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Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he plans to reply to Question (a) 312701, (b) 312702 and (c) 312703, on personal, social, health and economic education, tabled by the hon. Member for Salisbury on 19 January 2010. 
Ms Diana R. Johnson: The Department is supporting the 2010 Big Bang UK Young Scientists' and Engineers' Fair which initiates National Science and Engineering Week and will take place at the Manchester Central Convention Complex between 11 and 13 March 2010.
This Big Bang Fair 2010 celebrates young people's achievement in science and engineering and will host more than 120 interactive activities, exhibitions and live shows as well as incorporating the final of the National Science and Engineering competition which is open to schools throughout the UK.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether his Department provides guidance to magistrates on levels of fines for parents of children absent from school. 
Mr. Coaker: The Department for Children, Schools and Families and its predecessors has not issued guidance to magistrates on levels of fines for parents who fail to secure their child's attendance at school.
However, the Department has produced guidance for educational practitioners: 'Ensuring children's right to education: guidance on the legal measures available to secure regular school attendance', which is available on teachernet:
Ms Diana R. Johnson: The Department published guidance in October 2007 which provides advice to schools on how to formulate fair, reasonable, affordable and inclusive school uniform policies. The guidance can be viewed at:
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children in Northampton were receiving free fruit in school in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Ms Diana R. Johnson: Schools are able to participate in the Department of Health's school fruit and vegetable scheme, which provides key stage 1 pupils in maintained primary schools in England with a free piece of fruit or vegetable every day.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many representations (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have received from (i) hon. Members and (ii) local authorities on the number of (1) primary school places in Hertfordshire in (A) 2008, (B) 2009 and (C) 2010; how many (1) requests for meetings each received from and (2) meetings each had with (x) hon. Members and (y) local authorities on the matter; and which local authorities were involved in each such case; 
(2) secondary school places in Hertfordshire in (A) 2008, (B) 2009 and (C) 2010; how many (1) requests for meetings each received from and (2) meetings each had with (x) hon. Members and (y) local authorities on the matter; and which local authorities were involved in each such case. 
Mr. Coaker: Our records show only one representation made to Ministers since 2008 on the number of primary school places in Hertfordshire. In June 2009, Diana Johnson met with the hon. Lady and the right hon. Member for Hitchin and Harpenden (Mr. Lilley) to discuss the provision of places in line with parental preference. I understand there was discussion around the lack of primary places in St. Albans although this was not the main focus of the meeting. Representatives were present from the local authority.
Our records show only one representation made to Ministers since 2008 on the number of secondary school places in Hertfordshire. In July 2009, Mr. Lilley wrote setting out his concerns about the lack of secondary school places in Hertfordshire.
Mr. Coaker: It is the responsibility of local authorities to secure a place for every child of statutory school age in their area who needs one. The Department provides capital to support this duty. From 2008-09 to 2010-11, over £1.2 billion of capital funding has been allocated nationally through the Basic Need programme to local authorities for providing additional places. Basic Need funding is partly allocated on forecasts of growth in pupil numbers provided by each authority. Where providing additional places is a local priority, authorities can also use funding from other sources, including receipts, planning gains and other major schools capital programmes. In total, from 2008-09 until 2010-11, Hertfordshire has been allocated over £90 million of schools capital which could be used to provide additional places where there is need.
In 2009, as it became apparent that some areas were experiencing or expecting exceptionally high increase in demand for primary pupil places which had been difficult to forecast, the Department made additional funding
available to support the immediate provision of additional primary places by 2011 in the areas of highest growth. We have allocated £274 million to 36 authorities. Hertfordshire did not apply for this funding.
Ms Diana R. Johnson [holding answer 3 March 2010]: The Department for Children, Schools and Families does not keep a specific record of complaints received on the use of biometric data. However, a search of correspondence has identified 34 instances of concerns or objections relating to the use of biometric technologies in schools in the three years from February 2007.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: The School Transport Pathfinder Pilots were not taken forward as the bids received from local authorities neither were comprehensive nor gave the broad and diverse mix of rural and urban schemes we were looking for to run meaningful pilots.
The funding allocated to the pilots has been redirected to the Voluntary Aided Private Finance Initiative, Partnership for Schools, the Office of the Schools Adjudicator, the Travel to School Initiative and School Formation and Investment Group funding pressures.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance his Department has given to local education authorities on visits to schools by (a) hon. Members, (b) parliamentary candidates and (c) Cabinet Ministers (i) within and (ii) outside election purdah periods. 
Ms Diana R. Johnson:
The Talent and Enterprise Taskforce's programme spend was £3,303,706 for the period 2008-09. The Taskforce's running costs were
£307,255, over the same period. This was used to fund programmes and activities to promote the talent agenda and engage influential networks and organisations across society to do the same.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average pay was of a teacher in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England in each year since 1997. 
The following table provides the average salary of full-time regular qualified teachers in service in local authority maintained schools, March each year, 1997 to 2008, the latest information available.
|Average salary of full-time regular qualified teachers in local authority maintained schools, March each year, 1997 to 2008- South Tynesi de local authority, North East G overnment O ffice region and England|
|South Tyneside local authority||North East Government office region||England|
|(1) Figures are not sufficiently reliable.|
1. Maintained sector only. Teachers in academies (including those that were previously maintained schools) are not included.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest £10.
Database of Teacher Records
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many cases associated with parents not ensuring their child attended school were heard in court in (a) 2000, (b) 2004, (c) 2006 and (d) the most recent 12 month period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Coaker [holding answer 24 February 2010]: Information from the Ministry of Justice court proceedings database on the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences relating to failing to attend school in England 2001 to 2008 can be viewed in the following table. Prior to 2001 these offences cannot be separately identified.
|N umber of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences relating to 'failing to attend school'( 1, )( 2)|
|(1) Includes the following:|
(i) Failure to secure regular attendance at school. (Education Act 1996 S.444 (1)(8)).
(ii) Parent knows that their child is failing to attend school regularly and fails without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend school. (Education Act 1996 S.444(8)(1a)(8a) added by Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 S.72).
(2) Prior to 2001 these offences cannot be separately identified.
1. The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
2. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice.
The increase in the number of cases over this period reflects a sustained drive, led by the Government, to improve levels of school attendance including by encouraging local authorities to make more use of their powers to proceed against parents who are failing in their legal responsibility to ensure their children receive a full time education. The outcome has been a significant improvement in school attendance, with on average 71,800 more children attending school each day in 2007/08 than in 2000/01.
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