|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will bring forward proposals to enhance the role of grandparents and extended kin in caring for children; and if he will make a statement. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 12 July 2010]: Grandparents and other relatives play an important role in many families' lives-helping out with child care, providing emotional and financial support, being there when times are hard-for their children and their grandchildren. Sometimes that can include taking on full time care of their grandchildren.
Children who cannot live with their parents benefit from being brought up by their wider family. Relatives should receive the support they need to do this. The Government will be carefully considering the responses to the consultation on new statutory guidance for local authorities on support for family and friends carers, which ended on 18 June 2010.
The Government are also committed to reform of the family justice system, as set out in the Coalition Agreement. The review is under way and will examine the system as a whole. I have asked the chair of the review panel to look specifically at the issue of how best to support contact between children and grandparents and he has agreed to address this in the final report, expected in 2011.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2010, Official Report, column 570W, on personal, social, health and economic education, what the (a) prefix and (b) title is of each file held by his Department on personal, social and health education; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: PSHE embraces a large number of topics including sex education, drugs and alcohol, financial capability, health and safety and work-related learning. The Department has files on all of these as well as on general PSHE policy.
In the context of the Government's fiscal consolidation plans and emerging policy, we have commissioned a comprehensive independent review of all of the Department's existing capital expenditure to inform decisions about future delivery models for capital investment. This will include future investment in primary schools. The review team will report at the end of the year. Its report will guide future spending decisions over the next spending review period (2011-12 to 2014-15). It will also look at how best to meet parental demand; provide new primary places in areas of population growth; and secure the best possible value for money in terms of design and procurement.
Yvette Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether equality impact assessments will be used in determining the areas of his Department's budget in respect of which spending will be reduced. 
David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what timetable he has set for the abolition of the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency; what plans he has for the transfer of its functions; and if he will make a statement. 
Where QCDA is presently engaged in activity that supports the administration of examinations (such as Diploma Awarding) we would wish to retain such functions until these activities are no longer required or can be transferred. Our view is that Government or its agencies should in principle not be involved in this kind of work in the future, which is properly the domain of awarding bodies.
Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he plans to bring forward proposals to raise the participation age in education and training to 17 years by 2013 and 18 years by 2015. 
[holding answer 26 July 2010]: We have no plans to introduce the increase in the participation age to 17 years any earlier than 2013, or to introduce the increase to 18 years earlier than 2015. We set out in "The Coalition: our programme for government" our plans for education policy over the coming months and years, making clear our aspiration to maximise
opportunities for all young people. We are currently developing plans for specific policy areas to ensure we achieve this.
Mr Gibb [holding answer 14 July 2010]: Schools capital allocations are made to all local authorities whether they are, or are not, in the Building Schools for the Future programme. These include devolved allocations at local authority and school level, targeted allocations, and the strategic primary school programme.
Mr Gibb [holding answer 26 July 2010]: The annual PE and Sport survey collects data from maintained schools in England relating to schools' provision for PE and sport. Over the period in question, the percentage of schools providing cricket for their pupils increased from 85% in 2003/04 to 89% in 2008/09. This makes cricket the fifth most popular sport provided by schools, behind only football, dance, athletics and gymnastics.
John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of trends in participation in cricket as part of (a) PE activity and (b) school sport in state schools in the period from 2003 to 2010. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 26 July 2010]: The annual PE and Sport survey collects data from maintained schools in England relating to schools' provision for PE and sport. Over the period in question, the percentage of schools providing cricket for their pupils increased from 85% in 2003/04 to 89% in 2008/09.
(2) what recent representations he has received on the Building Schools for the Future programme from (a) Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, (b) bodies and charities in Dudley borough and (c) residents of Dudley. 
On 5 July the Secretary of State for Education announced a review of the Department's capital programmes including investment in primary and secondary schools. The review will make recommendations to help shape the decision
of future capital investment in schools, to ensure that investment represents good value for money and strongly supports the Government's ambitions to reduce the deficit, raise standards and tackle disadvantage. The cancellation of Building Schools for the Future does not represent the end of capital investment in schools.
Mrs Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will provide assistance to schools affected by the reduction in the Harnessing Technology Grant to enable them to maintain their ICT commitments. 
