some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page

13 May 2008 : Column 1494W—continued


Children: Day Care

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government have taken to assist working parents with childcare outside school hours since 1997. [204548]

Beverley Hughes: Since 1997, the total number of registered childcare places has more than doubled; and the number of places in out of school clubs has increased from 78,700 to 365,400 over the same period.

Childcare, including activity based provision that parents can use as childcare, is a key part of the extended schools core offer. Primary schools are expected to provide access to traditional childcare between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. in line with demand as well as a range of activities. Secondary schools are expected to deliver access to activities that provide a safe place for children and young people to be between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Over 10,500 schools are already delivering access to the full core offer and many more schools are delivering access to the childcare and activities elements of it. All schools will provide access to the core of extended services by 2010, with at least half of all primary schools and a third of secondary schools doing so by September 2008.

All local authorities were required to complete assessments of the sufficiency of childcare in their areas by 31 March, identifying supply, demand, and gaps between the two. Since 1 April, local authorities have also been under a new duty to secure sufficient childcare for working parents, and that will help parents who are seeking childcare outside school hours to find the flexible, affordable, high quality provision that they want for their children.

We appreciate the impact that childcare costs can have on the family budget and are providing substantial help—over £3.5 million a day—through the tax credits system to help working parents with the cost of childcare. Parents making use of childcare out of school hours are, like other parents, benefiting from this.

Departmental Domestic Visits

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on how many occasions he has visited (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity in the last 12 months. [204401]

Kevin Brennan: My right hon. Friend has visited (a) Scotland once, (b) Wales once but has not visited (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity since June 2007. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will consider reforming the eligibility criteria for the education maintenance allowance (EMA) to allow children under the age of 16 years who have been advanced one school year or more and are studying at a post-16 educational level to receive the EMA. [205136]

Jim Knight: We have no plans to make EMA available to young people under the age of 16. EMA is not based on the academic level a pupil reaches. It is
13 May 2008 : Column 1495W
targeted at those who reach the end of their compulsory school phase 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.

Education: Assessments

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families by what date he expects (a) Key Stage 2 and (b) Key Stage 3 pupils to receive the results of their 2008 national tests; and if he will make a statement. [205022]

Jim Knight: The National Assessment Agency, which administers the National Curriculum tests for Key Stages 2 and 3, has stated that all schools will receive their test results by Tuesday 8 July 2008.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what discussions his Department has had with ETS on the training of markers of Key Stage 2 and 3 national tests; and if he will make a statement. [205023]

Jim Knight: None. The National Assessment Agency and ETS Europe, as its delivery partner, are responsible for the recruitment and training of markers for National Curriculum tests for Key Stages 2 and 3. All markers receive professional training in applying the mark scheme. Supervising markers attend a minimum of two full-day training meetings, focusing on the application of the mark scheme and on supporting markers in doing so.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what procedures his Department has in place to ensure that all markers of national tests are qualified; and if he will make a statement. [205025]

Jim Knight: The criteria for recruiting markers for 2008 are the same as in previous years. The new test operations contractor, ETS Europe requires markers to have an educational qualification and teaching experience in the relevant Key Stage and subject. All markers are also subject to a referee check by the Test Operations Agency. Markers are required to attend a full-day training meeting. If markers do not attend the relevant training meeting they are not allowed to mark. Following the training meeting, all markers are required to successfully pass "standardisation", a process whereby markers are required to mark a set number of national standard scripts. Markers that do not pass the standardisation process are not permitted to mark pupils' scripts.

Employment Tribunals Service: Complaints

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many complaints his Department has received about the administering of national tests by ETS; and if he will make a statement. [205024]


13 May 2008 : Column 1496W

Jim Knight: Records show that the Department has received four inquiries over the last week about the administration of national tests by the test operations contractor, ETS Europe. These are matters for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Extracurricular Activities

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government have taken to increase participation in after-school activities on the part of school pupils since 1997. [204549]

Beverley Hughes: The Government are committed to making out of school activities available to all children, and has put in place a large range of action to support this as part of the extended schools programme.

Our commitment is that by 2010 all schools will be providing access to a core range of extended services, including a varied menu of activities from 8am to 6pm. We are making very good progress, with more than 10,500 schools now providing the full core offer, and many more already providing the varied menu of activities aspect of the core offer.

A total of £840 million of Government funding was made available to local authorities and schools up to 2008 to support them in developing extended services, with some funding also available to promote and encourage effective programmes of study support available as part of the school development grant. A further £1.3 billion has been announced and will be available over the next three years to support the start-up and sustainability of services. Also as part of this, specific funding will be made available to support access to activities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Training and Development Agency support schools and local authorities to develop extended services, together with other partner organisations from the private and voluntary sectors. Guidance on extended schools and study support has provided practical advice for schools and their partners on setting up activities, developing and funding them, and has highlighted the significant benefits of doing so.

