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30 Jun 2008 : Column 638W—continued

Children’ Centres

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what information his Department has received from local authorities on their consultation and co-operation with local providers in delivering Sure Start children’s centres from 2007-08 onwards; from which local authorities that information has come; if his Department will publish it; and if he will make a statement. [214332]

Beverley Hughes: The Planning guidance for Sure Start Children’s Centres encourages local authorities to involve voluntary, private and independent organisations both in the planning and delivery of children’s centre services.


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We do not collect information centrally on how local authorities undertake such consultation or how many of them use PVI organisations to provide services. However a survey of around 1,100 children’s centres last year showed that 74 per cent. of children’s centres had contracts with voluntary sector organisations to provide services and 57 per cent. were using a private sector organisation to provide child care services. We plan to run a further survey later this year and will publish the results of this when they are available.

Class Sizes: Young Offender Institutions

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average class size in (a) youth offender institutions and (b) secure training centres is. [214622]

Beverley Hughes: This information is not collected centrally. However contracts and costs for education in young offender institutions are based on class sizes of eight. The Youth Justice Board report that in secure training centres, young people are generally educated in groups of between five and eight.

Departmental Buildings

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the value of the property held by (a) his Department and (b) associated public bodies was at the most recent date for which figures are available. [212877]

Kevin Brennan: Net book value of the property held by the Department at 31 March 2008, £49,913,000.

Net book value of the property held by the Department's associated public bodies at 31 March 2008, £3,420,042.

Departmental Manpower

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many jobs his Department expects to relocate under the policy of civil service job dispersal. [213395]

Kevin Brennan: The former Department for Education and Skills committed to meet its Lyons Review target to relocate out of London and the South East around 800 posts from its own organisation and its partner organisations by 2010. Following Machinery of Government changes in June 2007, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) inherited a commitment to relocate out of London and the South East around 760 posts from its own organisation and its partner bodies by 2010.

At the end of March 2008, 626 posts had been relocated out of London and the South East by my Department and its partner organisations, since monitoring began in April 2004. My Department is working with our partners, including the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the Training and Development Agency for Schools, to continue to deliver further relocations of posts. We expect to meet and exceed the target.


30 Jun 2008 : Column 640W

Departmental Pilot Schemes

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which pilot projects initiated by his Department and its predecessor in the last two years have not proceeded to further roll-out. [211848]

Kevin Brennan: The policy initiatives that we pilot allow us to work in close partnership with local leaders and key partners to test and develop options that inform our decisions on wider implementation. It generally takes up to three years to rigorously test and evaluate a pilot initiative before deciding on the best model to roll out across the country. As such, I am unable to say at this point how many of the schemes initiated in the last two years will progress to a full national roll-out.

For further information on the pilot schemes that my Department sponsors I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 1 April 2008, Official Report, column 821W, to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws).

Departmental Vetting

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what procedures his Department follows for checking the criminal records of employees; and if he will make a statement. [213138]

Kevin Brennan: All individuals recruited to the Department are subject to a basic criminal records check. As part of the application process individuals complete a self-declaration of their criminal records.

In line with the HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard the Department undertakes a full independent check of unspent criminal records for all successful applicants, who are not in a regulated post.

In addition to the Baseline Security checks, all individuals recruited to a regulated post, or to a post where they have access to personal or sensitive data about children or vulnerable adults, have been subject to, or are currently undergoing, enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, as a matter of course.

Economic and Monetary Union

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on what date the euro changeover plan of (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies was last updated; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recent version of each. [210881]

Kevin Brennan: The DCSF Euro Changeover Plan is currently being reviewed and updated to take account of the Machinery of Government change in June 2007 and changes in the delivery of corporate systems over the next nine to 12 months. A copy of the completed document will be placed in the Library when this work is completed. The Department has no agencies.


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GCE A-Level: Bexley

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average A-Level point score was for pupils at schools in the London Borough of Bexley in (a) 1997, (b) 1998 and (c) 2007. [215053]

Jim Knight: The point scores used in 1997 and 1998 are not comparable with scores from 2007.

In 1997 and 1998, average point scores were calculated by assigning GCE A level grades A to E 10 to 2 points respectively and GCE AS grades A to E 5 to 1 respectively.

Average point score per student Average point score per entry
1997 1998 1997 1998

Bexley

15.9

16.0

5.7

5.1

England

17.3

17.8

5.3

5.4

Notes: 1. Figures relate to 16 to 18-year-olds (age at start of academic year, i.e. 31 August) entered into two or more A levels. 2. Figures relate to students in maintained schools and colleges.

