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Schools: Equal Pay

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what estimate he has made of the amount (a) central government, (b) local government and (c) schools have spent to enable schools in England to comply with (i) equal pay legislation and (ii) the local government single status agreement; [236160]

(2) how many schools in England have completed a job evaluation process for the purpose of compliance with (a) equal pay legislation and (b) the local government single status agreement; and what estimate he has made of the cost of such compliance to date. [236161]

Jim Knight: The process of implementing single status agreements and in some cases the payment of back pay in support to the agreements has been taking place over the past five years with authorities implementing single status agreements at different points over that period. Some authorities have still not completed the process or are still dealing with the legal processes associated with employment tribunals.

The Department has not made any estimates of the amounts spent by themselves, local government or schools to enable them to implement the local government single status agreement, however the level of the minimum funding guarantee for schools for the three year settlement 2008-11 took into account cost pressures on schools including costs pressures arising from single status agreements. More details of this can be found on the Teachernet website:

We have not collected information on the number of schools that have undertaken job evaluation processes.

Schools: Finance

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the individual programmes and corresponding allocations are aggregated as Other Miscellaneous Programmes for the year 2008-09 in the Schools section of Table 8.3 of his Department's 2008 annual report. [234425]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Table 1 as follows lists the schools programmes aggregated under the “other miscellaneous” title and their corresponding projected allocations for 2008-09, as shown in the 2008 departmental annual report.


25 Nov 2008 : Column 1440W
Table 1: List of other miscellaneous programmes
Schools

£ million

Music and Dance Capital

34

Medical Fees and Services

1

Premature Retirement Compensation

12

Teacher Development Agency

600

National College for School Leadership

83

Partnership for Schools

1

Inclusion Programmes/Behaviour/Aim higher/Alternative provision

4

Governors/Admissions/Independent State Schools/Travel Advisers/School Meals

5

Teachers Pensions Contractual

1

Partnerships and Federations

9

Pupil attainment and assessment publications

1

Gifted and Talented/Study Support/Playing for Success

32

Curriculum

32

Sport

22

Total

837


Schools: Inspections

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the maximum word limit is for an Ofsted inspection report on (a) a primary school and (b) a secondary school. [234419]

Jim Knight: This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 13 November 2008:

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families for what reason Ofsted require learning objectives to be set and displayed at the start of lessons; and if he will make a statement. [234421]

Jim Knight: This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 13 November 2008:

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his definition is of creative learning in the context of the inquiry into the subject being conducted by Ofsted. [234422]


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Jim Knight: This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 11 November 2008:

Schools: Noise

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps are being taken to ensure that acoustics in new school buildings are in compliance with building regulations to enable all children to listen and learn effectively, with particular reference to hearing-impaired children. [239183]

Jim Knight: All new school buildings must comply with the acoustic standards in Building Bulletin 93, “Acoustic Design of Schools”, 2003, which are quoted in Approved Document Part E in support of the Building Regulations. Building Control Bodies ensure that these standards are met. Section 6 of BB93 “Acoustic design and equipment for pupils with special hearing requirements” gives further guidance for children with hearing impairments. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires local authorities and governing bodies to make reasonable adjustments to schools to cater for the special needs of particular children. Therefore, for any new school, the local authority or governing body must assess the expected level of special needs of the children who will be attending the school and determine if any adjustments to the BB93 standards are required. This may require consultation with educational audiologists and acousticians. In particular, a lower reverberation time may be needed in rooms where the hearing-impaired are taught. There is a special needs appeal process and if the designs are not adequate for any particular children who will be attending the school then acoustic treatment may be required post construction.

Schools: Playing Fields

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make it his policy to ensure all school playing fields are accessible to young people outside school hours. [238569]

Jim Knight: We expect all schools to offer access to extended services by 2010. Currently over 14,400 schools (65 per cent.) are providing access to extended services.


25 Nov 2008 : Column 1442W

Extended schools provide a range of services and activities, often beyond the school day, to help meet the needs of children, their families and the wider community. What extended service provision looks like in practice will vary according to the needs of each community, based on consultation by schools.

Extended schools are working with their local authorities to open up their facilities including playing fields and sports facilities in response to an assessment of local demand.

