Department for Education

10 most recent Written Questions

Date Title Questioner
18 Feb 2020, 5:53 p.m. Apprentices Mr David Davis

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to promote apprenticeships in (a) Haltemprice and Howden constituency, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) the UK.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

We have introduced a wide range of reforms to apprenticeships to improve their quality and to encourage employers across England to increase the number of apprenticeships they offer.

Since May 2010, there have been 4,392,000 starts in England. Of these, 6,930 apprenticeships starts have been in Haltemprice and Howden and 535,420 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

We are raising the profile of our apprenticeship programme through wider communications and marketing activity. The third phase of the Fire it Up campaign was launched in January, targeting important audience groups that are central to widening participation in apprenticeships.

Our thirteenth annual National Apprenticeship Week took place this month (3 to 9 February). Nearly 900 events were held across the country to celebrate and promote the diversity and value that apprenticeships bring to employers, apprentices and communities across England today.

In addition, in January 2018, we introduced a legal requirement for schools to give colleges or other organisations providing further education or training, the opportunity to make pupils aware about technical qualifications and apprenticeships.

We also offer a free service to schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK) project to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support to enable them to promote apprenticeships to their students. In the last academic year, the ASK Programme reached over 300,000 students.

We are investing £2.5 billion in apprenticeships this year (2019-20) so that employers of all sizes across England can provide apprenticeship opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. We are moving smaller employers onto our award-winning apprenticeship service to give them a greater choice of where their apprentices are trained, and so that they can also benefit from transferred funds from levy payers. Levy transfers can help to support new starts in supply chains and address local skills needs.

17 Feb 2020, 5:51 p.m. Social Services Dr Matthew Offord

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to review the care system.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

We are committed to undertaking a review at the earliest opportunity.The review aims to better support, protect and improve the outcomes of vulnerable children and young people. This was confirmed in a written statement made on 12 February 2020, which is available at the following link: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statements/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2Clords&uin=HCWS110.

17 Feb 2020, 4:56 p.m. Apprentices: Degrees Kate Green

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to promote degree apprenticeships as a route to an undergraduate degree.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Degree and degree-level apprenticeships at level 6 and above offer people of all ages and from all backgrounds the chance to earn while they train and access a range of professions.

Apprenticeship starts at level 6 and above have increased from 100 in 2014/15 to 22,480 in 2018/19. 120 employer-designed standards are now approved for delivery at levels 6 and 7, in a wide range of occupations. We are continuing to raise the profile of these apprenticeships as high-quality alternatives to academic study.

To support employers to raise awareness of opportunities in their businesses, we worked with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) to develop an online higher and degree apprenticeship vacancy listing. The most recent update was published in National Apprenticeship Week for starts in 2020 and includes over a thousand vacancies from employers in a range of sectors, from aeronautical engineering to town planning.

Representatives from the National Apprenticeship Service also attended 30 UCAS exhibitions in 2019, engaging with around 10,000 young people, their parents and careers advisers. This work will continue throughout 2020 alongside our wider communications and marketing activity to raise the profile of apprenticeships, including the second phase of the ‘Fire It Up’ campaign. A number of the apprentices who feature in advertising throughout the second phase are undertaking degree or degree-level apprenticeships.

13 Feb 2020, 6:12 p.m. Teaching Excellence Framework Independent Review Emma Hardy

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timeframe is for the publication Dame Shirley Pearce's report on the independent review of the teaching excellence framework.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Higher Education and Research Act 2017 requires that the report of the independent review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework should be laid before Parliament.

The reviewer, Dame Shirley Pearce, has submitted her report to ministers. The Government is considering the report’s evidence and recommendations. We intend to lay the report in due course, and publish it alongside the government’s response.

13 Feb 2020, 6:11 p.m. Educational Exchanges Layla Moran

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has provided to UK universities on preparing student and staff exchanges for the (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22 academic year.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2014-20) Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programmes. This means that the projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period. We expect Higher Education mobilities being bid for in 2020 will include some mobilities for academic year 2020-21 and academic year 2021-22, depending on the specific details of individual projects.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Erasmus+, are currently being negotiated within the EU institutions and have not yet been finalised. These EU programmes must be adopted by the EU before any potential formal negotiations on association could begin. The UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes, once the EU has agreed the baseline in its 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework, and taking into account the overall value to the UK of doing so.

