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17 Oct 2008 : Column 1585W—continued

Departmental Programmes

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will list the programmes aggregated as Other Miscellaneous programmes in each section of table 8.3, pages 88 to 89, of his Department’s 2008 annual report. [224478]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry [holding answer 6 October 2008]: The following list shows the “Other Miscellaneous programmes” included in table 8.3 of the 2008 departmental annual report.

List of Other Miscellaneous programmes


Grammar Schools: Admissions

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the changes in grammar school admission numbers consequent upon the Building Schools for the
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Future programme in (a) Gravesham constituency and (b) nationally in the next three years; and if he will make a statement. [221895]

Jim Knight: Each local authority assesses its pupil capacity just before entering the Building Schools for the Future programme. An estimated national figure for the overall programme is not available as local authorities are at different entry stages.

In Gravesham, there will be a reduction of around 60 pupils in each of the two grammar schools under the programme.

National Curriculum Tests

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the evidential basis is for his Department's statement that higher national key stage test results are not a result of teaching to the test, as stated on page 3 of the Government response to the Third Report of the Children, Schools and Families Committee, HC 1003; and if he will make a statement. [227210]

Jim Knight: Standards in our schools are rising, and we do not accept that this is the result of teaching to the test. Results have improved significantly since 1997 for 11 and 14-year-olds, and those results are in turn reflected in higher GCSE results.

The public can have complete faith in the rigour of our testing and examination system which is overseen independently and impartially by the new regulator, Ofqual. School performance is inspected by the independent Ofsted, school examinations set by the independent Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and educational statistics produced and overseen by the Office for National Statistics, now given even greater independence by this Government.

We are gathering evidence about teaching to the test, and exploring whether excessive time is spent on test preparation. The expert group that my hon. Friend the Secretary of State has brought together to advise on the changes to assessment announced on 14 October will also be looking at the advice to be provided to schools to ensure that preparation for national curriculum tests at Key Stage 2 is proportionate, educationally appropriate, and that the delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum is not inhibited.

Pupils: Languages

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools there are in which 10 or more different languages are spoken by pupils as their first language. [226440]

Jim Knight: The information could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

School Meals

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Department is taking to ensure the provision of high quality hot meals in schools. [227961]

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Jim Knight: The Department for Children, Schools and Families and the School Food Trust have a wide programme to ensure the provision of high quality hot meals in schools. New food-based nutritional standards were introduced in September 2006 for school lunches and from September 2007 for other school food. Nutrient-based standards were introduced for school lunches in September 2008 for primary schools and from September 2009 for secondary and special schools.

We are investing over £650 million between 2005 and 2011 to help improve school food and keep school lunch prices down. This includes £220 million over the three years 2005-06 to 2007-08 to assist authorities and schools in improving school lunches and other school food; £240 million between 2008 and 2011 to support the costs of school lunches; £150 million capital funding to build and refurbish kitchen and dining facilities; and funding to establish FEAST centres to train catering staff. We are also providing an extra £6 million over the next three years for the School Food Trust to promote healthy food to young people and raise take-up.

Schools: Internet

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools use accredited filtering services on internet software; [227190]

(2) what percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools have acceptable use policies for ICT; and how often schools are advised by his Department to review these guidelines; [227191]

(3) what (a) training and (b) information on e-safety is provided to new teachers. [227192]

Jim Knight: Schools have devolved responsibility and funding in this area supported by guidance from the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta). Schools recognise the importance of providing an accredited service and are well aware of their duty of care to both their staff and pupils.

Most schools choose to have their connectivity provided through either their local authority or a Regional Broadband Consortia (RBC). 56 per cent. of local authorities have access to an accredited service provider and 50 per cent. of RBCs are accredited through Becta's accreditation scheme.

The Government, through Becta, encourage all schools should use an accredited service or software product to ensure the safety of children online.

80 per cent. of primary schools and 90 per cent. of secondary schools have an acceptable use policy (AUP) for pupils that provide guidelines on how to use ICT equipment and the internet. Schools are encouraged to have written ICT strategies and review these on an annual basis.

Updated guidance to support schools in this area is published regularly by the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta).

New teachers entering the profession have to pass the ICT skills test and meet the professional standards for new teachers. One of the key standards in this area is that teachers must

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The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) supports the teacher training organisations with advice and guidance on this standard which makes specific reference to the Byron review.

In addition to their published guidance TDA has, in partnership with Becta and Microsoft, funded the production of resources for KS3 on e-safety for schools. The materials were originally targeted at new teachers—they have been sent to every teacher training organisation—but have since been adapted for use by any adult working with children in schools. Similar resources for KS2 are being developed.

These resources are in addition to materials already produced by Childnet, Becta, CEOP and other agencies.

Following the recommendation in the Byron review, consideration is also being given to including e-safety questions within the ICT skills test. The current format of the test is not an ideal vehicle for testing an understanding of e-safety issues so adaptations will have to be made and tested.

Teachers: Pay

Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether academies may pay teachers more than analogous salaries paid by neighbouring community schools. [225165]

Jim Knight [holding answer 14 October 2008]: Academy funding agreements allow for their governing bodies to set their own pay and conditions for staff rather than following national pay and conditions.

Duchy of Lancaster

Death: Asbestos

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many people died from an asbestos-related condition in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England in each year since 1997. [224752]

Jonathan Shaw: I have been asked to reply.

There are no data available at the constituency level.

Deaths from mesothelioma, 1997-2005

The number of deaths from mesothelioma for South Tyneside, the North East and for England is given in the following table.

South Tyneside North East England





































(1) Provisional
Health and Safety Executive British Mesothelioma Register

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Deaths from lung cancer due to asbestos

Lung cancer deaths caused by asbestos are clinically indistinguishable from those caused by other agents such as tobacco smoke. It is estimated that about the same number of lung cancer deaths due to asbestos occur each year as mesothelioma deaths.

Deaths with asbestosis specified as underlying cause, 1997-2005( 1)

The number of deaths where asbestosis was specified as the underlying cause of death in South Tyneside, the North East, and the United Kingdom each year from 1997 is given in the following table.

South Tyneside North East England





































(1) Excluding the small number of cases which also mention mesothelioma
(2) Provisional
Health and Safety Executive British Asbestosis Register

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