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29 Oct 2008 : Column 1152Wcontinued
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the purpose of the proposed State of the Cities Database development is. 
John Healey: CLG is committed to keeping the key data that underpinned the State of the English Cities report, published by ODPM in March 2006, updated within the State of the Cities Database (SOCD). The database is used extensively by central and local government. Regional Development Agencies, academics and bodies like the Centre for Cities and Work Foundation, to monitor the progress and performance of cities in England.
Taking account of feedback received from users since the launch of SOCD in November 2006, a new and improved version of the database was published by the Department in September of this year.
The Department is considering making further improvements to SOCD, by looking at replacing data on Wards and Tracts with data on Super Output Areas (SOAs). This is because since the release of the 2001 Census, SOAs have mainly replaced Wards for the release of statistical information.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what planning constraints are in place relating to the felling of trees within Lever Park, Rivington, near Chorley. 
Mr. Iain Wright: I understand that there is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) which Chorley borough council have placed on an ancient tree, having recognised its special character as being far older than the rest of those in the park. More generally there are controls through the Forestry Act 1967 which give the Forestry Commission the control over felling trees in any quantity.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer of 1 September 2008, Official Report, column 1429W, on the Valuation Office: council tax, if she will list each type of property attribute data that is sold. 
John Healey: No council tax property attribute data is included in the sale of data reported on Page 54 of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Annual Report and Accounts 2007-08.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) of 30 June 2008, Official Report, column 630W, on the Valuation Office: ICT, on what date the copy of the guidance was placed in the Library. 
John Healey: A copy of the guidance was placed in the Library on 3 July 2008.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities have cited a move to an alternate weekly collection of household rubbish as an efficiency saving in their annual efficiency returns submitted to her Department. 
For information on citations in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 Backward Look efficiency statements, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 14 June 2007, Official Report, columns 1173-74W. For information on
citations in the 2006-07 Backward Look efficiency statements, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend, the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Dhanda) on 18 December 2007, Official Report, column 1324W.
Citations in the 2007-08 Backward Look efficiency statements are as follows:
Canterbury city council
Charnwood borough council
Crewe and Nantwich borough council
Kennet district council
Kirklees metropolitan borough council
North Hertfordshire district council
Redditch borough council
Shrewsbury and Atcham borough council
South Cambridgeshire district council
Spelthorne borough council
Swale borough council
Test Valley borough council
West Lancashire district council
York city council
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many press and communications officers are employed by (a) his Department, (b) its non-departmental public bodies and (c) its agencies. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The information is as follows.
(a) There are currently 20 press officers and 63 communications officers in the Department for Children Schools and Families.
(b) We do not hold numbers of staff employed in our non-departmental public bodies.
(c) The Department does not have any agencies.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) if he will publish the results of the research commissioned by his Departments Sex and Relationship Education Steering Group; 
(2) what evidence was considered by the Sex and Relationship Education Steering Group on the effectiveness of delivering sex and relationship education before the onset of sexual activity. 
The Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) Review steering group considered a wide range of evidence to inform its report and recommendations. This included: existing surveys and reports, such as the latest Ofsted reports on PSHE and the findings from the UK Youth Parliaments report on SRE; new evidence that was commissioned specifically for the review, such as surveys of teachers views on what was preventing better delivery of SRE; and a literature review on the existing international evidence on SRE. Details of the range of evidence considered by the steering group are referenced in its report. The specific evidence that concludes
that sex education is more effective if begun before the onset of sexual activity is included in the following reports:
Update on review of reviews on teenage pregnancy and parenthood, Trivedi D, Bunn F, Graham M, Wentz R, Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, University of Hertfordshire, On behalf of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and
Downing, J. et al. (2006) Prevention of STIs: a review of reviews into the effectiveness of non-clinical interventions (evidence briefing update) London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
The new surveys commissioned by the steering group will be published once further analysis of the findings has been completed.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many documents produced by his Department were submitted to the Plain English Campaign for approval for Crystal Mark status in each year since 2005; and how many documents achieved such status in each year. 
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many documents produced by his Department and its predecessor were submitted to the Plain English Campaign for approval for Crystal Mark status in each year since 2005; and how many documents achieved such status in each year. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department for Children, Schools and Families and its predecessors have not used the Plain English Campaign since 2005.
