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Ofsted: Standards

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the oral evidence given by the Chief Executive of Ofsted to the Children, Schools and Families Committee on 10 December, HC 70-i, if his Department will review the performance of Ofsted senior management and make changes where appropriate. [244065]

Jim Knight: Ofsted is a non-ministerial Government Department. Performance management of the chief inspector is the responsibility of the Ofsted Board and in particular the chairman. The performance of other Ofsted senior managers is the responsibility of the chief inspector.

Pre-school Education

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government have taken to improve children’s pre-school cognitive development in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) the Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency since 1997. [242368]

Beverley Hughes: In 1998 the Government published Desirable Learning Outcomes that included goals for learning (including on early literacy, numeracy and the development of personal and social skills) for children by the time they entered compulsory education. In 2000, the Qualification and Curriculum Authority published
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Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, which contains six areas of learning, 69 Early Learning Goals, and stepping stones to achieve them for children aged three to five year. For younger children “Birth to three matters” was published in 2002. It focuses on child development, and includes four themes: a Strong Child, a Skilful Communicator, a Competent Learner and a Healthy Child.

In September this year the Government published the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, which brought together the previous early learning frameworks and sets quality standards for learning (including cognitive development) and care for all settings caring for children aged birth to five.

In the north-east the National Strategies have provided support to local authorities and developed a set of materials to help practitioners to support children’s social development through “Social and Emotional Aspects of Development” (SEAD) programme.

The Government have also introduced the “Every Child a Talker” (ECAT) programme—which will give practitioners easier access to training and materials so that they are better equipped to identify and support children’s early language needs and development. In addition we have introduced the “Communication, Language and Literacy Development” (CLLD) programme which aims to support practitioners with children’s early reading, development of speaking and listening skills and to embed phonic work within a broad and rich language curriculum. The NE region has eight out of 12 local authorities in the first wave of the ECAT programme and 12 are in the CLLD programme.

Primary Education

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate his Department has made of the number of primary schools in England in (a) hamlets and isolated settings, (b) villages, (c) towns and fringe settlements and (d) settlements of more than 10,000 inhabitants in each year since 1997. [243184]

Jim Knight: The requested information is shown in the following table:

Number of primary schools by urban rural classification

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

Hamlet and Isolated Dwelling












Town and Fringe






Urban >10,000












Source: School Census.

School Leaving: Qualifications

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of pupils in (a) Wiltshire, (b) London and (c) England reached the end of compulsory schooling without a qualification in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [243778]

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Jim Knight: The information requested is shown in the following table. The data are taken from the last five years’ “GCSE and Equivalent Results in England” Statistical First Release, the latest of which can be found online at:

Proportion of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 achieving no GCSE or equivalent passes

2004( 1) 2005 2006 2007 2008( 4)



















(1) 2004 figures include pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year.
(2) Figures for Wiltshire and London include pupils in local authority maintained schools only.
(3) Figures for England include all schools.
(4) Provisional

Schools: Co-operation

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what resources his Department makes available to support school partnerships and collaborations; and if he will make a statement. [241626]

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Jim Knight: The Department supports a number of school partnerships and collaborations. The following table details the key policies which either promote or leverage collaborative working. It includes the cost of those programmes last year in terms of the financial resources either passed directly to schools or LAs (in part or in full) to support partnership working, or the cost of contracts which provide support to schools or LAs (in part or in full) for partnership working. Likewise, it details the financial resources that the Department expects to make available this year to schools or LAs (in part or in full) to support partnership working, or the expected cost of contracts the Department will make available (in part or in full) to support schools or LAs to work in partnership.

Our vision of 21st century schools is ambitious. No single school working alone will be able to deliver its key components. To improve the lives of children, young people, families and the wider local community, schools will need to work in partnership with children and young people; with parents; with other schools and colleges; with early years providers; and with wider services. Our consultation paper published yesterday considers the 21st century school system and how we can ensure deeper, more consistent and more effective partnership working and collaborations.

