Department for Education

The Department for Education is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Democratic Unionist Party
Paul Girvan (DUP - South Antrim)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education)

Scottish National Party
Carol Monaghan (SNP - Glasgow North West)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Education)

Liberal Democrat
Lord Storey (LD - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)

Plaid Cymru
Ben Lake (PC - Ceredigion)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Education)

Labour
Bridget Phillipson (Lab - Houghton and Sunderland South)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education

Liberal Democrat
Munira Wilson (LD - Twickenham)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

Labour
Baroness Wilcox of Newport (Lab - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
Baroness Twycross (Lab - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Matt Western (Lab - Warwick and Leamington)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Helen Hayes (Lab - Dulwich and West Norwood)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Catherine McKinnell (Lab - Newcastle upon Tyne North)
Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)
Seema Malhotra (Lab - Feltham and Heston)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Ministers of State
Robert Halfon (Con - Harlow)
Minister of State (Education)
Damian Hinds (Con - East Hampshire)
Minister of State (Education)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Baroness Barran (Con - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
David Johnston (Con - Wantage)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Scheduled Event
Friday 8th March 2024
10:00
Department for Education
Debate - Main Chamber
8 Mar 2024, 10 a.m.
International Women’s Day and the steps taken to promote the economic inclusion of women
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Scheduled Event
Monday 11th March 2024
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
11 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 12th March 2024
15:45
Department for Education
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
12 Mar 2024, 3:45 p.m.
Gender Recognition (Approved Countries and Territories and Saving Provision) Order 2023
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Scheduled Event
Monday 29th April 2024
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
29 Apr 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Debates
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Select Committee Inquiry
Friday 24th November 2023
Impact of industrial action on university students

The Education Committee will examine how students at universities in England have been impacted by various forms of industrial action …

Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
No title given
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to promote careers for young people in …
Secondary Legislation
Thursday 1st February 2024
School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2024
These Regulations amend the School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012 (S.I. 2012/8).
Bills
Wednesday 1st February 2023
Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Act 2023
A Bill to make provision about the determination of the fee limit for higher education courses provided by registered English …
Dept. Publications
Monday 19th February 2024
09:53

Department for Education Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jan. 29
Oral Questions
Oct. 17
Urgent Questions
Feb. 19
Written Statements
View All Department for Education Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Department for Education does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Introduced: 1st February 2023

A Bill to make provision about the determination of the fee limit for higher education courses provided by registered English higher education providers subject to a fee limit condition; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 18th September 2023 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 12th May 2021

A Bill to make provision in relation to freedom of speech and academic freedom in higher education institutions and in students’ unions; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 11th May 2023 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 18th May 2021

A Bill to make provision about local skills improvement plans; to make provision relating to further education; to make provision about functions of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and relating to technical education qualifications; to make provision about student finance and fees; to make provision about assessments by the Office for Students; to make provision about the funding of certain post-16 education or training providers; and for connected purposes

This Bill received Royal Assent on 28th April 2022 and was enacted into law.

Department for Education - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations amend the School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012 (S.I. 2012/8).
These Regulations, which apply in England only, amend various instruments relating to financial support for students.
View All Department for Education Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme

Call on the government to consider holding debates in Parliament between MPs and university students to raise/discuss issues that affect them. It will allow students to voice their opinions and concerns about tuition fees of £9250 a year which are too high, particularly as grants have been removed

Close down schools and colleges due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. We are seeing cases of students and teachers catching the virus since schools have reopened.

View All Department for Education Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Education Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Education Committee
Robin Walker Portrait
Robin Walker (Conservative - Worcester)
Education Committee Chair since 16th November 2022
Ian Mearns Portrait
Ian Mearns (Labour - Gateshead)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Apsana Begum Portrait
Apsana Begum (Labour - Poplar and Limehouse)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Kim Johnson Portrait
Kim Johnson (Labour - Liverpool, Riverside)
Education Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Anna Firth Portrait
Anna Firth (Conservative - Southend West)
Education Committee Member since 15th March 2022
Caroline Ansell Portrait
Caroline Ansell (Conservative - Eastbourne)
Education Committee Member since 15th March 2022
Andrew Lewer Portrait
Andrew Lewer (Conservative - Northampton South)
Education Committee Member since 25th October 2022
Flick Drummond Portrait
Flick Drummond (Conservative - Meon Valley)
Education Committee Member since 8th November 2022
Nick Fletcher Portrait
Nick Fletcher (Conservative - Don Valley)
Education Committee Member since 29th November 2022
Mohammad Yasin Portrait
Mohammad Yasin (Labour - Bedford)
Education Committee Member since 13th March 2023
Vicky Ford Portrait
Vicky Ford (Conservative - Chelmsford)
Education Committee Member since 22nd January 2024
Education Committee: Previous Inquiries
The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services Support for Home Education Behaviour and discipline in schools Careers Guidance for Young People The role of School Governing Bodies School sports following London 2012 School Partnerships and Cooperation School Direct Recruitment 2013-14 Great teachers-follow up The role and performance of Ofsted Services for young people Participation in education and training for 16-19 year olds English Baccalaureate Residential children's homes Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children School Places Ofsted Annual Report in Education 2012-13 Child Well-Being in England 16 Plus Care Options Academies and free schools Children First follow-up PSHE and SRE in schools Fairer Schools Funding 2015-16 one-off Exams for 15-19 year olds in England - follow up Foundation Years: Sure Start children’s centres – Government response Department for Education Annual Report 2012-13 Extremism in Birmingham Schools Careers guidance for young people: follow-up Apprenticeships and traineeships for 16 to 19 year olds Pre-appointment hearing: Children's Commissioner Ofsted Schools and Further Education and Skills Annual Report 2013-14 Evidence check: National College for Teaching and Leadership inquiry Sure Start children’s centres: Follow up Evidence check: Starting school inquiry The work of the Committee in the 2010-15 Parliament Priority Schools Building Programme inquiry The work of Ofsted inquiry The role of Regional Schools Commissioners inquiry Responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Education The work of Ofqual Purpose and quality of education in England inquiry Supply of teachers inquiry Holocaust education inquiry Mental health and wellbeing of looked after children inquiry The Children's Commissioner for England Education in the north inquiry Fourth Industrial Revolution Life chances inquiry Special educational needs and disabilities inquiry School and college funding inquiry The future of the Social Mobility Commission inquiry Nursing apprenticeships inquiry Appointment of the Chair of the Social Mobility Commission Knife crime inquiry Opportunity areas inquiry Children’s social care workforce inquiry Adult skills and lifelong learning inquiry Appointment of the Chair of the Office for Students inquiry Alternative provision inquiry Fostering inquiry Integrity of public examinations inquiry The quality of apprenticeships and skills training inquiry Accountability hearings Value for money in higher education inquiry Post-16 education area reviews inquiry School funding reform inquiry Adult skills and lifelong learning Appointment of the Ofsted Chief Inspector inquiry Fostering inquiry Primary assessment inquiry The impact of exiting the European Union on higher education inquiry Selective education inquiry Narey review of children's residential care inquiry Social Work Reform inquiry Financial management at the Department for Education Appointment of the Ofqual Chief Regulator Multi-academy trusts inquiry Left behind white pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds Home Education Support for childcare and the early years Persistent absence and support for disadvantaged pupils Teacher recruitment, training and retention Ofsted’s work with schools Screen Time: Impacts on education and wellbeing Financial Education Impact of industrial action on university students Children’s social care Accountability hearings Adult skills and lifelong learning Children’s social care workforce Education in the north Fourth Industrial Revolution Integrity of public examinations Knife crime Life chances Opportunity areas School and college funding Special educational needs and disabilities

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools were constructed using block and beam concrete in each local authority.

It is the responsibility of those running schools – academy trusts, local authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies – to collect and record information about their buildings and to ensure they are safe, well-maintained and comply with relevant regulations. The department supports schools and colleges on how this should be done in the Good Estate Management for Schools guidance, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/good-estate-management-for-schools.

