Previous Section Index Home Page

3 Apr 2008 : Column 1241W—continued

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)

School Food Trust (SFT)

School Teachers Review Body (STRB)

Teachers’ TV board of governors

Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA)

Intimidation: Internet

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government has taken to tackle online bullying. [198543]

Kevin Brennan: The Government have taken a range of steps to tackle online bullying. We have enacted legislation giving school staff clear statutory power to confiscate mobile phones and discipline pupils for bad behaviour off school premises. We have made practical guidance on tackling cyberbullying available to all schools; and we will soon be making a curriculum resource pack dealing with cyberbullying available to teachers. We have also asked the Department’s Cyberbullying Task Force, which brings together teacher unions and internet service providers, to consider what more can be done to prevent cyberbullying of school staff.

In addition, the Government have accepted the recommendations of the Byron Review of children and new technology. These include the establishment of a UK Council for Child Internet Safety, to provide strategic leadership for all work to protect children on the internet, as well as a major social marketing campaign and initiatives to support parents, schools and children services to help children manage online risks, including those from cyberbullying.

Teachers: Educational Broadcasting

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the cost to his Department of the Teachers TV channel was in each of the last five years. [196196]

Kevin Brennan: Teachers' TV was launched in February 2005 and aims to help raise standards in classrooms by sharing good practice, supporting continuing professional development, offering classroom resources, and providing education news and information. In the channel's first operating year the Department provided funding of £19.9 million, in the second £16 million and £16.7 million in its third year.


Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the rate of unauthorised absence was in (a) Cornwall, (b) the South West and (c) England in each year since 1979. [191967]

Kevin Brennan: Information on absence rates for the latest available year, 2006/07, is shown in the table. Data on pupil absence were not collected prior to 1993/94; however comparable data for 1993/94 to 2005/06 are not readily available on a consistent basis at local and regional levels.

3 Apr 2008 : Column 1243W

3 Apr 2008 : Column 1244W
Primary, secondary and special schools( 1, 2) , p upil absence by type of school, 2006/07, for Cornwall local authority area and South West Government office region
Maintained primary and secondary schools, all special schools, city technology colleges and academies
Percentage of half days missed( 3)
Number of day pupils of compulsory school age( 4) Number of enrolments( 5) Authorised absence Unauthorised absence Overall absence Percentage of persistent absentees( 6)








South West















(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(2) Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools. Excludes general hospital schools.
(3) The number of sessions missed due to authorised/unauthorised/overall absence expressed as a percentage of the total number of possible sessions.
(4) Pupil numbers are as at January 2007. Includes pupils aged five to 15 with sole and dual (main) registration. Excludes boarders.
(5) Number of enrolments in schools between from start of the school year until 25 May 2007. Includes pupils on the school roll for at least one session who are aged between five and 15. Excludes boarders. Some pupils may be counted more than once (if they moved schools during the school year or are registered in more than one school).
(6) Number of persistent absentees expressed as a percentage of the total number of enrolments.
National and regional totals have been rounded to the nearest 10.
School Census.

Young People: Disadvantaged

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government has taken to assist disadvantaged young people in the West Midlands since 1997. [194174]

Beverley Hughes: Effective help for disadvantaged young people depend on a partnership approach. Young People are generally facing more than one issue that usually involves the expertise of more than one agency. The Government’s approach has been to encourage partnership working and sharing of information, while ensuring young people have a single point of contact. Since 1997 the creation of Youth Offending Teams, Drugs Action Teams, Connexions Partnerships, local Teenage Pregnancy Boards, and Children’s Trusts have changed the way disadvantaged groups are supported.

This has been supported by the creation of a new profession of personal advisers (PAs) to act as lead professionals in helping young people sort out their problems and get back on the path to success. PAs have been recruited and trained by Connexions Partnerships and there are now approximately 1,000 operating in the West Midlands.

The introduction of the Youth Opportunities Fund and Youth Capital Fund (YOF/YCF) during the last year has given young people the opportunity to participate in a range of positive activities. It has actively encouraged participation and engagement of disadvantaged young people and those who are hard to reach. The funds are worth £6.5 million in the West Midlands, with young people as the applicants, decision makers and beneficiaries. YOF/YCF will continue for the next three years.

The West Midlands Healthy Care Programme and Healthy Care Grant is supporting vulnerable young people in the West Midlands. This is mainly through targeted support through individual local authorities and support through key networks, including Education Protects, West Midlands Leaving Care Managers Network and Healthy Care Network.

Extended schools are a key mechanism through which Government provide support to children and young people and their families. The Government’s aim is that at least half of all primary schools and a third of all secondary schools should be providing access to the full core offer by the end of September 2008. In the West Midlands Coventry has already exceeded this figure, and is delivering the offer in over 70 per cent of schools in the area (compared to a national average of 45 per cent.).

