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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what evaluations of the academies programme have been commissioned by his Department for publication in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Department has a contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers to carry out a yearly evaluation of the academies programme. This contract ends with the publication of the fifth annual report later this year. The Department is currently considering options for conducting future evaluations.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether academies are permitted to select by aptitude in subject areas other than their specialism; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Any maintained school or academy may seek to admit up to 10 per cent. of its intake by aptitude in one of the relevant 'prescribed' subjects if it considers it has a specialism, whether or not that specialism is recognised formally by its designation as a specialist school or as an academy with a particular specialism. In the case of academies, such arrangements would have first to be approved by the Secretary of State.
Prescribed subjects are limited to modern foreign languages, performing or visual arts and physical education or sport. Academies may also continue to select 10 per cent. by aptitude in design and technology and ICT if and only if they or their predecessor schools already had such arrangements in place prior to the 2008 academic year.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many academies have refused to admit children after direction by local authorities since their establishment; how many such cases have been subject to an appeal to him; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 823W, on academies: head teachers, for what reasons the National Professional Qualification for Headship will be compulsory in all maintained schools other than academies; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We are considering the process for ensuring that all academies benefit from the best possible opportunities for enhanced leadership training appropriate to their circumstances, including the National Professional Qualification for Headship. I will write to the hon. Member with further details once that consideration is complete.
As a group, academies have an overall pattern of exclusions that is almost identical to the pattern for a control group of similar schools. Academies often inherit a large number of disengaged pupils and need to establish good behaviour in order to
raise attainment. Academies place great emphasis on getting the basics right and improving behaviour in particular. As the new ethos and behaviour policy are implemented in an academys early days, the number of exclusions may rise, but it typically falls as behaviour improves. This phenomenon is not unique to academies; the same effect is often observed when a new head teacher transforms a struggling maintained school.
A paper illustrating the pattern of exclusions and comparing exclusions in academies with a control group of schools with similar characteristics has been placed in the House Library. The chart shows the overall distribution of exclusions in academies and a group of control schools.
The funding agreements of all academies provide that all pupils permanently excluded
from academies have the right to an independent appeal panel in the same way as they would following permanent exclusion from a maintained school.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether academies are required to provide parents of excluded pupils with a right of appeal to an independent exclusions appeal panel; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families who the (a) sponsors and (b) co-sponsors are of academies whose funding agreements were approved by his Department between 28 November 2007 and 15 April 2008. 
|Academy name||FA signed||Sponsor||Co Sponsor||LA|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what freedoms have been granted to academies over the pay and conditions of their staff; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: It is the responsibility of the governing body of each academy to agree levels of pay and conditions of service with its employees. However, all teachers must have access to the Teachers Pension Scheme and all employees other than teachers must have access to the Local Government Pension Scheme. Any employees transferring to an academy from its predecessor school or schools have their existing pay and conditions protected under TUPE regulations.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many copies of his Departments Childrens Plan Toolkit have been produced; and what the cost was of the production of those copies. 
Kevin Brennan: Information on the number of mothers aged 12 and over who were looked after by English local authorities in each of the years ending 31 March 2005 to 2007 is shown in table A5 as follows. Table A5 is taken from the Statistical First Release (SFR 27/2007) entitled Children looked after in England (including adoption and care leavers) year ending 31 March 2007. The SFR is located at
|Table A5: mothers aged 12 years and over looked after at 31 March 2005 to 2007 by age at 31 March, age at birth of first child, category of need, ethnic origin and placement( 1,2,3)|
|(1) Source: SSDA903 return on children looked after.|
(2) Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.
(3) Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials.
(4) Data on the first childs date of birth was first collected in 2005-06.
(5) The most applicable category of the eight Need Codes (i.e. the reason why the child is receiving social services) at the time the child was taken into care rather than necessarily the reason they are looked after.
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