The department does not hold a central register of construction types used in the education estate. Beam and block is one of the most common construction methods and is used across many building types. As for all construction materials, its lifespan will depend on its maintenance history and use.

Departmental officials have regular discussions with relevant professional bodies and leading material specialists to ensure they are aware of any emerging evidence regarding the safety of construction materials used in the education estate.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average expected design life is of schools constructed using block and beam concrete.

It is the responsibility of those running schools – academy trusts, local authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies – to collect and record information about their buildings and to ensure they are safe, well-maintained and comply with relevant regulations. The department supports schools and colleges on how this should be done in the Good Estate Management for Schools guidance, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/good-estate-management-for-schools.

The department does not hold a central register of construction types used in the education estate. Beam and block is one of the most common construction methods and is used across many building types. As for all construction materials, its lifespan will depend on its maintenance history and use.

Departmental officials have regular discussions with relevant professional bodies and leading material specialists to ensure they are aware of any emerging evidence regarding the safety of construction materials used in the education estate.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made a recent assessment of the safety of school buildings constructed using block and beam concrete.

It is the responsibility of those running schools – academy trusts, local authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies – to collect and record information about their buildings and to ensure they are safe, well-maintained and comply with relevant regulations. The department supports schools and colleges on how this should be done in the Good Estate Management for Schools guidance, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/good-estate-management-for-schools.

The department does not hold a central register of construction types used in the education estate. Beam and block is one of the most common construction methods and is used across many building types. As for all construction materials, its lifespan will depend on its maintenance history and use.

Departmental officials have regular discussions with relevant professional bodies and leading material specialists to ensure they are aware of any emerging evidence regarding the safety of construction materials used in the education estate.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much has been spent on translation services in schools from English to (a) Polish, (b) Arabic, (c) Urdu, (d) Panjabi and (e) Romanian in each of the last five years.

I refer my hon. Friend, the Member for South Holland and The Deepings, to the answer of 30 January 2024 to questions 10704 and 10705.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on developing tech skills in the workforce.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent and skills are a vital strand of the government’s UK Science and Technology Framework, published in 2023, which aims to cement the UK’s status as a science and technology superpower by 2030.

The department is working with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, including through government-industry groups such as the Digital Skills Council. This brings together government and industry to address current and future demand for digital skills, including promoting routes into digital careers and the range of opportunities to re-skill and up-skill.

The department is making it easier for people of all ages and backgrounds to access the STEM training they need through the ladder of opportunity provided by our skills system reforms, including:

  • Investment of £3.8 billion over the course of this parliament to strengthen higher education (HE) and further education (FE).
  • Scaling up delivery of apprenticeships, T Levels, Skills Bootcamps, and Higher Technical Qualifications, and establishing our network of 21 Institutes of Technology.

There are over 350 high-quality, employer-designed STEM apprenticeships and from 2024 students will be able to apply for apprenticeships on the UCAS website. The number of digital, ICT practitioner apprenticeship starts have increased year-on-year since 2019/20, with 24,140 starts in the 2022/23 year (over 40% increase compared to starts in the 2019/20 year).

Over 1,000 Skills Bootcamps are available across the country, offering training in tech subjects such as software development, cyber security and data analytics.

The introduction of a Lifelong Learning Entitlement will transform access to FE and HE, offering all adults the equivalent of four years’ worth of student loans to use flexibly on quality education and skills training over their lifetime.

These programmes are achieving the vision set out in the UK Science and Technology Framework to boost the supply of tech skills.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will provide a list of dates of meetings of the national SEND and alternative provision implementation board since June 2023; and if she will publish the minutes of these meetings.

The National Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Implementation Board met on 6 June, 18 September and 12 December 2023. Information about the Board is available on GOV.UK and will continue to be updated in due course.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help increase the number of primary and secondary school places in Nottingham.

Section 14 of the Education Act 1996 places a statutory duty on local authorities for providing enough school places for children in their area.

The department knows that local authorities have to create more school places, which is why the department provides capital funding through the Basic Need grant to support local authorities to provide school places, based on their own pupil forecasts and school capacity data. This Basic Need investment supports the government’s priority to ensure that every child has the opportunity of a place at a good school, whatever their background.

In addition, the free schools programme remains an important part of the government’s plan to level up standards and respond where there is need for more school places. The programme has delivered hundreds of new schools and provided thousands of good school places across the country.

The department’s Pupil Place Planning Advisers engage with local authorities on a regular basis to review a local authority’s plans for creating additional places. The Pupil Place Planning advisor for the East Midlands region is engaging with Nottingham local authority on their statutory duty and providing them with the offer of support and advice.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her Department's policy is on the publication of the strategic delivery plans for each SEND Change Programme Partnership.

Each of the Change Programme Partnerships (CPP) has developed a Strategic Delivery Plan, which outlines their plan for delivery across their local areas for the duration of the Change Programme.

These plans are specifically for the department to understand how the CPPs will work with each other, the department and delivery partners to deliver the Change Programme. As such, these are internal working documents and are not intended for publication.

The department will be sharing updates on the progress of the Change Programme in due course.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent (a) assessment she has made of and (b) steps she has taken to help ensure the safety of school buildings in North Tyneside.

Academy trusts, local authorities, and voluntary-aided school bodies are responsibile for ensuring their schools are safe, well-maintained and compliant with relevant regulations.

The department is working closely with North Tyneside Council and their structural engineers who are investigating the cause of isolated issues at a small number of schools in the area. Once investigations have been completed, the relevant bodies will be informed of any findings.

Where construction issues in schools arise, the department works closely with responsible bodies to ensure that the issue is thoroughly investigated and mitigated, and that all steps are taken to minimise disruption to pupil learning.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications by academy trusts to her Department to sell school grounds have been successful.

Departmental officials have checked records from 1 January 2020 to 12 February 2024, and the total number of successful applications from academy trusts for the freehold sale of school land is 49.

The department’s policy is that capital receipts from the disposal of publicly funded playing field land should ordinarily be reinvested in improving sports provision at the affected school or local schools. Capital receipts from the disposal of publicly funded non-playing field land should be reinvested in capital projects at the affected school or local schools. Playing field land is defined widely as: land in the open air which is provided for the purposes of physical education or recreation.

Departmental officials have checked the records from 1 January 2020 to 12 February 2024, and the department has not received any applications from academy trusts in Norwich to sell school land.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications by academy trusts in Norwich to her Department to sell school grounds have been successful.

Departmental officials have checked records from 1 January 2020 to 12 February 2024, and the total number of successful applications from academy trusts for the freehold sale of school land is 49.

The department’s policy is that capital receipts from the disposal of publicly funded playing field land should ordinarily be reinvested in improving sports provision at the affected school or local schools. Capital receipts from the disposal of publicly funded non-playing field land should be reinvested in capital projects at the affected school or local schools. Playing field land is defined widely as: land in the open air which is provided for the purposes of physical education or recreation.

Departmental officials have checked the records from 1 January 2020 to 12 February 2024, and the department has not received any applications from academy trusts in Norwich to sell school land.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to support service sector apprenticeships.

The department is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes and in all sectors, including the service sector, to benefit from the high-quality training that apprenticeships offer.

The department has removed the limit to the number of apprentices that small and medium sized enterprises can take on and have cut by a third the number of steps needed to register to take on an apprentice.

The department continues to promote apprenticeships in schools and colleges through the Apprenticeships Support and Knowledge Programme, supported by £3.2 million of investment each year. The Career Starter Apprenticeships campaign is also promoting apprenticeships at Levels 2 and 3, including Level 2 Hospitality Team Member, which offer great opportunities for those leaving full-time education. In addition, students can now see apprenticeship vacancies on their University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) hub and later this year they will be able to apply for apprenticeships on UCAS.

Apprenticeship starts by sector are published as part of the department’s apprenticeship statistics releases. The statistics released also show the number of apprenticeship vacancies published on the department’s Find an Apprenticeship service. These statistics are accessible at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships#explore-data-and-files.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many service sector apprenticeships were available in each of the last 12 months.

The department is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes and in all sectors, including the service sector, to benefit from the high-quality training that apprenticeships offer.