The Department for Education is the national authority for the Erasmus+ programme in the UK. The Department oversees the work of the UK National Agency, which is responsible for the management and delivery of the programme across the UK. The UK National Agency have been issuing guidance to UK universities with the support of the Department for Education.

The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and is considering a wide range of options with regard to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

13 Feb 2020, 6:11 p.m. Erasmus+ Programme Layla Moran

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether undergraduate students wanting to study abroad in the (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22 academic year will be able to do so through the Erasmus+ scheme.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2014-20) Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programmes. This means that the projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive EU funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period. We expect Higher Education mobilities being bid for in 2020 will include some mobilities for academic year 2020-21 and academic year 2021-22, depending on the specific details of individual projects.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Erasmus+, are currently being negotiated within the EU institutions and have not yet been finalised. These EU programmes must be adopted by the EU before any potential formal negotiations on association could begin. The UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes, once the EU has agreed the baseline in its 2021-27 Multiannual Financial Framework, and taking into account the overall value to the UK of doing so.

The Department for Education is the national authority for the Erasmus+ programme in the UK. The Department oversees the work of the UK National Agency, which is responsible for the management and delivery of the programme across the UK. The UK National Agency have been issuing guidance to UK universities with the support of the Department for Education.

The UK government is preparing for every eventuality and is considering a wide range of options with regard to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

13 Feb 2020, 6:08 p.m. Students: Personal Records Emma Hardy

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information his Department holds on the number of (a) further and (b) higher education students who have been affected by the breech of confidential data from the learner records service.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Whilst the Information Commissioner’s investigation is still on-going, we believe that no actual student data has been shared other than to confirm or deny whether there is a student record for individuals held within the Learner Records Service.

13 Feb 2020, 6:06 p.m. Students: Personal Records Emma Hardy

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his oral contribution of 20 January 2020, Official Report, column 17, what the timescale is for the investigation into the breach of data from the learner records service.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The department aims to conclude its internal investigation soon. The department continues to support the Information Commissioner’s Office in its investigation.

13 Feb 2020, 5:59 p.m. Students: Finance Caroline Lucas

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy for student loans, bursaries, grants and other student finance to be increased to reflect geographic variations in the cost of living.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The government has announced that maximum grants and loans for living and other costs will increase by 2.9% for the 2020/21 academic year starting in August 2020.

Means-tested grants and loans for living and other costs are a contribution towards a student’s costs while attending university.

The current system bases the amount of support a student is entitled to on the student’s household income rather than on family outgoings. It ensures that the most support is targeted consistently at families from the lowest income backgrounds who need it most. It also ensures that information on income for individual applicants can be effectively processed by Student Finance England who deal with more than one million applications for student support in time for the start of an academic year.

Maximum loans for living costs for the lowest income students living away from their parents’ home and studying at a university in London are set at a higher level than for students studying outside London or living in their parents’ home. This reflects the higher living costs that students attending courses in London may incur

13 Feb 2020, 5:44 p.m. Private Education: Personal Records Sir Mark Hendrick

Question to the Department for Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to collect and publish data relating to the progress of pupils at independent schools on a similar basis to the data collected for secondary maintained schools and academies.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

There are no plans to collect or publish such data.

The Department’s progress measures, particularly Progress 8, aim to capture the progress that pupils make from the end of Key Stage 2 to the end of Key Stage 4. They are a type of value added measure, which means that pupils’ results are compared to the actual achievements of other pupils nationally with similar prior attainment.

As pupils at independent schools are not required to take end of Key Stage 2 tests, we are unable to include independent pupils in the calculation of Progress 8 scores. We do publish other attainment headline measures on independent schools. The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 require that independent schools enable pupils to make good progress according to their ability, and this is checked during inspections of all independent schools.