Local authorities are a major partner in helping and supporting extended schools to provide services and facilities, and will be able to help take a strategic view of local needs and gaps in provision. Working with their partners in Children's Trusts they have a critical role in coordinating, commissioning and brokering services, and championing the needs of children, young people and parents. They must ensure that local extended service provision is joined up and meets the needs of the local community

Schools: Safety

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what consideration he has given to proposing road safety education as a compulsory aspect of the school curriculum; and if he will make a statement. [239503]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Schools are well placed to contribute to road safety training and education by encouraging the development of risk assessment skills and of positive attitudes to road safety. Road safety is currently included in the non-statutory framework for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) at key stages 1 and 2, and at key stage 3 pupils should be taught “to use knowledge and understanding to make informed choices about safety, health and well-being”.

The Department has asked head teacher Sir Alasdair Macdonald to conduct an independent review into how our intention to make PSHE education statutory can be taken forward in a practicable way.

The Department’s 2001 publication, “Safety Education - Guidance for Schools”, provides guidance on the provision of safety education, including road safety education. Free lesson plans for all key stages are available from the Department for Transport.

Schools: Transport

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what survey evidence his Department holds regarding the proportion of pupils who walk to school; and if he will make a statement. [236321]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department does not hold complete data relating to walking as a mode of travel to school. Provision of this information is only compulsory for those schools with an approved school travel plan. The scope of collection includes: maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools, city technology colleges, academies and special schools.

In the spring 2007 school census, mode of travel data was supplied for almost 70 per cent. of pupils. In the spring 2008 school census, mode of travel data was supplied for just over 85 per cent. of pupils. The available walking information relating to maintained primary, state funded secondary and all special schools is provided in the following table.


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25 Nov 2008 : Column 1444W
LA maintained primary schools, state-funded secondary schools and all special schools: pupils by mode of travel( 1,2) —Position in January each year, 2007 and 2008, England
Maintained schools( 3) State funded( 4,5) All special schools
2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 2008
No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %

Walk

1,663,780

40.5

2,008,570

49.1

901,280

27.1

1,137,550

34.6

1,820

2.0

2,270

2.5

Cycle

32,030

0.8

36,930

0.9

64,240

1.9

85,900

2.6

140

0.2

190

0.2

Car/Van

1,089,770

26.5

1,258,550

30.8

358,080

10.8

452,190

13.7

3,560

4.0

4,920

5.5

Car Share

88,640

2.2

113,280

2.8

41,750

1.3

60,060

1.8

190

0.2

260

0.3

Public service bus

38,410

0.9

45,260

1.1

286,720

8.6

355,790

10.8

1,460

1.6

1,810

2.0

Dedicated school bus

41,060

1.0

47,110

1.2

339,680

10.2

426,110

13.0

32,060

35.9

39,760

44.4

Bus (type not known)

13,020

0.3

16,470

0.4

48,320

1.5

76,180

2.3

1,030

1.1

1,430

1.6

Taxi

16,920

0.4

19,020

0.5

13,490

0.4

17,110

0.5

20,180

22.6

23,280

26.0

Train

1,050

0.0

1,280

0.0

20,750

0.6

28,250

0.9

50

0.1

50

0.1

London Underground

530

0.0

730

0.0

3,520

0.1

5,480

0.2

30

0.0

30

0.0

Metro/Tram/Light Rail

570

0.0

670

0.0

2,800

0.1

3,220

0.1

10

0.0

0

0.0

Boarding pupil—not applicable

(5)

0.0

0

0.0

2,690

0.1

3,040

0.1

1,950

2.2

2,010

2.2

Other

12,400

0.3

8,610

0.2

31,490

0.9

33,070

1.0

1,030

1.2

760

0.9

Mode of travel—not collected

1,109,510

27.0

531,320

13.0

1,206,740

36.3

605,060

18.4

25,900

29.0

12,730

14.2

Total

4,107,680

100.0

4,087,790

100.0

3,321,530

100.0

3,289,000

100.0

89,410

100.0

89,480

100.0

(1) Excludes dually registered pupils.
(2) Where a pupil uses more than one mode of travel for each journey to school, the longest element of the journey by distance should be recorded.
(3) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(4) Includes City Technology Colleges and Academies.
(5) Less than 2.
Note:
Pupil numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.
Source:
School Census

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