The department has removed the limit to the number of apprentices that small and medium sized enterprises can take on and have cut by a third the number of steps needed to register to take on an apprentice.

The department continues to promote apprenticeships in schools and colleges through the Apprenticeships Support and Knowledge Programme, supported by £3.2 million of investment each year. The Career Starter Apprenticeships campaign is also promoting apprenticeships at Levels 2 and 3, including Level 2 Hospitality Team Member, which offer great opportunities for those leaving full-time education. In addition, students can now see apprenticeship vacancies on their University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) hub and later this year they will be able to apply for apprenticeships on UCAS.

Apprenticeship starts by sector are published as part of the department’s apprenticeship statistics releases. The statistics released also show the number of apprenticeship vacancies published on the department’s Find an Apprenticeship service. These statistics are accessible at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships#explore-data-and-files.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether all (a) buildings and (b) workplaces staff from their Department occupy have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment under Section 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

All buildings occupied by the department have suitable and sufficient risk assessments in place as per the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requirements.

Where the Government Property Agency are the asset owners, they also maintain building risk assessments.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
8th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their latest assessment of the development of football for girls in schools and colleges.

The department does not routinely collect data about which sports pupils participate in during the school day. It is up to schools to decide which sports they offer so that they can meet the needs of their pupils. Factors influencing that decision include the spaces available.

The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey Data for the 2022/23 academic year, which was published by Sport England on 7 December 2023, showed a significant increase of four percentage points of girls in Years 1-11 playing football over the last week, compared to the baseline data collected in the 2017/18 academic year.

In December 2023, the government responded to Karen Carney’s 2023 review into the future of women’s football in support of all 10 of the strategic recommendations from the review, further demonstrating the government’s continued commitment to supporting women’s sport at every opportunity. The department is delivering on its commitments around equal access to school sports for girls, and is working with other key organisations to ensure implementation.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her planned timetable is for the completion of the long-term removal of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete in school buildings in cases where a (a) capital grant is provided and (b) rebuilding project is agreed.

The government is funding the removal of RAAC present in school and colleges either through grants, or through the School Rebuilding Programme. A list of education settings with confirmed RAAC and the funding route to remove RAAC was published on 8 February 2024, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reinforced-autoclaved-aerated-concrete-raac-management-information.

The longer-term requirements of each school or college will vary depending on the extent of the issue and nature and design of the buildings. Permanently removing RAAC may involve refurbishment of existing buildings such as replacing the roof or rebuilding affected buildings. For schools joining the School Rebuilding Programme, schools are prioritised for delivery according to the condition need of their buildings, readiness to proceed, and efficiency of delivery. For schools and colleges receiving grants, the department will work with the responsible bodies to support them through the grants process as they undertake the buildings works to remove RAAC permanently. The department is working with responsible bodies to take forward this work as quickly as possible.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
8th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Sport England’s latest Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, published in December 2023, which estimated that around 47 percent of children and young people were meeting the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines of taking part in sport and physical activity for an average of 60 minutes or more every day, and what steps they are taking to prioritise physical education in the national curriculum.

The government wants all pupils to be healthy and active. A positive experience of sport and physical activity at a young age can create a lifelong habit of participation.

Physical education (PE) is a foundation subject at all four key stages, and it is a vital part of a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils to access. The PE national curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities, are physically active for sustained periods of time, and lead healthy and active lives.

The government published the School Sport and Activity Action Plan update in July 2023. The action plan is attached. This sets out the next steps and provides further detail for school leaders and teachers on how the government will support them to improve the quality of PE and school sport, and to deliver two hours of PE a week. This will help all pupils to engage in physical activity and meet the Chief Medical Officers’ recommendations of 60 active minutes a day.

The government’s Get Active strategy, published in August 2023, also provides a blueprint for a system wide approach to support schools in getting one million more children to meet the Chief Medical Officers’ daily recommended amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity.

The department will publish non-statutory guidance for schools this spring, which will illustrate the practical steps taken by schools to provide two hours of PE, as well as ensuring equal access for girls and boys.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure that funding allocated to universities for teaching for 2024-25 sufficiently enables institutions to support their students.

The Strategic Priorities Grant (SPG) is funding which is supplied by the government on an annual basis to support teaching and students in higher education (HE). This funding also includes subjects that are expensive to deliver, such as science and engineering, students who are at risk of discontinuing their studies, and world-leading specialist providers.

​The department is investing hundreds of millions of pounds in additional funding over the three-year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25. This is to support high-quality teaching and facilities including funding for science and engineering, subjects that support the NHS, and degree apprenticeships. This includes the largest increase in government funding for the HE sector to support students and teaching in over a decade.

In the 2023/24 financial year, over half of the total £1,454 million SPG recurrent funding budget is being directed towards the provision of high-cost subjects that support the NHS and wider healthcare policy (for example, medicine and dentistry), science, engineering, and technology subjects, and specific labour market needs.

There is also £276 million of Student Premium and mental health funding available this academic year, 2023/24, to support students who need additional help, including disadvantaged students. This funding complements the help universities are providing through their own bursary, scholarship and hardship support schemes. The department is now making a further £10 million of one-off support available to support student mental health and hardship funding. It will continue to liaise with the Office for Students on the impacts of cost-of-living pressures.

Over the three-year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25, the department is also providing £450 million in capital funding to invest in teaching and learning facilities which meet the government’s strategic priorities.

The next SPG allocations will be announced ahead of the 2024/25 academic year.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to ensure that funding allocated to universities for teaching for 2024-25 enables institutions to provide high quality education that meets national skills needs.

The Strategic Priorities Grant (SPG) is funding which is supplied by the government on an annual basis to support teaching and students in higher education (HE). This funding also includes subjects that are expensive to deliver, such as science and engineering, students who are at risk of discontinuing their studies, and world-leading specialist providers.

​The department is investing hundreds of millions of pounds in additional funding over the three-year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25. This is to support high-quality teaching and facilities including funding for science and engineering, subjects that support the NHS, and degree apprenticeships. This includes the largest increase in government funding for the HE sector to support students and teaching in over a decade.

In the 2023/24 financial year, over half of the total £1,454 million SPG recurrent funding budget is being directed towards the provision of high-cost subjects that support the NHS and wider healthcare policy (for example, medicine and dentistry), science, engineering, and technology subjects, and specific labour market needs.

There is also £276 million of Student Premium and mental health funding available this academic year, 2023/24, to support students who need additional help, including disadvantaged students. This funding complements the help universities are providing through their own bursary, scholarship and hardship support schemes. The department is now making a further £10 million of one-off support available to support student mental health and hardship funding. It will continue to liaise with the Office for Students on the impacts of cost-of-living pressures.

Over the three-year period from 2022/23 to 2024/25, the department is also providing £450 million in capital funding to invest in teaching and learning facilities which meet the government’s strategic priorities.

The next SPG allocations will be announced ahead of the 2024/25 academic year.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an assessment of the potential implications for her policies of the report entitled Financial Sustainability of the UK Higher Education sector, published in January 2024.

This response assumes that the report referenced is PwC’s UK Higher Education (HE) Financial Sustainability Report, which was commissioned by Universities UK. Departmental officials have met with Universities UK to discuss the findings of this report.

The PwC report cites similar risks to those identified by the Office for Students (OfS), which is the independent regulator of HE in England responsible for monitoring the financial sustainability of registered HE providers. The latest report by the OfS on the financial health of the sector, which was published in May 2023, can be accessed at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/0b7d9daa-d6c7-477e-a0b2-b90985d0f935/financial-sustainability-report-2023-updated-june-2023.pdf

The department continues to work closely with the OfS, HE representative bodies and other government departments, as appropriate, to understand the financial sustainability of the sector.

In the aforementioned OfS report on the financial health of the HE sector, the OfS stated that the overall aggregate financial position of the sector is sound. However, there continues to be significant variation between individual providers, both across the sector and within peer groups.

The department consistently assesses the potential implications for any policies that could impact the HE sector, including financially, and particularly with respect to the interests of students.