In 2006 a new point score system designed to take into account the new range of Level 3 equivalencies was created by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Details on approved qualifications and their point scores can be found at:

Average point score per student Average point score per entry
2006 2007 2006 2007

Bexley

700.5

737.6

198.7

206.6

England

700.9

711.2

202.2

203.6

Notes: 1. Figures relate to 16 to 18-year-olds (age at start of academic year, i.e. 31 August) entered into an A level or Level 3 qualification equivalent in size to at least one A level. 2. Figures relate to students in maintained schools and colleges.

Parents: Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what recent steps the Government have taken to improve the parenting skills of vulnerable adults; [213971]

(2) what recent steps the Government have taken to provide support for children whose parents are in prison; [213974]

(3) what recent steps the Government have taken in partnership with third sector organisations to improve parenting skills. [213975]

Beverley Hughes: We have significantly increased funding (over £120 million for 2008-11) for targeted
30 Jun 2008 : Column 642W
initiatives to support families with high levels of need, with a particular focus on parenting skills. These include Family Intervention Projects, the Parenting Early Intervention Programme, Respect Parenting Practitioners and funding for at least one new Parenting Expert in every local authority to provide evidence-based parenting programmes for parents of children who are considered to be at risk or those parents with problems that are known to put their children at risk.

This is supported by an investment of £30 million to enable the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners, which was set up in November 2007, to develop the parenting workforce in Sure Start Children's Centres, schools and other local settings in both the statutory and third sectors. The Academy is providing training and support to increase the number of practitioners who can deliver evidence-based parenting programmes, particularly to vulnerable parents. They are also working closely with other third sector organisations to improve the availability and quality of parenting support across England.

We fund a range of third sector organisations through the Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) grant programme, the Parenting Fund and the Parent Know How Programme to provide support services to parents and families, including help with their parenting skills. This includes structured parenting programmes, support groups, counselling and helplines. Parenting services for some of the country's most vulnerable, including teenage parents, disabled parents and families facing break up are to get a share of up to £8 million in 2008-09 through the Parenting Fund.

In January, we published the joint priority review on the children of offenders with the Ministry of Justice. This includes commitments to explore ways in which the National Offender Management Service and children's services can assess and meet a child's needs when a parent goes to prison; and to set clear and achievable expectations of offender managers and local partners to improve support for these families.

We have highlighted the families of offenders as being a priority group to local authorities in their work to decide where to target DCSF-funded parenting and family support. A recent communication on the remit for the new Parenting Experts highlighted parents who are offenders (including those in prison).

Primary Education: Standards

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of children achieved the national standard in each Key Stage 1 examination in each year for which figures are available. [214396]

Jim Knight: The number and percentage of key stage 1 pupils achieving level 2 or above is given as follows:


30 Jun 2008 : Column 643W

30 Jun 2008 : Column 644W
Mathematics Reading Writing Science
Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

1995

79

470,733

78

466,536

80

477,305

1996

82

491,493

78

464,613

79

474,641

1997

84

512,710

80

489,518

80

490,220

1998

84

529,029

80

500,824

81

507,849

1999

87

544,042

82

513,012

83

519,641

2000

90

542,878

83

504,624

84

511,039

2001

91

546,054

84

505,694

86

515,812

2002

90

531,880

84

495,660

86

506,122

2003

90

523,317

84

487,942

81

470,988

2004(1)

90

531,505

85

499,050

82

480,906

2005(2)

91

517,999

85

484,803

82

469,169

90

510,523

2006

90

507,340

84

474,514

81

457,285

89

501,429

2007

90

491,352

84

457,904

80

439,007

89

485,774

(1 )The figures for 2004 are derived from combining task/test results for non trial schools and teacher assessment results for trial schools.
(2 )Due to a change in policy the figures for 2005 onwards are taken from teacher assessment results.
Notes:
1. Prior to 2004, results of pupils in tasks/tests at key stage 1 were reported alongside teacher assessments.
2. In 2004, new assessment arrangements where only teacher assessments (informed by task/test results) were reported were trialled in some LAs. In 2005 this trial was rolled out to all LAs and from 2005 to date teacher assessments, informed by the outcomes of national tasks and tests are reported. As a result, figures for results from 2004 onwards are not directly comparable with those prior to 2004, and care is needed in interpreting trends in the data.

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