Previous Section Index Home Page

24 July 2007 : Column 1038W—continued


Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government have taken to promote the teaching of foreign languages, music or art at primary school level. [151166]

Jim Knight: One of the three overarching objectives in the National Languages Strategy, published in 2002, was an entitlement that by 2010 all 7 to 11-year-old pupils will be able to learn a language at least in part in class time. Already some 70 per cent. of schools are providing primary languages within class time, so are making excellent progress towards this goal. We have backed this by action on a range of fronts including: training over 2,000 primary teachers with a languages specialism and aiming to train 6,000 by 2010; committing £49 million over 2006-07 and 2007-08 to support the introduction of primary languages; developing new schemes of work for French, German and Spanish; and setting up the Primary Languages Training Zone, an interactive website for teachers, school leaders and trainers involved in the delivery of primary languages.

In October 2006, we commissioned a languages review, which was chaired by Lord Dearing and which reported in March 2007. We have accepted Lord Dearing's recommendation that languages should become a compulsory part of the primary curriculum when it is next reviewed. This will mean that all pupils will learn languages for seven years. We hope that learning languages earlier will inspire children with a love of languages and motivate them to continue learning languages post-14.


24 July 2007 : Column 1039W

Music and Art and Design are compulsory National Curriculum subjects for all five to 14-year-olds. To begin to realise our aim that every primary pupil who wants to should have an opportunity to learn a musical instrument the Government have invested £30 million in primary instrumental and vocal tuition over the last two years. We are putting a further £10 million this year into a national singing programme aiming to make singing an integral part of every child's school day. The Government are investing £36.5 million this year in the creative partnerships programme which promotes schools working with creative artists.

Pupils: Per Capita Costs

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the average capital cost per pupil of (a) an academy and (b) a local education authority controlled state secondary school; and if he will make a statement. [150813]

Jim Knight: The average capital cost per pupil of an academy is £20,400. This figure has been calculated by reference to the actual or estimated capital cost of establishing the first 91 academies in relation to their pupil capacity.

Comparable figures for maintained secondary schools constructed in recent years are unavailable centrally. But a typical cost per pupil for construction of a 1,000-pupil maintained secondary would be in the range of £18,750 to £22,900 per pupil, excluding site acquisition costs.

There are considerable variations in building costs according to region and the nature of sites.

Reading: Teaching Methods

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools in each local education authority taught synthetic phonics in each of the last five years. [151236]

Jim Knight: Phonics has been part of the national curriculum since it was introduced in 1998. However, we do not hold information on the number of schools teaching synthetic phonics.

Schools

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools in each local education authority have (a) expanded their capacity in each of the last 10 years and (b) are in the process of expanding their capacity. [151204]

Jim Knight: The information requested has been placed in the House Library.

Schools: Chelmsford

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 119W, on schools: Chelmsford, for what reasons he did not provide the requested figures for the Chelmsford borough council area; and if he will do so. [151442]


24 July 2007 : Column 1040W

Jim Knight: Figures were requested for Chelmsford local authority area and because Chelmsford is not a local education authority area the reply provided information for Essex local authority area. I apologise that this was not made clear. Figures for Chelmsford district council are provided in the following table:

All schools: number (headcount) of pupils( 1) , as at January 2007 (provisional) , Chelmsford district council area
Headcount of pupils

Maintained Nursery

291

Maintained Primary

12,351

Maintained Secondary

13,131

Maintained Special

450

Non-Maintained Special

(2)

Pupil Referral Units

(2)

Independent Schools

1,954

City Technology Colleges and Academies

(2)

(1) Excludes dually registered pupils.
(2) Not applicable, no schools of this type
Source:
School Census

Schools: Closures

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools closed in each of the last 10 years; and what the case for closure was in each case. [151237]

Jim Knight: The following table sets out the number of maintained, mainstream schools which have closed following decisions taken under local decision making arrangements, which were introduced in September 1999, including the reasons for their closure.

Reason for Closure
Cease to maintain Change religious character Due to amalg- amation For an academy For fresh start To allow for a new estab- lishment Total

2000

13

96

8

117

2001

26

4

194

1

3

3

231

2002

33

9

181

3

1

1

228

2003

38

10

173

8

5

1

235

2004

53

6

192

6

7

264

2005

39

8

211

7

7

272

2006

41

4

222

17

3

1

288

2007

4

12

1

1

18

Total

247

41

1,281

43

35

6

1,653


Information held on proposals that were decided under the arrangements that operated prior to September 1999 is not reliable and has therefore been excluded. The figures for the early years of this table will therefore exclude closures that were decided before September 1999.

Schools: Construction

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many new (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) academies were built in each of the last five years (i) with and (ii) without sprinklers. [151478]

Jim Knight: The Department for Children, Schools and Families does not hold this information.


24 July 2007 : Column 1041W

Schools: Fire Extinguishers

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance is given by his Department on the fitting of sprinklers in schools. [151479]

Jim Knight: The Department for Children, Schools and Families has advised all local authorities and fire brigades that we expect new schools to be fitted with sprinkler systems in future. However, the decision as to whether or not to install sprinkler systems will be based on a risk analysis and there may be a few cases where new schools are at a low risk of fire and where sprinklers would not represent good value for money. The risk analysis and cost benefit analysis tools we have recently published to help clients decide whether or not to install sprinkler systems in schools can also be used to determine whether or not an existing school should have sprinklers fitted, as part of a refurbishment project.

In the autumn we will be publishing a standard specification for sprinkler systems in schools in our Standard Specifications Layouts and Designs series of guidance documents. Also, in August, we will be publishing the new Building Bulletin 100 Designing and Managing against the Risk of Fire in Schools which will be the normal means of compliance with Building Regulations Part B. This will include comprehensive guidance on when to install sprinkler systems in schools.

Schools: Fires

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many fires there were in schools in each of the last five years. [151481]

Jim Knight: The latest figures we have are from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for England and Wales and cover 2000-04, with provisional figures for 2005.

Number of fires Total costs (£ million) Arson (Percentage)

2000

1,275

45

63

2001

1,529

67

58

2002

1,332

67

55

2003

1,313

61

60

2004

1,291

52

56

2005(2)

1,166

(1)

45

(1) Not available
(2) Provisional

The costs are rounded to the nearest £1 million and are derived from the (then) ODPM’s cost of Fire Estimates, published last year. They cover property damage and the costs of the fire and rescue services attending the fires.

Schools: First Aid

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what steps the Government are taking to encourage the teaching of first aid to students and members of school staff; [151158]

(2) how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in each local education authority area taught first aid to their students in each of the last 10 years. [151160]


24 July 2007 : Column 1042W

Jim Knight: The Department does not collect information on when schools cover first aid teaching with pupils.

The Department’s Safety Education: Guidance for schools DFS/0161/2002 provides information on how the framework for personal, social and health education (PSHE) can address the issue of accidental injury in children and young people. The framework includes teaching young people at primary school level about school rules relating to health and safety issues, and at secondary school level to develop skills to cope with emergencies, including first aid and resuscitation techniques. Beyond this, the guidance also highlights how other parts of the national curriculum can be used to develop children's ability to recognise hazards and respond appropriately to risky situations.

The Department encourages schools to develop strategies that are effective at a local level in raising the profile of safety education and dealing with medical emergencies, working with suitable partners where appropriate to do so. We are aware of the valuable support that organisations such as the British Red Cross offer individual schools or groups of schools at a local level to enrich curriculum work in this area.

Advice on first aid training for school staff is included in the Department's Guidance on First Aid for Schools by means of which we encourage first aid provision for schools and their pupils.


Next Section Index Home Page