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6 Nov 2008 : Column 764W—continued

Schools: Crime

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many incidents in (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools involved (i) knives and (ii) drugs in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [233272]


6 Nov 2008 : Column 765W

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Schools are generally safe places for pupils and staff.

The Department does not collect information on the number of knives confiscated from pupils in schools, and there is no duty on schools to report to the Department when they find a weapon on a pupil.

The Department does not record each individual incident that involves drugs, however such incidents are recorded if they lead to an exclusion. In 2006-07 there were 400 permanent exclusions in secondary schools related to drugs or alcohol which is around 5.3 per cent. of all permanent exclusions in secondary schools for that year. There were 60 fixed term exclusion related to drugs and alcohol in primary schools (0.1 per cent. of all primary school fixed term exclusions), and 7,840 in secondary schools (2.2 per cent. of all secondary schools fixed term exclusions).

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools for pupils with special needs have (a) been opened and (b) closed in England since 1997. [227902]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Pupils with special educational needs are likely to be attending all types of school. My Department's records, based on information provided by local authorities, indicate that the following numbers of schools have opened and closed since 1997:


6 Nov 2008 : Column 766W
Number of establishments opened in England since 1997
Type of establishment Total

Academies

130

Community

1,065

Community special

172

European schools

2

Foundation

37

Voluntary aided

208

Voluntary controlled

106

Non-maintained special schools

19

Independent mainstream schools

532

Independent schools catering wholly or mainly for pupils with SEN approved under section 347 of the Education Act 1996

19

Independent schools catering wholly or mainly for pupils with SEN not approved under section 347 of the Education Act 1996

372

Grand total

2,662


Number of establishments closed in England since 1997
Type of establishment Total

City technology college

12

Community

2,548

Community special

374

Foundation

66

Foundation special

5

Voluntary aided

316

Voluntary controlled

218

Non-maintained special schools

14

Independent mainstream schools

779

Independent schools catering wholly or mainly for pupils with SEN approved under section 347 of the Education Act 1996

17

Independent schools catering wholly or mainly for pupils with SEN not approved under section 347 of the Education Act 1996

71

Grand total

4,420

Source:
Compiled from EduBase

Schools can be opened and closed for a number of reasons including the need to meet demographic changes (e.g. population decline); as part of an amalgamation; as part of another type of local reorganisation; or, changes to age ranges such as a primary school being created from formerly separate infants' and junior schools. Each of these examples would result in opening or closure (or both) being recorded.

In this context, between 1986 and 1997 there was a net reduction of 234 maintained special schools, and between 1997 and 2008 there has been a net reduction of 172 maintained special schools.


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