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Pupil Exclusions: Milton Keynes

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils were excluded from each Milton Keynes school in each year since 1997. [214921]

Kevin Brennan: All of the requested information could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

Tables showing the number and percentage of permanent exclusions for a selection of years within the requested timeframe have been placed in the Library. The information relates to schools in Milton Keynes local authority area in 1997/98, 2000/01, 2003/04 and 2005/06.

School level exclusions data relating to 2006/07 school year will be available from 10 July 2008 (when local authority level figures are published).

Schools: Berwick-upon-Tweed

Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will visit Berwick-upon-Tweed to discuss spending on schools in the area. [214265]

Jim Knight: DCSF Ministers receive many invitations to visit schools across the country to discuss their individual circumstances and issues. While it is not possible to accept all of these, Ministers do look carefully at the issues in question and diary commitments when considering each invitation. I therefore ask the hon. Member to contact my office with details of the proposed visit and the issues he would like to discuss, to allow proper consideration of his invitation.

Schools: Sports

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families at what proportion of secondary schools in (a) England, (b) London and (c) each London local authority area pupils played (i) four hours or more sport a week and (ii) competitive inter-school sport in 2006-07. [214316]

Kevin Brennan: The annual school sport survey collects data relating to participation in PE and sport by five to 16-year-olds in England. This enables us to measure progress towards our PSA target to have at least 85 per cent. of pupils doing at least two hours high quality PE and sport each week by September 2008. Currently, 86 per cent. of young people are doing the two hours. The survey does not collect data relating to the proportion of secondary schools in which pupils participate in four hours or more of sport each week.

The most recent survey found that 31 per cent. of five to 16-year-olds in England currently participate in inter school sporting competition. The figure for all London local authorities is also 31 per cent. Copies of the results of the survey can be found in the Libraries of both Houses.

From next year, progress towards our new target of five hours of sport for young people will be measured by a range of means including: the annual school sport survey; extensive face to face interviews with young people; and Sport England’s Active People survey.

Schools: Vacancies

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many staff vacancies in all primary and secondary schools in (a) Basingstoke and (b) Hampshire there were in each year for which figures are available; [214398]

(2) what the average number of staff vacancies in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in (i) Basingstoke, (ii) Hampshire and (iii) England was in each year for which figures are available. [214399]

Jim Knight: The number of vacancies for all staff in primary and secondary schools is not collected centrally.

Information is available for teacher vacancies for individual local authorities but not by constituency. The following table provides the number of full-time vacancies in Hampshire local authority and England and the average of these for each year where figures are available.

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Full-time vacancies( 1) in local authority maintained nursery/primary and secondary schools, January of each year. Coverage: England and Hampshire local authority, 1994 to 2008
Hampshire LA England
Nursery/primary Secondary Nursery/primary Secondary












































































Average vacancies





(1) Advertised vacancies for full-time permanent appointments (or appointments of at least one terms duration). Includes vacancies being filled on a temporary basis of less than one term.
(2 )Not applicable: Local government re-organisation in April 1998 means that comparable figures are not available for these years.
(3) Provisional.
(4 )Not available.
Annual survey of teachers in service and teachers vacancies, 618g.

Teachers: Immigrants

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many language schools have been found to be in breach of the immigration rules relating to qualified language teachers in the last two years; what the (a) shortest, (b) longest and (c) median time was that such a school remained on the Register of Education and Training Providers while working towards compliance with the rules in (i) London and (ii) Manchester; and if he will make a statement; [208659]

(2) when he plans to answer Question 208659 tabled by the hon. Member for Manchester Central on 2 June 2008 for answer on 5 June; and what the reason is for the time taken to respond. [213260]

Mr. Byrne [holding answers 5 June and 23 June 2008]: I have been asked to reply.

The original question has been passed to me to reply to as the Minister responsible for matters relating to immigration at the Home Office.

I apologise for the delay in providing this reply.

Since the inception of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills’ Register of Education and Training Providers (RETP) on 1 January 2005, UK Border Agency compliance visits have resulted in the removal of 143 providers from the register on the basis that they were not bona fide for the purposes of the immigration rules. Applications for visas and further leave to remain from students wishing to study at these colleges have since been refused.

I am afraid that UKBA does not keep records which can identify the specific type of educational
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establishment found to be in breach of the immigration rules. I regret that I am unable, therefore, to let you know how many of the 143 were language schools.

The introduction of the new Points Based System means that colleges will soon need to apply direct to UKBA for a Licence to bring in non-EEA students. No Licences will be issued to colleges that are not independently accredited. Use of the Licences, once issued, will be rigorously policed.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government has taken to tackle truancy through parental action. [213972]

Kevin Brennan: My Department focuses on reducing all unnecessary absences from schools. Overall absence rates have been substantially lower than the 1996-97 rate of 7.23 per cent. in all but two of the last nine years for which full data are available and in 2006-07 stood at a record low level of 6.49 per cent. Our focus on supporting schools with the highest levels of persistent absence has resulted in those schools achieving an average reduction in the number of persistent absentees of over 25 per cent.

We have worked with local authorities to promote the importance of good school attendance to parents and discourage parents from keeping their children out of school unnecessarily. Working with Becta, we have also assisted schools’ use of modern technology to contact absentees' parents.

We expanded the measures to tackle poor attendance through parental action in the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. These provisions came into force in February 2004 and provided a balanced package of support (parenting contracts) and sanctions (penalty notices) to parents in order to engage them and to reinforce parental responsibility for their children’s regular school attendance—adding to the options of prosecution and parenting orders which had been previously available to local authorities.

All 150 local authorities have used at least one of the measures to address and improve school attendance problems.

An independent research report published in March 2008 showed that 80 per cent. of local authorities using parenting contracts agreed with parents had found them to be successful in reducing poor attendance levels in schools.

Data on parental responsibility measures for attendance are provided at local authority level and are published at:

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Apprentices: Armed Forces

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many military apprenticeships were (a) undertaken and (b)
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completed in North Yorkshire in each of the last three years. [213991]

Mr. Lammy: The number of military apprentices which started and completed their apprenticeship in North Yorkshire in each of the last three years is given in the following table:

Academic year Total starts and completions









Notes: 1. There are no RAF or Royal Navy Apprenticeships in North Yorkshire. 2. These figures are apprenticeships in the Army in North Yorkshire. 3. Training conducted at the Army Foundation College (Harrogate).

Dementia: Research

Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer of 10 June 2008, Official Report, column 202W, on how much of the £6.4 million spent on research into dementia was spent in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland. [214412]

Ian Pearson: In 2006-07, the MRC spent approximately £6.4 million on research on dementias in the UK in the form of research grants and fellowships at UK universities and medical schools, and programmes within the MRC's own research units and institutes. The geographical breakdown of this expenditure was as follows:

Location in UK Spend in 2006-07 (£ million)







Northern Ireland


Departmental Buildings

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) new builds and (b) major refurbishments were completed by his Department for a cost in excess of £0.5 million in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08 to which the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method or equivalent was applied; how many such buildings were assessed as (A) pass, (B) good, (C) very good and (D) excellent; and if he will make a statement. [213699]

Mr. Lammy: Since its creation in June 2007, DIUS had one refurbishment only—of Kingsgate House in London—carried out in its behalf (by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which supplies us with estates services). A Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment was not carried out because the project principally comprised a strip out of existing floors and creation of newly-configured office space and did not involve stripping the building back to its core, nor overhauling the main building plant. The work did, however, include environmentally-friendly changes like the installation of motion-sensitive lighting.

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