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Ms Diana R. Johnson: It is not appropriate to use the term 'illiterate' to describe primary school pupils who are still learning. Primary school standards have never been higher. In 2009 92 per cent. of 11-year-olds achieved level 3 or above in reading, and 94 per cent. in writing. This means they can read a range of texts accurately and independently and their writing is organised, legible and clear. Many of those working below test level at age 11 will have a range of learning difficulties. We have proven, successful programmes like Every Child a Reader and Every Child a Writer in place to support those who are struggling.
Mr. Coaker: Secondary school standards have risen substantially since 1997, thanks to excellent leadership and teaching; support from the National Strategies; better use of pupil data; and the ambitious targets schools and local authorities have set for their pupils.
We published our school improvement strategy in the White Paper, 'Your Child, Your School, Our Future' on 30 June to build upon the improvements already made and deliver a world class education system.
16. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent representations he has received on funding for school education for 16 to 19-year-olds; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We have received three representations from schools about their 2009-10 funding allocation since June. These raised queries about the level of their allocation. We will be investing over £2.2 billion in 2009-10, enabling over 400,000 young people to have a place in a school sixth from in 2009-10. This will fund schools to make their vital contribution to deliver the September Guarantee providing an appropriate place in learning for any young person who wants one.
17. Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what discussions he has had with the London borough of Wandsworth on the provision of a secondary school in south Battersea. 
18. Natascha Engel: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on steps to support further education colleges whose enrolment figures have increased as a result of the recession; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: I have not recently met the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills on this issue, but we both recognise the vital role FE colleges play in developing the skills and knowledge of young people and adults. Hence, we are investing over £3.5 billion in 2009-10 enabling FE colleges to contribute to the September Guarantee for young people, including an extra £62 million secured in Budget 2009 to deal with the impact of the economic downturn.
19. John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department is taking to ensure that pupils from disadvantaged areas achieve their full potential. 
20. Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much central Government allocated to City of York council for school capital spending in (a) 1996-97 and (b) the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Coaker: £0.8 million pounds was allocated to York in 1996-97. During the current three-year spending review period, we are allocating the city £40.0 million, that is, an average of £13.3 million a year.
21. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what information he holds on the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in East Lancashire whose premises were constructed before 1914. 
Mr. Coaker: Asset management data, including data on the ages of school buildings, were supplied to my Department by local authorities, most recently in 2006. My Department has not analysed the data at this level of detail within an authority but can provide it by 7 November 2009.
22. Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department has taken to provide support to young people with communication disabilities within the youth justice system. 
Mr. Coaker: We are working with the Communication Trust to improve awareness and support for young people in the youth justice system with communication needs. Supported by DCSF funding, the Communications Trust is taking forward a programme to improve awareness of the importance of young people's communication needs in the secure estate and Youth Offending Teams. The trust is developing training for the youth justice workforce and influencing existing workforce programmes and National Occupational Standards.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: In May, we accepted in full the recommendations of the Expert Group on Assessment on the future of national curriculum assessment and testing. The group was clear that tests at the end of Key Stage 2 were educationally beneficial and vital for public accountability, and so the tests in English and maths will remain in place. We are also continuing and extending our trials of single level tests, and introducing new sample tests for Key Stage 2 science and for Key Stage 3.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in how many local authorities the implementation of the Building Schools for the Future programme has been suspended in the absence of a visionary or transformative bid. 
Mr. Coaker: Three Building Schools for the Future projects-Hull, Oldham, and Stoke-have previously been suspended in the pre-procurement phase while the local authorities were asked to re-examine their school estate proposals to ensure that the proposals would make a significant educational impact.
Local authorities are required to demonstrate that their BSF plans are visionary and transformational at two key points in the process. At initial entry, local authorities must submit a robust 'Readiness to Deliver' document which explains how their plans will impact on the local educational environment. Once the programme has commenced, they are required to submit a 'Strategy for Change' which describes the educational impact of their plans across all of the local schools to benefit from BSF investment. If, at either milestone, it is judged that the local authority is not setting high enough aspirations, they are asked to revise the strategies and resubmit them. This process helps to reduce the need to suspend BSF programmes.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of care leavers were living in suitable accommodation (a) in total and (b) in each of the smallest geographical areas for which figures are available in each year since 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children have been taken into alternative care as a result of low parental income in each of the last five years. 
