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Mrs. Maria Miller:
To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of childcare staff in nurseries had an appropriate level 3 or higher qualification in (a) Basingstoke
constituency, (b) Hampshire and (c) England in each of the last five years. 
Beverley Hughes: The Childcare and Early Years Providers survey collects information on staff qualifications that are relevant to working with children and young people. The percentage of paid staff in England holding at least a level 3 qualification for each year available is shown in the following table.
|Table: Percentage of paid staff holding at least a Level 3 qualification|
1. Children's centres were included in the survey for the first time In 2006; therefore data is not available for previous years.
2. After school and holiday clubs were sampled differently in 2005 and comparable figures for this year are not available.
3. In 2006 childminders who said they held a level 3 qualification were asked whether they had a childminding certificate and if so whether they held all of the modules. Those who only held some of the modules were not classed as holding a level 3 qualification. Comparable data for previous years are not available.
4. Early years settings in maintained schools were not included in the 2005 survey.
Data are not available at a local authority level.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many press office staff were employed by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies (i) in each year since 1996-97 and (ii) at the latest date for which information is available. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department for Children, Schools and Families was established in June 2007 and currently employs the full time equivalent of 20.5 press officers. It is not possible except at disproportionate cost to identify the number of press officers previously employed by the Department for Education and Skills. The Department does not hold information on non-departmental public bodies.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the minimum qualifications to (a) enter training to become and (b) take up employment as a teacher in a primary school are; and if he will make a statement. 
In order to enter an initial teacher training programme, trainee primary teachers must have at least a grade C or equivalent in GGSE maths,
English and a science subject. Initial teacher training providers will typically also set additional requirements for entry to initial teacher training courses such as A-levels, NVQs or work experience. In order to enter a postgraduate course, trainee teachers must also have a degree. This also applies to the employment-based routes into teaching; with the exception of the Registered Teacher Programme which requires that trainees have completed two years (240 CATS) of higher education.
In order to take up employment as a teacher in a primary school, a primary teacher should have successfully completed a course of initial teacher training and been awarded qualified teacher status, having met the standards required of a skilled teacher. Regardless of the route, a first degree or an equivalent and passing the professional skills tests in numeracy, literacy and information communication technology are also requirements for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS).
These requirements reflect a belief that all teachers should have a good standard of knowledge in the core subjects and that teaching is a job towards which our best and brightest young people should aspire. They also give parents confidence in the knowledge and competence of the teachers educating their children.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many schools gave fixed-period exclusions to (a) more than five per cent. and (b) more than 10 per cent. of their pupils in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many (a) secondary and (b) primary school pupils were excluded for a fixed period on (i) five or more occasions and (ii) 10 or more occasions in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
The available information showing the number of times pupils have been excluded for a fixed period is published annually by the Department. These figures can be found in the Statistical First Release DCSF: Permanent and Fixed Period Exclusions from Schools and Exclusion Appeals in England, the latest of which refer to the 2005-06 school year and can be accessed at (table 17):
Due to underlying changes in the data collection, information on fixed period exclusions was only collected from secondary schools in 2005-06. This coverage will extend to also include primary schools in 2006-07. Equivalent publications are available, relating to fixed period exclusions during 2003-04 and 2004-05.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what evidence his Department holds on the effect of fixed period exclusions on pupil behaviour; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department does not hold research on the specific effect of fixed period exclusions on behaviour. However, the report on School Behaviour and Discipline, published in 2006, noted that fixed period exclusion can be an extremely effective form of sanction as part of a well thought out strategy for tackling poor behaviour. Ofsted inspection evidence suggests that one to three days is often long enough to secure the benefits of exclusion without adverse educational consequences.
The Government recognise the challenge that managing pupils behaviour can present and the hard work involved in achieving standards of behaviour. That is why this is the first Government to implement a comprehensive national programme to strengthen schools capacity to manage behaviour.
Jim Knight: The Departments policy on phonics is to implement the recommendations of Sir Jim Roses Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading which advocates that high quality, systematic phonic work should be the prime approach in teaching children to read.
The Review took account of extensive evidence from a range of sources including oral and written evidence from individuals and associations; and visits to settings, schools and training events. A copy of the Review which outlines this evidence is available in the House Libraries.
Sir Jim has provided an update on how well his recommendations are being implemented. A copy of his letter has been placed in the House Libraries. More detail will be available in the autumn when Sir Jims interim report on the Primary Curriculum is published.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which local authorities have applied for exceptional capital funding for new kitchens in schools as announced in December 2007; which local authorities will receive such funding; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We have received applications for exceptional capital funding for new kitchens in schools from 14 local authorities. These are: Bournemouth; Buckinghamshire; Dorset; Gloucestershire; Harrow; Hillingdon; Lincolnshire; Northamptonshire; North East Lincolnshire; North Somerset; Plymouth; Swindon; West Sussex; and Wigan. My officials are currently considering those bids and we plan to make an announcement in May.
New nutritional food-based standards for school lunch were introduced in September 2006 and nutrient-based standards, stipulating the nutrients required for school lunches, will be introduced for primary schools by 2008 and for secondary schools by 2009. These new standards need to be underpinned by good kitchen and dining facilities in schools. This is why we have placed a greater priority on the building and refurbishment of school kitchens within the Governments capital programme for school buildings and made available this specific grant to build new kitchens in areas that have large concentrations of schools without kitchens.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he intends to announce the results of the recent applications for funding from the basic needs allocation safety valve Fund. 
Jim Knight: My officials have now assessed all applications to the basic needs safety valve. However, it was necessary for the Department to seek clarification from a number of authorities on the information provided. I expect to be in a position to take final decisions on the applications shortly, and to make the results known shortly thereafter.
Jim Knight: We believe that smaller, more highly skilled governing bodies, alongside improved governor training will provide more effective governance for schools. As we indicated in the Childrens Plan, we will be consulting stakeholders on reducing the size of governing bodies. As a first step, a stakeholder working group has been established to consider reforming governance in this way. Good governance and leadership is essential if we are to achieve better outcomes for all children and young people.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of waste from schools was recycled in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003, (d) 2004, (e) 2005, (f) 2006 and (g) 2007. 
The Department does not gather statistics on the amounts of waste collected from schools. The Department for Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs collects statistics on the amount of municipal waste and what happens to it, but where it is collected from is not recorded.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what average time was spent by school children on physical education, broken down by year group, in each year for which figures are available. 
Kevin Brennan: Data on PE and sport is collected from the annual School Sport Survey, which began in 2003/04. Total curriculum time that all pupils in each year group spend taking part in PE in a typical week, is as follows:
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