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Academies: Sponsorship

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether a final date for full payment of sponsorship funding is agreed between his Department and the sponsor of each academy school. [306374]

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Mr. Coaker: There are two types of sponsorship payments for Academies: traditional procurement and the endowment model. For traditional procurement Academies sponsorship payments are a contribution to the capital cost of constructing Academy buildings. Under this model, the timing of the receipt of cash sponsorship varies from academy to academy and is agreed as part of the Funding Agreement between the Department and the academy.

With the endowment model, sponsors establish an endowment fund which generates revenue for the Academy Company to use to counteract the impact of deprivation on the communities they serve. Under this model, receipts to the Academy Trust are made once the academy has opened, and usually over a period of five years. This is also agreed as part of the Funding Agreement between the Department and the academy.

In some instances, under both models, the Department has provided sponsors with some flexibility over the timing of payments made. These are considered on a case by case basis but we would expect sponsors to pay the amounts pledged.

Antisocial Behaviour

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many respect zones there have been in each year since 2007; how much funding each zone has received in each year; and what funding they can expect to receive in each of the next three years, broken down by funding stream. [303877]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 3 December 2009]: The Respect Programme was a success and most of the commitments in the Government's Respect Action Plan have been met or are in train and have been taken into the heart of programmes across Government and in local service delivery.

The 47 local authorities entitled 'Respect' areas no longer hold this title but continue to receive funding to tackle antisocial behaviour, provide parenting programmes and deliver Family Intervention Projects, the previous requisite elements of being a Respect area.

The funding provided to these areas to continue delivery of these elements of the Respect programme for each of the years from 2007 to 2011 is outlined as follows:

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11

Anti-social behaviour grant (area based grant)





Family intervention project (ASB)





Parenting practitioners





Building Schools for the Future Programme

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of Building Schools for the Future funding has been spent on laboratories for practical science in each of the last four years; and whether he has plans to prioritise school science in the next Building Schools for the Future funding round. [306265]

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Mr. Coaker: The Department for Children, Schools and Families does not collect information about the funding of particular types of space.

However, we know that over the last four years 81 new secondary schools have been built with the benefit of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) funding, at an average cost of £25 million. As each of these schools will have facilities for teaching practical science totalling on average 8 to 10 per cent. of the gross floor area, the cost of providing science accommodation at all these schools can be estimated at around £162 million to £203 million. In the same period, 27 schools have been refurbished and/or extended with BSF funding and many of these projects are likely to include improvements to science accommodation.

The aim of BSF, the largest capital investment programme for 50 years, is to provide world-class teaching and learning environments across the whole curriculum, including science. The Department does not intend, therefore, to prioritise school science in future BSF rounds.

The Department is committed to excellent science accommodation, demonstrated by Project Faraday which has developed exemplar designs for school laboratories to meet the needs of 21(st) century practical science teaching. These exemplar projects, many of which are already built, will inform and inspire all those involved in BSF.

For more information on Project Faraday see:

CAFCASS: Complaints

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what procedures the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service has in place for handling complaints received regarding the accuracy of its reports; and if he will make a statement. [305829]

Dawn Primarolo: CAFCASS has a formal complaints procedure, which includes complaints about the accuracy of reports. A copy of this procedure has been placed in the House Libraries. CAFCASS Cymru operate a parallel service in Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government and a copy of their representation and complaints procedure can be obtained from CAFCASS Cymru.

Children: Video Games

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the (i) level of access by people under the age of 18 years to video games featuring scenes of violence with an 18-rated classification and (ii) potential effects on the behaviour and development of such people of that access. [303010]

Dawn Primarolo: As part of her review of the effects of the internet and computer games on young people, Dr Tanya Byron commissioned extensive research into how video games impact children. This research looked at the issues such as addiction, violence and inappropriate content in games. The research concluded that there is no clear evidence either way about harmful impact on young people in terms of it creating violent behaviour.

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The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) is taking forward the review's recommendations, with special emphasis on the impact that online games have on children. The Byron review also recognised that more research into games is needed, especially given the pace of change in the medium. The Council has established an Experts' Research Panel to look at ways to deepen our understanding of the issues.

Classification formed an important part of the review and Professor Byron recommended a review of the classification of games and following the review this year we are strengthening the games classification system to extend statutory protection to all material suitable for those aged 12 or over. The recommendations also included working with Trading Standards officers on assessing underage sales of video games. Investigating the issue was accepted as a priority by the Executive Board of UKCCIS and the Council has commissioned work with local partners to investigate the issue.

