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

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Labour
Bridget Phillipson (LAB - Houghton and Sunderland South)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education

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

Labour
Lord Watson of Invergowrie (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

Liberal Democrat
Daisy Cooper (LDEM - St Albans)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

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

Labour
Baroness Sherlock (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

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

Liberal Democrat
Lord Storey (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Stephen Morgan (LAB - Portsmouth South)
Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)
Toby Perkins (LAB - Chesterfield)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Helen Hayes (LAB - Dulwich and West Norwood)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Matt Western (LAB - Warwick and Leamington)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Ministers of State
Michelle Donelan (CON - Chippenham)
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
Robin Walker (CON - Worcester)
Minister of State (Education)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Alex Burghart (CON - Brentwood and Ongar)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Will Quince (CON - Colchester)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Baroness Barran (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Scheduled Event
Tuesday 25th January 2022
09:30
Education Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
25 Jan 2022, 9:30 a.m.
The Government’s Catch-up programme
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Scheduled Event
Monday 31st January 2022
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
31 Jan 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Friday 14th January 2022
Select Committee Docs
Tuesday 25th January 2022
00:00
Call for Evidence
Call For Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Monday 6th December 2021
Education challenges facing children and young people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller backgrounds

The inquiry will focus on the educational experiences of children and young people from a Gypsy, Roma and Traveller background. …

Written Answers
Tuesday 18th January 2022
Department for Education: Working Hours
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the compliance of his Department's staff …
Secondary Legislation
Friday 22nd October 2021
Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021
These Regulations make an amendment to the Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) Regulations 2016 (“the Regulations”).
Bills
Thursday 27th October 2016
Technical and Further Education Act 2017
A Bill to make provision about technical and further education.
Dept. Publications
Tuesday 18th January 2022
13:33

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
Dec. 06
Oral Questions
Jan. 11
Written Statements
Jan. 11
Westminster Hall
Jan. 06
Adjournment Debate
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

Department for Education has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Department for Education - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations make an amendment to the Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) Regulations 2016 (“the Regulations”).
These Regulations make amendments to the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015 (“the 2015 Regulations”) and to the Independent School Standards, as set out in the Schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (“the 2014 Regulations”).
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
Petition Open
14,801 Signatures
(440 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
545 Signatures
(261 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
2,185 Signatures
(105 in the last 7 days)
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
Robert Halfon Portrait
Robert Halfon (Conservative - Harlow)
Education Committee Chair since 27th January 2020
Christian Wakeford Portrait
Christian Wakeford (Conservative - Bury South)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ian Mearns Portrait
Ian Mearns (Labour - Gateshead)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Caroline Johnson Portrait
Caroline Johnson (Conservative - Sleaford and North Hykeham)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Tom Hunt Portrait
Tom Hunt (Conservative - Ipswich)
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
Kate Osborne Portrait
Kate Osborne (Labour - Jarrow)
Education Committee Member since 13th July 2021
Nicola Richards Portrait
Nicola Richards (Conservative - West Bromwich East)
Education Committee Member since 7th September 2021
Brendan Clarke-Smith Portrait
Brendan Clarke-Smith (Conservative - Bassetlaw)
Education Committee Member since 19th October 2021
Miriam Cates Portrait
Miriam Cates (Conservative - Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Education Committee Member since 19th October 2021
Education Committee: Upcoming Events
Education Committee - Oral evidence
The Government’s Catch-up programme
25 Jan 2022, 9:30 a.m.
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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

12th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Ofsted Chief Inspector's call for (1) a register of children being home educated, and (2) stronger legislation to enable the closing down of illegal schools.

The department agrees with the Ofsted Chief Inspector’s call for a form of register for children not in school, and is committed to this. We will set out further details on this in the government response to the ‘Children Not in School’ consultation, which we will publish in the coming months.