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Partnership policy Purpose Resources available in 2007-08 Resources available in 2008-09

0-7 Partnerships

The Children’s Plan (paragraph 4.50) announced a new initiative to pilot partnership working between schools, Sure Start Children’s Centres, early years and childcare providers and the health service across the 0-7 age range. The aims of the 0-7 Partnerships pilots are to develop and assess different models of partnership and joint working to see how they can improve children's early experiences. These have a huge impact on their later development and achievement and can have an influence on what they do and how they behave throughout their lives.


10 pilots, at least one for every English region, were selected in summer 2008. £2 million has been made available for 2008/9 (out of £10m total funding for the three years 2008-11).

The pilots are designed to:

raise quality;

improve links between settings and services;

improve transition over time (including from pre-school settings into Reception, and from Reception into Year 1);

test out new innovative approaches to partnership working.

Diploma Consortia

Diploma consortia are the groups of partners and providers who come together to deliver one or more of the new Diploma lines. A Diploma consortium has responsibility for:

Delivering particular lines of learning including ensuring facilities are fit for purpose and securing employers’ involvement;

Ensuring member institutions collaborate effectively to deliver the Diploma;

Providing Information Advice Guidance through peer advice and mentoring, opportunities for “tasters” and other “experiential” learning, building on commitments in the Children’s Plan;

Marketing to young people, parents and carers;

Preparing workforce and deploying them effectively; and

Logistical planning of learner numbers, timetabling and transport.

14-19 Partnerships

14-19 Partnerships Delivery of 14-19 education requires a collaborative approach and the involvement of several partners. There is therefore a 14-19 Partnership of some form in every area. The 14-19 Partnership has a strategic role in:

£14.5 million distributed to LAs as 14-19 flexible funding. Only some of this will be spent on partnership working at the LA's discretion.

Flexible funding: £14.5 million. This will be added to the area based grant in 2008/09. Again only part of this will be spent on partnership work and that will be at the LA's discretion.

agreeing the local vision for 14-19 that is consistent with the wider Sustainable Community Strategy, Children and Young People’s Plan and Local Area Agreement;

developing and articulating strategies for the full range of 14-19 priorities; and

supporting Diploma consortia so that they are ready to deliver.

Behaviour and Attendance Partnerships

In Nov. 2004 the Sec. of State signalled an expectation that all secondary schools (including academies, special schools and PRUs) would be working together in partnerships to improve behaviour and tackle persistent absence by Sept 2007. The partnerships are based on the idea that schools will be able to deal more effectively with challenging pupils if they can share expertise, resources and facilities for that purpose. Schools partnerships are voluntary, typically comprising 6-10 secondary schools, although primary and middle schools can join. Schools and local authorities have been encouraged to work in partnership through a series of Ministerial letters, and supported via several rounds of regional workshops, on-line guidance, and extensive support from the National Strategies. No additional funding available from the Dept. for partnership working. These partnerships to be made mandatory under the Children, Skills and Learning Bill. Safer School Partnerships - a voluntary arrangement between schools, police and other agencies. No DCSF or Home Office programme budget but some limited, pump-priming support available to some LAs in this FY.



Community Cohesion - School Linking

The Government investment in the Schools Linking Network will provide:

A new national website - —to allow all schools in England to seek a linking partner on-line, with support from the Schools Linking Network. The website will also hold resources and training materials.



Pilot projects in 40 local authorities to facilitate school linking by providing support and training, including guidance, materials and training for local authority personnel, teachers and other staff embarking on a linking project.

Extended Schools

A key way of delivering Every Child Matters, an extended school works with local providers, agencies (and in many cases other schools) to provide access to a core offer of extended services: a varied range of activities including study support activities for primary and secondary schools; childcare 8am-6pm, all year round for primary schools; parenting and family support; swift and easy access to specialist services such as speech therapy; community use of facilities including adult and family learning and ICT—these will often be provided beyond the school day but not necessarily by teachers or on the school site. In 2008-09 to 2010-11 a total of £1.3 billion of funding will be made available. This funding is to support the delivery of the extended schools core offer and not just to help schools work in partnership together.

