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Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils who did not obtain five A*- C grades at GCSE including English and mathematics did not go on to further education in the latest period for which figures are available. [195328]

Jim Knight: The Youth Cohort Study is able to provide estimates for pupils who took GCSEs in 2003, the latest data available. Of those who did not obtain five GCSE A*-C grades including Mathematics and English, approximately 44 per cent. did not continue in full time education after finishing Year 11. However, some of these would have gone into other forms of education or training such as Government Supported Training or part time education.

General Certificate of Secondary Education: Coventry

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government has taken to increase the number of young people in Coventry achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE. [195179]

Jim Knight: The following table shows the progress made in improved GCSE results in Coventry schools, compared with national aggregates, since 1997.

1997 2007
5A*-C 5A*-C including English and maths 5A*-C 5A*-C including English and maths

England

45.1

35.6

60.8

46.0

Coventry

36.9

27.1

52.3

38.7


The general rise in secondary standards may be attributed to improvements in teaching and learning, better school leadership, targeted intervention to tackle school failure, better use of pupil performance data and the ambitious targets schools and local authorities have set for their pupils. Challenge and support through the National Secondary Strategy has also had a substantial recent impact.

As part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget for 2008, the Government have now committed a new £200 million package, over the next three years, for a National Challenge to raise standards in secondary schools, with particular focus on those schools where less than 30 per cent. of pupils achieve five or more good GCSEs including English and mathematics. The National Challenge programme will provide intensive support for the most vulnerable secondary schools, and will empower many head teachers of strong schools to help turn around other schools that are unable to raise low attainment. The programme will help create new trusts and federations based on successful schools; and, in areas of greatest need, drive forward a faster expansion of the academies programme.

The National Challenge is a strategy for all schools to learn from each other and will therefore help all secondary pupils to progress to the best of their abilities.

Home Education

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make it his policy to collect information on the number of children of compulsory school age who are home educated. [194688]

Jim Knight: We do not intend to collect information on the number of children of compulsory school age who are home educated.

Literacy: Primary Education

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance and information on the teaching of literacy his Department sends or makes available to maintained primary schools. [195652]

Jim Knight: Guidance and information for maintained Primary schools for the teaching of literacy is available through the Primary National Strategy and Primary Framework. This covers:


20 Mar 2008 : Column 1411W

All materials are available for download on

Hard copies of the Primary Framework and the Letters and Sounds phonics materials have been sent to all maintained primary schools and have been placed in the House Libraries.

The Primary National Strategy also provides continuing professional development in literacy and exemplification of good practice (through DVDs for instance). Every local authority has a literacy consultant to provide CPD for all and work specifically with targeted schools.

Literacy: Teaching Methods

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to his Department’s press release of 14 March on progress in teaching phonics, if he will place in the Library a copy of Sir Jim Rose’s letter on phonics teaching in schools. [195637]

Jim Knight: I have arranged for a copy of Sir Jim Rose’s letter to be placed in the House Libraries.

Letter from Jim Rose, dated 13 March 2008:


20 Mar 2008 : Column 1412W

Primary Education: Standards

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of primary schools were judged to be satisfactory by Ofsted at their most recent inspection. [192667]

Jim Knight: This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 14 March 2008:

Pupil Referral Units: General Certificate of Secondary Education

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of pupils in a pupil referral unit obtained a GCSE in 2007. [195329]

Jim Knight: There were 3,421 15-year-old pupils in pupil referral units who gained a qualification in 2007. This is 54.5 per cent. of the total of 6,280 15-year-old pupils. These figures include GCSEs and other equivalent qualifications approved for use pre-16.

Schools: Admissions

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of maintained schools selected a portion of their intake by aptitude in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [194661]

Jim Knight: The Department does not collect data on selection by aptitude. Schools with a specialism may select up to 10 per cent. of their intake by aptitude in modern foreign languages, performing or visual arts, or physical education, and where they did so before 2007, technology and information technology.

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will consider bringing forward proposals (a) to require head teachers to sign statutory declarations to confirm compliance with the Schools Admissions Code and (b) to impose fines on (i) headteachers and (ii) schools for serious breaches of the Code. [195704]

Jim Knight: Responsibility for ensuring that schools comply with the School Admissions Code and admissions legislation rests with local authorities and the governing bodies (rather than head teachers) of own admission authority schools. All admission authorities are required to act in accordance with the
20 Mar 2008 : Column 1414W
School Admissions Code and we announced to Parliament on 17 March further steps to ensure the proper implementation of the Code so that no parent or child is disadvantaged by unfair admission arrangements.

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will consider placing the conduct of schools admissions under the supervision of an independent body; and if he will make a statement. [195709]

Jim Knight: We are committed to ensuring compliance with the school admissions code and admissions legislation, and that admission authorities set fair and lawful admission arrangements. I wrote in January to all admission authorities to emphasise this and remind local authorities and admission forums to challenge unfair or unlawful policies.

As announced in the Children’s Plan in December 2007, we are reviewing the school application and allocation process and are considering how admissions should be managed as part of that review. We will consult on a range of proposals as a result of this review to further strengthen the admissions system in the summer.

Schools: Buildings

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much was spent on (a) primary and (b) secondary school buildings in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the north-east and (iv) England in each year since 1997. [195232]

Jim Knight: The Department allocates capital to local authorities and schools, and then relies on the local community to prioritise how it is spent between primary and secondary school buildings. Accordingly, it does not maintain central records on how much capital has been allocated between the two.

The following table sets out capital allocations from the Department to (i) South Tyneside, (ii) the north-east and (iii) England in each year since 1997.

Figures are not available centrally for allocations to Jarrow constituency, as allocations are made on a local authority basis.

£ million
1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

South Tyneside -

1.5

2.5

3.4

5.7

4.8

9.2

6.6

21.9

169.1

4.4

4.6

North-east

34.6

53.0

79.5

116.0

182.7

170.5

226.7

193.5

684.0

1,896.5

2,466.6

England

800

1,062

1,437

2,269

2,409

3,484

4,144

4,861

5,262

4,984

6,420

Notes:
1. The amounts spent will, in any year, differ from departmental allocations. This is because of expenditure timing differences, local prioritisation, and other resources that may be available locally.
2. The South Tyneside figure of £21.9 million in 2004-05 includes a £15.8 million PFI allocation, and the South Tyneside allocation of £169.1 million in 2005-06 a Building Schools for the Future allocation of £164 million.
3. The figures include indicative allocations, conventional and PFI credits, for Building Schools for the Future ( BSF) projects for the years 2005-06 to 2007-08. As projects develop, allocations will be subject to change. Actual BSF expenditure will be spread over a number of years.
4. The figures for England are taken from departmental annual reports and published figures, with the addition of PFI credits. The England figures for 2006-07and 2007-08 are subject to change.

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