The department has previously committed to taking forward measures to make it easier for Ofsted to investigate and gather evidence of breaches of section 96 of the Education and Skills Act 2008, and prosecute those responsible for running unregistered schools, including in the 2019 Integrated Communities Action Plan. Such measures are planned to be taken forward when a suitable legislative opportunity arises.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a register for children who are being home educated.

The department remains committed to a form of local authority register for children not in school. We will set out further details on this in the government response to the ‘Children Not in School’ consultation, which we will publish in the coming weeks.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that schools in England can remain open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government is clear on the critical importance of avoiding disruption to children and young people’s education. Therefore, the priority is to keep all schools open.

Testing remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 within schools and colleges. All secondary schools were asked to test their pupils once on-site, using lateral flow device (LFD) tests, on return in January.

Staff and secondary school pupils should continue to test twice weekly at home, with LFD test kits. Schools are encouraged to ask all visitors to take an LFD test before entering the school.

From Tuesday 14 December, young people aged 5 to 18 and fully vaccinated adults who are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 can take an NHS rapid LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their school or college as normal, unless they have a positive test result.

The self-isolation advice for people with COVID-19 has changed. From Monday 17 January, people with COVID-19 in England can end their self-isolation after 5 full days, as long as they test negative on day 5 and day 6.

Every child aged 12 and over is eligible to receive the vaccine. Healthy 12 to 15 year olds can have a second dose 12 weeks after their first dose. My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced the acceleration of our COVID-19 booster programme to offer every adult in England a booster jab by the end of 2021 to protect people from the Omicron variant.

We have also supported schools, colleges, and nurseries to improve ventilation. We have provided carbon dioxide monitors backed by £25 million in government funding. Over 99% of eligible maintained schools, further education colleges, and the majority of early years education providers have now received a carbon dioxide monitor with over 350,000 now delivered. The government is now making available at least 7,000 funded air cleaning units for poorly ventilated teaching spaces where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

The department has put in place support to help schools facing workforce shortages. This includes calling on former teachers with the time and skills to return to the classroom and reintroducing the COVID-19 workforce fund to provide financial support to eligible schools and colleges for absence costs incurred from 22 November until the spring half term. Schools also have the discretion to consider and implement flexible working and delivery patterns.

The department has reintroduced face coverings for all adults in schools and for pupils and students in year 7 and above in communal areas, and from 4 January 2022 in classrooms. This is a temporary measure and will be reviewed on 26 January.

We have worked in partnership with the education sector and mental health experts to bring together and announce a range of commitments to protect and promote staff mental health and wellbeing as well as providing resources. This is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mental-health-and-wellbeing-support-in-schools-and-colleges. We have also published a well-being charter available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-staff-wellbeing-charter.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the pause programme on preventing successive pregnancies in vulnerable women.

The November 2020 independent evaluation of the Department for Education funded Pause programme, reported a statistically significant reduction in rates of infants (under 12 months) entering care in local authorities with a Pause practice, compared to an increase in comparator sites over the same period. There were an estimated 215, or 30%, fewer children over 3 years and 5 sites compared to the comparator local authorities.

The estimated benefit to cost ratios associated with these effects are £4.50 per £1 spent on Pause over 4 years and £7.61 per £1 spent over 18 years. Wider observed impacts for female participants include:

  • improved emotional wellbeing and reductions in psychological distress;
  • housing and financial security, with significant reductions in rent arrears, and the number of women who were homeless or in unstable accommodation almost halved;
  • increased engagement in education, employment, and specialist services, including a 60% increase in the proportion of women in paid employment;
  • improvements in key relationships in women’s lives, including relationships with existing children and their carers, with a 25% increase in the proportion of women reporting face-to-face contact with children.

There are currently 17 local authorities delivering Pause projects with £3.6 million of funding from the department’s innovation fund. In 2021, we provided additional funding for 3 regions to scale and spread Pause projects under strand 3 of the Recovery and Build Back Better Fund.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to ensure the efficient delivery of the pause programme throughout the UK.

