I was delighted to see the progress made by Nottingham local authority in rolling out the primary SEAL programme when I visited my hon. Friend’s constituency with him earlier this year. It is holding a SEAL launch for all its secondary schools this week, and it has already selected four schools to become leading practice schools to support others to implement SEAL effectively. All local authorities were briefed last month on the implementation strategy for the programme and are currently selecting which schools to support in the first year.
Teaching the social and emotional aspects of learning at secondary level will help to break the intergenerational cycle of educational deprivation in places such as Nottingham by reducing teen pregnancies and helping youngsters to maintain personal and family relationships and responsibilities and to understand life choices. Will the Minister please underline the fact that local education authorities, especially in areas of chronic underachievement in education, do not need to wait for further guidance and instructions from his Department, but should crack on and implement secondary SEAL so that it can have an impact on the life chances of young people who need that opportunity?
I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his detailed work in this area and for relating that strongly to his constituency. He makes sure that I keep an eye on Nottingham and I will continue to do so in looking at the roll-out. I do think that we can just get on with implementing the SEAL programme in secondary schools. I have made sure that we have increased to 20 per cent. the number of secondary schools that will have support for SEAL in the first year starting in September and I want to see that accelerate as quickly as possible.