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The SFT has also published partial take-up data at local authority (LA) level, in a technical paper "NI 52 - take up of school lunches" (December 2008) that discusses the impact of the introduction of the new national indicator for take-up of school meals (NI52). The first official NI52 data collection will be in April 2009. Following this, take-up data at LA level will be available in the summer of 2009.
Jim Knight: Local authorities have been invited to bid to bring forward funding allocated at local authority level from 2010-11 to 2009-10. Their views have also been requested on bringing forward projects funded by Devolved Formula Capital (DFC) at school level. The decision on whether to bring forward DFC will be made in the light of these responses.
Jim Knight: There is good progress towards meeting the National Challenge. In 2007 there were 631 schools where fewer than 30 per cent. of pupils achieved five A*-C grades including English and mathematics at GCSE. This figure has reduced to 440 on the basis of final published data which is a reduction of 191 schools. All schools below the threshold will receive bespoke support as appropriate from the National Challenge.
Beverley Hughes: Our joint consultation with Ofsted on school-level indicators of well-being has just finished and we are currently considering responses before making final decisions on what the indicators will be. The next steps will be for Ofsted to trial the indicators and for this Department to work with Ofsted to develop an evaluation plan.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to raise the school science examination standards in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Tees Valley and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland. 
Jim Knight: The Department for Children, Schools and Families has responsibility for the curriculum in England only; responsibility for the rest of the United Kingdom was devolved to the Scottish Parliament and the Assemblies for Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Governments ambition is to create an education and training environment throughout the whole of England that delivers the best in science teaching and learning at every stage. To support this ambition we announced in January 2008 a £140 million strategy over the period 2008-11 to educate the next generation of scientists and mathematicians and help recruit and train more science and mathematics teachers. Much work is already under way to improve standards of science teaching and learning, including:
Raising attainment through the Secondary National Strategy;
Streamlining the curriculum to make it more manageable and focus on the key concepts of science, as well as its excitement and relevance;
Supporting 500 science and engineering clubs for pupils at key stage 3 with an interest and aptitude for science.
Providing additional incentives to recruit more high quality science graduates into science teaching.
Improving the quality of teaching by making available good quality continuing professional development through the network of Science Learning Centres, which we fund jointly with the Wellcome Trust.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what percentage of pupils eligible to receive free school meals attained a GCSE in (a) physics, (b) chemistry and (c) biology in the latest period for which figures are available. 
|Attainment of pupils in England by eligibility of free school meals|
|Number achieving A*-G||Percentage achieving A*-G||Total number of pupils|
|(1) Indicates brace|
National Pupil Database
Beverley Hughes: Social workers are directly recruited by their employers. The Department for Children, Schools and Families does not collect information on how much employers spend on recruiting childrens social workers.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils (a) were eligible for free school meals and had statemented or non-statemented special educational needs, (b) were eligible for free school meals and were children in care, (c) had statemented or non-statemented special educational needs and were children in care and (d) were eligible for free school meals, had statemented or non-statemented special educational needs, and were children in care in each of the last five years. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Information on children in care is usually sourced from the Looked After Children database but this cannot be used to answer this question. However, data on pupils in care is also collected via the School Census and the latest information is shown in the table.
This census shows that there were 34,390 pupils aged five to 19 attending primary, secondary and special schools classed as being in care as at January 2008. Data published by the Department as SFR 23/2008: Children looked after in England (including adoption
and care leavers) year ending 31 March 2008, shows 47,600 children aged between five and 19 as being looked after as at 31 March 2008. However the School Census does not cover all looked after children; information is not collected for pupils in alternative provision, including pupil referral units, FE colleges, voluntary provision
and those not in education or training. These differences in coverage will explain the different counts to an extent, but it is possible that the School Census undercounts the number of looked after children in primary, secondary and special schools.
|Maintained primary and secondary schools and all special schools( 1) : number of pupils( 2.) Position in January each year 2004 to 2008. England|
|All pupils aged 5 to 19|
|Number of pupils who were eligible for free school meals and have statemented special educational needs||Number of pupils who were eligible for free school meals and have non-statemented special educational needs||Number of pupils who were eligible for free school meals and were children in care||Number of pupils who had statemented special educational needs and were children in care||Number of pupils who had non-statemented special educational needs and were children in care||Number of pupils who were eligible for free school meals, had statemented special educational needs and were children in care||Number of pupils who were eligible for free school meals, had non-statemented special educational needs and were children in care|
|(1 )Includes primary and secondary schools and all special schools (excludes general hospital schools).|
(2 )Includes dually registered pupils and boarding pupils.
Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what support his Department is providing to schools to improve educational provision for children with behavioural needs in 2008-09. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Government are implementing a comprehensive national programme to strengthen schools capacity to manage behaviour. This includes targeted support for schools, high quality training, curriculum materials and consultancy support. We have also strengthened the law to help protect schools from challenges to their authority from pupils or parents, and enable them to foster a safe and orderly learning environment.
We are encouraging schools to develop a whole-school approach to improving social and emotional wellbeing and continuing to reduce behavioural difficulties, by promoting the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) Programme and by publishing guidance on the management of behaviour.
In this context, last May we issued revised guidance on the education of children and young people experiencing behavioural, emotional and social difficulties as a special educational need (BESD). We have also commissioned the National Strategies to provide a wide range of support and advisory services, including continuing a professional development scheme, which includes study materials on managing behaviour in schools and addressing BESD.
Edington and Shapwick School, Somerset;
Mary Hare Grammar School, West Berkshire;
More House School, Surrey; and
Mark College, Somerset.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment his Department has made of the merits of children with profound and multiple learning difficulties remaining at a specialist school until the age of 18 years. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: We believe that all young people should participate in education or training until at least 18. Young people who stay on after 16 are more likely to gain higher levels of qualifications by 18 than those who do not and are less likely to commit crimes, behave antisocially or to suffer ill health. The Education and Skills Act 2008 introduced compulsory participation until 18 for all young people and this will ensure that the entire education system focuses on the needs of the all young people, including those with profound and multiple learning difficulties. It may be that the most suitable and appropriate provision for a particular young person would continue to be a special school, in which case this should be the key factor in determining where that young person receives their education.
There is a vital and continuing role for special schools as part of an inclusive education system, meeting young people's needs directly and working in much closer partnership with mainstream schools to build expertise throughout the system. The present Special Educational Needs statutory framework provides for children and young people with statements to be taught in mainstream schools where this is what their parents want and is compatible with the efficient education of other children. It also provides for parents to seek a special school
place and to have this preference considered. If a young person with SEN remains at school after reaching age 16, the school and the local authority continue the SEN arrangements already in place, subject to further regular reviews. If a young person with SEN continues their education at a further education college the Learning and Skills Council has a duty to take regard of the young person's learning difficulties and disabilities.
The Children, Skills and Learning Bill creates the conditions for local authorities to assume responsibility for funding for learners with profound and multiple disabilities in 2010 and we believe this is the best way to develop a continuous system of support and provision from age 0-25.
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