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18 Dec 2008 : Column 1116W—continued

Early Years Capital Grant

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families by what means the Government intend to review local authority distribution of the Early Years Capital Grant annually over the 2008-11 spending period; and if he will make a statement. [244793]

Beverley Hughes: We expect the majority of the £642 million to be allocated through the Quality and Access Capital Grant (formerly known as the Early Years Capital Grant) during the 2008-11 spending review period to be used primarily to improve the quality of the environment in private, voluntary and independent early years and childcare settings.

It is up to individual local authorities to determine how the funds available will be spent in order to meet the aims set out for the grant. The expenditure by each local authority is audited to ensure that the funding is used for the purposes intended. Local authorities are able to carry forward unspent sums from one year to the next, though not beyond the Spending Review period.


18 Dec 2008 : Column 1117W

Homework

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment his Department has made of the amount of homework appropriate to be assigned to (a) infants and (b) juniors at primary school. [245910]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Homework is not compulsory, but the Government considers that there is an enormous advantage in children spending regular periods of time on different learning activities devised by schools as part of a homework programme which supports the work they do in class.

Recommended times for homework in schools are based on good practice and set out in the Department's guidance “Homework: Guidelines for Primary Schools and Secondary Schools”. The guidance recommends that a sensible programme of homework activities for children in years 1 and 2 should be about one hour a week. Between years 3 and 4 this should increase to about one hour and 30 minutes a week, and to about 30 minutes a day at years 5 and 6. While we expect schools to have regard to the guidance they should also consider any particular circumstances of their pupils in determining how much time for homework is appropriate for their pupils at each stage.

Learning Disability

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how much funding is available to primary schools in (a) the Ribble Valley, (b) Lancashire and (c) England for children diagnosed with specific learning difficulties in 2008-09; [243268]

(2) how much funding is provided for special education schools operating in (a) the Ribble Valley, (b) Lancashire and (c) England in 2008-09. [243272]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Funding data specifically for children diagnosed with specific learning difficulties are not collected by the Department. However, according to the available information, Lancashire LA’s 2008-09 Section 52 Budget statement reports that maintained special schools planned expenditure in the Ribble Valley was £1.4 million and the maintained primary schools received an indicative SEN allocation of £1.9 million.

The following table provides the planned net expenditure on the provision of education for pupils with special educational needs in Lancashire local authority and England for 2008-09.


18 Dec 2008 : Column 1118W
£
Lancashire LA England

ISB for special schools (Table 1)

35,806,000

1,505,407,000

Funding delegated to nursery schools identified as “notional SEN”

0

11,660,000

Funding delegated to primary schools identified as “notional SEN”

30,938,000

1,152,319,000

Funding delegated to secondary schools identified as “notional SEN”

29,019,000

879,302,000

Total SEN funding delegated to schools

95,763,000

3,548,688,000

Centrally retained SEN element of the school budget

23,452,000

1,185,141,000

SEN element of the LA budget

7,357,000

365,229,000

Total planned expenditure on the education of children with SEN

126,573,000

5,099,058,000

Notes:
1. Includes planned expenditure on the provision for pupils with statements and the provision for non-statemented pupils with SEN, support for inclusion, inter authority recoupment, fees for pupils at independent special schools and abroad, educational psychology service, local authority functions in relation to child protection, therapies and other health related services, parent partnership, guidance and information, the monitoring of SEN provision and inclusion administration, assessment and co-ordination. Also included is the funding delegated to nursery, primary and secondary schools identified as “notional SEN” and the individual schools budget (ISB) for special schools.
2. The ISB for special schools will include some general education costs for pupils with SEN in addition to those costs specifically for SEN while the figures recorded against “notional SEN” are only indicative of the amount that might by spent by schools on SEN. During 2008-09 local authorities in England also budgeted £552.6 million for SEN transport expenditure but this is not included in the aforementioned table (Lancashire LA budgeted £14.8 million for SEN transport expenditure).
3. Figures are rounded to the nearest £1,000 and may not sum due to rounding.
4. The data are drawn from Local Authorities Table 2 of their Section 52 Budget statements. The statements are collected by DCSF under section 52 of the Schools Standard and Framework Act 1998.
5. Cash terms figures as reported by local authorities as at 10 December 2008.

Children‘s Play: Newcastle upon Tyne

Mr. Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much funding was provided to Newcastle City Council for the maintenance and establishment of children's play areas in the latest period for which figure are available; and what monitoring his Department undertakes to ensure this funding is being used appropriately by local authorities. [244126]

Beverley Hughes: Our public consultations have shown a consistent and strong demand from children and families for better outdoor play spaces near to where they live. In the Children's Plan we committed to invest an additional £235 million to fund up to 3,500 new and refurbished public play areas nationally.

As part of this programme of investment from 2008-09 to 2010-11, all local authorities will be designated as play Pathfinders of Playbuilders. On average all play Pathfinder authorities will receive £2 million capital funding, £500,000 revenue funding over the course of the programme and Playbuilder authorities will receive around £1 million capital and £45,000 revenue funding. Play Pathfinder authorities will develop a minimum of 28 play areas and a new staffed adventure playground, while Playbuilder authorities will develop a minimum of 22 play areas by 2011. This includes both new play areas and significant refurbishment of existing play areas.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne was a Playbuilder LA from April 2008 and received £307,407 capital and £12,730 revenue funding for 2008-09. Newcastle has been selected
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as one of our final 10 Pathfinders and will receive around £2 million capital funding and £500,000 revenue funding from April 2009. Final allocations for 2009-10 and 2010-11 will be finalised in January 2009.

