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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 1419 education. The issues and our proposals will be set out in a consultation paper that will include:
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; 
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. 
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.
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. 
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|Year||Number of children|
|Year||Number of children|
(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:
|Year||Number of children|
(58) Not yet available
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.
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of money raised by maintained schools from (a) parental contributions, (b) business sponsorship and (c) other sources in each of the last five years. 
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. 
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.
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. 
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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. 
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. 
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. 
|Status||September 2000||September 2001|
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