It is important to note that HE providers are autonomous and, as such, it is for them to decide effective business models in order to adapt to financial risks. All HE providers should be stress testing their financial plans to ensure they are fit for purpose and that they do not rely on optimism around student recruitment.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department has taken to help ensure that new school buildings are designed so as to enable students with (a) physical disabilities, (b) mental disabilities and (c) autism spectrum conditions to be included in the (i) curriculum and (ii) life of the school; and what steps her Department has taken to assist schools to adapt existing buildings.

The department’s ambition is for all children and young people, no matter what their special educational needs and disabilities are, to receive the right support to succeed in their education and as they move into adult life.

All school building projects that are delivered by the department must meet the requirements set out in the department’s school building specification. The department publishes a range of guidance specifically for the construction of special schools, which support the provision of inclusive learning environments including access, acoustics and specialist Special Educational Needs provision. These are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/school-design-and-construction.

More generally, all new school buildings must meet the requirements of the Building Regulation’s Approved Document: M, which sets out the details on access to and use of buildings. This can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-to-and-use-of-buildings-approved-document-m.

The department does not publish specific guidance on how to adapt existing schools. Under the Equality Act 2010, schools must make reasonable adjustments to prevent pupils with special educational needs and disabilities being put at a substantial disadvantage. Additionally, under the Children and Families Act 2014, mainstream schools must use their best endeavours to make sure a child or young person who has special educational needs and disabilities, including those who are autistic, get the special educational provision they need.

To support the adaptation of existing buildings, the department has allocated over £1.5 billion of High Needs Provision Capital for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 financial years. This funding forms part of the department’s transformational investment of £2.6 billion in new high needs provision between 2022 and 2025. Local authorities can use this funding to deliver new places in mainstream and special schools, as well as other specialist settings, and to improve the suitability and accessibility of existing buildings.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 31 January 2024 to Question 11047 on Childcare, what measure her Department uses to establish the requirements of local authorities for childcare places.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. The statutory guidance for local authorities highlights that local authorities are required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and to make this report available and accessible to parents.

The department has regular contact with each local authority in England about their sufficiency of childcare and any issues they are facing.

Where local authorities report sufficiency challenges, the department discusses what action the local authority is taking to address those issues and provides support where needed, to help the local authority with any specific requirements through its childcare sufficiency support contract.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that young children in public care are not placed in unregistered accommodation.

The number of looked-after children in the care of their local authority has increased by 2% to 83,840 at 31 March 2023 from 82,080 last year. The number of children in children’s homes has increased by 16% since 2019.

The department knows that the care system does not currently work for every child and that there are not enough of the right homes in the right places for children in care, resulting in some children living far from where they call home. Moving a child away is not a decision to be taken lightly and there are legislative safeguards around this. Directors of Children’s Services are required to sign off each decision and Ofsted can challenge where they believe poor decisions are being made. This is to encourage local authorities to place children locally wherever possible.

As the Competition and Markets Authority found in their 2022 market study, the largest private providers are making materially higher profits and charging materially higher prices than would be expected if the market was functioning effectively. The department recognises these issues, particularly around large providers with complex ownership structures, and agrees that sometimes placement costs can be too high.

In February 2023, the department published ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, which sets out a broad, system-wide transformation. This can be accessed attached. As part of this strategy, the department is:

  • Investing £36 million to support over 60% of all local authorities in England to recruit and retain more foster carers.
  • Investing over £142 million up to 2025 to implement new mandatory national standards and Ofsted registration and inspection requirements for providers who accommodate 16 and 17 year old looked-after children and care leavers, in addition to banning the placement of under-16s in supported accommodation.
  • Working with the sector to co-design and develop regional care co-operative pathfinders, which will plan, commission, and deliver children’s social care placements.
  • Investing £259 million capital funding for secure and open children’s homes.
  • Introducing a new market oversight regime that will increase financial transparency across the sector, for example, of ownership, debt structures and profit making.

Finally, the department is supporting kinship families through the first ever national kinship care strategy, which is backed by the following funding: £20 million in 2024/25; over £36 million in a fostering recruitment and retention programme this Spending Review; and £160 million over the next three years to deliver the department’s adoption strategy, entitled ‘Achieving excellence everywhere’.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made a recent assessment on the level of (a) training and (b) guidance provided to teachers on autism in girls.

The department is committed to ensuring that all pupils can reach their potential and receive excellent support from their teachers. Therefore, consideration of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) underpins both the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework (CCF) and Early Career Framework (ECF) which set out the entitlement of trainee teachers and early career teachers (ECTs) to the core body of knowledge, skills and behaviours that define great teaching. To identify opportunities to build teacher expertise, the department reviewed the CCF alongside the ECF during 2023, combining an Education Endowment Foundation-assured review of the ‘Learn that’ statements and underpinning CCF and ECF evidence with evaluation data, lessons learned from the first years of implementation, and extensive expert and sector feedback including from SEND specialists. This included a public call for evidence. Following this review, the updated and combined Initial Teacher Training and Early Career Framework (ITTECF) was published on 30 January 2024, for delivery from September 2025.

The department's review of content for the ITTECF paid particular attention to the needs of trainees and ECTs when supporting pupils with SEND. The ITTECF is based on the best peer-reviewed evidence about what works, and it is designed to emphasise the importance of high-quality teaching. The framework therefore deliberately does not detail approaches specific to particular additional needs, such as autism, but what makes the most effective teaching. During the review, the department tested this approach with SEND educational experts, with consensus that the approach of ‘quality-first teaching’ would be the best way to improve outcomes for all children, particularly those with Special Educational Needs.

The department’s Universal Services contract brings together SEND-specific training and support for staff working in schools and further education. It aims to improve outcomes for children and young people through one programme which reaches 70% of schools and colleges in England per year. The contract offers autism awareness training and resources, which align with the national all-age autism strategy and its ambition to improve autistic children and young people’s access to education and support positive transitions into adulthood. Over 135,000 professionals have undertaken autism awareness training since the Universal Services programme began in May 2022. More information on the strategy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-strategy-for-autistic-children-young-people-and-adults-2021-to-2026.

The large majority of pupils diagnosed with autism as their primary type of need are boys. However, there is emerging research and awareness on the different presentation of autism traits according to gender and the late, under and misdiagnosis of girls and women. This gender imbalance is greater for autism than for any other primary type of need. To help raise awareness of this imbalance, the Universal Services autism awareness training addresses autism in girls and helps education staff understand more about how autism may present differently in girls.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of special educational needs training given to teachers and staff at comprehensive schools in Greater Manchester.

The department does not perform teacher performance evaluation at the local level. The Teachers’ Standards sets out the minimum level of practice expected of teachers who are awarded qualified teacher status (QTS). To be awarded QTS at the end of Initial Teacher Training (ITT), trainees must demonstrate that they have met all the Teachers’ Standards at the appropriate level. The standards are also used to assess the performance of all teachers with QTS under the School Teachers’ Appraisal Regulations (2012). Therefore, most teachers need to adhere to the standards throughout their careers.

All teachers are teachers of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), and the department is committed to ensuring that all pupils can reach their potential and receive excellent support from their teachers. The Teachers’ Standards set clear expectations that teachers must understand the needs of all pupils, including those with SEND. Consideration of SEND underpins both the ITT Core Content Framework and Early Career Framework (ECF), which were both produced with the support of sector experts. ITT courses and ECF-based programmes are designed so that new teachers can demonstrate that they meet the Teachers’ Standards at the appropriate level. This includes the requirement in Standard 5, that all teachers must have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils.

To pass statutory teacher induction, early career teachers must demonstrate that they meet the Teachers' Standards through a formal assessment, signed off by their headteacher and independently checked by their appropriate body. Ofsted is responsible for inspecting ITT partnerships and ECF lead providers in line with published inspection frameworks.

