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22 Jan 2009 : Column 1708W—continued

Science: GCSE

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of pupils eligible to receive free school meals attained a GCSE in (a) physics, (b) chemistry and (c) biology at grade A* in the latest year for which figures are available. [243852]

Jim Knight: The table shows the number and percentage of pupils achieving grade A* in Physics, Chemistry and Biology by eligibility of free school meals in 2008 as a proportion of pupils at the end of KS4.


22 Jan 2009 : Column 1709W
Non-FSM FSM Total
Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

Physics

9,727

1.9

173

0.2

9,900

1.7

Chemistry

9,982

1.9

217

0.3

10,199

1.7

Biology

9,174

1.8

173

0.2

9,347

1.6


The number and percentage of pupils achieving grade A* as a proportion of the total number of entries.

Non-FSM FSM Total
Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

Physics

9,727

19.2

173

8.3

9,900

18.8

Chemistry

9,982

19.6

217

10.2

10,199

19.2

Biology

9,174

16.5

173

6.4

9,347

16.0

Note:
Data is provisional and subject to change. The data also relates to pupils at the end of KS4 in maintained schools only.
Source: National Pupil Database

Social Services: Children

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his assessment of the availability of emergency accommodation for children or young people who need an immediate place of safety is in each children's services area. [250604]

Beverley Hughes: The provision of emergency accommodation for young people who need it is the responsibility of local authorities. Support services for runaways should be determined and run through local children's trusts and other stakeholders, according to local service needs. Local authority children's services are therefore best placed to assess the type and levels of support required, including, where appropriate, accommodation. This could include emergency foster care or short-term placement in a children's home, as well as counselling and mediation services, but the exact mix will vary according to locally determined need.

The National Indicator NI71: Children missing from home or care, becomes effective from 1 April 2009. Local authorities will be asked to self assess the services, information and processes that they have in place to respond to the needs of young runaways using a self assessment tool developed for this purpose.

In order to support local authority children's services in their provision of emergency accommodation my Department is funding research that will identify successful and cost effective commissioning models using services provided by the voluntary sector, and by helping commissioners at every level understand more about young people's perceptions of different models of emergency accommodation.

Social Services: Doncaster

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what reports have been produced by Paul Gray on the state of children’s services in Doncaster; and if he will make them public. [248698]


22 Jan 2009 : Column 1710W

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 19 January 2009]: The Department does not hold this information since Dr. Paul Gray, interim Director of Children’s Services for Doncaster Metropolitan borough council, does not report directly to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. Assessment of the performance of children’s services in Doncaster is carried out by means of OfSTED inspections, the most recent of which was the 2008 Annual Performance Assessment (APA). Doncaster’s APA letter was published on 17 December 2008. It can be found at:

Sure Start Programme

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many Sure Start centres were built in each of the last 12 months. [249302]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 19 January 2009]: The figures in the following table show the number of new Sure Start Children's Centres designated each month throughout 2008. These figures include centres where some activities take place in pre-existing, refurbished buildings, for example, at a school site.

Sure Start Centres designated
Number

January

230

February

346

March

441

April

1

May

0

June

1

July

1

August

1

September

4

October

0

November

2

December

2


Teachers: Offenders

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many teachers in the maintained sector have received an (a) conviction and (b) police caution. [248326]

Jim Knight: The information requested is not held centrally.

Teachers: Pay

Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effect on teachers of the end of management allowance safeguarding on 31 December 2008 and the introduction of teaching and learning responsibility payments; and how many teachers are affected by (a) that change and (b) the change in the amount of pay received by teachers as a result of the new time limit on safeguarding. [249013]


22 Jan 2009 : Column 1711W

Jim Knight: The information requested is not available centrally, however based on a sample of local authorities we estimate that between 2 and 4 per cent. of teachers may be affected. Management allowances (MA) ceased to exist on 31 December 2005. Under the terms of the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) a teacher who was in receipt of a MA on 31 December 2005 was entitled to salary safeguarding for a maximum of three years until 31 December 2008, in which to adjust to the reduction in their income.

Teaching and Learning Responsibility payments (TLR) were introduced from 1 January 2006 and are now well embedded in the system and are being used to properly reward those who are undertaking a significant responsibility beyond those required of all classroom teachers.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what reservations his Department is seeking to enter in relation to the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and if he will make a statement. [248194]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mrs. McGuire) on 6 May 2008, Official Report, column 30WS. We are considering the precise wording of any reservation.

Young People: Unemployment

Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of 16 to 18 year-olds were not in education, employment and training in each year since April 2001. [249239]

Beverley Hughes: Estimates of participation in education for those of academic age 16-18, including the number and proportion estimated to be Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), are published annually by the Department in a Statistical First Release (SFR) each June on the Department’s website

The historical information sought on the numbers and percentages of young people NEET can be found in the following two excel files downloadable at the link above:

and

These provide the following estimates of 16-18 NEET, based on academic age, and relating to a snapshot at the end of each calendar year:


22 Jan 2009 : Column 1712W
End Number of 16 to 18-year-olds NEET Percentage of 16 to 18-year-olds NEET

2001

182,400

9.9

2002

188,400

10.0

2003

183,500

9.5

2004

189,800

9.6

2005

213,700

10.7

2006

209,700

10.4

2007

189,500

9.4


Young People: Voluntary Organisations

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in what ways his Department is working with national third sector youth organisations to support the training needs of those working in the third sector to achieve the ambitions set out in Aiming High and the Children’s Plan. [247185]

Beverley Hughes: Through the current youth workforce reform programme, specific work is underway to identify and meet the training priorities for the third sector so that it can play a full role in the delivery of integrated services for young people. This work is currently examining how these priorities could be met locally by new or existing training and development routes and with new Government investment. Feasibility studies on an accreditation system to accredit existing and prior experience, and the delivery of training resources to support managers in identifying workforce needs for the third sector are also being undertaken. Leaders and managers in the third sector will also have access to a leadership and management programme designed to train up to 5,000 strategic leaders and managers from across young people’s services over the next three years, starting this year. In addition the DCSF has recently created the Youth Sector Development Fund, which is designed to promote and support growth and build capacity within third sector organisations, particularly those working with the most vulnerable young people, including supporting the development needs of staff.

Outdoor Education

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessment he has made of the extent to which teacher training courses facilitates the use of fieldwork as a teaching method in schools; [247955]

(2) what steps he is taking to improve the confidence of (a) science teachers and (b) geography teachers in using fieldwork; [247956]

(3) if his Department will commission research to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the state of fieldwork in secondary science education for 14 to 19-year-olds. [247957]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department has not made a formal assessment of the benefits of fieldwork and out-of-classroom activity. However, there is a body of
22 Jan 2009 : Column 1713W
research that demonstrates the value of learning outside the classroom to which the Department has contributed; key reports can be found at:

Ofsted’s report “Learning outside the classroom: how far should you go?” was published on 2 October 2008. A key finding is

To support and develop teachers in using fieldwork as high quality learning experiences, a network of science learning centres provides a range of continuing professional development opportunities throughout the year. These cover chemistry, physics and biology and all key stages of the science curriculum.

Through the Government funded Action Plan for Geography, the Royal Geographical Society and the Geographical Association have developed online resources and guidance. These are available at:

and include a virtual fieldwork and local learning centre to help teachers make the most of geography in their local areas. The website contains expert advice on embedding fieldwork in the curriculum.


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