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5 May 2009 : Column 154W—continued

Pre-School Education: Finance

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the (a) overall cost of introducing the Early Years Foundation Stage and (b) cost of monitoring the 69 learning goals in (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. [272554]

Beverley Hughes: The EYFS Framework was launched on 13 March 2007 and became a statutory requirement from September 2008. The cost of developing, designing and printing the original Early Years Foundation Stage statutory guidance pack for providers was £610,000. The cost of the information and communications activity surrounding the launch of the EYFS was £245,000 which included communications to raise awareness, launch events, leaflets to parents, surveys exercises and media activities.

The Department funded Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) training and development in schools through the School's Standard Fund. The level of funding provided was £5 million in 2007-08 and £7.9 million in 2008-09.

EYFS training and development in the private, voluntary and independent sector is funded through the General Sure Start Grant (GSSG). We topped up this funding during 2007-08 with an additional £7 million exclusively for the level 3 certificate in EYFS. At the same time we enabled greater flexibility of the Transformation Fund, which is designed to raise the level of professional qualifications in the early years workforce, to enable further EYFS training for the private, voluntary and independent sector. Because of the way we fund local authorities through these broad grants it is not possible to provide a breakdown of how much was spent specifically on EYFS training per se.

The Department funded QCA a total of £485,000 in 2007-08 and £888,000 in 2008-09 to provide guidance and materials, such as the EYFSP handbook and video exemplifications to support practitioners to monitor each child's achievements against the learning goals in the EYFS profile. This funding also includes the range of activities and support that QCA provides to local authorities, including accredited training and to make sure practitioner judgements are moderated and that the data are secure. We also funded QCA a total of £290,000 in 2008-09 to process and manage applications for exemptions from the EYFS learning and development requirements.


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Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how much funding has been allocated to the extension of the entitlement to free early education to all two year-olds; [272596]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost of extending entitlement to free early education to all parents with children of two years of age additional to the funding allocated to the extension of that entitlement to the parents of the 15 per cent. the most disadvantaged two year-olds in each local authority. [272597]

Beverley Hughes: We are extending a pilot, offering free early learning and childcare to 15 per cent. of the most disadvantaged two year olds in every local authority, over the next two years.

Funding has been allocated until March 2011 to support this.

Decisions regarding the pace and scale of further rollout will be taken as part of the next spending review.

Schools: Knives

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many appeals against decisions of schools to (a) temporarily and (b) permanently exclude children for carrying a knife have been upheld in each of the last five years; [272963]

(2) how many successful appeals have been lodged in respect of children (a) temporarily and (b) permanently from schools for violent behaviour in the last five years. [272865]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: There is no process for a parent or pupil to appeal a head teacher’s decision on a fixed period exclusion (suspension), aside from a review by the governing body of certain fixed period exclusions. Claims alleging disability discrimination in respect of fixed period exclusions may be made to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). Information on such claims is not collected by my Department.

Information on the number of appeals against permanent exclusion (expulsion) is collected centrally, but this is not broken down by the reason for exclusion.

Departmental guidance on exclusions clearly sets out the circumstances and procedures that should be followed and the Government’s guidance to independent appeals panels emphasises that exclusions should not be overturned without good reason. In 2006/07, 970 appeals were heard by panels, with only 100 pupils reinstated. These figures must be seen in the context of the total number of 8,680 permanent exclusions for that year. It means that just 1.2 per cent. of permanently excluded pupils were reinstated.

Special Educational Needs

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many mainstream secondary schools were attended by pupils with statements of special educational need in each year since 1997. [271480]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The requested information is shown in the following table.


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State-funded secondary schools( 1) : Number of schools attended by pupils with statements of special educational need( 2) , as at January each year( 3) , in England

All schools Schools with pupils with statements of SEN

1997

3,584

3,463

1998

3,582

3,486

1999

3,575

3,477

2000

3,565

3,471

2001(4)

3,496

3,426

2002

3,471

3,371

2003

3,454

3,372

2004

3,435

3,369

2005

3,416

3,360

2006

3,405

3,356

2007

3,399

3,344

2008

3,383

3,322

(1) Includes city technology colleges and academies.
(2) Solely registered pupils only.
(3) From 2002, data may not be comparable with previous years, as collection was changed from school level, to pupil level.
(4) Estimates have been made for January 2001 because the data for SEN are known to be incomplete.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Adult Education

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate his Department has made of the number of adult education courses available in England in each year since 1997. [264845]

Mr. Simon: Information on the number of different courses funded in a given year is not collected. FE colleges and providers are given indicative budgets based on the expected delivery of an overall volume of learning. The actual numbers and types of courses delivered by a college or provider will depend on demand. The Statistical First Release (SFR) “Post-16 Education: Learner Participation, Outcomes and Level of Highest Qualification Held” (March 2009) provides information on the number of LSC-funded learners; the SFR can be found at the following link:

Adults learn on different kinds of courses, ranging from unaccredited informal adult learning for personal enjoyment to vocational training courses that lead to recognised qualifications. In 2007/08, there were 3,278,000 adults learners participating in LSC-funded further education (made up of FE colleges including Learn Direct, adult and community learning, work-based learning and Train to Gain).

