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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent progress the Families Group has made towards meeting its objectives; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: The family is fundamentally important to society and is where most individuals get the support they need to progress throughout their lives. The Children's Plan set out the Department's strategic direction for supporting families to ensure that children are given the best possible start in life. This includes empowering parents to make informed choices; helping families out of poverty, while maintaining a work life balance for parents and families; supporting strong couple relationships; increasing the availability of parenting programmes and support to help parents improve their ability to be effective parents; and providing support to families who are struggling or where parental problems (such as drug abuse or mental health) get in the way of positive parenting to get the family back on track.
The Children's Plan One Year On set out recent progress towards these aims. This includes refocusing efforts to ensure that every local authority now has a parenting strategy which set out how services are available across a continuum of need from universal services through to very targeted interventions for the most vulnerable families; ensuring that the workforce understands the value of parental engagement and the specific role they can and should play; and introducing a single commissioner to lead on developing local services for parents. We have also recently announced extra support for separating parents and their children to cope better
with the impact of parental separation and conflict. The Government have also made significant progress in tackling child poverty and supporting working parents through flexible working, extended maternity leave entitlement and the introduction of paternity leave.
Beverley Hughes: Since the announcement of the successful Family Pathfinder areas in May 2008 all 15 have begun to implement their plans to test the Think Family model. The Pathfinders are testing innovations on a number of themes including whole family assessment, better information sharing, joint commissioning and multi-agency working in order to better identify and work with families with multiple and complex problems. The Pathfinder local authorities have all attended two events to share ideas and best practice and to gather learning on how to implement the Think Family model. DCSF have commissioned an evaluation of the pathfinders which will produce an interim report in the spring.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will publish his Department's (a) draft contract for independent fostering and (b) standard contract for residential care. 
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the September Guarantee in meeting its objectives; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: Figures collected by Connexions services show that 94.2 per cent. of 16-year-olds who completed compulsory education in 2008 said that they wanted to remain in learning, and received an offer under the September Guarantee. This is an increase from 91.8 per cent. in 2007, the first year of the Guarantee.
The Guarantee was extended to 17-year-olds in 2008, and almost 80 per cent. of those who had been engaged on a short course or who were not in education, employment or training (NEET), also received an offer.
Statistics on the proportion of young people participating in learning, or who are NEET, are published annually by DCSF. The proportion of 16-year-olds in learning has risen steadily over the last seven years, with an acceleration in 2007 when the September Guarantee was first introduced. It is not possible to separate out the effects of the Guarantee from other factors, but feedback from local areas suggests that it had a significant impact on supporting this improvement. 2008 participation and NEET statistics are due to be published in June 2009.
Successful delivery of the Guarantee is a key step towards preparing local authorities, and their partners, for the raising of the age at which young people will participate in education or training to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of pupils gained five A* to C grade GCSEs including English and mathematics but excluding equivalents in each year since 1997. 
|Number of pupils achieving five GCSEs only at grades A*-C including English and maths||Percentage of pupils achieving 5 GCSEs only at grades A*-C including English and maths|
1. The 2008 data are provisional and subject to change
2. The data for 2005-08 are based on pupils at the end of KS4 and years 1997 to 2004 are based on 15-year-old pupils at the start of the academic year.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what percentage of gifted and talented pupils did not obtain five GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and mathematics, in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Jim Knight: In 2007, a total of 11,628 (14.3 per cent.) gifted and talented pupils did not achieve five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades A* to C, including English and mathematics. These figures relate to pupils at the end of key stage 4 in all maintained schools.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the answer of 19 November 2008, Official Report, columns 635-6W, on the General Certificate of Secondary Education, how many and what percentage of pupils in the maintained, mainstream sector achieved five GCSEs including a modern language GCSE at grades A* to C in each year since 2004, broken down by index of multiple deprivation deciles. 
Jim Knight: The information requested can be provided only at a disproportionate cost. The information relating to the proportion of pupils achieving A*-C in one Modern Foreign Language GCSE in 2008 is available in the following table:
|Pupils at the end of key stage 4 achieving A*-C in a modern foreign language GCSE or equivalent by IDACI deprivation decile of known pupil residence, 2008( 1)|
|IDACI decile||Number of pupils achieving A*-C in one Modern Foreign Language||Percentage of pupils achieving A*-C in one Modern Foreign Language|
National Pupil Database
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many days of sick leave head teachers took in each of the last five years in each local authority area, broken down by type of illness. 
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the Answer of 8 November 2006, Official Report, column 1742W, on GCSEs, how many and what proportion of pupils achieved GCSEs at A* to C in two foreign languages in each year since 1996. 
|Number of 15-year-olds||Percentage achieving two or more GCSEs in modern foreign languages at grades A*-C|
1. The data are based on 15-year-old pupils at the start of the academic year.
2. The 2008 data are provisional and subject to change
3. The data were taken from the Achievement and Attainment Tables data.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what percentage of pupils in pupil referral units (a) were entered for key stage 3 tests, (b) were working below the level of the key stage 3 tests, (c) did not register a level in the key stage 3 tests, (d) registered level 1, (e) registered level 2 and (f) registered level (i) 3, (ii) 4, (iii) 5, (iv) 6, (v) 7 and (vi) 8 in each of the last three years. 
|KS3 test results for pupils in pupil referral units, 2006 to 2008( 1)|
|Number of pupils at each level|
|Subject||A||T||B||N||2||3||4||5||6||7||( 2) 8||Total eligible pupils|
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