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Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent discussions he has had with the Department for Transport on the fitting of seatbelts in all vehicles used to transport children to and from school. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 2 June 2008]: There have been no recent discussions between the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Transport on the fitting of seat belts in vehicles used to transport children to and from school. Seat belts must be fitted in all coaches and mini-buses carrying groups of children on organised trips, including when used for dedicated home to school transport, However much home to school transport is organised on service buses (typically double deckers) where there is no legal requirement to fit seat belts, as ills recognised that their design makes it technically difficult for adequate seat belts to befitted retrospectively.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many secondary schools have a specialism in (a) mathematics, (b) English, (c) modern languages, (d) dance, (e) music, (f) sport, (g) science, (h) drama, (i) technology, (j) humanities and (k) other subjects; and if he will make a statement; 
Jim Knight: 2892 secondary schools have specialist status. The following table shows how many schools are specialist in each of the main initial specialisms available and the five additional specialisms made available to high performing specialist schools (HPSS). English, dance and drama are not individual specialisms, with English being part of the humanities specialism and dance and drama covered by the arts specialism.
|Specialism||Main specialism||Combined specialism||HPSS specialisms||Total number of schools with a specialism|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much per pupil funding there was for children taught in (a) school sixth forms and (b) sixth form and further education colleges in 2007-08; what the cost would have been of equalising funding per pupil at the level of school pupils in that year; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) Statement of Priorities, published in November 2007, set out that there will be a simpler, more transparent, common 16-18 funding system for schools, colleges and providers. This will be based on a common measure of the size of qualifications or learning programmes, standard learner numbers, 22 learning hours per week and a provider factor that is unique to every institution. On the basis of information provided by the LSC, under this new funding system the national funding rate per pupil for 2008/09 will be £2,945 for school sixth forms and £2,860 for FE colleges. The equivalent figures for 2007/08 have been estimated at £2,884 for school sixth forms and £2,790 for FE colleges.
The LSC hold the information required to calculate what the cost would have been of aligning funding rates between 16-18 pupils in school sixth forms and sixth-form colleges/FE colleges in 2007/08. Mark Haysom, the LSCs Chief Executive has written to the hon. Member and a copy of his response has been placed in the Libraries.
Further to your question to the SOS for Children, Schools and Families and the reply by Jim Knight, Minister for Schools I would like to add the following piece of information.
In his response Mr Knight mentioned our new 16-18 funding system which comes into effect for 2008/09 and gave you the equivalent funding rates per standard learner number (SLN, a measure of the number of learners and the breadth of their learning). These are £2,945 for school sixth forms and £2,860 for FE college learners (including Sixth Form Colleges).
As this is a new system there are no equivalent figures for 2007/08 but one may use the difference between the two figures £85 as a proxy for the difference in funding in 2007/08 given that the rates would notionally have increased by 2.1% in both cases. The additional piece of information required to make the estimation that you have asked for is the number of SLNs in 2007/08. We estimate this figure to be 1,002,322. Therefore the cost of equalising the base funding rate per learner in schools and colleges would be approximately £85 million per year. In addition, there are a number of other factors influencing the funding differences between school sixth forms and FE, which are explored in more detail in a report undertaken for the LSC by KPMG, published on 6 May. This is available on the LSCs website at:
We are working with DCSF and schools and colleges to review this funding difference and to look at ways of equalising funding.
I hope you find this information useful.
Action for Prisoners Families
Agency for Culture and Change Management
Anyadwe Children and Family Welfare
Asian Family Counselling Service
BAPs Care for Children Ltd
British Refugee Council
Cleverland Family Mediation
Eating Disorders Association
Families Need Fathers
Family Matters Institute
Family Matters York
Family Nurturing Network
Family Rights Group
Family Welfare Association
Family Welfare Association
Good Shepherd Charities
Lesbian and Gay Foundation
Mancroft Advice Project
Mid Staffs Mencap
Muslim Welfare House
National Black boys Can Assoc
National Deaf Children's Society
National Family and Parenting Institute
National Tenants Resource Centre
NCH South West
New Forest and Romsey Mobile
One Plus One
PAPYRUS -Prevention of young suicide
Partners of Prisoners and Families Support
Place to be
Poole Community Family Trust
Positive Parenting Publications
Prader Willi Syndrome Association
Prisoners Families and Friends
Race Equality Foundation
Revival Support Service
Somerset Family Partnership
South London Tamil Welfare Group
Springboard Family Project
St. Christopher's Fellowship
Students Exploring Marriage
Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships
Totnes Community Family Trust
Trust for the Study of Adolescence
Wai Yin Chinese Women Society
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