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The code goes on to say that children at secondary school age are usually more independent, but does provide guidance for admission authorities on how to help meet parents' wishes where they wish siblings to continue to attend the same school.

Lord Selkirk of Douglas asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Adonis: We introduced a new school admissions code in 2007. Local authorities and admission authorities must act in accordance with it. The code makes schools' admission arrangements fairer and more transparent for parents. The code applies to admissions to schools from September 2008. We are therefore planning to look at what impact the code has had from 2008, and can then assess the effect on different types of families.

Schools: Disruptive Children

Lord Steinberg asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The proportion of schools judged by OFSTED to have unsatisfactory standards of behaviour is at an historic low. However, the Government remain determined to achieve further improvements. We will therefore continue to implement our comprehensive national programme to strengthen the capacity of schools to manage behaviour. This includes giving schools access to high-quality guidance, training, curriculum materials and advice from expert consultants, establishing a clear statutory basis for teachers' disciplinary authority, providing extra resources for schools facing the greatest challenges, giving schools statutory power to search pupils for weapons and encouraging the placement of police officers in schools.

Further developments this term include the extension of behaviour partnerships to most secondary schools, the extension of the “Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning” programme to secondary schools, and new legal duties for parents to arrange supervision for their children for the first five days of any exclusion from school and for schools or local authorities to provide supervised education from the sixth day.

Schools: Specialist Curriculum

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The department, working closely with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and the Youth Sport Trust, will continue to support specialist schools to improve the delivery of specialist curriculum subjects and drive whole school improvement. Schools can specialise in one of 10 curriculum areas. The published guidance sets out the requirements of being a specialist school, which include setting attainment targets in their chosen specialist subjects and developing as a centre of curriculum excellence. Specialist schools' progress is assessed on a regular basis linked to the Ofsted inspection cycle.

Schools: Teachers

Lord Steinberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The Government do not regulate standards of dress for the school workforce and have no plans to do so. This is a matter which is best determined at local level as part of the general terms and conditions of employment agreed between employer and employee. In doing so, our view is that a dress code should be relevant to the individual setting, taking into account the requirements of the post and equality and diversity matters.



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Schools: Uniform

Lord Steinberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): We published updated guidance on school uniform and related policies in October 2007. This guidance strongly encourages schools to have a uniform as it can instil pride; support positive behaviour and discipline; encourage identity with, and support for, school ethos; ensure that pupils of all races and backgrounds feel welcome; protect children from social pressures to dress in a particular way; and nurture cohesion and promote good relations between different groups of pupils.



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We have not assessed whether there is a direct link between the improved results and the new school uniform policy at Fulham Cross School. However, we are encouraged by Ms Jones's comments about the positive impact of the new policy.

Skills

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The table below shows the proportion of young people aged between 16 and 18 years who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) at the end of each of the past 10 years. The proportion NEET at the end of 2006 was 10.3 per cent.

Table—young people aged 16 to 18 not in education, employment or training
End of calendar year1997199819992000200120022003200420052006 provisional

Proportion

8.5%

9.4%

8.1%

9.1%

9.5%

9.5%

9.2%

9.7%

10.9%

10.3%

Numbers

154,300

170,300

144,500

162,900

175,900

180,200

178,700

190,000

217,100

206,200

Source: SFR 22/2007—www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000734/sfr22_2007.pdf

Young people who are NEET have a very mixed range of characteristics. Not all are unemployed—they may be taking a gap year, caring for family, or simply be between jobs or courses.

The department's strategy for assisting young people to re-engage is based on four key elements: careful tracking to identify young people's needs; a flexible mix of learning provision designed to meet the needs of every young person in every area; good advice and support to enable young people to access suitable provision; and a set of clear rights and responsibilities for young people to re-engage should they become NEET. Together with the education and training and Youth Matters reforms, these will make a significant reduction in the proportion of young people NEET and put us on the pathway to ensuring that all young people participate in education or training up to the age of 18.

A strategy, setting these out in detail, was published in November 2007, and is available on the DCSF website at www.dfes.gov.uk/1419/index.cfm?sid=42&; pid=343&lid=336&ctype=Text&ptype=Single).

Sport: Greyhound Racing

Lord Trefgarne asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): I welcome the independent review of the greyhound racing industry, chaired by Lord Donoughue. We will consider fully the appropriate recommendations of the report when we draft any regulations.

Ministers will also consider the greyhound racing industry's response to the review, which I hope will be positive and swift. The Government have made it clear to the industry that a lot needs to be done to get its house in order to help improve welfare standards for the dogs used in racing.

There will be a public consultation on our proposals for greyhound racing before approval by Parliament. We intend to give this matter our priority, although the timing of the consultation will be dependent on the response of the industry to the recommendations made by the Donoughue inquiry.

Sudan: Guidance for Teachers

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice contains information about local laws and customs. We urge all travellers to respect these regardless of which country they are visiting, as we expect others to respect our laws and customs.

The Government are currently reviewing their travel advice with regard to local laws and customs in all Muslim countries.

Waste Management: London

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Government intend to set up the London Waste and Recycling Board as soon as possible to ensure that the fund can be disbursed in 2008-09 in a strategic way and for the objectives, set out in the Greater London Authority Act 2007, to be met.

The details of the constitution and administration of the board are currently being considered and discussed, including with London councils. It is disappointing that the Mayor has announced his intention not to sit on the board or contribute to the fund. However, the Government will continue to seek ways of working together to ensure that the efforts of the board and the Mayor to improve waste infrastructure in London are mutually reinforcing.


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