Headteachers use their professional judgement to identify any further training, including specific specialisms, for individual staff that is relevant to them, the school, and its pupils. To further support the needs of pupils with SEND, particularly in mainstream settings where most of these learners are educated, the department has funded the Universal Services programme. The Universal Services programme, backed by almost £12 million in funding, will help the school and further education (FE) workforce to identify and meet the needs of children and young people with SEND earlier and more effectively.

National Standards will improve mainstream education through setting standards for early and accurate identification of needs, and timely access to support to meet those needs. The standards will include clarifying the types of support that should be ordinarily available in mainstream settings and who is responsible for securing the support. This will help families, practitioners and providers understand what support every child or young person should be receiving from early years through to FE, no matter where they live or what their needs are.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to to her Answer on 6 February 2024 to Question 12559 on Special Educational Needs: Finance, when her Department will (a) complete and (b) publish their assessment of the Special Educational Needs Inclusion Funds (SENIFs) arrangements.

As confirmed in the government’s response on 20 September 2023 to the consultation on expanding the early education entitlements, the department is conducting a review of the Special Educational Needs Inclusion Funds (SENIF) funding arrangements, so that the department can better support parents, providers and local authorities as the expanded entitlements are rolled out.

At the completion of this review, the department will consider what information is most appropriate and helpful for the sector in their delivery of SENIFs. The department will look to draw examples of best practice together, with a view to sector-wide dissemination.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2024 to Question 12562 on Pre-school Education: Pupil Premium what estimate she has made of the number and proportion of children who will become eligible for the 15 hours childcare entitlement in (a) April and (b) September 2024 that will also be eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium.

The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) gives providers additional funding to support disadvantaged children.

EYPP is currently available for 3 and 4 year olds eligible for the early years’ entitlements.

Parents may also get EYPP if their child is currently being looked after by a local authority in England or Wales, or if their child has left care in England or Wales through adoption, special guardianship order or a child arrangement order.

From April 2024, EYPP will be extended to all eligible 2 year olds, and from September 2024 to all eligible children aged 9 months to 3 years old.

On 19 December 2023, the department published indicative EYPP allocations for local authorities for 2024/25 as part of the wider Dedicated Schools Grant publication, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2024-to-2025.

The published tables include estimated numbers of children aged 9 months up to and including 2 year olds who the department anticipates will take up EYPP in 2024/25. This includes estimated part-time equivalents for EYPP.

Further details on how the department has calculated these estimates are set out in the following document: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dedicated-schools-grant-dsg-2024-to-2025/dsg-technical-note-2024-to-2025.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department has made an assessment of the adequacy of the implementation of the increase in foster carers allowances announced in February 2023.

Every year, the Department for Education (DfE) works with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to review the allowance and consider any changes in inflation and affordability for local government.

In February 2023, the DfE raised the National Minimum Allowance (NMA) for foster carers by 12.43% for the 2023/24 financial year. The DfE has also raised the NMA by 6.88% for the 2024/25 financial year. Both allowances are above the rate of inflation and demonstrate the government’s commitment to supporting foster carers.

The DfE expects all local authorities to pay at least the NMA, to ensure that foster carers are never financially disadvantaged by their fostering role.

The duty to pay this allowance is set out in the Fostering National Minimum Standards, issued under the Care Standards Act 2000. All carers should receive the allowance, along with any other agreed expenses to cover the full cost of caring for each child placed with them.

In December, I wrote to all local authorities reminding them of this duty and the expectation to pay.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what action they are taking in response to the final report of the Competition and Markets Authority's children’s social care market study published on 10 March 2022, particularly with regard to the finding on excessive charging by private providers of residential care homes for children in public care.

The number of looked-after children in the care of their local authority has increased by 2% to 83,840 at 31 March 2023 from 82,080 last year. The number of children in children’s homes has increased by 16% since 2019.

The department knows that the care system does not currently work for every child and that there are not enough of the right homes in the right places for children in care, resulting in some children living far from where they call home. Moving a child away is not a decision to be taken lightly and there are legislative safeguards around this. Directors of Children’s Services are required to sign off each decision and Ofsted can challenge where they believe poor decisions are being made. This is to encourage local authorities to place children locally wherever possible.

As the Competition and Markets Authority found in their 2022 market study, the largest private providers are making materially higher profits and charging materially higher prices than would be expected if the market was functioning effectively. The department recognises these issues, particularly around large providers with complex ownership structures, and agrees that sometimes placement costs can be too high.

In February 2023, the department published ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, which sets out a broad, system-wide transformation. This can be accessed attached. As part of this strategy, the department is:

  • Investing £36 million to support over 60% of all local authorities in England to recruit and retain more foster carers.
  • Investing over £142 million up to 2025 to implement new mandatory national standards and Ofsted registration and inspection requirements for providers who accommodate 16 and 17 year old looked-after children and care leavers, in addition to banning the placement of under-16s in supported accommodation.
  • Working with the sector to co-design and develop regional care co-operative pathfinders, which will plan, commission, and deliver children’s social care placements.
  • Investing £259 million capital funding for secure and open children’s homes.
  • Introducing a new market oversight regime that will increase financial transparency across the sector, for example, of ownership, debt structures and profit making.

Finally, the department is supporting kinship families through the first ever national kinship care strategy, which is backed by the following funding: £20 million in 2024/25; over £36 million in a fostering recruitment and retention programme this Spending Review; and £160 million over the next three years to deliver the department’s adoption strategy, entitled ‘Achieving excellence everywhere’.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what action they are taking to achieve a better distribution of residential care homes for children so that they are not placed great distances from their families, friends and school.

The number of looked-after children in the care of their local authority has increased by 2% to 83,840 at 31 March 2023 from 82,080 last year. The number of children in children’s homes has increased by 16% since 2019.

The department knows that the care system does not currently work for every child and that there are not enough of the right homes in the right places for children in care, resulting in some children living far from where they call home. Moving a child away is not a decision to be taken lightly and there are legislative safeguards around this. Directors of Children’s Services are required to sign off each decision and Ofsted can challenge where they believe poor decisions are being made. This is to encourage local authorities to place children locally wherever possible.

As the Competition and Markets Authority found in their 2022 market study, the largest private providers are making materially higher profits and charging materially higher prices than would be expected if the market was functioning effectively. The department recognises these issues, particularly around large providers with complex ownership structures, and agrees that sometimes placement costs can be too high.

In February 2023, the department published ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, which sets out a broad, system-wide transformation. This can be accessed attached. As part of this strategy, the department is:

  • Investing £36 million to support over 60% of all local authorities in England to recruit and retain more foster carers.
  • Investing over £142 million up to 2025 to implement new mandatory national standards and Ofsted registration and inspection requirements for providers who accommodate 16 and 17 year old looked-after children and care leavers, in addition to banning the placement of under-16s in supported accommodation.
  • Working with the sector to co-design and develop regional care co-operative pathfinders, which will plan, commission, and deliver children’s social care placements.
  • Investing £259 million capital funding for secure and open children’s homes.
  • Introducing a new market oversight regime that will increase financial transparency across the sector, for example, of ownership, debt structures and profit making.

Finally, the department is supporting kinship families through the first ever national kinship care strategy, which is backed by the following funding: £20 million in 2024/25; over £36 million in a fostering recruitment and retention programme this Spending Review; and £160 million over the next three years to deliver the department’s adoption strategy, entitled ‘Achieving excellence everywhere’.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of employing veterans as mentors in secondary schools to help tackle (a) persistent absenteeism and (b) disruptive behaviour in classrooms.

The department recognises the valuable skills and experience that former military personnel can bring to the education sector.

The undergraduate veteran teaching bursary provides financial support to eligible veterans who are studying for a degree with qualified teacher status in secondary subjects that are in high demand, such as biology, chemistry, computing, languages, mathematics, or physics. The bursaries are worth £20,000 in each of the last two years of the course and are available to veterans who have left the armed forces within the last five years or are due to leave within the next two years.

Graduate veterans are also eligible to access generous bursaries in priority subjects via postgraduate Initial Teacher Training routes, alongside other graduates.