Adult Education: Finance

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether building projects that come within the Adult Safeguarded Learning budget are safeguarded until the end of the project; and whether such budgets are within the scope of the review of further education capital funding. [270336]

Mr. Simon: Capital projects that are already underway and funded from within the Learning and Skills Council’s (LSC) Adult Safeguarded Learning budget are not subject
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to change. These projects will proceed and continue to be supported by the LSC as planned, in line with agreed terms and conditions and LSC procedures.

The work that the LSC is undertaking with the sector on prioritisation will not include projects funded through the Adult Safeguarded Learning capital budget.

Apprentices

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent representations he has received on the effects of levels of availability of apprenticeship places on the ability of students to complete courses of study; and if he will make a statement. [265744]

Mr. Simon: Ministers and officials have received a number of representations about the problems training providers have experienced in finding work placements for apprentices to enable them to complete their apprenticeship framework. The construction industry is one sector where problems have been most acute and we have worked with employers, trade unions and sectoral bodies through the construction taskforce to identify measures to help providers, employers and apprentices. Most notably we have, together with ConstructionSkills established a matching service to help those apprentices in the construction sector at risk of redundancy to find alternative employment and to complete their apprenticeship. We are currently working with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to explore how this approach might be extended to other sectors.

We are also taking steps to encourage employers to continue to support training and apprenticeships through the £175 billion a year Government spend on procuring goods and services. Government have made a commitment to routinely consider skills issues and promote training opportunities through their procurements. In construction, Departments and Agencies have made a specific commitment to consider the case for including a requirement that a proportion of the project workforce is apprentices when letting new construction contracts. We are looking to build on this approach in other major areas of spend, including IT.

On 17 April, the Department published new guidance, jointly developed with the Office of Government Commerce, to support Departments and agencies in implementing these commitments.

The £140 million package announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in January for an additional 35,000 apprenticeship training places will help fund new provision in both the public and private sectors, and will extend the opportunities available to people facing redundancy. We have also developed some flexibilities to help apprentices who have been made redundant. Redundant apprentices can now continue their training with a provider for up to six months while they and their provider look for an alternative employer. The National Apprenticeship Service has provided revised guidance about access to EMA and hardship funds which is already available. If a redundant apprentice is close to completing their framework and has evidence of the relevant employer experience, we expect providers, Sector Skills Councils and awarding bodies to be considerate to their individual circumstances in order to support them in completing their course of study.


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Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the recommendations of the final report of the UK Skills Commission’s inquiry into apprenticeships published in March 2009. [271765]

Mr. Simon: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools and Learners have welcomed the Skills Commission report on Apprenticeships at its launch on 18 March 2009.

We welcome this constructive contribution to the development of the Government’s Apprenticeship Programme in England, and the emphasis it places on the value of work-based learning. We expect to make a formal response to the recommendations set out in the report in June, which will allow us to take into account the responses to the consultation on the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE).

Apprentices: Coventry

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what funding his Department is providing for apprenticeships in Coventry in 2009-10. [272029]

Mr. Simon: Funding for 2009/10 has not yet been allocated to training providers and financial information of this type is not available at constituency level.

Since 2001 we have invested £6.4 billion in the apprenticeship programme and we will continue to build on this investment. We are increasing funding for apprenticeships in England in 2009-10 to over £1 billion. In January my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced a £140 million package to provide 35,000 extra apprenticeship places in the coming year.

Apprentices: Energy

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent steps his Department has taken to provide apprenticeships in the energy sector. [270833]

Mr. Simon [holding answer 24 April 2009]: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Children Schools and Families currently fund apprenticeships in a number of energy related occupations in the gas, electricity and nuclear industries in England. In 2007-08 900 young people started an apprenticeship in the energy sector. We are taking a wide range of steps to encourage more employers to offer high quality places in all sectors of the economy. We also believe apprenticeships can play a key role in our response to the current economic downturn. Earlier in the year my right hon. friend the Prime Minister announced a £140 million package to provide an extra 35,000 apprenticeship places over the coming year in both the public and private sectors to help strengthen the country’s competitiveness.

In January the new online apprenticeship vacancy matching service for employers and potential apprentices went live. The first chief executive of the new National Apprenticeship Service took up post in February and the National Apprenticeship Service was fully functional from 1 April 2009 with a remit to expand apprenticeships
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and provide a single point of contact for employers and apprentices. To raise awareness and encourage more employers to take on or offer more apprenticeships a national advertising campaign fronted by Sir Alan Sugar ran in February and March.

Our New Opportunities White Paper published in January announced the Government’s commitment to extend group training associations; ensure all apprentices have clear progression routes; and commits to work towards an entitlement to an apprenticeship for all young people leaving care. Looking to the future, we have set ambitious targets for the growth of the Apprenticeships programme. Apprenticeships provisions are being taken forward as part of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill, including provisions to ensure that an apprenticeship place is available for all suitably qualified young people by 2013.

Apprentices: Expenditure

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much has been spent on apprenticeships for 16 to 18 year olds in (a) Cheshire and (b) England in the last 12 months. [272617]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: I have been asked to reply.

For apprenticeships for 16 to 18-year-olds in 2008-09, £12.4 million has been allocated to training providers contracted to the LSC in the Cheshire and Warrington area. In 2007-08, the latest financial year for which spend information is available, £637 million was spent on apprenticeships for young people in England. Total funding for apprenticeships in England is planned to increase to over £1 billion in 2009-10. Earlier in the year my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced a £140 million package to provide 35,000 extra apprenticeship places in the coming year.


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