TODAY The TES begins a new service to its readers, featuring a selection of MPs' questions to education ministers - and their replies. An occasional rather than weekly feature, Qamp;As is intended to bring you important information which otherwise might not be reported.
(written answers from Hansard)
Gerry Sutcliffe (Labour, Bradford South) asked about the requirements for school-level targetsetting.
Stephen Byers (minister for school standards) replied that target-setting for pupil performance will be introduced in September 1998 for all maintained schools, including special schools, with a requirement for two targets for 11-year-olds and three targets for 16-year-olds.
All maintained and special schools with pupils at appropriate ages will be required to set the following targets: At key stage 2, a percentage of pupils attaining level 4 or above in English and maths; at key stage 4, a percentage of pupils attaining five or more GCSEs or equivalent at grades A*- C; a percentage of pupils attaining one or more GCSEs or equivalent at grades A-G; the average GCSE (or equivalent) points score per pupil.
Targets should be set each autumn and should relate to those who will take the national curriculum tests or GCSE exams or equivalent in the following school year, i.e. five terms later. The regulatory framework will go before Parliament soon. Schools should receive details in the summer term.
Education action zones (written answers)
Rosie Winterton (Labour, Doncaster Central) asked for details of the applications to set up education action zones.
Stephen Byers replied that 60 applications have been received: lWest Midlands: Aston; Hodge Hill; Hereford; Sandwell; Solihull; Stoke-on-Trent; Walsall; Wolverhampton.
lSouth west: Lands End; Camborne; Weston-super-Mare; Plymouth; Bridgwater; South-east Wiltshire.
East Midlands: North-east Derbyshire; Leicester City; Gainsborough; Corby; Nottingham.
* South east: Brighton and Hove; Aylesbury; St Leonards; north Guildford.
North east: Middlesbrough; Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Redcar and Cleveland; South Shields; Sunderland.
* North west: Blackburn; Bolton; Barrow-in-Furness; South Manchester; Wythenshawe; East Manchester; SalfordTrafford; Tameside; Wigan; Liverpool.
* East: Basildon; Luton; Thetford.
* Yorkshire and Humber: Royston; North and East Barnsley; Manningham; South-east Bradford; Kingston-upon-Hull; Leeds; Grimsby; Sheffield.
lInner London: Hackney; Hammersmith and Fulham; Lambeth; Lewisham; Southwark.
* Outer London: Barking and Dagenham; North Croydon; New Addington; Haringey; Newham.