Children's Centres

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what his most recent assessment is of the effectiveness of Sure Start children's centres in reducing child poverty; [306606]

(2) what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Sure Start children's centres for low income families. [306625]

Dawn Primarolo: Sure Start children's centres both improve children's life chances and help parents into training and employment. All children's centres have links with Job Centre Plus, and in 10 local authorities Job Centre Plus advisers are placed full time in children's centres, helping parents on their journey into work. Children's centres are improving children's life chances: evidence shows that three-year-olds in areas with Sure Start Local Programmes displayed above-average levels of social development and positive social behaviour.

For more information on the evidence of the benefits of Children's Centres to low income families I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 10 November 2009, Official Report, column 354W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Wirral, South (Ben Chapman).

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what recent representations he has received on increasing the number of Sure Start children's centres; [306608]

(2) how many people use Sure Start children's centres in Leeds, West constituency. [306607]

Dawn Primarolo: Local authorities are responsible for rolling out Sure Start Children's Centre programmes in their areas. We are on track to achieve the national target for at least 3,500 centres by March 2010, offering access to services for all children under five and their families.

The Department does not collect information centrally about the numbers of children and families accessing individual Sure Start Children's Centres. We expect local authorities and children's centres to collect data on the take up of services as part of their local performance management arrangements. The Leeds, West constituency currently has seven Sure Start Children's Centres offering
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services to approximately 5,500 children under five and their families. There are no further centres planned for this constituency.

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the answer of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 201W, on children: social services, what the monetary value is of the contract met centrally by his Department for the Together for Children consortium to provide support for the delivery of Sure Start children's centres since October 2006. [306634]

Dawn Primarolo: Together for Children, a consortium of Serco, Tempus Resourcing Ltd., 4Children and Continyou, was contracted as the Department's delivery partner for Sure Start children's centres in October 2006 to provide support to local authorities to plan and deliver their children's centre programmes. The following table gives details of the monetary value of the contract for each year since its commencement which is met centrally by the Department.

Financial year Total cost (excluding VAT) (£ million)











(1) Estimated costs on current workplans.

Children's Centres: Barnsley

Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many people have children at Sure Start children's centres in Barnsley East and Mexborough constituency. [307163]

Dawn Primarolo: There are 19 designated Sure Start Children's Centres in Barnsley local authority, reaching just over 12,800 children under five and their families. Of these, two are in the Barnsley East and Mexborough constituency, reaching around 1200 children under five and their families.

Reach defines those children and families with the opportunity to access Sure Start Children's Centres. Figures for the number of people actually using children's centres are not collected centrally.

Departmental Electronic Equipment

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many plasma screen televisions his Department has purchased since 2001; and what the cost has been of purchasing and installing such screens in each such year. [306074]

Ms Diana R. Johnson: Records show that the Department procured 17 plasma screens since 2001. The cost of purchasing and installing these screens (excluding VAT) in each such year was £28,281.75 in 2001; £11,764.01 in 2003; £19,134 in 2006 and £15,480 in 2007.

These were mainly purchased to provide a videoconferencing service to the Department's four sites and to stream internal content within the Department.

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Departmental Freedom of Information

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 his Department received in 2008; and how many of these received a substantive response within 20 days. [305497]

Ms Diana R. Johnson: Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice on Freedom of Information in central Government for 2008 show that of a total of 554 non-routine requests received by the Department (based on aggregated quarterly data) 88 per cent. (485) received a substantive response within 20 days. 92 per cent. (511) of requests were dealt with 'in time', that is within 20 days by meeting the deadline or other permitted extension deadline.

The statistics can be found on the Ministry of Justice website at:

and copies are available in the House Libraries.

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many staff of his Department were in its redeployment pool on 1 (a) January, (b) April, (c) July and (d) October 2009. [306706]

Ms Diana R. Johnson: The figures for staff in the Department that were without permanent posts on the dates specified are (a) 11 in January 09, (b) 9 in April 09, (c) 12 in July 09 and (d) 22 in October 09.

All individuals without permanent posts are actively engaged in work during this transition period, on either key projects or short-term business priorities. These individuals are known as priority movers and they are given individual tailored support to find suitable permanent posts.

Departmental Temporary Employment

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department has spent on employing agency workers in each of the last five years. [307596]

Ms Diana R. Johnson: The DCSF was created on 28 June 2007. Spend on agency staff since then is set out in the following table:

Agency (£)

July 2007 to December 2007


January 2008 to December 2008


January 2009 to October 2009


Spend on agency staff is historically higher during the first half of the year due to, in part, to the need to recruit agency staff to work on the school census. This explains the lower than expected number for the six months of 2007.

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