The department does not have plans, at this stage, to look to employ veterans as mentors to support better behaviour and attendance in school. The department is currently delivering an attendance mentoring pilot which is designed to test and evidence effective practice for improving attendance through individual support and targeted family engagement. The pilot, which is delivered by Barnardo’s, involves mentors supporting a group of persistently absent pupils and their families on a one-to-one basis to help identify and address their barriers to education. The pilot is currently being evaluated to improve the existing evidence base on the effectiveness of this style of attendance intervention. The information from this pilot will then be published to help inform both school and local authority practice.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of apprentices completed their endpoint assessment (a) on the date of, (b) one to three months after, (c) three to six months after and (d) more than six months after completing their apprenticeship in each academic year since 2016-17.

The attached table shows achievers, rounded to the nearest 100, on apprenticeship standards in each academic year since 2019/20. Data is unavailable for the preceding years as the achievement date was not collected as part of the department’s individual learner records prior to the 2019/20 academic year.

To note, achievements totals may not match published standards achievements totals as the attached table does not include those where an invalid achievement date was entered.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure a knowledge of (a) mental health and (b) neurodiversity among (i) school teachers and (ii) school students.

The department is committed to ensuring that all pupils can reach their potential and receive excellent support from their teachers. The Teachers’ Standards sets clear expectations that teachers must understand the needs of all pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Consideration of SEND underpins both the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework (CCF) and Early Career Framework (ECF) which were both produced with the support of sector experts. ITT courses and ECF-based programmes must be designed so that new teachers can demonstrate that they meet the Teachers’ Standards at the appropriate level. This includes the requirement in Standard 5, that all teachers must have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils.

The department reviewed the CCF alongside the ECF during 2023, in partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation and groups of sector experts, including SEND specialists. This included a public call for evidence. Following this review, the updated and combined Initial Teacher Training and Early Career Framework (ITTECF) was published on 30 January 2024, for delivery from September 2025.

The department’s review of content for the ITTECF paid particular attention to the needs of trainees and early career teachers (ECTs) when supporting pupils with SEND. There is now significantly more content related to adaptive teaching and supporting pupils with SEND. The department has also made edits to existing statements to improve inclusivity for SEND throughout the framework, including new content for trainees and ECTs on who to contact to provide support with any pupil mental health concerns.

The department is also offering all state schools and colleges a grant to train a senior mental health lead by 2025, enabling them to introduce effective whole school approaches to mental health and wellbeing. Over 14,400 settings have claimed a grant so far, including more than 7 in 10 state-funded secondary schools, and the department has also recently made available second grants for settings who have lost their trained lead. The department’s quality assured training course provides the practical knowledge and skills to implement a whole school or college approach to promoting mental wellbeing. The course also helps senior mental health leads to facilitate the development of school staff, to ensure that all staff can recognise and understand the process to respond to mental health concerns.

The department has also recently launched two new resources to help trained mental health leads and wider school and college staff to promote and support pupil mental health, both of which are hosted on the Mentally Healthy Schools site. The resource hub signposts practical resources and tools to embed whole-school or college approaches and the targeted mental wellbeing toolkit gives practical advice and tools to help schools and colleges identify the most effective targeted support options for their setting. They are both available here: https://mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/whole-school-or-college-resources/.

The department wants to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. The department wants to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. That is why the department has made Relationships Education compulsory for all primary school pupils, Relationships and Sex Education compulsory for all secondary school pupils from September 2020, and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state-funded schools. In Health Education, there is a strong focus on mental wellbeing, including a recognition that mental wellbeing and physical health are linked. It is important that pupils understand that good physical health, for both men and women, contributes to good mental wellbeing. The purpose of teaching pupils about mental health is to give them the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing, recognise issues in themselves and others and, when issues arise, seek support as early as possible from appropriate sources.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make it her policy to increase the (a) student loan and (b) postgraduate loan repayment thresholds in line with (i) inflation and (ii) the national living wage.

As education, including higher education and student finance, is a devolved matter, this department is responsible for student finance in England only.

The student finance and funding system must provide value for money for all of society at a time of rising costs. It is important that a sustainable student finance system is in place, that is fair to students and fair to taxpayers.

The department has frozen maximum tuition fees for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years. By the 2024/25 academic year, maximum fees will have been frozen for seven successive years.

The mechanism for setting repayment thresholds for student loans is set out and governed by the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations 2009 (as amended). This includes provision for annual adjustments, where applicable.

The department will continue to keep the terms of the student finance system under review to ensure that they keep delivering value for money for both students and taxpayers.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what are their reasons for scrapping plans to introduce T-levels in hairdressing and barbering.

The decision to no longer introduce a combined T Level in Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy was taken following discussions with employers and representatives of the hair and beauty sector. The feedback the department has had from the hair sector representatives has led the department to the conclusion that the best route is for learners to progress into their industry through completion of an existing level 2 or level 3 apprenticeship or a level 2 classroom-based qualification.

The beauty sector has fed back that a good quality level 3 classroom-based progression route is desirable. Therefore, the department has decided to explore introducing a T Level which focuses on the beauty sector, with the expectation that this could be introduced after 2025. The department will update stakeholders in due course following scoping work and engagement with the beauty sector and T Level providers.

Payment of the development charge made to the Awarding Organisation to date is £450,990 (excluding VAT). This is for the development of the originally scoped Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy T Level. The department anticipates that a substantial proportion of that content will remain relevant in any future T Level focussed on beauty.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when they plan to publish proposals for a beauty therapy qualification.

The decision to no longer introduce a combined T Level in Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy was taken following discussions with employers and representatives of the hair and beauty sector. The feedback the department has had from the hair sector representatives has led the department to the conclusion that the best route is for learners to progress into their industry through completion of an existing level 2 or level 3 apprenticeship or a level 2 classroom-based qualification.

The beauty sector has fed back that a good quality level 3 classroom-based progression route is desirable. Therefore, the department has decided to explore introducing a T Level which focuses on the beauty sector, with the expectation that this could be introduced after 2025. The department will update stakeholders in due course following scoping work and engagement with the beauty sector and T Level providers.

Payment of the development charge made to the Awarding Organisation to date is £450,990 (excluding VAT). This is for the development of the originally scoped Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy T Level. The department anticipates that a substantial proportion of that content will remain relevant in any future T Level focussed on beauty.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how much they have spent on the development and management of the proposed T-levels in hairdressing and barbering.

The decision to no longer introduce a combined T Level in Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy was taken following discussions with employers and representatives of the hair and beauty sector. The feedback the department has had from the hair sector representatives has led the department to the conclusion that the best route is for learners to progress into their industry through completion of an existing level 2 or level 3 apprenticeship or a level 2 classroom-based qualification.

The beauty sector has fed back that a good quality level 3 classroom-based progression route is desirable. Therefore, the department has decided to explore introducing a T Level which focuses on the beauty sector, with the expectation that this could be introduced after 2025. The department will update stakeholders in due course following scoping work and engagement with the beauty sector and T Level providers.

Payment of the development charge made to the Awarding Organisation to date is £450,990 (excluding VAT). This is for the development of the originally scoped Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy T Level. The department anticipates that a substantial proportion of that content will remain relevant in any future T Level focussed on beauty.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to increase the availability of appointments for education, health and care plan assessments.

Local authorities have a statutory responsibility to assess whether children and young people have Special Educational Needs which require an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. EHC plans must be issued within twenty weeks of the needs assessment commencing so that children and young people can access the support they need. In 2022, there were 114,482 requests for an EHC needs assessment and 72,695 assessments took place. The number of assessments has been increasing year on year since EHC plans were introduced. As of January 2023, 517,049 children and young people have EHC plans.

Where local authorities are failing to deliver consistent outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Need and Disabilities (SEND), the department works with them using a range of improvement programmes and SEND specialist advisors to address weaknesses. Stockport is one of a number of local areas where the department is monitoring their EHC plan performance. The department is working with Stockport to improve their EHC plan quality as one of the key actions in the Local Area Partnerships ‘Accelerated Progress Plan’ following their most recent Ofsted Care Quality Commission inspection.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students in full-time education have completed a work experience placement of (a) five days and (b) more than five days in each academic year since 2010-11.

