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17 Nov 2008 : Column 62W

Children's Trusts

22. Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his Department's assessment is of the changes in outcomes for children since the establishment of children's trusts. [235777]

Beverley Hughes: DCSF uses a range of evidence to assess children's outcomes, including the Every Child Matters outcomes framework. This contains 106 indicators, around half of which measure aspects of the quality of children's lives and the remaining half measure the quality of services provided to children. Key improvements over the period have been:

Academies

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has for development of the academies programme. [235767]

Jim Knight: The Government are committed to continuing to develop the academies programme and establishing at least 400 academies nationwide. In addition to the 130 now open, four are projected to open in January 2009, up to 80 in September 2009 and up to a further 100 in 2010.

Youth Facilities

Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what funding his Department plans to provide for youth facilities in Gateshead East and Washington, West constituency in the next three years. [235772]

Beverley Hughes: The Department has allocated a total of £1.7 million through the Youth Capital Fund (YCF) to Gateshead and Sunderland local authorities for investment in youth facilities over the period 2008-11. YCF gives young people control over funding decisions for new facilities in their area, which has a genuine influence on empowering young people, their participation in positive activities, as well as the quality of provision on offer. In addition, over the next three years, all local areas will have the opportunity to bid for, and benefit from, £190 million of Government capital investment through myplace. myplace is being delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, and will fund world class youth facilities n cross-sector partnership, driven by the active participation of young people and their views and needs, through individual grants of £1 to 5 million.


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Bullying

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what additional measures he has considered to reduce the incidence of bullying in schools; and if he will make a statement. [235773]

Beverley Hughes: We have a comprehensive strategy in place. Our guidance, 'Safe To Learn', advises schools on tackling bullying related to ethnicity, sexuality, disability and cyberbullying. We are funding the Anti-Bullying Alliance and National Strategies to ensure this work is embedded in schools.

Our future plans include developing our Peer Mentoring pilots, publishing guidance covering bullying outside school, bullying of school staff and bullying related to gender and gender identity, and re-launching our campaign against cyberbullying.

Contact Orders

Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he plans to implement the provisions in Part 1 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 relating to new powers for the courts to order contact activities and new enforcement powers. [233314]

Beverley Hughes: The implementation of the remaining provisions in Part 1 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006, sections 1 to 5 and 8, relating to new powers for the courts to order contact activities and new enforcement powers were announced on 4 November 2008, Official Report, column 22WS. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice has made a written ministerial statement, outlining that the provisions will come into force on 8 December. The new arrangements will extend to England and Wales and have been agreed by Welsh Assembly Government Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas.

Primary Education: Per Capita Costs

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average funding per primary school pupil was in (a) England and (b) Somerset in (i) 1979-80 and (ii) 1996-97. [236346]

Jim Knight: The available information on the net institutional funding per nursery and primary pupils in 1996-97 are (a) £1,730 and (b) £1,644. The figures are in cash terms. There are no comparable figures available for 1979-80.

Schools: Discipline

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what programmes provide funding to schools to deal with (a) behaviour and (b) inclusion matters; and how much funding is available under each programme in 2008-09. [235364]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry [holding answer 13 November 2008]: The main sources of funding for schools are Dedicated Schools Grant and School Development Grant. It is for schools to determine how much of these sources of funding they then spend on behaviour and inclusion,
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in the light of local priorities and schools' statutory duty to use their best endeavours to make the necessary provision for children with special educational needs.

In addition, the Department maintains a small number of centrally funded programmes which impact on behaviour in schools. Many of these programmes aim to improve school attendance as well as behaviour and it is not possible to disaggregate what is spent on each element. The main such programmes are:

£ million

Behaviour and attendance central co-ordination(1)

13.9

National Strategies targeted support in schools

5.4

Social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL)

10.6

Tackling bullying in schools

3.1

Alternative Provision pilots(2)

1.4

Skillforce

0.9

Day 6 provision for suitable full-time education for excluded pupils(3)

10.0

A range of small programmes providing support for parents, and guidance on various aspects of school behaviour and attendance

1.8

Total

47.1

(1) Standards Fund resources mainly to pay for local authority behaviour and attendance consultants
(2) Children's Plan
(3) £16 million of which £10 million is for schools and £6 million is for LAs included in the Dedicated Schools Grant.