A care order cannot be issued for a child simply because their parents are on a low income. Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 specifies that, to issue a care order, the court has to be satisfied that:
(A) The child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm; and
(B) That the harm, or likelihood of harm, is attributable to:
the care given to the child (or likely to be given to him if the order were not made) not being what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give to him; or
the child's being beyond parental control.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what review processes are in place to monitor the care of children with disabilities in long-term institutional care; 
Ms Diana R. Johnson: Local authorities have to develop care plans setting out how they intend to respond to the assessed needs of disabled children who are living away from their family and are being looked after by the local authority.
All care plans must be kept under review so that progress can be monitored and revised as circumstances
change. Review meetings should be chaired by the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) and conducted in accordance with minimum statutory requirements: within 28 days, three months and six monthly intervals after placement. Reviews should ensure that there is no undue delay in implementing the actions set out in a child's plan and that the child's views are taken in to account.
Children's Homes, including those who care for children with disabilities, must comply with the Children's Homes Regulations Act 2001 and the National Minimum Standards for Children's Homes and are registered, inspected and regulated by Ofsted.
The regulations and standards make specific reference to where children with disabilities are cared for in the home, with the overarching ethos being that disabled children in the home should be able to receive the same opportunities as other children within the home.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many people have been disciplined for misuse of data collected for the ContactPoint database in each year since data collection for that database began. 
Dawn Primarolo: All organisations using ContactPoint must complete organisational accreditation before their staff can be granted access to ContactPoint. Part of the organisational accreditation involves ensuring that appropriate disciplinary procedures are in place in the employing organisation should it be necessary to invoke them in relation to any inappropriate use of ContactPoint.
The use of ContactPoint is monitored at both national and local level. Local authorities are responsible for investigating suspected misuse within their user base. A central DCSF team also reviews use of the system and data by local authorities and national partners. If unusual activity by users within a local authority area or a national partner organisation were to be detected by regular auditing, or was suspected or reported, the local authority or national partner ContactPoint Management Team must suspend the user account, notify the user's manager and carry out an immediate investigation using local policies and procedures.
In the eventuality that there was misuse of data held on ContactPoint, disciplinary action would be a matter for the employer of the individual concerned. No one has been disciplined for misuse of data. However, through DCSF auditing, we have identified five instances where correct procedures were not followed by ContactPoint users. Typically, these were users who searched for records, for example, those of family members, in order to 'test' the system, in what they believed was a 'safe' way, before undertaking work such as apply shields to records that need them. All cases were immediately investigated and appropriate action has been taken. One of these five instances resulted in an individual being disciplined. The incident, although inappropriate, did not lead to ContactPoint data being compromised and there is no evidence that any of these instances indicated malicious intent, posed any risk to the security of children's records or constituted misuse of data on ContactPoint.
We have always said that we will carefully monitor the activity of early adopter practitioners to identify any further improvements that may be required. In the light of these instances, we further strengthened our training and guidance materials on correct procedures and use of ContactPoint. This demonstrates that the stringent security processes we have in place are working.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of registered childminders were (a) male and (b) female in each local authority area in the North West in each year since 1997. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey provides estimates of the proportion of childminders(1) who are male and female in England. Estimates can be provided of the number and proportion of male and female staff by region for 2006 and 2007, however these data are not available at the local authority level, or for earlier years. Table 1 provides the number and proportion of male and female childminders in England from 1998 until 2007. These data are not available for years prior to 1998. Table 2 provides the number and proportion of male and female childminders in the North West in 2006 and 2007.
(1) The data provided refer to the number and proportion of working childminders. Childminders who were registered but not working are not included.
|Table 1: Sex of childminders in England|
|Male childminders||Female childminders|
|Proportion of childminders( 1)||Number of male childminders( 2)||Proportion of childminders( 1)||Number of female childminders( 2)|
|(1) Proportions may not sum to 100 per cent. due to rounding. (2) All numbers provided have been rounded. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100 if they are greater than 1,000, to the nearest 50 if the number is 100 to 999 and to the nearest 10 if the number is below 100.|
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