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16 Jun 2008 : Column 769W—continued

Children, Schools and Families

Children: Day Care

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 15 May 2008, Official Report, column 1786W, on children: day care, how many people with Early Years Professional Status will be required to meet the target of each full daycare setting being led by a graduate and those in the most disadvantaged areas being led by two graduates by 2015. [210688]

Beverley Hughes: We have a target of 20,000 to meet our aim to have an EYP in every full daycare setting with two per setting in disadvantaged areas by 2015.

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many places there are (a) with childminders, (b) in full daycare and (c) in out of school day care in the London borough of Bexley. [210939]

Beverley Hughes: Since 2003 Ofsted has been responsible for the registration and inspection of child care providers. The following table shows the number of places for children under eight years of age registered with Ofsted at 31 March 2008 for Bexley local authority.

Number of registered childcare places for children under eight years of age in Bexley( 1) , position at 31 March 2008
Number of places

Childminders

2,100

Full day care

1,400

Out of school daycare

1,000

(1) Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10 if under 100, and to the nearest 100 if over 100.
Source:
Ofsted

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate his Department has made of the funding required to implement the guidance set out in Sure Start Children Centres: Phase Three Planning and Delivery, issued in November 2007. [211200]


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Beverley Hughes: We notified local authorities of their children's centres funding for the next three years (2008-11) in August 2007. The Government allocated around £3.1 billion to 150 local authorities which we believe is sufficient to support their existing Sure Start Children's Centres and to set up new centres, to deliver at least 3,500 centres in total by 2010.

The Phase 3 planning guidance contains hypothetical examples of levels of funding as a guideline based on centres serving different types of communities with around 800 children under five. It is for local authorities to determine how they allocate the grant locally to meet the needs in each community. Most Phase 3 centres, those opening between 2008 and 2010, will not incur full running costs for all of their services during this period.

Departmental Publications

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many guidance notes to (a) nurseries, (b) children's centres and (c) local authorities have been issued by his Department, its predecessors and its agencies in each year since 1997. [204129]

Beverley Hughes: Local authorities, children's centres and nurseries have received a wide range of statutory and non-statutory guidance over the last 10 years. This is intended to help front-line staff understand and implement effectively their statutory duties and improve outcomes for children, young people and their families.

Since 2007 we have been keeping information on guidance sent to local authorities. In 2007 we issued 74 guidance documents and so far in 2008 we have issued 27 documents across the whole range of local authority duties and responsibilities including supporting better outcomes for children in care and other vulnerable groups, providing positive activities and opportunities for young people, and supporting better pupil attainment and progression. Information data on the number sent before this date were not routinely collected and would only be possible to find out at disproportionate cost.

Since 2003 we have issued the following guidance to Sure Start Children's Centres:

Guidance issued to Sure Start Children's Centres
Number

2003

1

2004

0

2005

2

2006

2

2007

2

2008

1


The Department has not sent any guidance direct to nurseries.

Departmental Television

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to what premium Sky, digital terrestrial or cable television channels (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies subscribes; and at what cost in the most recent year for which figures are available. [210888]


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Kevin Brennan: The Department purchases a broadcast news and parliamentary feed service through the Central Office of Information which includes all major news services provided by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky as well as parliamentary coverage. The cost of this service is £22,000 for the current financial year. Details of such services for departmental agencies are not held centrally.

Departmental Training

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what training courses were (a) available to and (b) taken up by civil servants in his Department in the last 12 months. [210571]

Kevin Brennan: My Department was formed on 28 June 2007. My Department offers a range of corporate skills development including formal off-the-job training, e-learning and access to a range of learning and coaching materials from our learning and development function. All these are linked to the Professional Skills for Government agenda and our business and improvement objectives.

My Department has also placed great emphasis on good people management. Provision includes line manager coaching and supporting individuals while learning on the job. This is recognised as the most effective way to learn, apply, and develop skills and knowledge.

