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The number of full day care providers in children's centres who were trying to recruit staff was too low for analysis to be carried out .

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many surveys the Government have conducted to assess the state of the market for child care (a) since 1997 and (b) between May 2007 and May 2008. [214815]

Beverley Hughes: The following surveys have been conducted by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to assess the state of the market for child care:

In addition, the Department for Work and Pensions runs the following household surveys which include questions about child care:

Children's Centres

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Sure Start centre staff in helping children to develop language skills. [215807]

Beverley Hughes: From September 2008, all settings offering early years provision will be required to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. This supports all settings to plan activities and experiences that can help all children to make progress in their development and learning. It stresses the importance of practitioners being alert to the early signs of speech and language needs that could lead to later difficulties and provides a framework to enable early years practitioners to respond quickly and appropriately, involving other agencies as necessary.

Sure Start children's centres (SSCC) play a key role in the positive promotion of children's speech and language development and in identifying speech and language difficulties. We expect staff in children's centres to have a good understanding of how to promote children's
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language acquisition and identify speech and language difficulties as part of a centre-wide strategy and approach, supported by access to more specialist speech and language services which are jointly commissioned by PCTs and local authorities.

The national evaluation of Sure Start recognised that some centres were doing good work in relation to children's language development but it pointed out that more needed to be done to engage parents and children's centre staff in the importance of fostering language development in early learning experiences. This is why in our “Children's Centre Practice Guidance” (December 2006) we said that this should be a priority for SSCCs in developing their services and that all staff should have the skills and understanding required for high-quality, responsive interaction with children. We also said that SSCCs should provide parents with the information and support they need to maximise the development of their children's speech and language skills.

We are working with I CAN, the children's communication charity, to pilot their Early Talk training programme in 200 children's centres. This will train children's centre practitioners, alongside speech and language therapists, to develop their knowledge and understanding of language development, and the ways in which they can help support parents in developing communication skills within the home.

Children's Centres: Milton Keynes

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children's centres there are in Milton Keynes; how many are planned to be opened; and how much will be spent on such centres in the next 12 months. [214947]

Beverley Hughes: Milton Keynes currently has 13 designated Sure Start children's centres offering services to approximately nine thousand children under five and their families.

By 2010 all children under five and their families will have access to a children's centre. Milton Keynes has been given an indicative number of a further seven centres required to reach all under fives by 2010. The Department's delivery partner, Together for Children, is working with local authorities to help them plan the final phase of delivery and to confirm the number of additional centres needed to achieve universal coverage by 2010.

Milton Keynes's Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare grant for 2008/09 included allocations of £560,328 in capital and £3,321,586 in revenue funding for Sure Start children's centres. It is for local authorities to decide how to allocate funding to children's centres within this grant.

Education Maintenance Allowance: Enfield

Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many people in the London Borough of Enfield received education maintenance allowance in each of the last five years. [213802]

Jim Knight: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) who have operational responsibility for the EMA for the Department for Children, Schools
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and Families (DCSF) and hold information about payments made under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the LSC's chief executive, will write to my right hon Friend the Member for Enfield, North (Joan Ryan) with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 27( th) June 2008:

Number

2004/05

1,337

2005/06

2,639

2006/07

3,499

2007/08

(1)3,731

(1 )To 31 May 2008.

Extended Schools

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what (a) numerical and (b) core offer targets his Department has set to increase the number of extended (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools; [214731]

(2) what progress he has made in increasing the numbers of extended schools; and if he will make a statement; [214732]

(3) what research to assess the provision of extended schools has been undertaken on behalf of his Department; and if he will make a statement. [214736]

Beverley Hughes: The Government’s target is for all schools to provide access to extended services by 2010, with half of all primary and a third of secondary schools to be doing so by September 2008.

Nationally, over 10,500 schools are providing access to the core offer of extended services with many more schools delivering individual elements of the core offer. We are on track to meet our 2008 and 2010 targets.

We have begun a full evaluation of the impact of extended schools, beginning with a survey of pupils and parents. We also commissioned research by Manchester and Newcastle universities into the impact of full service extended schools. This was a three year evaluation that concluded with the publication of the final report on
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25 June 2007 and showed that extended services helped to improve pupils attainment, engagement with learning, behaviour and attendance.

