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Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what steps his Department is taking to support joint working by local authorities and primary care trusts on assisting children with communication difficulties; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what guidance he plans to issue to (a) parent support advisors and (b) local authorities to help them assist parents of children with communication difficulties; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of joint working between local authorities and primary care trusts in (a) childrens centres, (b) primary schools and (c) secondary schools with regard to services for children with communication difficulties. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 14 January 2008]: Effective language and communication skills are fundamental to children and young peoples learning, development of social skills and fulfilment of their potential. On 11 September 2007, my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and the Secretary of State for Health launched a major review of the provision of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs, to be led by the hon. Member for Buckingham (John Bercow).
The review will build on the investment and improvements to speech and language therapy and resources in the last 10 years. It will advise the Government on how the very best provision can be mirrored in all areas and how local services can work together so children and young people up to 19 years of age get the support they need, when they need it.
The review has been specifically asked to consider the clarity of accountability and responsibility for planning service delivery from national to local level across health, social services and education and to analyse good practice in joint working by schools, local authorities and PCTs, particularly in joint commissioning, including needs assessment and design of service delivery. As mentioned in the Childrens Plan, it will also look at means of improving support and information to parents.
As regards parent support advisers, we have recently announced funding to expand their availability in every local authority. These advisers work with parents to improve childrens behaviour and school attendance, offering advice with parenting, and providing support for families at the first sign a child or young person may be experiencing social, health or behavioural issues. Such support would include help where parents need it to address childrens communication needs.
The Parents Charter, as outlined in the Childrens Plan, will describe the minimum level of support all parents can expect to receive from their local authority. We are currently working on options for the design of a charter and these will be outlined in the spring following discussion with the newly established Parents Panel.
Jim Knight: Figures refer to England only. In 2007 there were 2,840 pupils of Traveller of Irish heritage background and 5,370 pupils of Gypsy/Roma background at primary schools and there were 1,040 pupils who were of Traveller of Irish heritage background and 2,610 pupils of Gypsy/Roma background at secondary schools.
We know that this does not reflect the correct number of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people in our schools as many parents and pupils from these communities fear bullying and prejudice if they identify themselves in school census data. The Department will publish The Inclusion of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children and Young People a guidance document for local authorities and schools in February 2008. This will offer a range of strategies to encourage Gypsy, Roma and Traveller parents and children to self-ascribe their ethnicity in school census data collection.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many 0845 or similar cost telephone numbers are used by (a) his Department and (b) related departmental bodies for public access to services. 
Kevin Brennan: The information as requested is not readily available centrally within the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). To respond fully would involve an extensive information collection exercise which would exceed the recommended disproportionate cost threshold. However, to be helpful; using a variety of information and data sources relating solely to DCSF headquarters, the following information can be provided.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what the requirements are for approval by primary schools of local primary strategies for change, before formal agreement to a strategy by the Department; 
follow the format and content specified in the guidance document issued on 6 December:
demonstrate how the views of local stakeholders have been taken into account:
be endorsed by the council and the relevant Diocesan authorities and have the support of the majority of schools:
address areas of known concern, particularly those specified by the Department.
To date neither I nor my officials have had any contact with the council about specific areas of concern that we would expect to be addressed through the primary strategy for change. However, we have committed to giving early warning (by no later than the end of January 2008) to those local authorities to which this applies. Key considerations will be in relation to low performing schools or excess surplus places.
Jim Knight: The percentage of pupils who are known to be eligible for and are claiming their free school meal entitlement in each school in London is given in the table. National level information on free school meals can be found in tables 3a, 3b and 3c of the September SFR Schools and Pupils in England, January 2007 (Final), available at:
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2008, Official Report, column 1271W, on GCE A-levels, what types of schools are in the category of other schools. 
Community Special Schools
Foundation Special Schools
Further Education Sector Colleges
Community Hospital Schools
Foundation Hospital Schools
Pupil Referral Unit
Armed Forces College.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of children achieved five or more A to C grades at GCSE in (a) Newcastle local education authority schools and (b) England in (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2006-07. 
|Percentage of pupils at the end of key stage 4 in England and Newcastle upon Tyne local authority who achieve d five or more GCSEs or equivalent at grades A-C|
|England||Newcastle local authority|
The figures have been taken from the Statistical First Release GCSE and Equivalent Examination Results in England (Revised) which is published annually. The latest figures, which relate to 2006/07, can be accessed at:
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what proportion of pupils entitled to free school meals entered for examinations did not obtain any GCSEs in each of the last three years; 
|Achievements at GCSE and equivalents, 2002-2007 by free school meal eligibility and gender|
|5+ A*-C||5+ A*-C including English and mathematics|
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