The November 2020 independent evaluation of the Department for Education funded Pause programme, reported a statistically significant reduction in rates of infants (under 12 months) entering care in local authorities with a Pause practice, compared to an increase in comparator sites over the same period. There were an estimated 215, or 30%, fewer children over 3 years and 5 sites compared to the comparator local authorities.

The estimated benefit to cost ratios associated with these effects are £4.50 per £1 spent on Pause over 4 years and £7.61 per £1 spent over 18 years. Wider observed impacts for female participants include:

  • improved emotional wellbeing and reductions in psychological distress;
  • housing and financial security, with significant reductions in rent arrears, and the number of women who were homeless or in unstable accommodation almost halved;
  • increased engagement in education, employment, and specialist services, including a 60% increase in the proportion of women in paid employment;
  • improvements in key relationships in women’s lives, including relationships with existing children and their carers, with a 25% increase in the proportion of women reporting face-to-face contact with children.

There are currently 17 local authorities delivering Pause projects with £3.6 million of funding from the department’s innovation fund. In 2021, we provided additional funding for 3 regions to scale and spread Pause projects under strand 3 of the Recovery and Build Back Better Fund.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the time taken to deliver face masks to secondary schools in (a) Harrow West constituency and (b) England; what steps his Department is taking to ensure that deliveries are made in time to meet demand; and if he will make a statement.

To support the temporary measures recently introduced, the department has worked with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to deliver a contingency supply of face coverings to education providers. These face coverings have been provided by DHSC at no cost to education providers.

We would expect most staff, pupils and students already have access to face coverings. However, we recognise that some individuals may not have access or might forget their face covering. We hope that this extra supply will mean all students, pupils and staff are able to access a face covering when needed.

We delivered the majority of face coverings to secondary schools before the Christmas break, with the remaining deliveries completed in early January, including to those schools in Harrow West.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what changes his Department made to (a) guidance for schools, (b) Departmental practice and (c) funding decisions as a result of the independent evaluation of the implementation of Opportunity Areas published in October 2018.

The Implementation of Opportunity Areas independent evaluation, published in October 2018, looked at how the Opportunity Area (OA) programme was initially established. It highlighted the positive work carried out in setting up the OAs, including the collaboration between local stakeholders and the department's delivery teams, the development of clear delivery plans, and the commitment in each area to improving young people’s social mobility.

The evaluation’s recommendations influenced (a) the way thedepartment works with schools in those areas, for example in the way that schools are supported on teacher recruitment and retention; (b) the development of other departmental policies and practices, such as the setting up of Opportunity North East, which involved strong engagement with local stakeholders and the development of a clear, agreed delivery plan; and (c) funding decisions, such as the decision to allocate longer-term funding to the OAs, to allow the changes they are making to be embedded. The OA programme has continued to evolve and develop since that report. In particular, the departments close, on-going engagement with the schools in those areas has helped them to respond to the difficult issues emerging from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to embed the learning from the Opportunity Areas projects into its policies and practices; and what targets he has set for the implementation of such learning by his Department.

One of the two key objectives of the Opportunity Areas (OA) programme is to identify what works in these areas, capturing which challenges all areas share and what is unique to a particular place; and spreading effective practice to other areas. As one of the key objectives, sharing learning is embedded within the programme, rather than having specific targets set against it.

Our sharing learning strategy has three main strands. Firstly, each of the 12 OAs has been twinned with one or more non-OA areas facing similar challenges and is delivering programmes in those areas, directly sharing effective practice from the OA programme. Secondly, the department has published a set of case studies from every OA, detailed effective practice, and is now publishing a series of thematic guides to share our learning from the OA programme on particular issues. These are available for national policy makers, local authorities and other stakeholders right across the country to draw on. The published guides so far include case studies to support teacher recruitment, careers advice and guidance, health and education, and early years. Thirdly, we are publishing a national process evaluation this summer which will identify key learning from the OA’s place-based approach to delivery. This will set out what has worked well on the programme as well as identifying the key barriers to effective delivery.

