|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what research his Department has (a) commissioned, (b) evaluated and (c) undertaken on the influence of sixth forms in schools on rates of post-16 participation in education by other pupils attending the schools. 
Jim Knight: The Department commissioned and published research by the university of Southampton in 2004 on the influence of the school in the decision to participate in post-16 education. The research found that schools with sixth forms promoted post-16 academic routes more actively and narrowly than schools without sixth forms and that careers advice in schools with sixth forms was felt by pupils to be less impartial and favouring of an academic tradition and sixth form provision than advice provided in schools without sixth forms.
The Department has also conducted internal analyses using sources such as the youth cohort study and matched administrative data. These analyses show that young people are more likely to stay on in full-time education at age 16 if they are in a school with a sixth form, but this participation gap becomes small if part-time education and training are included. It is likely that these gaps are largely accounted for by differences in the characteristics (such as prior attainment) of pupils attending schools with and without sixth forms. The latest participation rate figures are given in the answer of 23 October 2008, Official Report, column 577W.
To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the Answer of 8 October 2007, Official Report, column 389W, what proportion of pupils aged 16 to 18 years in (a) further
education colleges and (b) school sixth forms were from highly deprived backgrounds in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08. 
Jim Knight: Information is available using matched administrative data and eligibility for free school meals at age 15 as a proxy for income deprivation. Of those 16-to 18-year-olds in further education colleges and maintained school sixth forms in 2006/07, 13 per cent. and 8 per cent. respectively were eligible for and claiming free school meals at age 15. Information for 2007/08 is not yet available.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of students achieved five A* to C GCSEs including English and mathematics in each local education authority area in the north-east region in (a) 2005, (b) 2006 and (c) 2007; what percentage of such students were in receipt of free school meals in each year; and what percentage of students not in receipt of free school meals achieved that standard in each year. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The percentage of students at the end of key stage 4 in each local education authority achieving five A* to C GCSEs including English and mathematics, broken down by free school meal eligibility, for 2007, can be found in table 49 of the National Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and Equivalent Attainment and Post-16 Attainment by Pupil Characteristics, in England 2006/07 statistical first release (SFR) accessible at:
For 2006, similar information can be found in table 73 of the National Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and Equivalent Attainment and Post-16 Attainment by Pupil Characteristics in England 2005/06 (Provisional) SFR accessible at:
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of schools have a gifted and talented register in (a) the primary sector and (b) the secondary sector. 
In total, 94 per cent. of secondary schools and 76 per cent. of primary schools completed the question requesting confirmation of their gifted and
talented pupils in the January 2008 school census. We do not collect information about the form in which schools keep records of their gifted and talented pupils.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what information his Department has gathered on the effect of its policies and practices on the recruitment, development and retention of employees with mental illnesses within (a) his Department and (b) the public sector bodies for which he has responsibility; and what use has been made of that information. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department has an equality and diversity delivery plan that has several action points to help with the retention and development of disabled staff, including updating our current guidance on working with disabled staff and the provision of a stress management policy. In addition, the Department uses the guaranteed interview scheme for registered disabled staff when recruiting externally and for the internal job filling.
The Department makes reasonable adjustments for people with mental health related disabilities and has an occupational health service that advises managers on the steps they can take to help people with mental health related illnesses return to and stay in work. A confidential welfare service is also available for staff who may wish to discuss any health related issues.
The Department monitors the equality impact of its policies through the people survey and the information it holds on employees, but small numbers can often make this difficult for specific disabilities.
Executive non-departmental public bodies operate within the same legislation as the Department but information is not held centrally by the Department on specific actions that they take and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 23 October 2008]: We are committed to creating a highly skilled work force to deliver truly world class early years services, including having a graduate early years professional (EYP) to lead practice. We aim to have an EYP in every childrens centre by 2010 and in every full day care setting by 2015. All childrens centres offering early years provision must also have a minimum 0.5 of a qualified teacher involved in planning and delivering the service before designation. Centres should aim to increase this to be a full time post within 18 months.
In addition to this, we have put in place qualification requirements for staff delivering the early years foundation stage (EYFS); at least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 (as defined by the Childrens Workforce Development CouncilCWDC) and at least half of all other staff must hold a full and relevant
level 2 (as defined by CWDC). A new list of full and relevant qualifications will shortly be available on the CWDC website:
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of students (a) were eligible for free school meals, (b) had a statement of special educational needs and (c) were on School Action Plus in (i) grammar schools and (ii) maintained secondary schools other than grammar schools in each local education authority in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his policy is on the use of support federations to turn around failing schools; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: A range of policies for tackling underperforming schools is available to local authorities and the Department. Policies such as improving management, forming federations and other collaborative arrangements, adding additional governors, taking back delegated budgets or replacing a governing body with an interim executive board are effective tools to help raise standards and sustain improvements in underperforming schools.
Federation is a governance structure which provides a firm and flexible basis for extensive school to school partnership. It is one of the powerful structural models that may be adopted by National Challenge schools to secure long-term school improvement. The single governing body of a hard federation provides a framework of sustained support, replication of practice and opportunity to share expertise and resources. Support federations are an effective way of schools working in partnership through formal shared governance structures to raise standards and drive significant improvement.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many school buildings built before 1900 were demolished in each local authority area in each of the last five years. 
The Department for Children, Schools and Families does not hold information on school buildings built before 1900 that have been demolished in local authority areas over the last five years. It does, however, give guidance to local authorities wishing to retain historic school buildings in school use through its publication, Transforming Schools: An Inspirational Guide to Remodelling Secondary Schools, and through its collaboration with English Heritage on their position statement, The Future of Historic School Buildings. In both the Building Schools for the Future and the
Primary Capital programmes, we are happy to support local plans that retain and restore historic school buildings.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether schools classified as National Challenge schools on the basis of 2007 GCSE results will continue to be classified as National Challenge schools if their 2008 GCSE results were over the National Challenge 2008 threshold; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Our ambition is that by 2011 no school will have fewer than 30 per cent. of pupils achieving five or more GCSE A*-C grade passes including English and mathematics. The National Challenge will provide help and resources for all schools that are currently below this benchmark. Support through the National Challenge programme will also be available to schools achieving results above 30 per cent., which need it to sustain results above the benchmark and continue on a positive trajectory.
We have also been clear from the outset that many National Challenge schools are improving fast, have excellent leadership and high aspirations, and are not only on track to reach the benchmark but also ready to go far beyond it. This was demonstrated by the record GSCE results this summer. Many schools reached, and sometimes far exceeded, the 30 per cent. benchmark and I offer congratulations to all head teachers, staff and pupils in schools whose results have improved.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what surveys his Department has conducted to estimate the proportion of the school student population in Peterborough which wishes to stay on in full-time education beyond GCSEs; and what the findings were. 
Jim Knight: There are a number of national surveys conducted by the Department that have asked young people about their intentions after age 16, such as the longitudinal study of young people in England, the youth cohort study and the education maintenance allowance pilots. However, these all have sample sizes designed to give accurate estimates at a national level and would not be able to provide reliable estimates for local authorities such as Peterborough.
Ofsted have run a school-based survey called Tellus for school children in Peterborough and in 2007 which asked year 6, 8 and 10 pupils what they hope to do when they leave school. The results of this are given in the following table:
|Table 6c : What do you hope to do when you leave school? (Tick one box only)|
Jim Knight: The Secretary of State made a statement in the House of Commons on 13 October 2008 about the number of young people who have embarked on a diploma course. A breakdown by local authority is included as follows.
|Local authority||Number of young people starting a diploma|
|(1) Awaiting return.|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|