Mr Gibb: As part of a range of savings, the Harnessing Technology Grant is to be reduced by 50% in the current financial year. ICT infrastructure is now well-embedded in schools. Local authorities have been notified of the changes and they are best placed to manage the reduction, in consultation with their Schools Forum, to support a sustainable funding model based on local circumstances.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many expressions of interest there have been in the free schools scheme in the (a) Bristol, (b) South Gloucestershire and (c) Bath and North East Somerset local authority areas. 
Mr Gibb: The Department has received one proposal from the Bristol local authority area from Parents' Voice in North-West Bristol seeking to establish an all-age school. At this stage no proposals have been received from the South Gloucestershire, or the Bath and North East Somerset local authority areas.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will take steps to ensure that all schools offer the possibility for students to study three separate science subjects at GCSE level. 
Mr Gibb: The Government believes it important that all pupils have the opportunity to study the three separate sciences. We are currently considering what more needs to be done in addition to what is already in place to enable all pupils to have access to these GCSEs, including, for instance, looking at incentives to encourage more top science graduates into teaching.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his policy is on provision of funding for (a) sixth form colleges, (b) secondary schools with sixth forms and (c) other post-16 providers; and if he will make a statement. 
The total investment in 16-18 learning in 2010-11 will be £8.2 billion, which will fund around 1.6 million places. As announced at the end of May, the spending on 16-18 core participation funding for 2010-11 will be maintained and protected from any in-year spending cuts. At present, funding is provided to all
three types of provider through the 16-18 national funding formulae. The learner responsive model (for schools and colleges) is managed by the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) as one of its key roles. The Department also funds 16-18 Apprenticeships where funding is calculated through the employer responsive model (for work based learning) managed by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), as part of the Skills Funding Agency.
The levels of funding from 2011-12 will be determined as part of the spending review this autumn, and considerations surrounding the current funding methodology and formula will continue to form a part of that process. We have already taken steps to reduce bureaucracy in 16-18 education and simplify the 16-18 funding process by ensuring that funding follows the choices of young people. From the academic year 2011-12, core allocation budgets for school sixth forms and colleges will be based on the equivalent of lagged pupil numbers. We will also ensure that local authorities can focus on their strategic role as champions of young people, taking action where they identify significant issues in terms of gaps in supply or quality, particularly in ensuring access among the most vulnerable groups.
Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether capital expenditure by sixth form colleges will be included within the remit of his recently announced review to advise on capital expenditure. 
Sarah Teather [holding answer 8 July 2010]: Sure Start Local Programmes were the first stage in the delivery of the Sure Start Children's Centre service. They provided services for fewer than half of the under fives living in the 20% most deprived wards in England. The Government decided from 2003 to move toward a national programme of Sure Start Children's Centres offering a universal, mainstream service for children under five and their families.
Funding for Sure Start Children's Centres is part of the Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare Grant, which is ring-fenced. Funding for former Sure Start Local Programmes was ring-fenced, within this grant, for the
original centres in the most deprived areas. On 24 May, the Chancellor announced that revenue funding for Sure Start, including former Sure Start Local Programmes, will be protected from in-year cuts in 2010-11, and both ring fences maintained this year. Questions about future funding and the existence of any ring fences in future years will be dependent on the outcome of the spending review. Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure sufficient provision of children's centres to meet local need, and it is important, in the current financial climate, that we make sure we are getting the most out of every pound spent.
Tim Loughton: As at 30 June 2010 (latest information available), there were 13 temporary staff employed directly by the Department, and therefore on its payroll. The Department also has a call-off contract with two employment agencies, and on the same date, there were 16 agency staff working in the Department.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effect of recent changes to local authority funding on the Secretary of State's responsibility to ensure the provision of statutory information, advice, guidance and support to young people in England. 
Mr Gibb: The Government announced the local government contribution to cross-government savings on 10 June 2010. These savings include £311 million in the Department for Education's Area Based Grant (ABG) to local authorities in 2010/11. This reduction does not imply a direct cut to services funded by ABG, which include the provision of statutory information, advice and guidance to young people. The overall impact on total local government expenditure will be a 3.6% reduction, and we expect local authorities to manage this reduction across all their services, whether the initial funding source is formula or area-based. I am not expecting cuts to fall disproportionately on IAG services over others-these are critical services for young people. The Government believe that local authorities do have scope to make efficiencies this year.