In addition to the above, the department's OAs team has worked with officials across government to share the lessons on place-based working learnt from the OA programme, particularly in regard to supporting and developing local leadership.

Details of the published thematic guides can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opportunity-areas-insight-guides. Case studies from every OA can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/753695/DFE_-_Opportunity_Areas-One_Year_On_.PDF.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, in the context of former teachers who have returned to support schools put since 16 December 2021, if he will publish a list of the schools in which such former teachers were working on (a) 6 January 2022 and (b) 13 January 2022; if he will set out for each of those schools in which one or more such returned former teachers were working; and how many returned teachers were working in each of those schools.

On 12 January 2022, the department published initial data from a sample of supply agencies gathered between 20 December 2021 and 7 January 2022. This showed that 485 former teachers have signed up with supply agencies, and over 100 Teach First alumni have also expressed interest in returning to the classroom.

Given the size of the sample, the true number of sign-ups since the call was launched will be larger. Full details of the data release can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/number-of-ex-teachers-joining-the-school-workforce-2021-to-2022.

The department remains in close contact with supply agencies to monitor the interest they receive to help schools during this time. We will keep the need for further data collections under review.

The department needs to balance the need for data with the burden we place on those collating it, our focus has been on the numbers signing up to agencies. Every single teacher that responds to our call can make a vital difference to children and young people by keeping them in face-to-face education.

Even if the teachers who have already come forward between 20 December and 7 January only taught one lesson each, that could support more than 12,000 pupils[1], and if they signed up for one full week, that could equate to more than 13,000 teaching hours[2].

[1] based on an average secondary class size estimate taken from the latest School Workforce Census Survey: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-workforce-in-england-november-2020.

[2] Teaching hours is based on average teaching time for full time teachers and middle leaders from the 2019 Teacher Workload Survey: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teacher-workload-survey-2019.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to alter the definition of what constitutes a school in order to protect children who attend alternative education.

The existing definition of full-time education does not capture providers which offer only a narrow curriculum even if this teaching takes place throughout all, or most, of the school day.

In 2020, the department’s consultation on regulating independent educational institutions contained a number of related proposals for legislation which would affect independent schools and also some education providers which are neither state-funded nor currently registered with the department as independent schools, although they are attended full-time by children of compulsory school age. This includes some religious education and several other providers.

The consultation included proposals to consider how to expand on the categories of full-time institutions that will be regulated in the same way that independent schools are currently regulated, and to change the definition of independent schools in primary legislation to incorporate such institutions. Taking forward the proposals would bring a range of currently unregistered institutions under the independent education regulatory regime and help ensure requirements are consistent for all providers that children of compulsory school age attend full-time during the school day, which prevents them securing an education elsewhere.

The government remains committed to changing the law on the registration of independent educational providers.

Publication of the response to the consultation on regulating independent educational institutions is expected in early 2022.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of tutors engaged through the National Tutoring Programme are not fully qualified teachers.

​​This data is not held by the department.

We will consider whether to collect this data going forward.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of vocational educational opportunities in Swindon.

We are investing £3.8 billion in further education and skills, to ensure people can access high-quality training and education that leads to good jobs, addresses skills gaps, boosts productivity and supports levelling up.

We are introducing T Levels, boosting access to high quality technical education for thousands of 16-19 year olds. Young people in Swindon are now benefitting from these new qualifications, as New College Swindon began teaching T Levels in Digital, Education & Childcare, Health and Science from September last year.

The department is also committed to supporting more people to benefit from the high-quality training that apprenticeships offer, including those at the start of their career or those looking to retrain. Funding for apprenticeships will grow to £2.7 billion by financial year 2024-25, delivering the first increase to employer-led apprenticeships funding since financial year 2019-20. We are also investing over £550 million by financial year 2024-25 to make sure adults can upskill to reach their potential, delivering on the National Skills Fund commitment.

