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Written Parliamentary Questions: 7th March 2006

Head Teachers

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment her Department has made of the level of morale among head teachers. (John Hemming)
A:Current indicators suggest that head teacher morale is generally good. A recent independent MORI survey published in 2005, found that the majority of head teachers were positive about their leadership role: nine in 10 said they felt confident in what they did and enjoyed it. However, we know the job is challenging which is why we have the NCSL to support and develop school leaders. (Jacqui Smith, Minister of State (Schools and 14-19 Learners), Department for Education and Skills)

Immigrant Children

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding was provided to support newly arrived immigrant children in the last year for which figures are available; and if she will take steps to increase such funding. (John Hemming)
A:Funding is available from three sources: local authority allocations of Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG); the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG); and Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers Carers (UASC) Grant. The formula used to calculate Schools Formula Spending Share for 2005–06 and previous years took account of the extra spending needed by those authorities with populations of children for whom English is an additional language, and from low performing ethnic groups. Approximately £435 million of the £24.6 billion Schools FSS for 2005–06 was distributed on the basis of numbers of children in these two categories. Since the formula for Dedicated Schools Grant starts from local authorities' spending on schools for 2005–06, that will also take account of the extra spending needed by authorities with such children. There will be increases in allocations of Dedicated Schools Grant per pupil of 6.8 per cent. and 6.7 per cent. for 2006–07 and 2007–08. The formula for distributing Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant also uses the proportion of children for whom English is an additional language, and from low performing ethnic groups. The total amount of funding for EMAG was: for 2005–06, £168 million; for 2006–07, £174 million and for 2007–08, £179 million. The figure for 2005–06 includes local authority matched funding; the figures for 2006–07 and 2007–08 are DfES grant, and reflect the transfer of matched funding from Dedicated Schools Grant for those years. We made available £11 million of UASC Grant in 2005–06, and plan to make available £12 million in 2006–07 and 2007–08. The grant is paid retrospectively in line with the number of UASC care leavers supported by each local authority.(Jacqui Smith, Minister of State (Schools and 14-19 Learners), Department for Education and Skills)

League Tables

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the effect of school league tables on the year six curriculum. (John Hemming)
A:My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not commissioned such an assessment. Pupils take National Curriculum tests in Year 6 to assess how well they have mastered the Key Stage 2 curriculum in English, mathematics and science—subjects of crucial importance to their success at secondary school. The fact that the test results will, in due course, be published should have no direct effect on the Year 6 curriculum, in these or other subjects. Evidence from Ofsted shows that good test results are associated with a broad curriculum and engaging teaching. (Jacqui Smith, Minister of State (Schools and 14-19 Learners), Department for Education and Skills)

Primary School Administration

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will take steps to reduce the rate at which changes to the administrative procedures undertaken by head teachers of primary schools are introduced. (John Hemming)
A:We recognise that we ask a lot of primary school leaders. We are determined though that every primary school should provide all their children, whatever their background, with the support they need to be healthy; stay safe; enjoy and achieve; make a positive contribution; develop as confident and enthusiastic learners; and grasp the basic skills of literacy and numeracy....
This answer is a long one, please follow the link for the full answer
(Jacqui Smith, Minister of State (Schools and 14-19 Learners), Department for Education and Skills)

Primary School Administration

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding was available for special educational needs in primary schools in the last year for which figures are available; and if she will take steps to increase such funding.(John Hemming)
A:During the 2005–06 financial year, local authorities in England budgeted net expenditure of £4.1 billion for the provision of education for children with special educational needs (SEN). Certain elements of this budgeted expenditure are retained centrally by the local authority and SEN funding cannot be attributed to a particular phase of education. An overall figure for the budgeted net expenditure for special educational needs in primary schools is not therefore available. However, expenditure can be broken down as shown in the following table....
This answer is a long one, please follow the link for the full answer
(Jacqui Smith, Minister of State (Schools and 14-19 Learners), Department for Education and Skills)

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R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).

KING’S BENCH DIVISION

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

LORD HEWART CJ:
It is clear that the deputy clerk was a member of the firm of solicitors engaged in the conduct of proceedings for damages against the applicant in respect of the same collision as that which gave rise to the charge that the justices were considering. It is said, and, no doubt, truly, that when that gentleman retired in the usual way with the justices, taking with him the…