Flexible Working

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 23 April 2008, Official Report, column 2095W, what the standard procedure for requesting flexible working arrangements in his Department is; what guidance is given to employees in his Department advising them on how they can request flexible working; and if he will place a copy of this guidance in the Library. [203035]

Kevin Brennan: Any member of staff can request a change in working pattern and line managers should consider requests in line with the published policy and guidance.

I have arranged for a copy of the guidance to be placed in the Library of the House as requested.


13 May 2008 : Column 1497W

GCE A-Level

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average A-level points score per pupil was for secondary schools with sixth forms containing (a) 50 or fewer, (b) 51 to 100, (c) 101 to 150, (d) 151 to 200, (e) 201 to 250 and (f) more than 250 pupils in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [205109]

Jim Knight: The information is in the following table:

Number of pupils studying at A level or equivalent Average point score per student in schools of each size
2006 2007

50 or fewer

632.9

645.4

51 to 100

746.5

758.1

101 to 150

810.6

827.1

151 to 200

832.8

848.8

201 to 250

844.3

808.5

More than 250

851.8

867.7

Note: Figures relate to 16-18 year olds (age at start of academic year, i.e. 31 August) in all schools with sixth forms published in the achievement and attainment tables.

Figures for 2004-05 have not been provided as they are not comparable to the figures given for 2005-06 and 2006-07. Up to 2005-06 the UCAS tariff was used to calculate average point scores. However, this did not extend to cover the new range of qualifications now included as equivalencies, so the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) developed a tariff to calculate point scores for all Level 3 qualifications approved under Section 96 of the Learning and Skills Act (2000).

Higher Civil Servants

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of his Department’s and its predecessors’ senior civil service staff had flexible working arrangements in each year since 1997. [200557]

Kevin Brennan: Flexi-time working arrangements do not apply to senior civil service staff. However, they can work flexibly in terms of working patterns and working from home.

Data are only held on my Department and not predecessor departments. Currently, there around 11 per cent. of senior civil service staff (12 out of 114) who work part-time and a number also work from home occasionally through remote access to our IT systems. Information on home working is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Nursery Schools

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pages of guidance his Department and its predecessors sent to nursery school headteachers in each of the last 10 years. [201852]


13 May 2008 : Column 1498W

Kevin Brennan: Maintained nursery schools have received a wide range of statutory and non statutory guidance over the last 10 years. Statistical data on the number of pages included in these documents are not normally collected and would be possible to find out only at disproportionate costs.

The number of documents sent to all primary schools which would also have been sent to maintained nursery schools is detailed in the following table. The Department stopped sending regular paper mailings to schools in December 2004 replacing it with a regular fortnightly e-mail which allows schools to order the required numbers of documents at their discretion.

Guidance notes issued to primary schools
Primary

1997-98

86

1998-99

96

1999-2000

146

2000-01

47

2001-02

55

2002-03

39

2003-04

31

2004-05

0


Pupils: Southend

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children were on the roll (a) in each secondary school and (b) at special schools in Southend in each of the last five years for which information is available; and how many children in Southend with special educational needs attended special schools outside Southend in each year. [205079]

Jim Knight: The information on the number of pupils in (a) each secondary school and (b) special schools has been placed in the House Library.

The number of pupils with special educational needs who are resident in Southend on Sea local authority but attend special schools outside Southend on Sea local authority has been provided in this answer.

Number of pupils with special educational needs who are resident in Southend on Sea local authority but attend special schools outside Southend on Sea local authority: Position in January each year 2004 to 2008 (provisional). Southend on Sea local authority
Number of pupils

2004

29

2005

30

2006

37

2007

30

2008(1)

29

(1) 2008 are data provisional.
Note:
Figures on the number of pupils resident in Southend on Sea local authority with special educational needs (SEN) who attend special schools outside Southend on Sea local authority include boarders. SEN includes school action, school action plus and statement of SEN.
Source:
School Census

13 May 2008 : Column 1499W

Maintained secondary schools and all special schools: number (headcount) of pupils( 1: ) January 2003. Southend local authority
URN LEA number Estab number School name Headcount of pupils

115210

882

4034

Shoeburyness High School

1,448

115234

882

4492

Prittlewell Technology College

948

115317

882

5401

Westcliff High School for Boys

1,016

115330

882

5414

The Eastwood School (11-18)

794

115339

882

5423

Westcliff High School for Girls

1,012

115344

882

5428

Southend High School for Girls

936

115346

882

5430

The Thorpe Bay School

602

115350

882

5434

Belfairs High School

1,217

115362

882

5446

Southend High School for Boys

888

115363

882

5447

St. Thomas More High School for Boys

872

115368

882

5452

Cecil Jones High School

1,476

115381

882

5465

St. Bernard's High School

815

115385

882

5950

The St. Christopher School

136

115442

882

7001

Kingsdown School

105

115443

882

7003

Priory School

39

115444

882

7004

St. Nicholas School

96

115445

882

7005

Lancaster School

105

(1) Excluded dually registered pupils

Next Section Index Home Page