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23 Oct 2008 : Column 576W—continued


Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) Pilots

Various surveys of 21,500 young people who were in their final year of compulsory education in 1999 or 2000 were carried out for the evaluation of the EMA pilots. 78 per cent. wanted to stay in full-time education after age 16, 18 per cent. wanted to enter work or training and 4 per cent. were undecided or wanted something else.


23 Oct 2008 : Column 577W

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils stayed in education in 2008 after the age of 16 having attended a secondary school (a) with and (b) without a sixth form. [228682]

Jim Knight: The official measure of post-16 participation cannot be disaggregated by the type of secondary school previously attended. However, using matched administrative data, we can estimate post-16 participation rates by characteristics of the school attended at age 15, including whether or not that school had a sixth form. These estimates, shown in the following table, exclude post-16 participation in independent schools.

Participation of 16-year-olds in education and training by whether secondary school had a sixth form, mainstream maintained schools in England, 2006/07
Percentage
No sixth form Sixth form All mainstream maintained schools( 1)

Full-time education

73

79

77

Part-time education

4

3

3

Work-based learning (WBL)

8

6

7

Total education and WBL

85

88

87

(1) Excludes special schools, pupil referral units and independent schools.
Source:
Matched Administrative Data, 19 in 2009 cohort.

General Certificate of Secondary Education

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) pursuant to the answer of 7 October 2008, Official Report, columns 590-91W, on the general certificate of secondary education, what estimate he has made of the cost of providing the requested information in full; [227379]

(2) pursuant to the answer of 7 October 2008, Official Report, column 591W, on languages: general certificate of secondary education, what estimate he has made of the cost of providing the requested information. [227386]

Jim Knight: It was estimated that the cost of answering the closely related questions would be over £4,000.

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of pupils who did not gain a single grade C or above at GCSE in 2008 were resident in the 50 per cent. most deprived areas of the country. [228836]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department publishes the following GCSE attainment indicators by deprivation of residence in the National Pupil Database (NPD) Statistical First Release.

2008 information will be published in December.


23 Oct 2008 : Column 578W

Gifted Children: Finance

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what the budget of the Young Gifted and Talented programme is in 2008-09; [228795]

(2) what the value is of the contract awarded to CfBT to deliver the Young Gifted and Talented Programme. [228797]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The cost of the contract with CfBT for the Young Gifted and Talented (YG and T) programme is commercial in confidence. The Department has historically spent some £10 million to £20 million annually on the full national programme for gifted and talented education, of which YG and T now forms a significant part.

Higher Education: Admissions

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has to increase the number of people from low-income backgrounds who study at university. [227615]

Mr. Lammy: I have been asked to reply.

This Government remain totally committed to widening participation in higher education (HE), for those from poorer or other backgrounds which are currently under-represented. And we are making encouraging progress—in the 2002/03 academic year, 27.9 per cent. of young full-time first degree entrants to HE came from lower socio-economic classes. By the 2006/07 academic year, this had risen to 29.8 per cent.—an increase of 1.9 per cent. Alongside this, in the 2002/03 academic year, 44.1 per cent. of 18 to 20-year-olds from higher socio-economic classes participated in HE, compared with 17.5 per cent. of those from lower socio-economic classes—a gap of 26.5 per cent. By 2006/07, the participation rate of higher socio-economic classes had fallen to 39.5 per cent. and that of lower socio-economic classes had risen to 19.0 per cent.—reducing the gap by six percentage points to 20.5 per cent.

There is a range of current and emerging interventions designed to widen participation in HE, including:


23 Oct 2008 : Column 579W

National Assessment Agency: Finance

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the National Assessment Agency budget has been in each year since its establishment; and if he will make a statement. [228637]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The National Assessment Agency (NAA) was launched in April 2004 to safeguard and modernise the delivery of exams, tests and assessment. It is a division of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). Its responsibilities have included delivery of national curriculum assessments and the exams modernisation programme. NAA's annual expenditure in each financial year since establishment has been:

£

2004-05

42,959,562

2005-06

81,842,760

2006-07

87,657,671

2007-08

87,932,756


National Curriculum Tests

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) when Lord Sutherland's report on Key Stage Testing in 2008 will be published; and if he will make a statement; [228582]

(2) when Ofqual received Lord Sutherland's interim report into the management of the Key Stage tests in 2008; and if he will publish the interim report. [228822]

Jim Knight: Lord Sutherland is conducting an inquiry into the problems that occurred in 2008 with the delivery of national curriculum tests. Lord Sutherland met with the Ofqual Committee on 16 October to provide an update on the progress of his inquiry. Lord Sutherland has indicated that he does not intend to publish an interim report. The inquiry anticipates presenting the final recommendations to Ofqual and the Secretary of State before the end of the year and this report will be published.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when Ministers or officials from his Department met (a) the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, (b) the National Assessment Agency and (c) ETS to discuss the 2008 key stage tests between December 2007 and July 2008; and if he will make a statement. [228586]

Jim Knight: Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have met ETS. We do, however, regularly meet with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, of which the National Assessment Agency is a division. Recent meetings have included discussions on the administration and marking of key stage tests in 2008, which are now the subject of an independent inquiry being chaired by Lord Sutherland.

