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Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he plans to implement changes to the presumption in favour of school sixth forms, as set out in paragraph 4.21 of the Raising Expectations White Paper; and if he will make a statement. 
We are beginning a six-week consultation on changes to the Decision Makers guidance that covers sixth form presumptions on 11 December and, subject
to comments received by the deadline of 22 January 2009, we expect to be able to implement the changes in February 2009.
We remain committed to the principle of expanding successful and popular schools and colleges, including enabling them to establish new 16-19 provision. Collaboration between schools, and between schools and colleges, will be essential to ensure that we have a high quality offer for all young people and to support the successful delivery of diplomas and of the wider 14-19 reforms.
Beverley Hughes: Special measures is not a term that the Department uses with reference to its engagement with local authority children's services. Ministers may take action to engage with local authorities where there is evidence of weakness in performance, for example as the result of inadequate Ofsted judgment(s) in annual performance assessments (APAs) and joint area reviews (JARs). Such intervention can take various forms, from offering external improvement support, enhanced monitoring and challenge through to issuing an improvement notice (IN) in more serious cases. In the most serious cases, the Secretary of State may decide to make use of his statutory powers of direction and intervention.
In the last five years, Ministers have made use of their statutory powers of direction in relation to North East Lincolnshire (2005), Stoke-on-Trent (2007) and Haringey (2008), and have issued improvement notices to Salford, Leicester City and Surrey. We have also intervened without the use of statutory powers or improvement notices in various local authorities, deploying a range of improvement support options, including external consultancy support teams, independently-chaired improvement boards and enhanced monitoring arrangements. These authorities were:
Isle of Wight;
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department has allocated for the training of (a) youth workers and (b) social service practitioners to enable early identification of young people at risk in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: Since April 2008 DCSF has allocated a Children's Social Care Workforce Grant of £18.156 million for each of the three years (2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11) to the Area Based Grant(1) for the children's social care work force (including social workers), to support work force training and development.
The Children's Social Care Workforce Grant was formerly allocated by the Department of Health (DH) in two portions (along with the Adults Social Care Workforce Grant) as part of the Social Services National Training Strategy and Human Resources Development Strategy grants to support social care work force development in the adult and children's sector. Funding from DH in past years for these grants totalled:
In 2008-09 DCSF also allocated £12.455 million to the Children's Workforce Development Council to improve the capacity, skills and supply of social workers in children's services, working closely with partners such as the General Social Care Council and those supporting improvements in adult social work, including Skills for Care.
The Government do not collect data on the training of youth workers. From 2006-07 to 2008-09 the Government have invested £15 million to support local authorities in implementing reforms to targeted youth support services so that interventions are made earlier for vulnerable young people to help prevent poor outcomes.
(1) The ABG is administered by the Department for Communities and Local Government; it is a non-ringfenced grant which gives local authorities the flexibility to determine locally how best to spend the resource in order to deliver local, regional and national priorities in their areas.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of 14-year-olds he expects will be enrolled on a diploma course in 2013; and if he will make a statement. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: As with all qualifications, we cannot predict the number of young people who will enrol each year. During spring 2013, when young people start to make their choices, we will have a much clearer idea, and in October 2013 we will have accurate figures.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) male and (b) female pupils of each ethnicity (i) in care and (ii) not in care are studying on one or more diploma courses. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: In summer 2009 we will have information about the proportions of pupils entered for Diplomas, broken down by gender, ethnicity and whether in care for those pupils sitting examinations in 2009.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: We know that rural areas face a particular set of challenges and so we have made £23 million available over the next two years to the 40 most rural areas in the country to help drive local solutions and innovation.
Funding the post of travel and access coordinator in each of the 40 most rural areas;
Providing £1 million of capital to the 20 most rural areas to help them develop innovative solutions; and
Providing a small amount of funding to support a rural pairing scheme to help the 40 most rural areas share practice and explore solutions together.
|January||Number of special schools in England|
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many days of sick leave were taken by teachers in maintained schools in the last year, broken down by type of illness. 
Jim Knight: Figures for the number of full-time and part-time teacher sickness absences in local authority maintained schools in England, calendar years 2000 to 2007, are published in table 13 of the School Workforce Statistical First Release, January 2008 (Revised) at the following web link:
Mr. Simon: The Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills last used a train in the course of his official duties on Friday 28 November 2008. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the ministerial code.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many of his Department's staff who left under (a) an involuntary and (b) a voluntary exit scheme in each year since it was established received a severance package of (i) up to £25,000, (ii) £25,001 to £50,000, (iii) £50,001 to £75,000, (iv) £75,001 to £100,000 and (v) over £100,000; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: In the Department, there have been seven early releases in 2007-08, at a total cost of £512,000 and two in 2008-09 at a total cost of £90,000. There are currently no early releases planned for 2009-10.
Train to Gain was created in April 2006. Standard reporting practice is to include the months of April to
July 2006 in the 2006-07 academic year. The figure above therefore covers Train to Gain starts over a 16 month period.
1. Train to Gain was created in April 2006. Standard reporting practice is to include the months of April to July 2006 in the 2006-07 academic year. The figures above therefore cover Train to Gain achievements over a 16 month period.
2. Constituency is based on learner's home postcode.
6. Ben Chapman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effects of the streamlining of grants for businesses announced in the pre-Budget report on those eligible to receive such grants; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: Solutions for Businessthe simplification programme of business support announced prior to PBRstreamlines the large number of schemes into 30. These will be in place by 2009 and will help companies on issues such as business growth, getting started, finance, skills and the environment.
7. Greg Mulholland: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effect on small businesses of bank lending practices. 
9. Andrew George: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effect on small businesses of bank lending practices. 
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