The Free Courses for Jobs offer, launched in April 2021, gives adults the chance to access their first level 3 qualification for free. We have also recently announced that from April, any adult in England earning under the National Living Wage annually (£18,525) or unemployed, will also be able to access these qualifications for free, regardless of their prior qualification level. New Swindon College is amongst many training providers who have been allocated funding to deliver this offer.

Complementing this, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with an employer. Skills Bootcamps are now available in areas across the country as well as online, covering digital, technical, construction, logistics (HGV driving), and green skills. In Swindon, Skills Bootcamps in HGV driving are currently available. We continue to expand Skills Bootcamps further, and more courses will become available across England over the next few months.

We are also launching Multiply, a new £560 million programme to help people improve their basic numeracy skills through free digital training, flexible courses and tutoring. Launching in Spring 2022, the Multiply programme is in addition to the England-wide statutory entitlement for numeracy and will give people who don’t have at least a GCSE Grace C/4 or equivalent in maths, access to free new flexible courses to improve their maths skills. This will include a new website with bitesize training and online tutorials, as well as flexible courses.

Apprenticeships have long been a growth area for New College Swindon and in September 2021, the college opened the Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology, with a mission to be a high-quality employer-led training facility delivering high level technical and digital skills training for young people and to those already in employment.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when in 2022 he expects to reach the target of 252,000 children receiving academic mentoring through the National Tutoring programme.

The National Tutoring Programme aims to deliver up to 2 million tuition courses this year, and to deliver up to 90 million tuition hours by the 2024/25 academic year across the programme’s 3 pillars.

The programme is currently on course to deliver its objectives. Schools know their pupils best and have the freedom to enrol those who will benefit most. So far, an estimated 230,000 courses have been started by pupils through the School-Led tutoring pillar, an estimated 20,000 with Academic Mentors and an estimated 52,000 with Tuition Partners. As a course consists of 15 tuition hours this means pupils who need it most will be receiving millions of hours of high-quality support.

The department will continue to work closely with its delivery partner to ensure the Tuition Partner and Academic Mentor pillars fulfil their objectives by the end of the academic year.

We will publish further data for the spring and summer terms later this year.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils have (a) been enrolled on the tuition pillar and (b) started to receive tutoring as part of the National Tutoring programme in the academic year 2021-22.

The National Tutoring Programme aims to deliver up to 2 million tuition courses this year, and to deliver up to 90 million tuition hours by the 2024/25 academic year across the programme’s 3 pillars.

The programme is currently on course to deliver its objectives. Schools know their pupils best and have the freedom to enrol those who will benefit most. So far, an estimated 230,000 courses have been started by pupils through the School-Led tutoring pillar, an estimated 20,000 with Academic Mentors and an estimated 52,000 with Tuition Partners. As a course consists of 15 tuition hours this means pupils who need it most will be receiving millions of hours of high-quality support.

The department will continue to work closely with its delivery partner to ensure the Tuition Partner and Academic Mentor pillars fulfil their objectives by the end of the academic year.

We will publish further data for the spring and summer terms later this year.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he expects to meet the target for 524,000 children to be receiving tutoring via National Tutoring Programme tuition partners in the 2021-22 academic year; and how many tutoring sessions each of those children is expected to receive.

The National Tutoring Programme aims to deliver up to 2 million tuition courses this year, and to deliver up to 90 million tuition hours by the 2024/25 academic year across the programme’s 3 pillars.

The programme is currently on course to deliver its objectives. Schools know their pupils best and have the freedom to enrol those who will benefit most. So far, an estimated 230,000 courses have been started by pupils through the School-Led tutoring pillar, an estimated 20,000 with Academic Mentors and an estimated 52,000 with Tuition Partners. As a course consists of 15 tuition hours this means pupils who need it most will be receiving millions of hours of high-quality support.

