|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of appeals against permanent exclusion have been upheld in each of the last three years, broken down by local authority area. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure children diagnosed with diabetes may not be excluded from education. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Government have no plans to bring forward such legislation; the legislative framework is already in place. Schools have a duty under part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001) not to discriminate against disabled pupils and to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled children and young people are not disadvantaged in any way compared to their peers, this includes in extra curricular activities, such as school trips.
This, taken alongside the guidance Managing Medicines in schools and early years' settings and the special educational needs code of practice provides a suitable legislative framework to help ensure that children with illnesses, such as diabetes, have the same educational opportunities as their peers.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) assisted into links between childrens educational performance and their diet. 
We are aware of research conducted by other organisations, including a review of literature by the Centre for the Wider Benefits of Learning (and a recent study using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) which has examined the relationship between diet and school outcomes.
While the Wider Benefits of Learning study on nutrition and school outcomes was not commissioned by the Department, it was published as part of the Departments research series. Both studies have found that a poor diet has negative implications for attainment.
Information about the number of permanent and fixed period exclusions as a result of a physical assault against an adult was published in Statistical First Release (SFR) 14/2008 "Permanent and Fixed Period Exclusions from Schools in England 2006/07", available on my Department's website:
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what advice his Department has given to school governing bodies on assistance for parents on low incomes to purchase school uniforms, with particular reference to the range of approved retailers. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: New guidance for schools and governing bodies on school uniform and related policies was published in October 2007. The guidance advises that local authorities have a discretionary power to provide school clothing grants or to help with the cost of school clothing in cases of financial hardship.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the answer of 13 November 2008, Official Report, column 1358W, on secondary education: coastal areas, if he will consider commissioning research on the effect of high turnover in schools on (a) educational achievement, (b) social cohesion and family breakdown and (c) the effective monitoring of vulnerable children. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department publishes school Contextual Value Added (CVA) scores via the Achievement and Attainment Tables. The models used to derive these scores show that after controlling for a wide range of other factors, moving between schools at non-standard transfer times does affect attainment detrimentally, and the later the move within each Key Stage the greater the impact.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessments the (a) Commission for Social Care Inspection and (b) Ofsted has made of children's services in the London Borough of Haringey in each of the last six years; 
(2) what assessment his Department has made of the way in which inspectorates responsible for children's services discharged their responsibilities in respect of the London Borough of Haringey's children's services. 
Beverley Hughes: There have been a number of assessments and inspections of Haringey children's services by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) or Ofsted in the last six years. They include an inspection by Ofsted of the local education authority (published in January 2004), a joint area review of children's services by ten relevant inspectorates including Ofsted and CSCI (published in October 2006), a joint area review of safeguarding services for children by Ofsted, the Healthcare Commission and the chief inspector of constabulary (published in December 2008), a youth service inspection by Ofsted (published in October 2006), annual performance assessments of children's services by Ofsted and CSCI each year from 2005 (the latest, by Ofsted, published in November 2007), several inspections of the local authority fostering agency (the latest, by Ofsted, published in March 2008), and an inspection of the local authority adoption agency by CSCI (undertaken in 2005).
Ofsted is an independent non-ministerial Government Department performing its duties on behalf of the Crown. Therefore, it is not the proper role of the Department to assess the way in which inspectorates responsible for children's services discharge their responsibilities.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what his estimate is of the percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils who meet the standards outlined on swimming and water safety in the compulsory parts of the physical education curriculum; 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The 2007/08 school sport survey found that, from a sample of 1,165 primary schools, 72 per cent. of pupils in year 6 were able to meet the minimum compulsory elements of the primary national curriculum related to swimming. There are no compulsory elements of the secondary national curriculum related to swimming.
DCSF has given no guidance to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) about swimming in the curriculum. In relation to the primary curriculum review, no guidance has been given to the QCA, or Sir Jim Rose, in relation to swimming. QCA are leading in providing evidence to the review and for managing wider stakeholder management.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make it his policy to hold discussions with the Department for Transport on the cost of public transport for young people in areas where there are no local authority subsidies; and if he will make a statement. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Through the joint Travel to School Initiative project DCSF and DfT officials regularly meet and are working closely on travel matters, encouraging children to travel sustainably (walking, cycling, using the bus and reducing car use).
Local authorities (LAs) have to make transport arrangements where they consider it necessary to secure a child's attendance at school. Where they consider transport necessary, it must be free of charge. LAs have wide discretion in deciding whether transport is necessary, but they must provide free home to school transport for pupils of compulsory school age who are attending their nearest suitable school, provided that the school is beyond the statutory walking distances (two miles for pupils below the age of eight and three miles for those aged eight and over).
The Education and Inspections Act 2006 extended entitlement to free school travel for pupils entitled to free school meals or whose parents are in receipt of maximum working tax credit. Primary school pupils aged over eight have been entitled to free travel to their nearest school where this is more than two miles from their home. At secondary age (11-16), pupils attending a suitable school that is between two and six miles from the childs home, (as long as there are not more than three nearer schools) and those attending their nearest school preferred on the grounds of religion and belief, between two and 15 miles, have been entitled to free transport since September 2008.
Following the introduction of the national bus concession for older and eligible disabled people from April this year, the Government are spending around £1 billion a year on concessionary travel. Any extensions to the scope of the statutory minimum would bring with them associated costs and would require careful consideration of the full impacts. Research commissioned by the
Department for Transport estimates that expending the statutory concession to 16 to 19-year-olds in full-time education could cost around £245 million per year, while concessionary travel to all young people under 19 and in full-time education could cost around £1.4 billion per year.
At present, 48 per cent. of young people walk or cycle to school so a blanket concession could encourage young people who currently walk or cycle to take the bus. However, local authorities can use their existing powers to offer local concessionary travel to young people.
Although the Government have no plans to make concessionary travel a statutory entitlement for young people, the Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007 preserves the ability of local authorities to use their discretionary powers to create concessionary travel schemes for children and young people. Local authorities are best placed to know about local needs and circumstances, including any discounts bus operators offer at their commercial discretion. Many local authorities do offer some form of concession for young people.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the answer of 7 November 2005, Official Report, columns 118-21W, on gifted and talented youth, how many and what proportion of primary school pupils are participating in the Young, Gifted and Talented Programme, broken down by local authority area.