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Departmental Publicity

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department, its predecessor and its agencies spent on staff working on (a) marketing and (b) branding in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. [167303]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created as a result of machinery of government changes on 28 June 2007. Since that date the Department has spent an estimated total of £9,000 on staff involved in branding and £191,788.04 on marketing staff.

The National Weights and Measures Laboratory in the last 12 months has spent an estimated £3,750 on marketing activities. Much of this, but not all, is devoted to marketing specific services to business such as type approval and certification.

There has not been any staff effort on branding.

In the 12 months to 29 February 2008 the UK-IPO spent no staff time on branding. While the office does not use staff to directly market its services it did spend £636,600 on raising awareness, education and informing groups about the IP system which touch on the services offered by the UK-IPO and other national and international bodies.

3 Apr 2008 : Column 1245W

Kelvin Business School

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) prior to its removal from the Register of Education and Training Providers on 19 July 2007, on what dates official visits or checks were carried out on Kelvin Business School; [163992]

(2) on what date his Department first received representations on the legitimacy of Kelvin Business School as an education provider; [163993]

(3) on what dates Ministers attended meetings to discuss Kelvin Business School’s removal from the Register of Education and Training Providers. [163994]

Bill Rammell: Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) officers were first tasked to carry out intelligence-led investigation of Kelvin Business School on 14 March 2007 and the inspection took place on 29 March 2007. The nature of the visit was to seek compliance with the immigration rules and all reasonable steps were taken to ensure the principal had an opportunity to demonstrate the college was bona-fide. Since the initial visit to the college the Home Office wrote to the principal seeking additional documentation on 6 June 2007 and subsequently on the 26 June 2007. The principal replied to the both Home Office letters within the 14 day deadline, but on both occasions submitting documentation which did not meet the criteria set out by the Home Office. After the second deadline for submission of documents had passed on the 10 July the Home Office wrote to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills on 12 July informing DIUS that Kelvin Business School was in breach of the Immigration Rules and should be removed from the Register. This was done on 19 July 2007.

The registration process is one of continual assessment, BIA staff will recommend the removal of colleges found to be in breach of registration criteria. The final decision to remove is one for DIUS to make. The decision to remove Kelvin Business School was clear cut and did not require ministerial discussion.

Nanotechnology: Public Participation and Regulation

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what plans he has to take forward public engagement on nanotechnologies; and how his plans for public engagement will feed into policy in 2008-09; [196966]

(2) when he will implement the recommendations of each Government-commissioned review on the regulatory framework for nanotechnology; [196967]

(3) if he will set out a (a) timescale and (b) process for evaluating progress on the Government’s commitments regarding nanotechnologies. [196995]

Ian Pearson: The Government’s aim is for the UK to derive maximum benefit from nanotechnologies and their products in a way that safeguards health, safety and the environment and addresses the aspirations and
3 Apr 2008 : Column 1246W
concerns of the public. The statement by the UK Government about nanotechnologies, announced in the written ministerial statement of 28 February 2008, Official Report, columns 86-7W, explains what the Government are doing to deliver these objectives.

The Government do not hold a list of products containing free nanoparticles although it has published a report on the manufacture and use of nanomaterials in the UK:

To promote a standardised approach to labelling and ensure that products containing manufactured nanoparticles can be correctly identified, the British Standards Institute has recently published a good practice guidance document PAS 130:2007 ‘Guidance on the labelling of manufactured nanoparticles and products containing manufactured nanoparticles’.

The Research Councils are undertaking public dialogue on nanotechnologies and the topic is likely to feature in work resulting from the recent programme of stakeholder engagement to identify the implications of new and emerging science and technology.

Government Departments and agencies are keeping under review the need for action to address regulatory gaps in the light of emerging evidence. The ministerial group on Nanotechnologies (which comprises the Ministers Science and Innovation; the Environment; Public Health; Health and Safety; and Business and Competitiveness) will oversee the process and will also review progress on delivery of the Government’s other commitments regarding nanotechnologies.

Performing Right Society: Licences

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how much the Performing Right Society collected from the issuing of music licences in each of the last five years for which data is available; [197564]

(2) how many Performing Right Society hairdresser and beauty salon licences were issued in each of the last five years for which data is available; [197565]

(3) how many Performing Right Society small premises licences were issued in each of the last five years for which data is available; [197566]

(4) how much was collected in higher royalty rate Performing Right Society licences in each of the last five years for which data is available; [197567]

(5) how much was collected by the Performing Right Society in licence fees from the hairdressing and beauty salons tariff in each of the last five years for which data is available; [197568]

(6) how much was collected by the Performing Right Society in small premises licence tariffs in each of the last five years for which data is available. [197569]

Ian Pearson: This is a matter for the Performing Rights Society and any inquiries should be directed to them.

Next Section Index Home Page