The department will continue to work closely with its delivery partner to ensure the Tuition Partner and Academic Mentor pillars fulfil their objectives by the end of the academic year.

We will publish further data for the spring and summer terms later this year.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils have been enrolled on the National Tutoring Programme academic mentor pillar in the 2021-22 school year; and how many of those pupils have started to receive mentoring as at 7 January 2022.

The National Tutoring Programme aims to deliver up to 2 million tuition courses this year, and to deliver up to 90 million tuition hours by the 2024/25 academic year across the programme’s 3 pillars.

The programme is currently on course to deliver its objectives. Schools know their pupils best and have the freedom to enrol those who will benefit most. So far, an estimated 230,000 courses have been started by pupils through the School-Led tutoring pillar, an estimated 20,000 with Academic Mentors and an estimated 52,000 with Tuition Partners. As a course consists of 15 tuition hours this means pupils who need it most will be receiving millions of hours of high-quality support.

The department will continue to work closely with its delivery partner to ensure the Tuition Partner and Academic Mentor pillars fulfil their objectives by the end of the academic year.

We will publish further data for the spring and summer terms later this year.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to provide parents with catch-up vouchers for each day their child is absent from school due to COVID-19 in order to help pay for the costs of remote learning.

The department’s priority is for schools to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health.

School attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age and it is the department’s priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school. The department’s current guidance for remote education states that schools affected by the remote education temporary continuity direction must provide remote education for state-funded, school-aged pupils whose attendance would be contrary to public health advice or government guidance or law relating to COVID-19 during the 2021/22 academic year. This means that schools should be offering remote education to pupils who test positive for COVID-19 or present with COVID-19 symptoms, where they are well enough to learn from home. Schools must also have regard to the expectations for remote education published here: https://get-help-with-remote-education.education.gov.uk/statutory-obligations.

The government has committed to an ambitious and long-term education recovery plan, including an investment to date of nearly £5 billion to support the tutoring programme, deliver world class training for teachers, provide additional direct recovery funding to schools, and to extend time in colleges by 40 hours a year. This support will help children and young people make up for education lost and get back on track.

The department’s overall direct investment in education recovery includes funding for up to 100 million tutoring hours for 5-19 year olds, the multi-year recovery premium so schools can deliver evidence-based interventions based on pupil needs, summer schools, extra time in 16-19 education and 500,000 training opportunities for school teachers and early years practitioners.

Recovery programmes have been designed to allow early years, school, and college leaders the flexibility to support those pupils most in need, including the most disadvantaged.

Alongside overall investment in education recovery, the department has delivered over 1.7 million laptops and tablets to schools, trusts, local authorities and further education colleges for disadvantaged children and young people as part of a £520 million government investment to support access to remote education and online social care services.

The department has previously announced funding to support schools and colleges in providing internet access for disadvantaged pupils whose face-to-face education is disrupted due to the COVID-19 outbreak and has enabled ordering of 4G routers for schools and colleges.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to extend sixth-form education for pupils who have suffered from long covid.

Whilst all students in sixth form education have seen disruption and changes in the way they have received their education during the COVID-19 outbreak, we expect all institutions providing education for students aged 16 to 19 to support their student cohort to progress to a suitable destination in education, training or the workplace.

As part of the government’s commitment to long-term education recovery we have made available £102 million to extend the 16 to 19 tuition fund in this academic year. This fund allows students in 16 to 19 education to access one-to-one and small group catch up tuition to help them catch up in subjects that will benefit them the most, including maths, English, and vocational courses. We are extending the fund further by £222 million for an additional two academic years from 2022/23.

The department is also investing £828 million across the Spending Review period to fund an average of 40 additional learning hours for students in 16 to 19 education. This funding will start from the 2022/23 academic year and provide students aged 16 to 19 with further opportunities to catch up on the vital teaching and learning they need to progress.