All Pathfinder and Playbuilder LAs progress on delivery of sites is monitored on a regular basis. Financial monitoring is done through existing processes that LAs already have in place with the Department. In addition, Pathfinder and Playbuilder LAs have to submit an Estimate of Expenditure by January 2009 setting out expenditure to date and projected spend to March. A Statement of Expenditure, certified by the Chief Financial Officer in respect of the grant for the financial year 2008-09, has to be submitted to the Department no later than 30 June 2009. The expenditure has to adhere to the Conditions of Grant, each Pathfinder and Playbuilder LA accepted, and relates to the number and quality of play areas delivered.

Primary Curriculum Review

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which witnesses gave evidence to the Rose Review into primary education prior to the publication of the interim report. [244783]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Review held an initial call for evidence which closed on 30 April 2008. 569 responses were received. A breakdown by type of response has been placed in the Library.

The list of individuals and groups who have provided evidence to the Review through meetings has been placed in the Library.

Jim Rose has chaired a group of over 20 leading primary head teachers and senior representatives from organisations such as the National College of School Leadership, National Strategies, and the Training and
18 Dec 2008 : Column 1120W
Development Agency for Schools. This Advisory Group met four times prior to publication of the interim report.

The QCA provided an evidence report to the Review. This drew on international studies, stakeholder views, school visits, surveys of teachers, pupils and parents, reviews of research literature and the regular curriculum monitoring reports QCA has carried out over the last 10 years.

A number of development groups established by QCA have provided input to the Review. These groups comprised QCA curriculum advisers, representatives from national organisations such as the primary national strategies, subject experts (nominated by subject associations through the Council for Subject Associations) and practising teachers. The development groups met three times over the course of the autumn.

160 primary schools are working with QCA as part of a curriculum development network.

NFER carry out a regular termly survey of a representative sample of teachers. Two surveys have carried out so far and the views of over 600 teachers sought on issues related to the Review.

Pupil Exclusions

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils received a fixed period exclusion from school in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by index of multiple deprivation decile. [241881]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The readily available information is given in the table. This shows the number of episodes of fixed period exclusion. A pupil may have more than one episode of fixed period exclusion during the year.

Primary, secondary and special schools( 1, 2, 3) : Number of episodes of fixed period exclusions by level of deprivation of school( 4, 5: ) England 2006-07
Primary schools State funded secondary schools( 2)
Number of schools Number of Fixed period exclusions Percentage of the school population( 6) Number of schools Number of Fixed period exclusions Percentage of the school population( 6)

Level of deprivation of school based on IDACI( 4) (%)

0-10 most deprived

1.665

9,404

2.03

261

31.883

13.67

10-20

1.543

7.720

1.79

305

35,618

12.73

20-30

1,695

6,803

1.51

315

36,822

12.75

30-40

1,621

5,525

1.35

372

42.673

12.05

40-50

1,673

3.958

0.98

386

42.667

11.35

50-60

1.882

3.776

0.90

387

42,146

10.98

60-70

1,938

3.102

0.78

340

34.577

10.40

70-80

1.953

2.123

0.54

335

33.451

10.20

80-90

1.851

1.874

0.49

362

32.520

9.12

90-100 least deprived

1.557

1.447

0.40

356

30.914

7.94



18 Dec 2008 : Column 1121W

18 Dec 2008 : Column 1122W
Special schools( 3) Total
Number of schools Number of Fixed period exclusions Percentage of the school population( 6) Number of schools Number of Fixed period exclusions Percentage of the school population( 6)

Level of deprivation of school based on IDACI(4 )(%)

0-10 most deprived

119

2.433

23.77

2.045

43.720

6.19

10-20

108

1,323

1440

1,956

44.661

6.20

20-30

102

1.658

20.00

2.112

45.283

6.05

30-40

114

2.175

21.35

2,107

50.373

651

40-50

107

1.037

11.47

2,166

47.662

6.04

50-60

92

1.453

17.80

2.361

47.375

5.85

60-70

98

1.512

1890

2.376

39,191

532

70-80

99

1,351

18.33

2,387

36.925

5.08

80-90

111

2,072

21.89

2.324

36,466

4.88

90-100 least deprived

116

1.584

17.12

2.029

33,945

4.47

(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(2) Includes both CTCs and academies. Information is as reported by schools.
(3) Includes both maintained and non-maintained special schools.
(4) 2004 Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index at Super Output Area level based on the location of the school. Includes all schools which returned information on fixed period exclusions for 2006-07.
(5) Figures relate to the number of episodes of fixed period exclusion, a pupil may have more than one episode of fixed period exclusion during the year.
(6) The number of fixed period exclusions expressed as a percentage of the number (headcount) of all pupils (excluding dually registered pupils) in January 2006.
Source:
School Census.

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