings. The Children's Plan contains a new requirement for all new build schools to reduce carbon emissions by at least 60 per cent. It also includes our longer-term ambition for all new school buildings to be zero carbon by 2016 and we are now appointing a taskforce to advise on how this can be achieved.
These targets for carbon emission complement our requirements for environmental assessments using BREEAM, the Building Research Establishments Environmental Assessment Methodology, which we have adapted for schools. Since 2005 it has been our requirement that major school building projects achieve a minimum BREEAM rating of very good.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 7 January 2008, Official Report, columns 212-14W, on education maintenance allowance, what the reasons were for the increase in the administration costs of the education maintenance allowance between 2003-04 and 2004-05. 
Jim Knight: The education maintenance allowance (EMA) was piloted in England from 1999, and launched nationally from September 2004. The administration costs increased as the scheme became available across the country from that date.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many pupils within Copeland have been eligible to receive education maintenance allowance over the last three years; 
Jim Knight: These are matters for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) which operates the education maintenance allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and holds the information about take-up and payments made under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the council's chief executive, will write to the hon. Gentleman with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.
I am writing in response to your Parliamentary Questions that asked:
How many pupils within Copeland have been eligible to receive education maintenance allowance over the past three years; and
How many pupils were eligible in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland to receive education maintenance allowance at (i) £30, (ii) £20 and (iii) £10 over the last three years.
Information on the number of young people who have applied, enrolled and received Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is available at Local Authority Level, but not at constituency level. EMA take-up is defined as young people who have received one or more EMA payments in the academic year.
To be eligible for an EMA a young person must be aged 16-19 and be in full-time learning or following a valid Entry to Employment Programme led Apprenticeship (at least 16 guided learning hours per week). Applications are income assessed, based on the learners total household income, with the maximum income to be eligible in 2007-08 of £30,810.
In the first year of national roll out (2004/05) EMA was available to all 16 year olds across England and to 17 and 18 year olds in former pilot areas (as Cumbria was not a pilot area this did not apply to them). In 2005/06 EMA roll out continued and EMA was available to all 16 and 17 year olds nationally. In 2006/07 EMA is available to all 16, 17 and 18 year olds nationally.
The following table shows the percentage of young people receiving EMA in Cumbria Local Authority area during each academic year since national roll out. The reasons why young people did not receive EMA may be that: they were not eligible, they did not apply, or they were in employment, NEET, etc.
|Percentage of population cohort receiving EMA in each academic yearCumbria
The following table shows EMA take-up data split by payment band for Cumbria Local Authority area during each academic year since national roll out.
|Take-up of EMA in each academic yearCumbria local authority
|(1 )To end December.