For students who were in the final year of their 16 to 19 study programme in academic year 2020/21 and whose education was impacted significantly more than their peers by COVID-19, we are funding institutions to enable these students to repeat up to a year of their studies within academic year 2021/22. This repeat year offer supports students whose chances of progression had been limited during academic year 2020/21, for example students whose practical skills development, work experience or assessments had been adversely impacted and with the least time left in their education.

We will continue to assess the need to develop existing or further interventions in response to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish a table showing how many children are receiving tutoring via the National Tutoring Programme tuition partners in each (a) local authority, (b) region, and (c) parliamentary constituency.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is due to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure that no child is left behind.

Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide up to 6 million tutoring packages over the next 3 years.

The department continues to collect data from schools for all 3 strands of the NTP (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors). As at 1 December 2021, an estimated 230,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils through school-led tutoring since September; by 12 December an estimated 52,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils with tuition partners and an estimated 20,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils with academic mentors in the same period. The department does not collect data on pupils as the programme is focused on tutoring packages and has not committed to publish local level data. Accordingly, it has not published pupil participation by constituency. We will review the collection of data after the end of the current year to determine whether any changes are required.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools are using the school-led tutoring grant to provide tuition in (a) England, (b) each local authority and (c) each parliamentary constituency.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is due to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure that no child is left behind.

Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide up to 6 million tutoring packages over the next 3 years.

The department continues to collect data from schools for all 3 strands of the NTP (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors). As at 1 December 2021, an estimated 230,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils through school-led tutoring since September; by 12 December an estimated 52,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils with tuition partners and an estimated 20,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils with academic mentors in the same period. The department does not collect data on pupils as the programme is focused on tutoring packages and has not committed to publish local level data. Accordingly, it has not published pupil participation by constituency. We will review the collection of data after the end of the current year to determine whether any changes are required.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils have received tuition under the school-led tutoring grant in (a) England, (b) each local authority, (c) each parliamentary constituency during the 2021-22 academic year.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is due to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure that no child is left behind.

Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide up to 6 million tutoring packages over the next 3 years.

The department continues to collect data from schools for all 3 strands of the NTP (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors). As at 1 December 2021, an estimated 230,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils through school-led tutoring since September; by 12 December an estimated 52,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils with tuition partners and an estimated 20,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils with academic mentors in the same period. The department does not collect data on pupils as the programme is focused on tutoring packages and has not committed to publish local level data. Accordingly, it has not published pupil participation by constituency. We will review the collection of data after the end of the current year to determine whether any changes are required.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many hours of tutoring have been provided to pupils under the school-led tutoring grant in (a) England, (b) each local authority, (c) each parliamentary constituency during the 2021-22 academic year.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is due to reach hundreds of thousands more pupils this year, as part of a significant expansion to give schools more flexibility to deliver tutoring that works for them and ensure that no child is left behind.

Building on the success of last year, we are confident of reaching our ambitious target to provide up to 6 million tutoring packages over the next 3 years.

The department continues to collect data from schools for all 3 strands of the NTP (school-led tutoring, tuition partners and academic mentors). As at 1 December 2021, an estimated 230,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils through school-led tutoring since September; by 12 December an estimated 52,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils with tuition partners and an estimated 20,000 tutoring courses had been started by pupils with academic mentors in the same period. The department does not collect data on pupils as the programme is focused on tutoring packages and has not committed to publish local level data. Accordingly, it has not published pupil participation by constituency. We will review the collection of data after the end of the current year to determine whether any changes are required.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the compliance of his Department's staff working from home with the Working Time Regulations 1998.

The department does not centrally monitor working hours for any employee but requires all employees, regardless of work location, to keep an accurate record of the hours they work.