The careers statutory guidance makes it clear that schools and colleges should offer every young person at least one experience of a workplace by age 16 and a further experience by age 18. This captures a range of activities such as job shadowing, workplace visits and volunteering. This guidance is accessible at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/careers-guidance-provision-for-young-people-in-schools.

Data on experiences of the workplace is captured by the Careers and Enterprise Company and their latest findings are available at: https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/our-evidence/evidence-and-reports/insight-briefing-gatsby-benchmark-results-2022-2023/. This data is based on a national dataset of 4,534 state-funded secondary schools and colleges. In the 2022/2023 academic year, 68% of schools reported that the majority of students had some experience of the workplace by the end of year 11, and over 77% of schools reported that their students had experience of workplaces in year 12 or year 13.

At post-16, pupils have access to work placement opportunities through the T level programme. T levels are designed to equip students for skilled employment, whilst also providing a high-quality route to further study, including apprenticeships, higher technical education and degree level study. The programme includes a T level industry placement where students spend a minimum of 315 hours working with external employer(s), which equates to approximately 45 days. Since T levels were first introduced in 2020, 94% of the 2020 cohort and 94.9% of the 2021 cohort have completed their industry placement. This is a total of 4250 students who have successfully completed their industry placements.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department collects data on the amount spent by local authorities on taxis used to transport children with an education, health and care plan to and from school.

The government does not collect the specific information requested. The legal responsibility for providing free home-to-school travel for eligible pupils sits with local authorities, who will hold any data available on the amount spent on taxis for children with an Education, Health and Care plan.

However, the government does publish local authority expenditure data based on Section 251 outturn returns, which includes total expenditure on home-to-school travel for children of compulsory school age where the travel is agreed for reasons of the child’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Local authorities spent a total of £1.25 billion in the 2022/23 financial year on this type of home-to-school travel. The data is available via the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/la-and-school-expenditure.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2024 to Question 12581 on Apprentices, when her Department plans to publish the National Achievement Rate Tables for the 2022-23 academic year.

I refer the honourable member to the answer of 20 October 2023 to Question 199983.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to (1) recruit, and (2) retain, more science and maths teachers in schools serving the most disadvantaged communities.

The department is offering a Levelling Up Premium worth up to £3,000 after tax annually for mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing teachers in the first five years of their careers who choose to work in disadvantaged schools, including in Education Investment Areas. For 2024/25 and 2025/26, the department will be doubling the rates of the Levelling Up Premium to up to £6,000 after tax. These payments will incentivise the recruitment and retention of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers within the schools where they are needed most.

The department has put in place a range of measures, including bursaries worth £28,000 tax-free and scholarships worth £30,000 tax-free, to encourage talented trainee teachers to key subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing. This is alongside delivering a £30,000 starting salary for school teachers in all regions of the country, with a pay award of up to 7.1% for new teachers outside London.

This academic year, physics trainees from overseas are also eligible for bursaries and scholarships, and for a one-off payment of £10,000 as part of the international relocation payment pilot.

To encourage engineering graduates and career changers with an engineering background to consider a career as a physics teacher, the department has also launched the ‘Engineers teach physics’ Initial Teacher Training course. Following a pilot in 2022, the department has now rolled this out nationally.

The department is also taking action to support all teachers to stay in the profession and thrive and has published a range of resources to help address teacher workload and wellbeing and to support schools to introduce flexible working practices.

On the subject of diverse teacher role models in science and mathematics, there remains a larger proportion of female teachers than male teachers in state-funded schools overall (76%).

The department aims to support the diversity of the workforce through our communications campaigns, workforce programmes that support all teachers to develop across their careers, and policies to support the workforce, such as flexible working. For example, the Get Into Teaching marketing campaign supports diverse recruitment into the profession through inclusive recruitment campaigns and marketing materials, which strive to reflect the diversity of our target audiences who want reassurance that teaching is for people like them. The campaign regularly showcases STEM teachers from diverse backgrounds.

The department supports a range of work to improve diversity and inclusion in STEM education in schools, including funding a Stimulating Physics Network to improve the quality of physics teaching and improve progression to A level physics, particularly for girls.

More widely, the government supports girls and pupils from other underrepresented groups into STEM education through programmes such as the CyberFirst Girls competition which aims to promote cybersecurity careers to girls aged between 12 and 14.

The government also funds the STEM Ambassadors programme, a nationwide network of over 30,000 registered volunteers representing thousands of employers, who engage with young people to increase their interest in STEM subjects and to raise awareness of the range of careers that STEM qualifications offer. Approximately 48% of Ambassadors are women and 17% are from minority ethnic backgrounds, providing young people with a variety of role models.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the gender divide amongst science and maths teachers in order to provide more positive role models for girls in the classroom.

The department is offering a Levelling Up Premium worth up to £3,000 after tax annually for mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing teachers in the first five years of their careers who choose to work in disadvantaged schools, including in Education Investment Areas. For 2024/25 and 2025/26, the department will be doubling the rates of the Levelling Up Premium to up to £6,000 after tax. These payments will incentivise the recruitment and retention of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers within the schools where they are needed most.

The department has put in place a range of measures, including bursaries worth £28,000 tax-free and scholarships worth £30,000 tax-free, to encourage talented trainee teachers to key subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing. This is alongside delivering a £30,000 starting salary for school teachers in all regions of the country, with a pay award of up to 7.1% for new teachers outside London.

This academic year, physics trainees from overseas are also eligible for bursaries and scholarships, and for a one-off payment of £10,000 as part of the international relocation payment pilot.

To encourage engineering graduates and career changers with an engineering background to consider a career as a physics teacher, the department has also launched the ‘Engineers teach physics’ Initial Teacher Training course. Following a pilot in 2022, the department has now rolled this out nationally.

The department is also taking action to support all teachers to stay in the profession and thrive and has published a range of resources to help address teacher workload and wellbeing and to support schools to introduce flexible working practices.

On the subject of diverse teacher role models in science and mathematics, there remains a larger proportion of female teachers than male teachers in state-funded schools overall (76%).

The department aims to support the diversity of the workforce through our communications campaigns, workforce programmes that support all teachers to develop across their careers, and policies to support the workforce, such as flexible working. For example, the Get Into Teaching marketing campaign supports diverse recruitment into the profession through inclusive recruitment campaigns and marketing materials, which strive to reflect the diversity of our target audiences who want reassurance that teaching is for people like them. The campaign regularly showcases STEM teachers from diverse backgrounds.

The department supports a range of work to improve diversity and inclusion in STEM education in schools, including funding a Stimulating Physics Network to improve the quality of physics teaching and improve progression to A level physics, particularly for girls.

More widely, the government supports girls and pupils from other underrepresented groups into STEM education through programmes such as the CyberFirst Girls competition which aims to promote cybersecurity careers to girls aged between 12 and 14.

The government also funds the STEM Ambassadors programme, a nationwide network of over 30,000 registered volunteers representing thousands of employers, who engage with young people to increase their interest in STEM subjects and to raise awareness of the range of careers that STEM qualifications offer. Approximately 48% of Ambassadors are women and 17% are from minority ethnic backgrounds, providing young people with a variety of role models.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what research they have carried out on how other countries have addressed the introduction of financial literacy into their schools, in particular in Denmark, Norway and Sweden; and whether they have any plans to follow those models.

The government has not carried out its own research into how other countries have addressed the introduction of financial literacy in their schools.

The curriculum in England already includes compulsory financial education within the national curriculum for mathematics at key stages 1 to 4, and citizenship at key stages 3 and 4. Primary schools can choose to teach citizenship at key stages 1 and 2, using non-statutory programmes of study.

Evidence from the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment suggests there is a strong correlation between performance in financial literacy and performance in mathematics; and a positive correlation between financial literacy performance and learning finance-related terms at school. This evidence is available on the GOV.UK website here: https://www.oecd.org/education/pisa-2018-results-volume-iv-48ebd1ba-en.htm.

