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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what account the Primary Capital Programme will take of the removal of surplus places; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We believe it is right that we should challenge local authorities to make best use of resources by taking action to balance the demand and supply of school places. Our guidance Primary Capital Programme: Guidance for local authorities on developing their primary strategy for change makes clear that strategies that fail to commit to doing so will not be approved. However, the guidance also acknowledges that it will not always be practicable, or desirable, to remove all surplus places and that authorities should allow for parental choice, accessibility of schools and possible future increase in pupil numbers due to demographic changes. It also recognises that in order to preserve access for young children, there may be more empty places in schools in rural areas than in urban areas.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what capital grant will be available from April 2008 to those local authorities with large numbers of primary schools without school kitchens; which local authorities have the largest number of schools without kitchens; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Over the next three years, we are providing a record £21.9 billion of capital support for investment in school buildings. Much of this funding is devolved to local authorities and schools for their local priorities, which can include installing or improving school kitchens and dining areas. As part of this funding, we are making available £150 million of targeted capital grant to those authorities with high need who aim to install kitchens in over 20 per cent. of their schools where currently there are none, and where to do so without targeted support would put unacceptable pressure on other funding priorities. We issued an invitation and guidance to all authorities on how to apply for this funding in December 2007, and they have until the end of this month to make an application.
The Department does not hold detailed information on which schools do not have kitchens. Working with the School Food Trust in late 2006, we identified the following authorities as having relatively high numbers of primary and secondary schools without kitchens, but this may not be a full list: Bournemouth, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Harrow, Hillingdon, Kingston
upon Thames, Lincolnshire, Milton Keynes, North East Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Poole, Somerset, Swindon, West Sussex, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire.
|Phase of Education|
|Close date||Middle deemed primary||Primary||Grand total|
Schools can be closed for a number of reasons including: to meet demographic changes (population decline); as part of an amalgamation; to allow a Fresh Start school to replace a school in special measures; to allow a school with a religious character to replace a school without a religious character; or as part of another type of local reorganisation.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what specific issues his Department has informed the Isle of Wight Council are required to be addressed by 1 February 2008 in the local primary school strategy for change. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 4 February 2008]: The 6 December guidance sets out the broad requirements. We will be contacting local authorities shortly with regard to specific issues that we would expect to be addressed through the primary strategy for change to be submitted by 16 June. Tackling poor performance and managing surplus places sensitively will be key considerations.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of pupils in primary schools designated as rural schools achieved level 4 or above in Key Stage 2 tests in the last period for which figures are available. 
|Percentage of pupils who achieved level 4 or above at key stage 2|
|Number of eligible pupils||English||Maths||Science|
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what adjustments for sex are included in the contextual value added measure for Key Stage Two; and how such calculations are made. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 11 December 2007]: The CVA model is calculated using an established statistical technique referred to as multi-level modelling. This method uses a formula which estimates the contribution each school makes to its pupils attainment, taking account of each pupils starting point and a broad range of contextual factors which are shown to affect progress and for which consistent national data are available. The impact of these factors that are accounted for, including gender, are calculated simultaneously. The formula is calculated each year based on the actual attainment of the entire national cohort of over half a million pupils. The CVA calculations, therefore, make an allowance for the different gender mix within each school, when calculating the school CVA measure.
The 2007 Key Stage (KS) 1-2 contextualised value added model shows that boys, on average, achieved 0.44 KS2 points higher than girls with the same pattern of prior attainment at KS1 and contextual factors. This means that boys made just under half a terms more progress than girls over this period.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in how many primary schools (a) 20 per cent., (b) 30 per cent. and (c) 50 per cent. or more of pupils did not reach level 4 in Key Stage Two tests in 2007. 
|Number of schools with:|
|Subject||50 per cent. or more pupils not achieving level 4+||30 per cent. or more pupils not achieving level 4+||20 per cent. or more pupils not achieving level 4+|
Jim Knight: The Charities Act 2006 provides a clear definition of charity with the emphasis on public benefit. At the heart of the Act is a new statutory definition of charity, based on a list of charitable purposes, and the principle of charities being for public benefit. The Act removes a long-standing presumption of public benefit for charities for the advancement of education, advancement of religion and the relief of poverty. This means that all charities will have to be able to demonstrate public benefit.
The Charity Commission, as independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, will interpret the public benefit requirement in the light of case law, modern conditions and the removal of the presumption of public benefit. The Charity Commission issued draft guidance on the principles of public benefit for consultation in May 2007, and received over 900 responses. The Commission will publish its final public benefit guidance in January 2008. It will follow this with the development of specific guidance for groups of charities likely to be most affectedincluding the independent school sector. The relevant provisions of the Act are expected to come into force in spring 2008.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2008, Official Report, columns 1405-06W, on private sector, for each of the two formal investigations referred to, which private sector organisations were concerned; what the result of the investigation was; what the start and end date of the investigation was; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: In the first instance, the investigation started on 26 February 2007 and the final report was issued on 5 September 2007. Based on its conclusions, the Department has taken management and disciplinary action to address weaknesses in the way certain contracts had been managed. The release of information about the private organisations concerned would risk prejudicing commercial interests.
In the second instance, the investigation started on 6 July 2007 and the case was reported to the police for
further investigation on 24 August 2007. The release of information about the private organisations concerned might prejudice the ongoing investigation, and risk prejudicing commercial interests.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and what proportion of primary school pupils live within walking distance as defined by his Department of more than one maintained (a) primary and (b) secondary school, broken down by local authority; 
Jim Knight: The statutory walking distance is two miles for pupils aged under eight and three miles for those aged eight and over. However, from September 2007, under the terms of section 508B of the Education Act 1996, children aged eight but under 11 from low income families became entitled to free travel arrangements where they live more than two miles from their nearest qualifying school. From September 2008 all children from low income families of compulsory school age who are 11 or over will be entitled to free transport in two waysto one of their three nearest qualifying schools where they live more than two but not more than six miles from that school, and to the nearest school preferred by reason of a parent's religion or belief between two and 15 miles from home.
The measurement of the statutory walking distance is not necessarily by the shortest distance by road. It is measured by the shortest route along which a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk with reasonable safety. As such, the route measured may include footpaths, bridleways, and other pathways, as well as recognised roads.
A table showing the number and proportion of primary school pupils who live within two miles straight line distance of more than one maintained (a) primary and (b) secondary school and the number and proportion of primary pupils who live within two miles straight line distance of more than two secondary schools, broken down by local authority, has been placed in the House of Commons Library.
Jim Knight: In December 2007, 22,543 pupils took a total of 42,833 tests in English and mathematics in the first round of single level tests as part of the Making Good Progress pilot. As this is the first pilot of a new assessment instrument, the National Assessment Agency is reviewing the outcomes from those tests. The results were released to the individual schools which participated on 7 February.
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