|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of new standards for school meals on levels of demand; and if he will make a statement; 
Kevin Brennan: The Department does not collect information about the cost of school meals or school lunch take-up. It has also not made an assessment of the new standards for school meals on levels of demand. However, the School Food Trust will be publishing in August the results of its annual survey on school lunch take-up. Early figures from that survey indicate that take-up in primary schools is down by 1.8 percentage points (to 40.6 per cent.) and in secondary schools by 5.3 percentage points (to 37.4 per cent.). And a recent survey by the Local Authority Caterers Association reported that total meal take-up has dropped over the three year period from 2003/04 to 2006/07. In primary schools the drop is 3 percentage points (to 40 per cent.) and in secondary schools 7 percentage points (to 35 per cent.).
The take-up figures are not unexpected as schools often experience falling demand with the introduction of healthier food. But we are in the early stages of our long-term ambition to transform school food: and we have other measures planed for the short and the longer term to promote school lunch and encourage children to eat more healthily. We also know that where schools take steps to manage the changes carefully through, for example, good marketing and pupil and parent involvement, take up can rise sharply.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what proportion of companies contracted by local authorities to provide catering services (a) lost money, (b) broke even and (c) made a profit in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2006-07; what estimate he has made of the number in each category in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement; 
The Department does not collect information on the financial position of caterers or on the average school meal selling price. However, a recent survey from the Local Authority Caterers Association provided information on 2006/07 trading outturn forecasts for LA caterers which indicated that 9 per cent. would have a surplus, 26 per cent. would break even and 65 per cent. faced a deficit. The same survey reported on average school meal selling prices in
primary schools, where the data shows an increase of 20 per cent. (from 1.37 to 1.64) between 2003/04 and 2006/07.
Jim Knight: Detailed information for Ribble Valley schools is not held centrally as the Department makes capital allocations mainly on a local authority area basis. All local authorities and schools receive capital allocations to support their local priorities. This is in addition to our strategic programmes such as Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and, from 2008-09, the roll out of the new Primary Capital Programme. In addition to Lancashires investment through its BSF wave 1 project, over the current spending review period, 2005-06 to 2007-08, Lancashire authority and its schools have been allocated capital support of just over £139 million, of which over £41 million was allocated to Lancashire authority through the Single Capital Pot, including £4.4 million to support: the Schools Access Initiative to help make schools increasingly accessible.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what increased resources are provided to schools on the basis of higher staff costs in some parts of the country; what the basis is of this allocation policy; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: The Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) gives local authorities allocations for multi year periods: the allocations for 2007-08 will depend on pupil numbers in schools in January 2007 and the per pupil guaranteed unit of funding.
2006-07 was based on spend per pupil in 2005-06, with: a basic increase of 5 per cent. per pupil (5.1 per cent. for London authorities); and headroom allocated to reflect five ministerial priorities.
2007-08 was based on the 2006-07 DSG Guaranteed Unit of Funding, with: a basic increase of 5 per cent. per pupil (5.1 per cent. for London authorities); and headroom allocated to reflect three ministerial priorities.
As the DSG per pupil guaranteed unit of funding is based on spend per pupil in 2005-06 It will: reflect the higher expenditure caused by the higher staff costs in some parts of the country; and be influenced by Government funding in 2005-06 (see as follows). Each of the ministerial priorities included an Area Cost
Adjustment (ACA) factor which reflects two kinds of difference between areas in costs:
differences in labour costs (the Labour Cost Adjustment); and
differences in business rates paid on local authority premises (the Rates Cost Adjustment)
The formula used to calculate Schools Formula Spending Share for 2005-06 and previous years took account of the higher staff costs in some parts of the country through the inclusion of the ACA factor.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance he has issued to schools on dealings with organisations which have been the subject of allegations of cultish behaviour, with particular regards to (a) Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, (b) New Kadampa Tradition and (c) Soka Gakkai International; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department has issued no such guidance. Religious education syllabuses for maintained schools without a religious designation are drawn up by an agreed syllabus conference which advises the local education authority. The non-statutory framework for Religious education was published in October 2004 and provides that pupils should be taught about Christianity, at least one other principle religion and a religious community with a significant local presence. It is up to schools and local authorities to decide upon resources and teaching methods and this would include checking the credentials of any organisation they chose to work with.
