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David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of sick leave taken by staff in his Department was stress-related in each of the last three years. 
|Percentage stress related sick leave|
The Department remains committed, like the former DfES, to providing a safe working environment and has put in place a range of measures to support managers and employees on health and wellbeing issues, including the provision of professional counselling, awareness sessions and support from the Departments Employee Assistance Provider, Right Corecare. This is complemented by internal procedures aimed at ensuring consistent standards of behaviour and enabling fair and prompt mediation in the event of any grievance.
The Department will be launching a new Stress Prevention Policy, based on the Health and Safety Executives (HSE) Management Standards in the near future. The policy has been designed to support individuals and their managers, signposting them to appropriate sources of help. In addition to this the Department has piloted the HSE Stress Questionnaire in one Division and conducted Individual Stress Risk Assessments for employees who require them.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his latest estimate is of the (a) number and (b) proportion of (i) 17-year-olds, (ii) 18-year-olds and (iii) 16-year-olds who are not in education or training; and if he will make a statement. 
(1) Academic age is the age of the individual measured at the beginning of the academic year, 31 August.
These NET figures are calculated by subtracting the number of young people estimated to be in education and training from the population; here education and training covers those in full- or part-time education, work-based learning (including apprenticeships), and those on employer funded or other education and training not otherwise included in the figures.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what duties will be placed on (a) parents and (b) employers to ensure that all those under the age of 18 years are in education or training; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: In the Green Paper Raising Expectations: staying in education and training post-16 we did not propose that any specific duties be placed on parents. Employers have an existing obligation to release employees requesting time off for training in certain circumstances. If the participation age is extended, we proposed that where employers do not want to or are unable to offer training themselves; they would be required to release their employees for a day a week to undertake training elsewhere. These proposals can be accessed at:
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what sanctions will be used against parents who fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that their children participate in education or training up to the age 18 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: In the Green Paper we said that we would expect parents to encourage and facilitate their child's participation, and if there is evidence that a parent of a young person is helping them break the law (for example, by employing a 16 or 17-year-old full-time in a family business without accredited training), it should be possible to hold them accountable as well. These proposals can be accessed at:
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what inspection and enforcement powers will be granted in order to impose an obligation for all those aged up to 18 years to be in education or training; and if he will make a statement. 
In the Green Paper we proposed that, if a young person continued to refuse to participate, despite the efforts of providers and the local authority to help and support them onto a programme of
learning, they could be issued with a new type of civil order called an Attendance Order. The process of issuing an Attendance Order would be initiated by the local authority. The Attendance Order would specify exactly what was expected of a young person. We proposed two options for ensuring that if Attendance Orders are made they are followed: that criminal sanctions be pursued, or civil/administrative ones. These proposals can be accessed at:
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what representations he has received from business groups on raising to 18 years the minimum age at which young people can leave education or training. 
Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network, Association of Accounting Technicians, The British Chambers of Commerce, Confederation of British Industry, Confederation of West Midlands Chambers of Commerce and Industry, DCL Consulting Ltd, EEF, E-skills UK, Federation of Small Businesses, Four S Consultancy, Glass Training Ltd, IGEN, Ignite Futures Ltd, Institute of Directors, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Lantra, Learning Etc, LLUK, MCCH Society Ltd, Macro, NETA Ltd, Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, SEMTA, SkillsActive, Skillsmart Retail, Small Business Council, Sysco Business Skills Academy Ltd, Tesco.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the (a) costs and (b) benefits of raising to 18 years the minimum age at which young people can leave education or training; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The data published by the Department on participation figures in education, training and employment by 16-18 year olds in England does not include details on Great Yarmouth, but does include data at a higher level of aggregation for the Norfolk local education authority. These figures are presented in the following table for individuals at academic age 16(1) who participated in education in 1997 and 2005.
(1 )Academic age is the age of the individual measured at the beginning of the academic year, 31 August.
Local authority figures only contain estimates for the end of 2005 as the provisional Further Education Institution data is not robust enough at the local level to allow accurate reporting. The end of 2006 local authority data will be published in 2008.
|Maintained schools( 1)||Independent schools( 2)||Sixth form college||Other FE( 3)||Total||WBL||Part-time education||Education and WBL( 4)||Population|
|(1) Includes all pupils in maintained schools and maintained special schools.|
(2) Includes all pupils in independent schools, non-maintained special schools, city technology colleges, academies and pupil referral units.
(3 )Includes all learners in General FE, tertiary and specialist colleges (e.g. agriculture colleges).
(4 )Total of all full-time and part-time education and WBL, less WBL provision in education institutions.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of GCSE entries from (a) independent schools and (b) state schools scored an A* or A grade in each year since 1990-91. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what average mark was necessary to secure an (a) A* grade, (b) A grade, (c) B grade and (d) C grade in GCSE (i) English, (ii) mathematics, (iii) physics, (iv) history, (v) geography, (vi) French, (vi) Latin and (vii) chemistry in each year since 1991-92. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in what proportion of English secondary schools less than (a) 50 per cent., (b) 40 per cent., (c) 30 per cent., (d) 20 per cent., (e) 10 per cent.
and (f) 5 per cent. of pupils received five GCSEs at A*-C in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The number of maintained mainstream schools where less than (a) 50 per cent. (b) 40 per cent. (c) 30 per cent. and (d) 20 per cent. of pupils received five GCSEs at grades A*-C is available in Table 7 of the Statistical First Release:
|Number of maintained mainstream schools( 1) by percentage of 15-year-old pupils( 2) achieving 5+ A*-C at GCSE and equivalents|
|Percentage of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C grades at GCSE and|
|School type||Total number of schools||0-14||15-19||20-24||25-29||30-39||40-49|
|(1) Including only those maintained mainstream schools with results published in the 2006 Achievement and Attainment tables.|
(2) Age at start of academic year i.e. 31 August.
In 2006, there was one maintained mainstream school in which 0 per cent. of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C at GCSE. This is the only school that falls into categories (e) less than 10 per cent. and (f) less than 5 per cent. This pupil only had three pupils aged 15(1).
(1)( )Aged 15 on the 31 August 2005.
Jim Knight: The National Council for Educational Excellence (NCEE) has a remit to provide advice to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families about strategy and measures to achieve world-class education performance for all children and young people from birth to age 19.
The council is focused on providing advice and mobilising all sectors to provide the support to increase standards. Council members will act as advocates and champions to transform expectations and aspirations for the education system, and to rally the teaching profession, businesses, the third sector, universities and colleges, schools, and parents to raise standards year on year.
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