DCSF officials also have regular meetings with QCA and NAA and have attended some joint meetings with NAA and ETS.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) for what reasons ETS was
23 Oct 2008 : Column 580W
required to undertake face to face training for markers of the 2008 key stage tests, rather than online marking training; when this decision was made; and if he will make a statement; [228588]

(2) what requests were made by ETS for changes in the key stage 2 and 3 marking contract for the 2008 tests; which of these requests were (a) granted and (b) refused; how long it took for a decision to be made in each case; and if he will make a statement; [228585]

(3) how many changes to the key stage 2 and 3 contract with ETS were made by (a) the National Assessment Agency and (b) the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority between September 2007 and July 2008; what the content was of each such change; when the changes were notified; and if he will make a statement; [228587]

(4) what warnings were given by ETS to (a) the National Assessment Agency and (b) the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority about risks in delivering the 2008 key stage tests in (i) 2007 and (ii) 2008; when these were made; and if he will make a statement; [228584]

(5) when ETS asked the National Assessment Agency and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to terminate its contract for the key stage tests; and if he will make a statement. [228583]

Jim Knight: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is responsible for the development and administration of National Curriculum tests. The National Assessment Agency (NAA) administers the tests and managed the delivery contract with ETS Europe, on QCA's behalf.

The contract awarded to ETS required face-to-face training of markers to continue as usual. During the procurement process suppliers were encouraged to offer improvements or innovations to improve marking quality.

Schedule 1 of the contract required ETS to pilot and seek approval for innovations that did not replicate the existing process at the effective date of the contract. It was agreed that ETS would plan and conduct a pilot to ensure suitability and robustness.

The NAA agreed to accept three of the proposed marking improvements, standardisation, benchmarking and online mark entry. NAA rejected mandatory online training for experienced maths and science markers, but allowed it to be used on an opt-in basis. The NAA believed online marker training could make an important contribution in later cycles. However, the marker ratings made it clear that the ETS online marker training as trialled would cause significant dissatisfaction and attrition during a critical period of the delivery cycle.

ETS Europe first alerted the NAA concerning a potential failure in delivering the 2008 National Curriculum test results in late June 2008. The first “without prejudice” discussion at which ETS Europe indicated it may be interested in terminating the contract, occurred on 8 July 2008.

The following table outlines the changes that were suggested for the 2008 test cycle.


23 Oct 2008 : Column 581W

23 Oct 2008 : Column 582W
Change control summary—2008 National Curriculum test cycle
Description Date Initiated by Acceptance

Statutory collection of reasons for KS3 absence

2 April 2007

DCSF

NAA carried out this work

Removal of year 7 progress tests from contract scope

2 April 2007

DCSF

Accepted by NAA and ETS

Provision of component level reviews for KS2 and KS3 English

2 April 2007

DCSF

NAA carried out this work

Provision of KS2 English item level results data

2 April 2007

DCSF

Rejected by NAA and ETS

Removal of KS3 ICT results data from contract scope

2 April 2007

DCSF

Accepted by NAA and ETS

Transportation security (request to remove the contractual requirement to ‘double man’ vehicles carrying bulk test material)

15 November 2007

ETS

Rejected by NAA

Fire security (request to remove the contractual requirement to install sprinkler systems in central distribution warehouse)

15 November 2007

ETS

Accepted by NAA

Additional CCTV cameras to improve security of central distribution warehouse)

1 February 2008

NAA

Accepted by ETS

Cost of providing face-to-face marker training for experienced Maths and Science markers following rejection of online training

12 February 2008

ETS

Rejected by NAA

Cost of 'additional' markers which ETS intended to recruit above 10,000 estimate

29 February 2008

ETS

Rejected by NAA

Publication of schools guide which ETS claim was not included in the definitive ‘book of work’

29 February 2008

ETS

Rejected by NAA

Cost of ‘additional’ schools which ETS claimed were not specified in the contract

29 February 2008

ETS

Rejected by NAA

Cost of marking pilot which ETS claimed was more extensive than originally scoped

29 February 2008

ETS

Rejected by NAA

Cost of paying ‘additional’ fees to markers which were above those paid for 2007

29 February 2008

ETS

Rejected by NAA

Additional fees paid to KS2 and KS3 Maths markers to recognise high level of marks data entry required by this subject

27 May 2008

ETS

Accepted by NAA (NAA met the cost of this change)


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