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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which maintained schools did not give priority to children in care in their 2007-08 admission arrangements; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We do not collect that data centrally. However, we recently carried out an analysis of the 2008-09 admission arrangements adopted by schools in three local authority areasBarnet, Manchester and Nottinghamshirewhich showed that although a large majority complied with the school admissions code and admissions legislation, a significant minority of schools appeared to have adopted unlawful arrangements.
The Secretary of State made a statement to Parliament on 2 April on measures being taken to improve the admissions system, which also included details about the evidence gathered, which showed that 58 out of 570 schools across the three local authority areas failed to give children in care the unequivocal highest priority in school admission arrangements as required by law. This information is available in the House Library:
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessment his Department has made of the efficacy of the reading recovery initiative for dyslexic children; 
Kevin Brennan [holding answer 25 April 2008]: Evaluations of the Every Child a Reader pilotwhich provides Reading Recovery for children from among those having the most difficulties in learning to readwere published in 2006 and 2007. These are available on
The evaluation of Every Child a Reader in London in 2005/06 showed that 87 per cent. of children who had received Reading Recovery were considered to have made average to exceptional progress in reading comprehension. However, these evaluations did not include looking at the efficacy of Reading Recovery for children with dyslexia.
Our commitment through the primary and secondary national strategies is to ensure Quality First teaching for all. The Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts initiatives are focused on providing additional intervention for the 5 per cent. of children facing the most difficulties with reading and mathematics. They do not provide a specific focus on provision for children with dyslexia. Every Child a Reader is being rolled out to reach 30,000 children a year by 2010/11.
Every Child Counts is currently in a research phase and will be informed by the Williams review of the teaching of mathematics which is due to be published in June this year. The intention is that Every Child Counts will be aimed at children whose attainment in the early stages of mathematics shows they are not making expected progress for their age.
Every Child a Writer is a new programme announced at the end of last year. The intentionas stated in our Childrens Planis that this will offer support later in primary school than Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts and will reach a greater number of pupils. Further announcements will be made about Every Child a Writer in due course.
The SEN Code of Practice says that effective management, school ethos and the learning environment, curricular, pastoral and discipline arrangements can help prevent some special educational needs arising, and minimise others (paragraph 5:18). Where whole
school arrangements for teaching and learning are not addressing a child's learning difficulties, schools have a statutory duty to do their best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has special educational needs. It follows that if a child with dyslexia is not benefiting from participation in any or all of the three initiatives, the school must make additional or different arrangements to address the childs special educational needs.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2008, Official Report, column 183W, on operating costs, what the administrative costs of his Departments predecessor were in each year from 1990-91 to 2006-07 in real terms using 2005-06 prices. 
Ed Balls: The administrative costs from 1990-91 to 2006-07 for the Departments which preceded the Department for Children, Schools and Families, adjusted to 2005-06 prices using the latest GDP deflators, are set out in the following table.
|Total net admin costs (£ million)|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many guidance notes to (a) schools and (b) local authorities have been issued by his Department, its predecessors and its agencies in each (i) year, (ii) quarter and (iii) month since 1 January 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
The number of documents sent to all primary and secondary schools is detailed in the table attached at Annex A. Where a document has been sent to both primary and secondary schools it will appear in
the totals for both. The Department stopped sending regular paper mailings to schools in December 2004, replacing them with a regular fortnightly e-mail which allows schools to order the required numbers of documents at their discretion.
The guidance notes issued to local authorities are generally intended to help front-line staff to understand and implement their statutory duties effectively and improve outcomes for children, young people and families. The data available for this year and last are set out at Annex B.
|Annex A: (a) guidance notes issued to schools|
|Annex B: (b) guidance notes issued to local authorities|
The percentage of working days lost owing to sickness absence in 1 July to 31 December was 15 per cent. of all working days. The recorded total of working days lost was 1,583 compared to 10,404 working days lost for all sickness absences, and 680 days were lost in the latest quarter (1 January to 31
March 2008). Sickness absence information is collected quarterly in my Department, but monthly information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
The Department has introduced a range of measures to support managers and employees on health and wellbeing issues, including the provision of professional counselling and support from the Departments Employee Assistance Provider, Right Corecare. The Department has piloted a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Stress Questionnaire in one part of the organisation and conducted Individual Stress Risk Assessments for employees who require them. It will shortly be launching a comprehensive Stress Prevention Policy, based on HSE Management Standards.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what targets apply to his Department's performance in 2008; which targets have been (a) dropped and (b) amended since January 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The DCSF was responsible for 12 public service agreements (PSAs) from the 2004 spending review, which ended in 2007-08. Over the 2007 comprehensive spending review period, which runs from 2008-09 to 2010-11, my Department has six departmental strategic objectives (DSOs) and leads five cross-governmental PSAs. Details are available on the HM Treasury website at:
The 12 PSA targets over the 2004 spending review period, which ended in 2008, were underpinned by 20 indicators. Of these, 11 indicators underpin the five PSAs which the DCSF leads over the 2007 comprehensive spending review period. The remaining indicators underpin DSOs or, in the case of PE and school sport, a PSA led by another Department. Full details of the transition will be set out in the forthcoming DCSF departmental report, a copy of which will be placed in the House Library.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the education maintenance allowance is available to children aged younger than 16 who have taken their GCSEs early and are in further education; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Young people who are of compulsory school age when taking up further education are not eligible for education maintenance allowance (EMA) on the grounds of their age. EMA is not based on the academic level a pupil reaches. It is targeted at those who reach the end of their compulsory school phase and who have the option of dropping out of learning.
The purpose of EMA is to remove barriers to learning, and increase participation and retention rates among learners who can legally leave education. Therefore, EMA is not available to learners who by law must remain in education.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what forecast he has made of his Departments expenditure on education maintenance allowance over the next 10 years. 
Jim Knight: The forecast expenditure for education maintenance allowance over the comprehensive spending review (CSR) period is £531 million/£544 million/£560 million in financial years 2008-09/2009-10/2010-11. Forecasts of expenditure beyond this period are not available.
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