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28 Jan 2008 : Column 172W—continued

28 Jan 2008 : Column 173W

Jim Knight: Surplus school places can represent a poor use of resources. Local authorities must examine the benefits and drawbacks of redeploying resources tied up in surplus school places for the wider benefit of pupils in the area.

Individual authorities must determine how to reduce levels of surplus places, but reducing surplus need not always mean school closures. Capacity can be reduced by removing temporary accommodation, consolidating split-site schools, or by rationalising school space. Rationalisation can involve adapting accommodation for alternative use and broadening the services their schools offer in line with the likely future pattern of children’s services and the needs of local communities. We also encourage schools to pool resources through working more closely together either through federation or close collaboration.

Advice on the range of options available to local authorities to tackle primary falling rolls can be found at rolls/ and a copy has been placed in the House Library.

Schools: Armed Forces

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the annual School Census in 2008 will include collection of data on children of families in military service. [179551]

Jim Knight: The School Census is on a termly basis and is carried out in spring, summer and autumn.

A data item new for 2008 is being collected, namely ‘Service Children in Education Indicator’; which indicates if a child has a parent or parents who are service personnel, serving in regular HM Forces military units of all forces and exercising parental care and responsibility; This data item is collected in the spring census only.

Schools: Flags

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance his Department provides to schools on the display of flags. [180464]

Jim Knight: No guidance has been issued to schools on this issue. Schools are free to fly the Union flag on any day they choose, but it is for individual schools to decide whether to do so or not.

Schools: Rural Areas

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps are being taken to safeguard effective rural school provision. [181156]

Jim Knight: Local authorities, as commissioners of educational services, are responsible for planning school places in their area. They have a duty to ensure that there is sufficient supply to meet local needs, and that high quality education is provided in a cost effective way.

Because we recognise that rural schools play an important role within their local communities we have
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taken, and will continue to take, measures to support both schools and communities in rural areas. For example, in 1998 we introduced a presumption against closing rural primary schools which means that, although we cannot guarantee that no rural school will ever close, the case for closure needs to be strong and clearly in the best interests of education provision in the area. In the Education and Inspections Act 2006 we introduced a statutory duty on those proposing to close a rural primary school to consult parents of pupils registered at the school; the district council for the area in which the school is situated; if the local authority is a county council, any parish council for the area in which the school is situated; and any other relevant person(s).

Science: General Certificate of Secondary Education

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and what percentage of children gained GCSE above grade C in mathematics, science or science related subjects in (a) England and (b) the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in each year since 1997; [180889]

(2) in how many schools in Newcastle upon Tyne (a) under 20 per cent., (b) under 30 per cent. and (c) under 40 per cent. of children gained five or more A* to C grade GCSEs including English and mathematics in (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2007-08; and what percentage of the GCSE candidates in Newcastle local education authority attended those schools in each year; [180890]

(3) how many and what percentage of children in local education authority maintained schools left school with (a) no qualifications and (b) no GCSEs above grade D in each local education authority in the North East of England in each year since 2001. [180892]

Jim Knight: The information can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Secondary Education: Free School Meals

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils in the first year of secondary education in (a) England and (b) each local education authority were entitled to free school meals in the most recent period for which figures are available. [181921]

Jim Knight: The available information has been placed in the House Library. This shows the number and percentage of pupils following national curriculum year 7 (the usual year of entry to secondary education) known to be eligible for free school meals.

Secondary Education: Standards

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of school leavers in (a) 1997 and (b) 2007 attained GCSE grade A in (i) English language and (ii) mathematics; and what proportion of school leavers attained grade A in each subject at O-Level in the last year of that examination. [180172]

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Jim Knight: The information required to answer the first part of the question is in the following table.

1996-97 2006-07
A* A A* A

English Language










Notes: 1 The 1996-97 figures relate to pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year, i.e. 31 August 1996. 2 The 2006-07 figures relate to all pupils at the end of Key Stage 4.