Since 2014, the government has transformed the way mathematics is taught in schools through the introduction of mastery pedagogy based on top performing East Asian countries. Mastery aims to ensure that pupils secure the deep knowledge and understanding of mathematics which provides the underlying knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. The Maths Hubs’ Teaching for Mastery programme aims to reach 75% of primary schools and 65% of secondary schools by 2025.

Oak National Academy is also developing free, optional and adaptable resources for schools. Oak has published its initial mathematics resources, with the full curriculum available by this autumn. As part of this, Oak is exploring including additional lessons in real life mathematics. Secondary citizenship resources will become available from autumn 2024 and will be complete by autumn 2025.

The department continues to work closely with HM Treasury and the Money and Pensions Service, to support their efforts to coordinate the work of organisations involved in delivering the goals set out in the National Strategy for Financial Wellbeing 2020. This includes monitoring the evidence base for financial education to understand what works and what further support schools may need.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what action they are taking to tackle the increase of children being taken into public care.

The number of looked-after children in the care of their local authority has increased by 2% to 83,840 at 31 March 2023 from 82,080 last year. The number of children in children’s homes has increased by 16% since 2019.

The department knows that the care system does not currently work for every child and that there are not enough of the right homes in the right places for children in care, resulting in some children living far from where they call home. Moving a child away is not a decision to be taken lightly and there are legislative safeguards around this. Directors of Children’s Services are required to sign off each decision and Ofsted can challenge where they believe poor decisions are being made. This is to encourage local authorities to place children locally wherever possible.

As the Competition and Markets Authority found in their 2022 market study, the largest private providers are making materially higher profits and charging materially higher prices than would be expected if the market was functioning effectively. The department recognises these issues, particularly around large providers with complex ownership structures, and agrees that sometimes placement costs can be too high.

In February 2023, the department published ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’, which sets out a broad, system-wide transformation. This can be accessed attached. As part of this strategy, the department is:

  • Investing £36 million to support over 60% of all local authorities in England to recruit and retain more foster carers.
  • Investing over £142 million up to 2025 to implement new mandatory national standards and Ofsted registration and inspection requirements for providers who accommodate 16 and 17 year old looked-after children and care leavers, in addition to banning the placement of under-16s in supported accommodation.
  • Working with the sector to co-design and develop regional care co-operative pathfinders, which will plan, commission, and deliver children’s social care placements.
  • Investing £259 million capital funding for secure and open children’s homes.
  • Introducing a new market oversight regime that will increase financial transparency across the sector, for example, of ownership, debt structures and profit making.

Finally, the department is supporting kinship families through the first ever national kinship care strategy, which is backed by the following funding: £20 million in 2024/25; over £36 million in a fostering recruitment and retention programme this Spending Review; and £160 million over the next three years to deliver the department’s adoption strategy, entitled ‘Achieving excellence everywhere’.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people applied for an apprenticeship in each academic year since 2016-17.

Apprenticeships offer a high-quality and popular route into nearly 700 occupations from entry level to expert roles. The table below shows the number of apprenticeship vacancies that were advertised and the number of apprenticeship applications that were submitted through the ‘Find An Apprenticeship’ (FAA) service in each academic year from 2016/17 to 2022/23. Due to the data protection policy in place prior to 2021/22, the department does not hold an accurate record of the number of applications submitted between 2016/17 and 2020/21.

Academic year

Vacancies advertised

Applications submitted

2016/17

185,160

N/A

2017/18

173,520

N/A

2018/19

151,720

7,950

2019/20

98,530

16,990

2020/21

134,460

360,100

2021/22

189,430

681,090

2022/23

148,720

669,450

Employers can choose to advertise apprenticeship vacancies through their own websites, recruitment agencies or local job centre instead of, or in addition to, the FAA service. As a result, the actual number of apprenticeship vacancies and applications will be higher.

Apprenticeship vacancies can now be browsed on the University and Colleges Admissions Service website and later this year they will also be able to use the service to apply for apprenticeships. In January 2024, the department also launched the ‘It all starts with skills’ campaign which is encouraging people to find out more about the different apprenticeship and wider skills programmes available.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many apprenticeship spaces were available in each academic year since 2016-17.

Apprenticeships offer a high-quality and popular route into nearly 700 occupations from entry level to expert roles. The table below shows the number of apprenticeship vacancies that were advertised and the number of apprenticeship applications that were submitted through the ‘Find An Apprenticeship’ (FAA) service in each academic year from 2016/17 to 2022/23. Due to the data protection policy in place prior to 2021/22, the department does not hold an accurate record of the number of applications submitted between 2016/17 and 2020/21.

Academic year

Vacancies advertised

Applications submitted

2016/17

185,160

N/A

2017/18

173,520

N/A

2018/19

151,720

7,950

2019/20

98,530

16,990

2020/21

134,460

360,100

2021/22

189,430

681,090

2022/23

148,720

669,450

Employers can choose to advertise apprenticeship vacancies through their own websites, recruitment agencies or local job centre instead of, or in addition to, the FAA service. As a result, the actual number of apprenticeship vacancies and applications will be higher.

Apprenticeship vacancies can now be browsed on the University and Colleges Admissions Service website and later this year they will also be able to use the service to apply for apprenticeships. In January 2024, the department also launched the ‘It all starts with skills’ campaign which is encouraging people to find out more about the different apprenticeship and wider skills programmes available.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the confidence gap between girls and boys studying STEM subjects at school.

The department supports a range of work to improve the uptake and attainment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects to give everyone, regardless of their background or where they live, the opportunity to pursue an education and career in STEM. To support this, the department has committed substantial funding to programmes designed to help facilitate this.

As part of the department’s significant investment in the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE), the ‘I Belong’ programme is available to secondary schools. Focused on Key Stage 3, ‘I Belong’ aims to improve schools’ awareness of the barriers to girls’ engagement with computing and it is designed to support them to improve the take up of computer science qualifications within their school. This is in addition to the wider work of the NCCE to improve the quality of the teaching of computing across all key stages, through the provision of free teaching resources and high-quality continuing professional development.

The department also funds the Isaac Physics programme, an online platform of GCSE and A level physics materials developed by Cambridge University designed to increase the numbers of students, particularly from typically underrepresented backgrounds, studying physics in higher education.

Additionally, Maths Hubs deliver the department's Teaching for Mastery programme, which is bringing teaching practice from high performing East Asian jurisdictions to primary and secondary schools across England. The programme aims to reach 75% of primary schools and 65% of secondary schools by 2025. Mastery teaching is characterised by whole-class teaching, where all pupils are given equal access to the curriculum and they are encouraged with the belief that by working hard they can succeed.

The Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) provides support for all teachers and students in England as well as additional, targeted support in areas of low social mobility so that, whatever their location, background or gender, students can choose their best post-16 mathematics pathway and access high-quality teaching. The AMSP has a particular focus on supporting girls into mathematics and runs a variety of enrichment and engagement sessions specifically for girls.

The department also supports the STEM Ambassadors programme which is a nationwide network of 30,000 registered volunteers from over 7,000 STEM and related employers. Last year, STEM Ambassadors spent 250,000 hours in primary and secondary schools across the UK raising awareness of the diverse range of STEM careers and enabling young people to explore and develop their skills and interest in STEM. Approximately 48% of Ambassadors are women and 17% are from minority ethnic backgrounds, providing young people with a variety of role models.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration has been given to making it compulsory to have EpiPens in all schools.

In 2014, the government introduced a new duty on schools to support pupils with all medical conditions and published the ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’ statutory guidance for schools and others. This guidance does not specify which medical conditions should be supported in schools. Instead, the guidance focuses on how to meet the needs of each individual child and how their medical condition impacts on school life.

Schools also have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to their practices, procedures and policies to ensure that they are not putting those with certain long-term health problems at a substantial disadvantage.

Under the Medical and Healthcare Regulatory Agency Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2017, all schools are able to buy adrenaline auto-injector (AAI) devices without a prescription, for emergency use in children who are at risk of anaphylaxis, but their own device is not available or not working. The Department for Health and Social care published guidance on using an emergency AAI in schools which can be found in the attached document.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)