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28 Apr 2009 : Column 1278W—continued

Beverley Hughes: Where a child, who is not a looked after child, is being cared for by a relative or friend, the local authority has the discretion to provide support
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under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 to support their upbringing by their family. The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 made it easier for local authorities to provide financial under section 17 where that is appropriate. The number of families being supported in this way is not collected centrally.

Where the local authority places a child with a relative or friend, so they are a looked after child, the family or friend must become approved as a foster carer and the fostering service provider must provide them with support on the same basis as for any other foster carer. The amount of financial support provided to family and friends foster carers is not collected centrally.

Fostering service providers differ in the amount of support they provide, however, all providers should be paying their foster carers at least the national minimum allowance.

Children in Care: Drugs

Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which care homes have administered behaviour controlling drugs to (a) girls and (b) boys (i) in the last 30 years and (ii) in the last 12 months. [270038]

Beverley Hughes: This information is not collected centrally by the Department.

However, the regulations governing children’s homes require them to promote and protect the health of the children accommodated. Children’s homes do not prescribe medicines—this is done by the GP or specialist mental health services. Children’s homes must ensure that each child is registered with a GP and that any medicine prescribed to a child is administered as directed to the child for whom it is prescribed. A written record must be kept of the administration of any medication.

The regulations and standards which apply to the children’s homes also require measures of control and discipline to be based on methods which establish positive relationships with children and which are designed to help the child.

Children: Internet

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many working groups have been established to develop a code of practice for the moderation of user generated internet content as referred to in the Byron Review Action Plan; and who the members are of each such group. [270710]

Beverley Hughes: The Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety has established four working groups to take forward the recommendations of the Byron Review. The groups are:

The Industry group will look to develop best practice and common standards across industry such as the recommendations for codes of practice for user generated content.

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The current members of the Industry group are as follows:

Member Organisation

Wincie Knight

Nickelodeon UK

Emma Ascroft

Yahoo! UK and Ireland

Hamish MacLeod

Mobile Broadband Group

Juliet Kramer


Shereen Meharg

Fox Interactive Media

Anthony Langan*


Mark Gracey

THUS, a Cable and Wireless business

Robin Blake


Richard Murray

Jagex Ltd.

Will Gardner

Childnet International

David Fatscher

BSI British Standards

Julian Coles


Alan Dykes*


Dave Simpson


Keren Mallinson

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)

Adam Hildreth

Crisp Thinking

Trish Church

Orange UK

Alex Green

Virgin Media

Neil Scoresby

BT plc.

Donna Whitehead


Simon Sauntson*


Pamela Learmonth

Broadband Stakeholder Group

William Gore

Press Complaints Commission

Andrea Millwood Hargrave

Millwood Hargrave Ltd./University of Oxford

Elizabeth Kanter

Research in Motion

Richard Sargeant


Peter Johnson

British Board of Film Classification

Zoe Hilton


Annie Mullins

Vodafone Group

Malcolm Hutty


Paul Kelly


Roy Edmonds

Nickelodeon UK

Mike Rawlinson


Alex Nagle


Alan Penton


Susan Daley


Paul Massey

Independent Consultant

Sarah Dyer


Ian Clarke


Children: Protection

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many regional seminars have been held by BECTA to assist local safeguarding children’s boards; and what mechanisms his Department will use to assess their effectiveness. [270711]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 23 April 2009]: The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) held a total of 10 regional events during October and November 2008. 88 per cent. of all local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) were represented at these events. Feedback from the events was positive and each LSCB was invited to commit to an ongoing action plan on safeguarding children online to be monitored by BECTA.

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A survey by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services on LSCBs carried out in January 2009 showed that, for example, of the 61 per cent. of LSCBs who responded, 96 per cent. included safeguarding children online in their business plan (87 LSCBs) and 93 per cent. had a specific sub-group or working group with safeguarding online as a key remit (85 LSCBs).

Pre-school Education: Finance

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what factors are taken into account when allocating nursery education grant funding; and if he will make a statement. [265965]

Beverley Hughes: The nursery education grant (NEG) no longer exists. All funding for early years provision for both schools and (private voluntary independent) PVI providers is allocated through the dedicated schools grant (DSG). The DSG is distributed by giving every local authority a pre-determined amount per pupil each year, which is a combination of an uplift of their 2005-06 education spend, plus top-ups for ministerial priorities. Every local authority has had indicative budgets for 2008-11, in order to enable them to plan. We consulted on this methodology in 2007 and around two thirds of respondents were in favour of it for 2008-11.

This gives each local authority an entire amount for their schools budget, which they then allocate across the education system including for the free entitlement to early years provision according to local priorities. From 2010, all local authorities will use a single locally-determined funding formula to distribute funding to all early years settings, including nursery classes in schools.

Schools: Finance

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much he has budgeted for the rebuilding of school buildings in each of the next six financial years. [271615]

Jim Knight: The Government’s plans for capital investment in schools over the current spending period total £22.9 billion, including £1 billion carried forward from 2007-08. This is currently profiled as £6.2 billion in 2008-09, £8.9 billion in 2009-10 and £7.8 billion in 2010-11. These profiles include £1.3 billion of PFI credits in each year and reflect £0.9 billion brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10 as part of the fiscal stimulus plans. Available resources for 2011-12 onwards will be determined as part of the Government’s next Spending Review.

Secondary Education: Admissions

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance his Department issues to local education authorities on the allocation of places at secondary schools to siblings of pupils at those schools. [271302]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The School Admissions Code makes clear that schools and local authorities should be pragmatic in trying to keep families together, especially those with younger children. Most recognise the value
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of this and give priority to siblings of children attending the school, which must be clearly explained in admission arrangements.

The Secretary of State recently asked the schools adjudicator to report on the admissions of twins to the same school, and to recommend any changes he thinks are needed. This report is due on 1 September 2009.

Sixth Form Education: Admissions

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many sixth form places for schools in Lancashire in 2009-10 (a) were provisionally allocated and (b) have been confirmed. [271301]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department does not collect information on the number of sixth form places allocated.

Special Educational Needs: Disadvantaged

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in which (a) special and (b) mainstream schools more than 50 per cent. of pupils were on free school meals, more than four per cent. of pupils were children in care, and more than 20 per cent. of pupils had statements of special educational needs in the last period for which figures are available. [260504]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: In January 2008 there were no maintained primary or state-funded secondary schools with more than 50 per cent. of pupils eligible for free school meals and more than 4 per cent. of children in care and more than 20 per cent. of pupils with a statement of special educational need. The requested information on special schools is shown in the following table.

Information on pupils eligible for free school meals includes dually registered pupils. Information on pupils with a statement of special educational needs excludes dually registered pupils. Information on children in care is usually sourced from the looked after children database but this cannot be used to answer this question as it does not identify the school each child attends. However, data on pupils in care are also collected via the School Census.

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, show 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.

The Department is working on a project to match the looked after children database to the national pupil database. If successful this would enable us to produce
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analysis for looked after children on a range of attainment indicators and characteristics, including information on free school meals and special educational needs. We are hoping to report on the findings including on the robustness of the matching exercise by the end of 2009.

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