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School Curriculum

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to review the 14 to 19 curriculum. [6730]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: On 5 September, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State published the White Paper "Schools: Achieving Success" which makes it clear that we want to begin a debate about the best way to create a coherent phase for 14–19 education. The issues and our proposals will be set out in a consultation paper that will include:




Ministerial Travel

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) on how many occasions in each year since 1992 non-commercial flights were used by Ministers in her Department for official overseas visits; what the (a) destination, (b) Ministers involved, (c) cost and (d) reason for use of non-commercial flights were on each occasion; and if she will make a statement; [6912]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given today by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, at column 823W.

Faith Schools

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the funding mechanism is for faith schools; and what the cost to public funds of such schools was in the last year for which figures are available. [7130]

Mr. Timms: Maintained schools having a religious character receive recurrent funding in accordance with sections 45 to 51 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 in the same way as other maintained schools. There may be slight variations in funding according to their status as voluntary or foundation schools, but such differences do not arise from their religious character as such. It is not possible to state the cost of maintaining such schools because they are not separately identified for funding purposes.

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children of compulsory school age were (a) statemented for special educational needs or (b) assessed for special educational needs for each of the last five years. [7258]

15 Oct 2001 : Column: 990W

Mr. Timms: Information on the number of children of compulsory school age (5–15 years) with a statement of special educational needs in the last five years is as follows:

YearNumber of children
1996208,204
1997215,909
1998221,334
1999231,312
2000234,615

The number of children (some of whom are not of compulsory school age) for whom a statement was made for the first time for the years for which figures are available is as follows:

YearNumber of children
199636,636
199735,648
199836,178
199935,421
2000(57)

(57) Not yet available


The number of children of compulsory school age assessed for special educational needs is not collected centrally. However the total number of children assessed for special educational needs (some of whom are not of compulsory school age) is as follows:

YearNumber of children
199638,643
199737,339
199837,826
199937,069
2000(58)

(58) Not yet available


School Building Work

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children were kept out of school at the beginning of the autumn term owing to uncompleted building work. [7260]

Mr. Timms: The Department does not collect this type of information. It is the responsibility of LEAs to set term dates and to ensure that schools must deliver a minimum of 380 half day sessions in the school year and that they must open for at least 190 days in each year. Under exceptional circumstances where school opening has been delayed for a short time, as a result of delayed building works or other urgent health and safety related grounds, we would expect LEAs to encourage schools to use training days to avoid defaulting on the number of sessions delivered. We expect LEAs and schools to programme building works in a way that minimises disruption; however, building work can still be delayed through unforeseen problems or inclement weather.

Maintained Schools

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimates she has made of the total sum

15 Oct 2001 : Column: 991W

of money raised by maintained schools from (a) parental contributions, (b) business sponsorship and (c) other sources in each of the last five years. [7272]

Mr. Timms: No information is held centrally regarding money raised by maintained schools from sources other than funding made available through local education authorities.

School Places

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimates she has made of the number of pupils of compulsory school age who had (a) not been offered a school place and (b) not accepted any school place offered on the first day of the current school term. [7273]

Mr. Timms: My Department does not collect this information. It is for local authorities to ensure that a place is available for every child whose parents want one and that any children of compulsory school age attend school regularly.

State School Pupils

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the number of pupils attending state schools outside their own local education authority area in September. [7274]

15 Oct 2001 : Column: 992W

Mr. Timms: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Information on children educated in a local education authority area other than the one where they normally reside is only collected for those pupils with special educational needs.

School Sixth Forms

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the number of schools with sixth forms which have received no funding from their local education authority for the new sixth form curriculum in each of the last two years. [7275]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: No such estimate is available. Decisions on distribution were a matter for each local authority in the light of local priorities.

Specialist Schools

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools have been awarded specialist status in each of the last five years in each category of specialists. [7276]

Mr. Timms: The total number of schools which have been granted Specialist Schools status in each of the last five years, in the four specialist areas, is given in the table.

Number of schools which have been awarded specialist schools status in the last five years, by specialism

Status1996–971997–981998–991999–20002000–01
Arts College611122834
Sports College1115113034
Language College1511152827
Technology College4346425157

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the number of schools seeking specialist status which have been unable to raise sufficient funds for this purpose. [7277]

Mr. Timms: Our network of 685 specialist schools shows that applicant schools across the country, including those from rural and inner city areas, have raised the sponsorship required, but we are aware some schools find this more difficult than others. It would not be practicable to make an estimate of the number of schools that have been unable to raise the funds but we have taken steps to ensure all schools have reasonable opportunity to do so. In 1999, the sponsorship requirement was halved to £50,000 and my Department grant-aids the Technology Colleges and Youth Sport Trusts, to provide advice to schools about raising sponsorship and raise funds themselves to support applicant schools. In addition we will continue to keep the sponsorship criteria under review.

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools have applied for specialist status in each category in (a) the last academic year and (b) the current academic year. [7278]

Mr. Timms: The total number of schools which applied for Specialist School designation for September 2000 and September 2001, in each of the four specialist areas, is given in the table.

StatusSeptember 2000September 2001
Arts College72115
Sports College4155
Language College4555
Technology College119144
Total277369


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