Internal programmes are available as follows:

Education: Assessments

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many national tests a primary school pupil takes between the ages of five and 11; and if he will make a statement. [211019]

Jim Knight: There are statutory national curriculum tests at two points in primary education, at the end of key stage 1, when most pupils are aged seven, and at the end of key stage 2, when most pupils are aged 11. Teachers informally administer national tasks and tests in reading, writing and mathematics during pupils’ final year in key stage 1 to inform their final teacher assessment at the end of the key stage. National tasks and tests in key stage 1 are not externally marked. At the end of key stage 2, pupils take national curriculum tests in English, mathematics and science.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) if he will make a statement on progress in marking key stage tests in the 2007-08 academic year; and what plans he has to improve the performance of marking contractor ETS; [211020]


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(2) when (a) the National Assessment Agency, (b) his Department and (c) he was first informed of the recent performance in relation to marking of the national curriculum tests; what remedial steps were taken; and if he will make a statement. [211021]

Jim Knight: The administration and marking of national curriculum tests, as part of the process for maintaining standards, is a function of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) that is delivered independently of Government. The National Assessment Agency (NAA) manages the marking process with ETS Europe on the QCA's behalf. The QCA is fully accountable for the delivery of national tests and reports formally to the Department through Management Boards and the supply of regular management information. The QCA/NAA have kept the Department informed about the new test delivery arrangements and the improvements to marking quality throughout the preparation for test delivery.

I take a close interest in national curriculum test delivery. My officials are in regular contact with the National Assessment Agency and keep me informed of progress. David Gee, Managing Director of the NAA, will write to the hon. member about the progress of the marking of the key stage tests and the action they are taking to support their new contractor, ETS Europe, in delivering this summer's tests. A copy of his letter has been placed in the Library.

Letter from David Gee, dated 12 June 2008:

Education: Children in Care

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether he plans to issue guidance to local authorities on allocating personal education allowances to improve outcomes of children in care in addition to that published at the end of May 2008. [211462]

Kevin Brennan: The statutory guidance to English local authorities published on 28 May set out how they

It gives a range of examples of the types of activities which a personal education allowance might be used to support and that these should be linked to a child’s personal education plan. Within this framework it is for local authorities to establish their local eligibility criteria based on the guidance. There are no plans to publish additional guidance on allocating personal education allowances for children in care.


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Education: Young Offender Institutions

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many hours of education on average were provided to looked-after children in young offenders institutions in each of the last three years; and if he will review their educational programme. [210903]

Beverley Hughes: Data are collected on the number of looked after children in YOIs but specific education data are not collected separately. There is a statutory duty on local authorities to promote the educational achievement of looked-after children, including those in custody. To comply with this duty, local authorities work in partnership with the YOI to ensure that individual learning needs are met and that care planning reviews continue during custody and facilitate access to education while the young person is detained. Youth Justice Board figures show that all juveniles in young offender institutions received the following average number of hours education, training and personal development activity per week:

Year Number of looked- after children in YOIs Average hours education per week for all young people

2004-05

110

24.50

2005-06

140

28.24

2006-07

160

26.20


We will be making proposals to improve the education of all juvenile offenders in the forthcoming Youth Crime Action Plan in the summer.

Extracurricular Activities: Chelmsford

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of children used after-school clubs in West Chelmsford constituency in each of the last five years. [210755]

Jim Knight: Information is not centrally collected on the number and percentage of children who use after- school clubs, as part of the extended school programme, in West Chelmsford.

Farnley Park School Warley

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when his Department plans to decide on the application for Building Schools for the Future funding for the rebuilding of Farnley Park School in Warley, West Leeds; and if he will make a statement. [211179]

Jim Knight: Farnley Park School is in phase two of Leeds’ Wave 1 Building Schools for the Future project. Overall funding for phases two and three was approved by the Department in February 2008. Leeds is currently investigating whether it is possible to provide a fully rebuilt school—rather than the remodelled option put forward previously—without any additional funding from the Department. Once a decision has been made we expect the council to come back to us for final approval of its plans for Farnley Park in October 2008.


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Female Genital Mutilation

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) is planning to take, to educate education professionals on female genital mutilation. [211066]

Jim Knight: The Government aim to raise education professionals' awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM), particularly if they work within communities where this practice may once have been adopted. Education professionals may refer to the investigating agencies in the same way they would for any type of abuse. The Professional Standards for Teachers require that anyone who is teaching, or training to teach, must be aware of current legal requirements, national policies and guidance on the safeguarding and promotion of the well-being of children; also that they know how to identify and support children and young people whose progress, development or well-being is affected by changes or difficulties in their personal circumstances, and when to refer them to colleagues for specialist support.

Local authorities may exercise their powers under section 47 of the Children Act 1989 if they believe that a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, FGM.

“Working Together to Safeguard Children” (April 2006), the main inter-agency guide to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, contains information about FGM. This guidance explains what is meant by FGM, makes clear that it is a criminal offence, and describes the signs that may indicate that a child is being prepared for FGM.

“Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education” came into force in January 2007 and is aimed specifically at the education sector. It also contains guidance about FGM and signposts further sources of information available on the Department's Teachernet website.


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