The last academic year O-levels were taken was 1986-87.

O-level results are not available by grade for each subject; results were published giving the number of pupils achieving O-level grades A-G or GSE grade 1. The proportions for 1986-87 are given in the following table as well as the percentage of pupils achieving GCSE grades A-C in 2006-07:

Proportion/ Percentage
1986-87 2006-07

English Language






Sources: 1. The 1986-87 figures were taken from 'Statistics of Leavers—CSE and GCE—ISSN 0266-2728. 2. The 1996-97 figures were taken from 'Statistics of Education—Public Examinations, GCSE/GNVQ and GCE in England, 1997' - ISBN 0-11-271037-9. 3. The 2006-2007 figures have been derived from the achievement and attainment tables and taken from the revised 2007 SFR, published on 9 January 2008, found at the following link:

Secondary Education: Teaching Methods

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) when every secondary school pupil will have a personal tutor throughout their school years; [180469]

(2) what funding will be provided to enable every secondary school pupil to have a personal tutor throughout their school years; [180470]

(3) what plans there are to give every secondary school pupil a personal tutor throughout their school years. [180471]

Jim Knight: Personal tutors will be members of staff who take responsibility for monitoring the academic and personal development of individual pupils in the round; working with their parents and other professionals to co-ordinate a tailored package of support which helps all pupils make the best possible progress. The tutors were announce in the Children’s Plan, and build on recommendations made in “2020 Vision”—the report of the Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review led by Christine Gilbert and published in January 2007—that every secondary school pupil should have a ‘learning guide’.

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Our aim is that every secondary school pupil will have access to a personal tutor by the end of the Comprehensive Spending Review period (March 2011). Funding for personal tutors is provided within schools’ base budgets, via local authorities, through the Dedicated Schools Grant’s Personalised Learning strand. The 2008-11 CSR provides £1.6 billion within schools’ base budgets to ensure that schools have the capacity to deliver Personalised Learning as a whole, including personal tutors.

This work is in the planning and research stage. We are currently undertaking a programme of school visits to inform potential delivery models and decisions about piloting.

Special Educational Needs

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children aged (a) 1 year, (b) 2 years, (c) 3 years, (d) 4 years and (e) 5 years were identified as having a special educational need in each year since 2001, broken down by local authority. [181861]

Kevin Brennan: The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Specialised Diplomas

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the proportion of young people who will be studying for diplomas in 2013; and if he will make a statement. [181791]

Jim Knight: Initial modelling suggests that around one in four 14 to 19-year-old learners will be undertaking one of the first 14 diplomas from September 2013. This is not a target, but a working model to help with planning, and it will be updated regularly to reflect current information.

Specialist Schools: Barnet

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which schools in Barnet have specialist status; what the specialisms are in each case; what funding was made available to each in the latest period for which figures are available; what outstanding applications for specialist status there are from schools in Barnet; and if he will make a statement. [181968]

Jim Knight: The following table shows the information requested. There are 19 maintained secondary schools in Barnet local authority, 18 of which have specialist status. There are no outstanding applications for specialist status.

The Government remain committed to the Specialist Schools Programme as a means of raising attainment and achievement for all secondary aged pupils.

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School Main specialism Second specialism Leading option Total grant allocated (£)

Ashmole school




Bishop Douglass school, Finchley



Christ’s college, Finchley



Copthall school




East Barnet school



Finchley Catholic high school



Friern Barnet school



Hasmonean high school



Hendon school



Mapledown school

SEN Cognition and Learning


Mill Hill county high school



Oak Lodge school

SEN Cognition and Learning



Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ school



Queen Elizabeth’s school, Barnet



St James’ Catholic high school

Science and sports


St Michael’s Catholic grammar school



The Compton school


Training school


The Henrietta Barnett school



The Ravenscroft school and technology college



Whitefield school



(1) Designated from 1 September 2008. Will receive £35,000 in 2008-09.

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