HC Deb 10 November 2000 vol 356 cc435-6W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the work of the Zacchaeus Centre in Birmingham. [136402]

Jacqui Smith

The Zacchaeus Centre has been assessed by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools as a unique and successful provision for Key Stage 3 pupils at risk of exclusion from the 10 Roman Catholic secondary schools in Birmingham. The Centre does not cater for permanently excluded pupils. Rates of re-integration are high. That is why we included the Centre as an example of good practice in Circular 10/99 "Social Inclusions: Pupil Support". Unlike the previous Government, we have been supporting the Centre through the Standards Fund: £53,600 in 1998–99 and £94,000 in 1999–2000. The Centre is receiving a similar amount this year and will do so in 2001–02.

Our support for the Zacchaeus Centre complements the increased provision we are making for both in and out of school support. We are making resources available to establish over 1,000 on-site Learning Support Units by 2002. These take disruptive pupils out of the classroom quickly and ensure that they start to behave better. Where an exclusion is necessary, provision for excluded pupils is being greatly increased. There are 1,000 more places and 250 more teachers in Pupil Referral Units than in

The great majority of young people taking part in the New Deal do so to improve their employability and find a job without the necessity to impose any benefit sanctions.