£238 million

£297.5 million

Independent School/State School Partnership

The Independent/State Schools Partnerships Scheme aims to break down barriers between the independent and state school sectors, share expertise and good practice, widen educational opportunities, and raise standards in education. The focus of the scheme is on gifted and talented pupils with the aim of increasing the numbers of children applying for university places from communities where educational aspirations are traditionally low. In particular, priority will be given to proposals that aim to increase the uptake of, and attainment in, maths, science and modern foreign languages.

£1 million

£1.5 million (approx)

Academy Federations

The Academy Federation pathfinder, established in 2007, is a pilot project involving 10 federations, in which a low attaining school becomes an Academy and is federated with a strong school, which becomes either an Academy or a Trust school. Funding of up to £300,000 per scheme is available for the strong school to undertake work to support the partner school to become an Academy. The capacity funding is integrated into the funding normally made available for academy projects prior to opening, and is determined on a case by case basis.


Up to £300,000 per project.

London Performance Collaborative

The London Performance Collaborative is a group of London secondary schools working together to raise pupil's attainment.



London Primary Schools Working in Partnership

Small groups of schools working together on a particular theme, such as attainment in mathematics or English.


Up to £450,000

Leading Edge

The Leading Edge Partnership programme enables groups of schools to work together to improve pupil outcomes at key stages 3 and 4, particularly amongst the lowest attaining schools in the partnership. Leading Edge Schools get additional funding of between £60,000 and £90,000 (depending on pupil numbers) p.a. and there is also funding for managing the Programme.

£12.5 million paid to Leading Edge Schools. £925,000 was the cost of managing the Programme (via a contract).

£13.4 million expected to be paid to Leading Edge Schools. £925,000 expected cost of managing the Programme (via a contract).

Trust Schools

Trust Schools work with partners from the private, voluntary and public sectors. Many Trust Schools share their Trust with other schools, and so it becomes a forum for school-to-school partnership working. The very first Trust Schools were provided with up to £15,000 as pathfinder support. Schools looking to acquire a Trust are currently able to access up to £10,000 support.

The total money given directly to schools looking to acquire a Trust was £1.25 million. The Department contracted advice and support for Early Adopters from the TFSP (i.e. a consortium of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, Youth Sports Trust and FASNA) at a cost of £1,751,098. Successful applications from local authorities to the Standards and Diversity Fund to support collaborations (Federations and Trust) totalled £14.3 million.

The contract with the TFSP consortium to provide advice and support to schools looking to acquire trust status is expected to cost £3.286 million in 08-09. The Department expects to make up to £2.47 million available to support Trust School projects this year. Further capital funding is available via the Standards and Diversity Fund from 2008-09 to 2010-11 to support federations and Trust school proposals.


Schools in a federation operate through a single shared governing body, or have joint committees of their governing bodies. The federation model itself can generate financial savings and efficiencies for schools and all schools have the flexibility in their budgets to invest in collaboration. Working together through formal shared governance structures enables schools to raise standards and maintain local provision by sharing resources, staff, expertise, and facilities. The variety of models offered by federation makes it adaptable to suit individual contexts, and local needs and objectives. There is some capital funding available to support federations via the Standards and Diversity Fund (targeted capital funding).

Successful applications from local authorities to the Standards and Diversity Fund in 2007-08 to support federations and Trust school capital proposals totalled £14.3 million.

£120,000 via the National College for School Leadership to support federation schools working with a shared School Business Manager. Further capital funding is available via the Standards and Diversity Fund from 2008-09 to 2010-11 to support federations and Trust school proposals. The department will hold conferences for rural primary schools to provide an opportunity for schools to find out more about federation and to learn from the experiences of others.

The Department will also publish:

new simplified guidance to help schools to form a federation;

new case studies of federations between schools in rural areas to share best practice and to demonstrate the potential efficiencies and other benefits;

reports from research currently being undertaken with clusters of schools to identify the benefits that closer collaborative working and pooling of resources would generate for children and staff. This research will provide clear examples to schools which will support governors and heads as they consider close partnership working.

Education Improvement Partnerships

In Education Improvement Partnerships, schools collaborate to deliver services that would usually be delivered by their Local Authority. Where the LA has funding for the delivery of these services they may decide, locally, to devolve this funding to the schools. The Department keeps no record of this.



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