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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what representations he has received on his proposals for education of children aged 16 and over; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We received representations from a range of individuals and organisations. The main groups include: young people, parents and carers, educational institutions and learning providers, local authorities, careers advisers, employers, and trade unions. The consultation report was published on 24 July and a copy was placed in the House Library.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what progress his Department has made in reaching its objective that between 50 and 90 per cent. of a school's Key Stage 4 cohort should study a foreign language leading to a recognised qualification. 
Jim Knight: We have recently implemented a range of measures recommended by the Languages Review led by Lord Bearing and Lid King, the Department's National Director for Languages, to improve the take up of languages at GCSE. OFSTED have recently amended the self evaluation form to include a section about languages enabling schools to report their progress towards the 50 to 90 per cent. benchmark. We also wrote to School Improvement Partners in July and provided them with a toolkit to help them in their role of support and challenge over languages take-up in schools where appropriate. Two new languages indicators measuring attainment and participation in languages will be included in the Key Stage 4 achievement and attainment tables from 2008.
A number of initiatives were announced at the State of Play event on 16 January as the Governments
initial response to the second Music Manifesto report. These included an additional £10 million this year to raise the profile of singing.
In July a consortium of Youth Music, The Sage Gateshead, Faber Music and advertising agency Abbot Mead Vickers was awarded the tender to manage the new National Singing Programme. Further announcements about our plans to support music education in schools will be made in due course.
Jim Knight: We do not collect information on the average cost of a day place at an independent school, neither is it feasible to produce an estimate from the data we collect. At January 2007 the Annual Schools' Census showed fees charged by schools catering mainly for children without special educational needs fell between nil and £33,974 per annum. Fees in independent schools catering for children with complex needs can be considerably higher.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of how many local authorities are currently discharging each of their responsibilities in respect of permanently excluded children; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We expect all local authorities to discharge their new statutory duty to make suitable, full-time education provision for permanently excluded pupils from the sixth day of their exclusion. We will provide support, through the national strategies, for any local authority that fails to do this.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his most recent estimate of the total annual cost of school improvement partners is; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The main cost of the school improvement partner programme is the cost to local authorities of deploying school improvement partners to the schools they maintain. This deployment is bound up with local authorities' wider school improvement responsibilities. Since using school improvement partners is generally more expensive than operating local authorities' previous arrangements, the Department provides a subsidy for the school improvement partner function within its funding to local authorities. For 2007-08, the cost of the subsidy is £15,803,938. The school improvement partner function also has a national component, mainly focused on national accreditation of school improvement partners and on quality assurance of local management of the function. For 2007-08, the cost of this national component is £7,651,200. The 2008-09 figure will certainly be lower, because in that year we will no longer have to build up the cadre of accredited school improvement partners; roll-out is due to be completed by April 2008.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of (a) young people and (b) all people consulted by his Department (i) supported, (ii) opposed and (ii) neither supported nor opposed the Government's proposal to extend the education leaving age to 18 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: We received a total of 473 written responses to Raising Expectations in the formal full consultation, and just under 1,000 written responses from young people in response to the magazine Reach, the additional young people's materials we developed. These included 14 group responses, representing a total of 805 young people.
In response to the question of whether they supported the Green Paper's central proposal to raise the participation age to 18, in the written response to Raising Expectations, 44 per cent. (202 people) were in agreement with the proposal, compared to 40 per cent. (186 people) who were opposed and 16 per cent. (76 people) who were unsure.
John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make an estimate of the number of 17 year olds who are likely to truant each year in the event of the school leaving age being raised to 18 years. 