The 2005/06 School Sport Survey, which collects data from schools in School Sport Partnerships, found that 97 per cent. (16,436) of schools held at least one competitive sports day in the year. In addition 10,725 competitive festivals of sport were staged.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what average amount of time a school of each type spent in special measures in the latest period for which figures are available. 
|Type of school||Number of schools removed from special measures (including those closing or requiring significant improvement)||Total number of months spent in special measures||Average number of months in special measures|
Turnaround times for schools in special measures have reduced since 1997. For example, the average time primary schools spent in special measures in 1997/98 academic year was 23 months. The equivalent figure for secondary schools was 28 months.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools (a) in each local education authority and (b) of each type were classified as causing concern for more than two years in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those schools have since been closed. 
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many members of school staff in each local education authority had their employment terminated because of inappropriate relations with a student in the last 12 months. 
Kevin Brennan: Where employers in the education sector have ceased to use the services of a person because they consider that person is unsuitable to work with children, or they would have ceased to use the persons services where the person has left their employment, they are required to refer information to the Department. In addition, the Police refer to the Department cautions and convictions for those who have been working in educational establishments in accordance with Home Office Circular 6 / 2006 (The Notifiable Occupations Scheme). Therefore, school staff and others working with children are referred to the Department for a range of reasons including convictions or cautions for a wide range of offences, allegations involving various forms of misconduct, and referrals on the grounds of ill health.
The total number of all types of referrals received by the Department over the 12 months until 31 December 2006 was 2,784. Identifying how many members of school staff in each local authority had their employment terminated because of inappropriate relations with a student in the last 12 months would require detailed checks to be made of individual case records and this would incur disproportionate cost.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many teachers he plans to receive training to deal with vivisection in the classroom; and which organisations have been approached to contribute to that training. 
Jim Knight: This Department is working in conjunction with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to launch a DVD based on the play Every Breath. This and supporting materials for teachers will be available to schools in October.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many secondary schools in England had one fully qualified (a) physics, (b) chemistry, (c) German, (d) Mandarin and (e) Urdu teacher in the most recent year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what proportion of teachers were on (a) long-term and (b) short-term sick leave in each local authority area in the most recent reporting period for which information is available; and if he will make a statement; 
Information on School Workforce has been published in SFR 15/2007 School Workforce in England (including pupil:teacher ratios and pupil:adult ratios), January 2007 (Provisional) which was released on 26 April 2007. This is available on the Departments website via the following link: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000725/index.shtml and is also available in the Library. This is an annual publication, which includes tables for January 1997 to 2007 on teacher numbers, support staff numbers, teacher vacancies, pupil:teacher ratios (PTRs) and pupil:adult ratios (PARs), teacher ethnicity and teacher sickness absence.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the minimum entry standards are for (a) primary and (b) secondary teachers in terms of (i) GCSEs, (ii) A levels and (iii) other qualifications; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: In order to enter an initial teacher training programme, trainee teachers must have at least a grade C or equivalent in GCSE maths and English. For those teaching primary pupils, a grade C or equivalent qualification in a science subject is also required.
For a postgraduate course, trainee teachers must also have a degree. This also applies to the employment based routes into teaching; with the exception of the Registered Teacher Programme which requires that trainees have completed two years (240 CATS) of higher education.
Regardless of the route, a first degree or an equivalent and passing the professional skills tests in numeracy, literacy and information communication technology is a requirement for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS).
These requirements reflect a belief that all teachers should have a good standard of knowledge in the core subjects and that teaching is a job towards which our best and brightest young people should aspire. They also give parents confidence in the knowledge and competence of the teachers education their children.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|