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Local authorities which have been given approval for schemes but which have yet to start

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Local authorities which have not yet been given approval for schemes to start

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Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which schools in each local education authority area have been approved for funding for each wave of the Building Schools for the Future programme; how much has been allocated to each school; which company has been awarded each contract; and on what date each project (a) was or (b) will be completed. [263658]

Jim Knight: Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, will write to the hon. Member, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the House Libraries.

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the merits of (a) refurbishment and (b) rebuilding of schools; what estimate he has made of the amount of energy which will be consumed for completion of the rebuilding programme; and if he will make it his policy to publish statistics on the number of schools (i) refurbished and (ii) rebuilt under his Department’s programmes. [263672]

Jim Knight: The comparative costs and merits of refurbishing and rebuilding schools vary from one school to another. Options, including refurbishment and rebuilding as appropriate, are appraised and compared locally, by or on behalf of local education authorities.

The Department has not assessed the energy required for completion of the rebuilding programme. Refurbishment and rebuilding projects above a threshold are required to meet challenging targets based on a standard form of environmental assessment that takes into account construction methods.

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In the 2007 publication “Better Buildings, Better Design, Better Education”, my Department provided information on numbers of schools rebuilt or improved in England since 1997, including 1,106 new schools and a further 27,000 new or improved classrooms. The information was derived from data received from local education authorities and we anticipate asking authorities for an update of the information later this year.

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many local education authorities fall within the indicative prioritisation of first follow-on projects of the Building Schools for the Future programme; how much the bids submitted by each are; and on what date he plans to announce which authorities are to be given approval to proceed. [263675]

Jim Knight: 95 local authorities sent in revised expressions of interest for the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme which include proposals for first follow-on projects. I am making the indicative BSF prioritisation lists available in the House Libraries—they were announced on 2 March 2009.

Guidance to authorities on revising their expressions of interest included that follow-on projects should be up to £100 million in capital value, and Partnerships for Schools (PfS) provided a funding model to assist authorities. Details of projects, including capital value, will be appraised by PfS when it engages with authorities on their readiness to deliver.

I have not set dates for announcing formal entry into the BSF programme. Before then, PfS will engage with authorities to discuss their readiness to deliver and then assess the evidence that they provide. We aim to ensure that projects which formally enter the programme are fully ready to deliver: taking time to get this right at this stage ensures good and timely delivery later on.

I aim to bring all authorities into the programme as soon as is practicable, provided they are ready to deliver. Consideration will also be given to starting follow-on projects where this is appropriate in the interests of good overall programme management, for instance where an authority already in the programme needs to maintain momentum, or where larger authorities need to have a manageable flow of projects over the whole programme.

Children: Internet

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what guidance his Department gives to schools and colleges on ways to promote online safety and security as part of information technology classes; [263937]

(2) what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of courses on information technology in schools and colleges in promoting the safe and secure use of the internet; [263938]

(3) what information school pupils are given as part of classes on information technology on measures to protect their computer systems from external threats. [263939]

Jim Knight: As the Government’s lead agency for technology in schools, Becta have provided advice to schools and colleges on issues of e-safety since 1998.
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This advice enables schools to assess pupils within their normal local and national practices—key stage tests and examinations.

The revised secondary curriculum level descriptors contain intrinsic references to e-safety in the ICT programme of study and there are also references in other curriculum areas, for example in Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE).

Becta is working with the QCA and Sir Jim Rose to ensure that the primary curriculum adequately reflects the skills, knowledge and understanding that children need to develop to stay safe online.

In addition, there are a number of freely available national resources for learners and teachers to develop skill and capability, for example, Childnet’s know-it-all resources. The National Strategies have also recently developed new materials on e-safety; these materials have been distributed through local authorities and conferences and have been well received. The materials focus primarily on the more technical aspects of e-safety for example protecting data, understanding firewalls etc.

Ofsted have recently published the School Self Evaluation—A Response to the Byron Review which made reference to schools having good acceptable use policies. It highlighted the need for schools to be better at evaluating the effectiveness of these policies. Becta recently published its revised advice in relation to acceptable use policies to support schools and other institutions where children have access to technology in developing and evaluating good policies and practices.

Children: Protection

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on what date he received Lord Laming’s report into safeguarding children. [263380]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 13 March 2009]: Lord Laming submitted his progress report on the protection of children in England to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on 10 March 2009.


Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will take steps to assist small and medium-sized enterprises which work to improve the life prospects of disadvantaged young people over the age of 18. [263017]

Mr. Simon: I have been asked to reply.

We recognise that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the third sector have a particular role as providers of learning to disadvantaged people, including disadvantaged young people.

DIUS is currently developing a Department wide Third Sector Strategy which will address how we work with the third sector across the range of our policies and programmes. We aim to ensure we make best use of the potential of the third sector to contribute to meeting our skills agenda through its ability to engage with disadvantaged groups.

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To help ensure that the skills of people in the third sector are developed, DIUS, in conjunction with Office of the Third Sector, has supported the establishment of “Skills—Third Sector”, a new sector skills body. Skills—Third Sector will work with employers in the sector to identify and meet learning needs of the sector and work to increase take-up of training.

DIUS is already supporting small and medium employers to meet the training needs of their staff in a range of ways:

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