Jim Knight: The Department has not estimated the number of 17-year-olds likely to be absent from education or training in 2015, once we raise the participation age to 18. The Green Paper Raising Expectations: staying in education and training post-16 was published in March, setting out our proposals for all young people to continue in learning until they are 18, and a further From policy to legislation document was published on 5 November. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House. Under these proposals, if a young person is persistently absent from learning or drops out altogether, the learning provider will be required to inform the local authority, so that guidance services can contact the young person and support to re-engage can be provided as soon as possible.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will publish research his Department has conducted on the capital costs of increasing the education leaving age to 18 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: In March the Department published an Initial Regulatory Impact Assessment alongside the Green Paper Raising Expectations: staying in education and training post-16, both of which have been placed in the Library of the House. In it we anticipated that an additional £81 million would be needed to build the new facilities necessary over the years leading up to implementation. These projections are being revised and independently reviewed before being published in the Impact Assessment that will accompany the Education and Skills Bill.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessment he has made of the impact of school meal costs on school meal uptake in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement; 
Jim Knight: This Department has not made an assessment of the impact of school meal costs on school meal uptake in each of the last three years. However, increasing take-up of school lunches is a priority for this Department and for the School Food Trust (SFT). The SFT has a target to increase take-up of school lunches from a 2005-06 baseline by 4 percentage points by March 2008 and by 10 percentage points by autumn 2009. In addition, school lunch take-up is now one of the indicators in the Local Government National Indicator Set from which local authorities and their partners will agree their own targets in their Local Area Agreements.
An additional £240 million will be available to authorities and schools between 2008 and 2011 to help keep down the cost of a school lunch and the Secretary of State recently wrote to all Headteachers and Chairs of Governors, and to all Directors of Childrens Services, urging them to actively support their school lunch services. The SFT already has activity underway to promote school lunches and generate demand, such as their Million Meals campaign; cooking clubs for parents and children; Disney posters in schools, and a teenage marketing campaign.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his estimate is of the cost of introducing the nutrient standards for school meals in each year between 2006-07 and 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: In its report Turning the Tables: Transforming School Food (published in September 2005), the School Meals Review Panel (SMRP) estimated that the revenue cost (including ingredients, labour, training, marketing and waste) of introducing the new nutritional standards for school food would be £167.2 million in the first year and £158.8 million a year in subsequent years. The costs are higher in year one to reflect additional expenditure on staff training. The SMRP figures assume no increase in take-up of school meals and no efficiency savings.
The costs of school lunches are rightly met by authorities, schools, parents and carers. However, the Government are investing an additional £500 million between 2005 and 2011 to support the improvement of school food.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools there are in each (i) Government region and (ii) local education authority. 
Jim Knight: The available information is given in table 11 of the additional information section of SFR30/2007, Schools and Pupils in England, January 2007 (Final). This SFR was published on 27 September 2007 and can be found at:
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what capital expenditure on schools per pupil was in each English (a) region and (b) local authority in each year from 1997-98 to 2006-07 in real terms using 2005-06 prices; and what estimate he has made of the equivalent figures for 2007-08 to 2014-15. 
Jim Knight: The Department does not maintain records of capital expenditure on schools on a per pupil local authority basis. The Department has published information, in the Departmental Report 2007, on capital funding per maintained school pupil in England for the years 1997-98 to 2007-08. This is set out in the table.
|Funds per maintained pupil (£)|
|Real terms||Percentage real terms increase on 1997-98|
Real terms figures have been calculated using the March 2007 Gross Domestic Product deflators with 2005-06 as the base year.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils were (a) permanently and (b) temporarily excluded from school for physical assault against (i) a pupil and (ii) an adult in (A) 2003-04, (B) 2004-05, (C) 2005-06 and (D) 2006-07. 
|Maintained primary, secondary and special schools( 1,2) : Number and percentage of permanent and fixed period exclusions for assault against pupils and adultsEngland, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06|
|Number of exclusions for:|
|Physical assault against an adult||Physical assault against a pupil|
|(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.|
(2) Includes maintained special schools. Excludes non-maintained special schools.
(3) The number of exclusions by reason expressed as a percentage of the total number of exclusions.
(4) The distribution of exclusions by reason has been derived from Termly Exclusions Survey and applied to the number of permanent exclusions as confirmed by local authorities as part of the Annual Schools Census data checking exercise.
(5) For the 2005/06 school year, information on the reason for exclusion was collected via the School Census for the first time for secondary schools only (the Termly Exclusions Survey has discontinued). For exclusions during 2006/07, information on the reason for exclusion will also be collected from primary and special schools.
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