HC Deb 10 February 1999 vol 325 cc268-9W
Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what research his Department has commissioned into the effectiveness of(a) integrated curriculum work and (b) subject specialist teaching in improving children's learning in primary schools. [69793]

Ms Estelle Morris

[holding answer 9 February 1999]: The Department has not recently commissioned research on the effectiveness of integrated curriculum work. But the current guidance on Key Stage 2 curriculum planning produced by the Schools Curriculum and Assessment Authority (now QCA) in 1995 addresses this issue. The frameworks for teaching literacy and numeracy produced by the Department, together with model schemes of work give the flexibility to plan through integrated themes based on the programmes of study.

The Teacher Training Agency has recently published reports of research on both effective teachers of literacy and effective teachers of numeracy. These reports and evidence from primary school inspections suggests that subject knowledge is a significant factor in improving children's learning, but that this need not always be taught through subject specialist teaching or by subject specialist teachers.

Mr. Bob Russell

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will reduce the distance between primary schools which is used as the criterion for considering provision of additional accommodation; and if he will make a statement.[70192]

Ms Estelle Morris

The Department will shortly be seeking views from local education authorities on the arrangements for the schools capital expenditure programme in 2000–01. One of the areas likely to be covered is Basic Need.