Schools: Standards

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government has taken to improve (a) standards of cleaning in schools and (b) the quality of classroom furniture. [236058]

Jim Knight: School cleanliness is the responsibility of the head teacher and governors and the local authority where they are the employer. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 Regulation 9 and the Approved Code of Practice on the regulations issued by the Health and Safety Executive cover cleanliness. More specifically “Toilets in Schools” a recent departmental document on Teachernet makes clear the importance of well designed and well maintained facilities so that pupils can and will make regular use of them. The Government have made a number of steps. The BSF Furniture and Equipment (F & E) brief aims to encourage schools and bidders to recognise the role furniture can play within the transformational agenda. As part of this aim, it will make clear the expectations for furniture such as the need for improved strength and stability criteria as set out in part 2 of the new European standard EN1729. It is also proposed to include the ergonomic requirements of EN1729 part 1. A 30-month research project the Department has recently commissioned into the accommodation implications of personalised learning will examine the role furniture can play in ensuring flexible layouts. The Department has also published a website which gives ergonomic dimensions for furniture in order that designers have the most up-to-date data from which to work on new designs. Quality of furniture in schools can often lie in making the right choices of furniture, the Department’s website aims to ensure that schools buy appropriately sized furniture. Many of our
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design guides give details on purchasing quality furniture and how to ensure it is ‘fit for purpose’, one of the key indicators of quality.

Secondary Education: Admissions

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many unfilled secondary school places there were in (a) Wellingborough constituency and (b) England on the latest date for which figures are available. [235938]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department collects information annually from each local authority on the number of surplus places which exist within maintained schools, as part of the Surplus Places Survey. The most recent data available relate to the position as at January 2008.

At January 2008 the number of unfilled school places in maintained secondary schools within Wellingborough constituency was 1,022 (13 per cent.) and the number of unfilled school places in maintained secondary schools in England as a whole was 299,538 (9 per cent.).

Young People: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government have taken to reduce alcohol addiction amongst teenagers. [234792]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry [holding answer 13 November 2008]:

The proportion of teenagers who drink regularly is falling but those who do drink are drinking a lot more. Young people who drink too much not only put their own health at risk, but are more likely to get involved in antisocial behaviour and contribute to insecurity on our streets. The Youth Alcohol Action Plan, published in June, sets out a number of actions to address the problems of young people's alcohol consumption. We will provide clearer health information for parents and young people about how consumption of alcohol, particularly at an early age, can affect children and young people. This will include the chief medical officer's guidelines on safer drinking by young people and a comprehensive communications campaign aimed at 11 to 15 year-olds to be launched in spring 2009.

In line with recommendations from an independent review of drug and alcohol education, Ministers announced on 30 October 2008 that Personal Health and Social Education (PHSE) would be made statutory subject. This would underline the key role PSHE has to play in young people's personal development.

Very few young people are addicted to alcohol but we know that a small proportion of young people do drink too much which puts them at risk of harm. DCSF are working closely with the National Treatment Agency (NTA) to continue to improve the accessibility and quality of substance misuse treatment for young people (under 18), with the aim of ensuring that effective treatment is available for any young person with alcohol problems that needs it.


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Work and Pensions

Departmental Official Engagements

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the official engagements were of each Minister in his Department in the period from 6 October to 31 October 2008. [234916]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 11 November 2008]: The following tables provide the details of official engagements for the period 6 October to 31 October 2008 attended by Ministers in his Department.

Minister: James Purnell, Secretary of State
Official engagement Date

Speaking at the launch of the Social Market Foundation's Mental Health and Welfare Reform Project

8 October 2008

Speaking at National Association of Pension Funds Conference

9 October 2008

Speaking at Jobcentre Plus National Conference

9 October 2008

Speaking at Acevo Lecture Series—Capturing Public Services for the Citizen

21 October 2008

Speaking at Help the Aged Seminar on “Unequal Ageing”

21 October 2008

Visit—Falkirk Child Support Agency Centre

23 October 2008

Speaking at Welfare Reform Consultation Event

24 October 2008

Visit—Glyndwr University

30 October 2008

Visit—Rhyl Football Club

30 October 2008


Minister: Tony McNulty, Minister of State Employment and Welfare Reform
Official engagement Date

National Crime Reduction Board Meeting

9 October 2008

Speech at Jobcentre Plus Conference

9 October 2008

Consultation Event on Welfare Reform Drugs Strategy

13 October 2008

Speech at End Child Poverty Parliamentary Reception

15 October 2008

UK Drug Policy Commission Roundtable Event

21 October 2008

Employers Roundtable Welfare Reform Consultation Event

22 October 2008

Speech at Capita Conference—Neighbourhood Management

23 October 2008

Speech at launch of AACS Prospectus

29 October 2008


Minister: Rosie Winterton, Minister of State for Pensions and Aging Society
Official engagement Date

Speech at NAPF conference

9 October 2008

Speech at National Council on Ageing

9 October 2008

Speech at ILC intergenerational Research Conference

9 October 2008

Visit to Age Concern to celebrate 5th Anniversary of Pension Credit

13 October 2008

Visit and speech at Derbyshire Older people Advisory group

17 October 2008

Better Government for Older People event—- opening address

27 October 2008

Opening of Unite Headquarters

20 October 2008


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Minister: Kitty Ussher, Parliamentary Under Secretary
Official engagement Date

Financial Inclusion Task force

21 October 2008

Social Housing and Worklessness

23 October 2008

SMI

29 October 2008


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