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16 Jun 2008 : Column 780Wcontinued
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many copies of the Morning Star publication his Department and each of its agencies procures each week; and at what cost. 
Kevin Brennan: This question can be answered only at disproportionate cost.
Expenditure on newspapers as recorded on the Departments integrated financial information system comes under the general heading of Books and Newspapers. DCSF is therefore unable to identify centrally whether specific publications are or have been purchased or the individual costs involved.
The Department does not have any executive agencies.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 6 June 2008, Official Report, column 1174W, on pre-school education, what assessment he has made of the reasons for two-thirds of children not reaching the literacy goals of the Foundation Stage. 
Beverley Hughes: All children are different and each child's development pathway and rate of progress is individual to them. This principle is fundamental to the design of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), where we make it explicit that all early years settings should deliver personalised learning, development and care. We believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life, and that to deliver that we need to continue to work with teachers and practitioners in the early years to ensure that children have the best possible experience.
To ensure that we narrow the achievement gap that currently exists between children from different backgrounds, we are investing in targeted programmes to support professionals in the early years and help them raise quality for children, supported by the framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). These programmes will focus on children's early language development and social development. In summer 2007 we allocated over £127 million for quality improvement to raise the number of staff in the private, voluntary and independent sectors who are qualified at level 3 as well as higher level qualifications, and to help them continue to develop their skills and knowledge in meeting the needs of young children.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent estimate he has made of the overall cost of increasing the free entitlement to nursery places for 12,000 disadvantaged two-year-olds. 
Beverley Hughes: Pilots of free early years provision for two-year-olds benefited 13,500 disadvantaged two-year-olds between 2006 and March this year at a cost of £18 million. Over 20,000 more two-year-olds will benefit over the next three years.
To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many incidents
of bullying were reported in schools in England in each of the last three years, broken down by region; 
(2) which 20 schools in England had the highest number of incidents of bullying in each of the last three years. 
Kevin Brennan: We are unable to provide figures for numbers of bullying incidents at school as we do not collect these data centrally.
However, tables showing the number of permanent and fixed period exclusions in the regions by reason for exclusion have been placed in the Library. This includes a category relating to bullying.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) primary and (b) secondary maintained schools use oversubscription criteria based on religious practice or adherence in their admissions arrangements, broken down by local authority. 
Jim Knight: The latest figures published by the Department show that in January 2007 there were 6,255 maintained primary schools and 587 maintained secondary schools designated by the Secretary of State as having a religious character. These schools are permitted to use faith-based oversubscription criteria in order to give higher priority to children who are members of, or practise, their faith. The Department does not collect information on how many of these schools do or do not use faith-based oversubscription criteria.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much has been allocated to sports facilities for schools in Wirral West constituency in the last five years, with particular reference to swimming pools; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: Capital allocations are made by the Department on a local authority rather than a constituency basis. They are allocated to sports facilities and swimming pools in accordance with priorities decided by the local authority in its asset management plan. Accordingly, no central records are maintained of allocations in respect of sports facilities or swimming pools. Total school capital allocations from the Department to Wirral and its schools over the past five years are set out in the following table.
The increase in funding in 2007-08 is due to an allocation of £26.7 million for a school pathfinder project.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department is contributing to the £140 million fund announced on 6 June 2008 to encourage local authorities to offer free swimming. 
Kevin Brennan: This Department is contributing £30 million of capital to the fund to encourage local authorities to provide free swimming, which was announced on 6 June. This capital funding will be available to improve swimming pools in schools which are available for community use. Working with the Local Government Association, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, Sport England and others we aim shortly to announce details of the allocation of this capital and the scheme more generally.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department spent on careers guidance for young people in (a) Leeds metropolitan district and (b) Leeds West constituency in each year since 2001. 
Beverley Hughes: In April 2001, responsibility for providing careers guidance passed from the Careers Service to the Connexions Service. Connexions provides services to 13 to 19-year-olds and to people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities up to the age of 24. Up until 1 April 2008, Connexions funding for Leeds was allocated to the Connexions West Yorkshire Partnership, which covered Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield LEAs. From 1 April 2008, Connexions funding is being allocated directly to each local authority. The following table shows the amount of central Government funding allocated to the Connexions Service and the Careers Service in Leeds and West Yorkshire since 2001. Information on the amount spent on careers guidance is not collected centrally. However, an independent study undertaken in 2006 concluded that, on average, around 42 per cent. of a Connexions Partnership's expenditure was on information, advice and guidance. The remainder was for targeted support for young people to address specific needs.
|Year||Connexions Service||Careers Service|
1. Allocated to Leeds Careers Service Company.
2. Allocated to the Connexions West Yorkshire Partnership, covering Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield LEAs.
3. Allocated to Leeds city council (the figure represents Leeds's share of a total £21 million allocated to the five local authorities in West Yorkshire).
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what grants were made by his Department to Westminster City Council in each of the last three years; for how much in each case; what grants will be made in 2008-09; and for how much in each case. 
Kevin Brennan: The grants made by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to Westminster city council in each of the last three years and for 2008-09 can be shown as follows:
|Westminster council funding|
|Schools and children services||Grant allocations (£)|
|(1) General Sure Start Grant allocations cover the two year period 2004-06|
(2) Prior to 2006-07 this funding was part of the Local Government Finance settlement managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government
(3) From 2008-09 this funding was transferred to the Formula Grant, managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government
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