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7 July 2008 : Column 1402W—continued


Departmental Press

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much was spent by his Department on subscriptions for magazines, newspapers and other publications in each of the last 24 months. [215217]

Kevin Brennan: The purchase of newspaper, magazines and other publications is recorded under the general heading of books and newspapers. DCSF is unable to separately identify subscriptions as such expenditure is recorded under this general heading.

Details of expenditure on books, newspapers and magazines incurred by the Department in each of the last 24 months and recorded in the Departments’ integrated financial information system are as follows;


7 July 2008 : Column 1403W

£

July 2006

11,249.72

August 2006

13,806.66

September 2006

9,054.94

October 2006

19,464.11

November 2006

9,057.42

December 2006

12,771.95

January 2007

4,869.95

February 2007

14,378.02

March 2007

12,272.65

April 2007

8,132.53

May 2007

13,214.94

June 2007

7,860.48

July 2007

15,304.11

August 2007

8,021.07

September 2007

15,902.31

October 2007

20,640.38

November 2007

5,173.04

December 2007

5,990.21

January 2008

4,435.82

February 2008

9,234.69

March 2008

14,104.81

April 2008

12,360.97

May 2008

3,725.66

June 2008

4,777.65


DCSF was established under Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. The response also covers those areas of responsibility held by its predecessor the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).

Departmental Research

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many educational researchers were employed by (a) his Department and its predecessor and (b) the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. [216210]

Jim Knight: The Department currently employs 30 social researchers. These researchers work on a range of issues including educational research but also including other research on young people, children and families. Historical data are only available for the years 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-3 and 2006-07 as follows:

Number

2000-01

Department for Education and Employment

83

2001-02

Department for Education and Skills

50

2002-03

Department for Education and Skills

60

2006-07

Department for Education and Skills

37


Since 2003, QCA has employed the following number of educational researchers in each year:

Number

2003

15

2004

19

2005

18

2006

18

2007

14

2008

15


Information for 2001 and 2002 is not available.

Departmental Retirement

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the standard retirement age in his Department is; and how many people in his Department and its predecessor worked beyond the standard retirement age in each of the last five years. [214133]


7 July 2008 : Column 1404W

Kevin Brennan: My Department has no set retirement age for the majority of staff. A retirement age of 65 has been adopted by central Government for the senior civil service (SCS) but members of the SCS can request to work beyond that age. The following table shows the number of people in my Department who have worked beyond 65 in the past five years:

Total staff

2008

7

2007

4

2006

2

2005

2

2004

1


Departmental Visits Abroad

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the cost of overseas visits by each Minister in his Department has been since 1997. [214625]

Kevin Brennan: Since 1999, the Government have published the total cost of all overseas travel by Ministers and a list of all overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers costing over £500. Information for the last financial year was published on 25 July 2007, Official Report, column 1112W. Details for the financial year 2007/08 will be published before the summer recess and will include details of overseas visits undertaken by all Ministers. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the “Ministerial Code”.

Information in respect of overseas visits by all Ministers for the period 1997 to 1999 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Dyscalculia

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effects of dyscalculia on school examination results; and if he will make a statement. [215093]

Jim Knight: We have not made a specific assessment of the effects of dyscalculia on school examination results. However, we are aware that in 2005 the Qualifications and Curriculum Agency published a review of research in relation to dyscalculia, which notes that tests and definitions of dyscalculia vary.

The Department's Statistical First Release “National Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and Equivalent Attainment and Post-16 Attainment by Pupil Characteristics, in England 2006/07” was published on 27 November 2007. This indicates that whereas 68.7 per cent. of children who did not have identified special educational needs (SEN) obtained five A*-C grades at GCSE, only 23.1 per cent. of children on the school-based stages of SEN support reached that level of attainment—and only around 9.2 per cent. of those with statements. We intend to publish attainment figures by type of need as an additional table to this Statistical First Release during the week commencing 7 July 2008.

In 2006, 22 per cent. of children at School Action Plus who have a specific learning difficulty as their primary type of need (dyscalculia, dyslexia or dyspraxia)
7 July 2008 : Column 1405W
achieved the equivalent of five A*-C grades at GCSE, as did 14 per cent. of children who had a statement for these needs. This compared to 65.9 per cent. of children who did not have identified SEN.

In the Children's Plan, which we published in December last year, we recognised that more needs to be done to improve outcomes and provision for children with SEN. In a written statement on 6 May 2008, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families announced that Sir Jim Rose had been asked, in the light of evidence, to make recommendations on the identification and teaching of children with dyslexia.

In developing his recommendations, Sir Jim Rose will be considering evidence of practice in improving outcomes for children with dyslexia, including those who are experiencing difficulties associated with dyscalculia. He has agreed to prepare a report containing his recommendations early in 2009.

Education Maintenance Allowance: Fraud

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many staff defrauded the education maintenance allowance system in each year since it was launched; and if he will make a statement; [214508]

(2) what estimate he has made of the losses to his Department from fraudulent claims for education maintenance allowance system in each year since it was launched; and if he will make a statement. [214509]


7 July 2008 : Column 1406W

Jim Knight: Responsibility for operating the education maintenance allowance, and maintaining and implementing a strategy for managing the risk of fraud, was transferred to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) on 1 April 2005. The LSC have provided a response to these questions as follows:

Education: Assessments

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of pupils at schools in Greater London achieved level 5 or above in (a) English, (b) mathematics and (c) science at (i) key stage 2 and (ii) key stage 3 in each year since 1997. [215081]

Jim Knight: The information requested for Greater London is shown in the following tables alongside that for England as a whole.

Key s tage 2 and k ey s tage 3 results for Greater London since 1997
Key s tage 2 Key s tage 3
Percentage of pupils achieving l evel 4 or above Percentage of pupils achieving l evel 5 or above( 1, 2) Percentage achieving of pupils l evel 5 or above

English Mathematics Science English Mathematics Science English Mathematics Science

1997

60

59

65

(4)

(4)

(4)

54

53

53

1998

64

56

66

(4)

(4)

(4)

62

52

49

1999

68

67

75

(4)

(4)

(4)

60

56

48

2000

73

70

83

27

24

35

61

59

51

2001

75

70

86

28

25

33

62

61

58

2002

74

73

85

27

27

36

64

63

61

2003

76

72

85

28

28

38

66

67

63

2004

77

73

84

26

31

40

70

70

62

2005

79

74

85

26

30

44

74

71

65

2006

80

75

85

32

32

43

73

75

68

2007(3)

80

76

87

32

32

45

75

75

70


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