The Department has its own style guide based on good practice and designed around its stakeholders.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has to extend the National Challenge to primary schools; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We have no plans to extend the National Challenge to primary schools. There will not be a programme that challenges every single primary school to reach a minimum standard.
Local authorities can choose to adopt a floor target for their primary schools as part of their local area agreement but there are no compulsory floor targets for local authorities or for individual primary schools. The optional floor target has been in place for over a year and is that schools should achieve 55 per cent. or more pupils attaining Level 4+ in English and maths combined at Key Stage 2.
Our priority is to help all primary schools improve and work towards our Childrens Plan goalsso that by 2020 every child will leave primary school ready to move on to secondary school, with at least 90 per cent. of pupils achieving at or above the expected level in both English and mathematics by age 11.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils eligible for free school meals were given a fixed period exclusion in the last 12 months, broken down by national curriculum year group. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: It is not possible, given the amount of analysis required, to provide a response to this question within the time frame required by Parliament. The requested information will be placed in the House of Commons Library shortly.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children who attended pupil referral units in each of the last five years were (a) pupils permanently excluded from school and on fixed-term exclusions of more than 15 days, (b) pregnant schoolgirls and school-aged mothers, (c) anxious or vulnerable pupils, (d) school refusers, phobics and young carers, (e) pupils unable to attend school because of medical reasons, (f) pupils moving into the local authority (casual admissions) who were unable to find a school place because of insufficiency of school places within the local authority, (g) children who, because of entering public care or moving placement, required a change of school and were unable to access a school place, (h) pupils with statements of special educational need (SEN) whose placements were not yet agreed and pupils awaiting assessment of SEN and (i) asylum seekers and refugees who had no school place. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The information requested is not collected.
The available information about the number of pupils with a statement of special educational need in pupil referral units has been published in a series of statistical publications, the most recent of which is the Statistical First Release: Special Educational Needs in England: January 2008
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils who attended pupil referral units did not achieve an A*-G grade in either English or mathematics GCSE in each of the last 10 years. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: This information can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupil referral units had more than (a) one, (b) two and (c) three headteachers in the last year for which records are available. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The requested information is not held centrally.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what the average vacancy rate for teachers in pupil referral units was in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) local authority and (b) region; 
(2) how many and what proportion of teachers at pupil referral units have received special educational needs teacher training beyond their initial teacher training. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The information requested is not available.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many schools in England and Wales have produced a disability equality scheme since the coming into force of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005; 
(2) how many maintained schools have been prosecuted for breaches of the disability equality duties provided for in the Disability Discrimination Act 2005; 
(3) what steps he has taken to monitor schools compliance with their duty to prepare and publish a disability equality scheme; 
(4) what steps he has taken to monitor (a) schools and (b) local authorities compliance with their general duty to promote disability equality. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: We expect all schools and local authorities to meet their duties to promote disability equality and publish disability equality schemes and we have produced guidance to support them in doing so.
It is part of the remit of the Equalities and Human Right Commission to monitor compliance with these duties.
Under Ofsteds inspection arrangements, schools are expected to complete a self-evaluation form, confirming the extent to which they have met the general requirements of disability discrimination legislation. However, the Department does not monitor centrally schools and local authorities compliance with disability discrimination legislation.
The first Secretary of State Report on progress towards disability equality will be published on 1 December 2008. As part of preparations for this report a research project has been commissioned to look at how schools are engaging with the specific disability equality duty outlined within the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. A series of national events for schools and local authorities will be hosted by the DCSF in February 2009 to share the learning from the Secretary of State Report.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the Government plans to provide headteachers with additional powers to increase school discipline. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Government have significantly strengthened schools powers to discipline. We have introduced a range of legislation to protect schools from challenges to their disciplinary authority and that reinforces parental responsibility.
New measures in the 4th session Education Bill include extending the existing power to search pupils for weapons to also include alcohol, illegal drugs and stolen property.
In addition to new legal powers, we have also provided schools with high quality training, materials and consultancy support to enable them to promote positive behaviour. We are also helping them form partnerships with other schools, police and other agencies to strengthen behaviour management.
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