In January 2008 Ofsted published a report “how well are they doing?” on extended schools and children's centres. The report found that extended services had a positive impact on a child's personal development. This was particularly true for the most vulnerable children where services had transformed the lives of some these children and their families.

This year we commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake a programme of research to explore the delivery of the core offer of extended school services in England. Their report will be published shortly.

Harrington Scheme

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2008, Official Report, column 972W, on the Harrington scheme, whether the funding for the scheme will be ring-fenced when it transfers to local authority control; and if he will make a statement. [213969]

Kevin Brennan: The Department's White Paper “Raising Expectations: Enabling the System to Deliver” laid out plans for transfer of funding for learning for 16 to 19-year-olds from the Learning and Skills Council to local authorities from September 2010.

Under the new system local authorities will have the duty to secure and commission the most appropriate and high quality provision for the young people in their area, and the funding of programmes such as the Harrington scheme and all others will be considered in this context. In deciding what provision to commission in the future, local authorities will need to consider in particular learner demand and ensuring that young people have access to the best available provision.

Higher Education: Admissions

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many people resident in the London Borough of Bexley entered full-time higher education in the academic years (a) 1997-98, (b) 1998-99 and (c) 2006-07. [215052]

Bill Rammell: I have been asked to reply.

The latest available information is shown in the table. Comparable figures for the 2007/08 academic year will be available in January 2009. Figures broken down by ward are not available.


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Entrants( 1) to undergraduate courses from Bexley local authority, UK higher education institutions, academic years 1997/98 to 2006/07
Bexley
Of which;
Academic year All Entrants Full-time

1997/98(2)

1,200

925

1998/99

1,450

955

1999/2000

1,395

885

2000/01

1,620

1,035

2001/02

1,745

1,120

2002/03

1,785

1,155

2003/04

1,955

1,230

2004/05(3)

2,035

1,300

2005/06

2,100

1,360

2006/07

2,125

1,420

(1) Figures are on a snapshot basis as at 1 December to maintain a consistent time series across all years and are rounded to the nearest five. Figures include the Open University but exclude those on writing up, sabbatical or dormant modes of study.
(2 )Figures for 1997/98 exclude the Open University because there are no figures available for entrants to undergraduate courses at the Open University by local authority for this year.
(3 )The increase in entrants between 2004/05 and 2005/06 may be greater than in reality as a consequence of a problem identified with data submitted by the Open University (OU) in the 2004/05 academic year.
Source:
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Parents: Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government have taken to assist those parents in treatment for drug addiction with parenting skills. [213973]

Beverley Hughes: The Government's 10 year Drug Strategy, ‘Drugs: Protecting Families and Communities’, launched at the end of February 2008, put a new focus on families, with parents being made a priority for effective drug treatment. This acknowledges the damage caused to whole families when a parent develops drug problems and highlights that an effective way to improve outcomes for children of substance misusing parents is by effectively treating the parent. Government and the National Treatment Agency (NTA) are working together to achieve this by improving the effectiveness of treatment for the whole treatment population, of which an estimated 46 per cent. are parents.

We are ensuring that drug misusing parents have ready access to this support with assessments taking account of the needs of children, and developing of guidance on the commissioning and delivery of "family friendly" treatment with closer links to maternity services. We are specifically working to improve the parenting skills of those parents with drug problems through developing the family intervention skills of drug workers, by including drug misuse within the scope of initiatives such as Family Pathfinders and Respect Parenting Practitioners, extending the Family Intervention Programme for an extra 500 families affected by drug misuse, and funding the Family Drug and Alcohol Court Pilots, all of which have a focus on improving parenting skills. We are evaluating the impact of these programmes.

Vocational Guidance: Females

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what occupations his Department defines as non-traditional occupations for girls when assessing the progress Connexions has made in encouraging girls into all occupations. [215854]


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Beverley Hughes: This Department does not make a formal definition of non-traditional occupations, but this is an important issue. We know that there is a clear correlation between sectors experiencing skills shortages and sectors in which women are under-represented, for example in science, engineering and technology roles. That is why it is vital that we continue to invest in and improve Connexions and other local youth support services, to ensure that girls and all young people can access and benefit from impartial advice, support and encouragement to take the career path that most inspires them.


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