All employees are able to work flexibly under the department’s Flexible Working and Flexitime Policies; these policies discourage long hours working. Under these policies, managers are responsible for organising workloads, and must avoid imposing workloads or deadlines that oblige their employees to work excessive hours. Managers are also encouraged to check their employees' flexitime sheets on a monthly basis to ensure they are not working excessive hours.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Answer by Baroness Barran on 15 December (HL Deb col 297), what estimate they have made of (1) the number of madrassas in England, and (2) the number of children that attend them; whether they have made an assessment of whether radical Islamist views are being taught in those madrassas; and if so, what were the conclusions of that assessment.

The department does not hold a register of madrassas and has not made an estimate of the number of madrassas or the number of children attending them.

Madrassas are generally considered to be out-of-school settings, which are not captured by a single dedicated regulatory framework, and are not subject to inspections by Ofsted or the department.

Local authorities are, however, legally responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their areas, including when attending out-of-school settings. To support local authorities with their existing safeguarding duties, the department has been taking forward a package of measures to enhance safeguarding in out-of-school settings, safeguarding children from all forms of harm, including extremism and terrorism.

This package of activity has included over £3 million of targeted funding to selected local authorities to examine ways to boost local capacity to identify and intervene in out-of-school settings of concern, and to test the utility of existing powers and engagement approaches for undertaking safeguarding activity in these settings. The final phase of this work concluded end of December last year, and we are currently considering the next steps for this work.

In addition, the department has also published a voluntary safeguarding code of practice to support providers, such as madrassas, to understand what they need to do to run a setting safely, and accompanying guidance for parents and carers to help them make more informed choices, including the red flags to look out for and what steps to take where they might have concerns. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/keeping-children-safe-in-out-of-school-settings.

If the department became aware of a setting where extremist activity was taking place or where children were at risk of harm, we would work closely with relevant agencies, such as the local authority, Ofsted and the police, to take action.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Answer by Baroness Barran on 15 December (HL Deb, col 297), what plans they have to encourage Ofsted to inspect all madrassas in England, regardless of whether they provide teaching for fewer than 18 hours per week.

The department does not hold a register of madrassas and has not made an estimate of the number of madrassas or the number of children attending them.

Madrassas are generally considered to be out-of-school settings, which are not captured by a single dedicated regulatory framework, and are not subject to inspections by Ofsted or the department.

Local authorities are, however, legally responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their areas, including when attending out-of-school settings. To support local authorities with their existing safeguarding duties, the department has been taking forward a package of measures to enhance safeguarding in out-of-school settings, safeguarding children from all forms of harm, including extremism and terrorism.

This package of activity has included over £3 million of targeted funding to selected local authorities to examine ways to boost local capacity to identify and intervene in out-of-school settings of concern, and to test the utility of existing powers and engagement approaches for undertaking safeguarding activity in these settings. The final phase of this work concluded end of December last year, and we are currently considering the next steps for this work.

In addition, the department has also published a voluntary safeguarding code of practice to support providers, such as madrassas, to understand what they need to do to run a setting safely, and accompanying guidance for parents and carers to help them make more informed choices, including the red flags to look out for and what steps to take where they might have concerns. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/keeping-children-safe-in-out-of-school-settings.

If the department became aware of a setting where extremist activity was taking place or where children were at risk of harm, we would work closely with relevant agencies, such as the local authority, Ofsted and the police, to take action.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) teachers, and (2) classroom assistants, are currently employed in local education authority schools in England.

Information on the school workforce in England, including the number of teachers and classroom assistants, is published in the annual ‘School Workforce in England’ national statistics publication at https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england. The latest information is as of November 2020. Figures for November 2021 will be published in May 2022.

In November 2020, there were 204,847 full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers and 151,865 FTE teaching assistants employed in local authority-maintained schools in England.

Table 1: Teacher and teaching assistants in England, by school type, FTE numbers

November 2020

School type

Teachers

Teaching Assistants

LA maintained nursery and primary

138,435

111,411

LA maintained secondary

47,294

11,532

LA maintained special or Pupil Referral Unit

15,398

26,765

Centrally employed

3,720

2,157

Total

204,847

151,865

Source: School Workforce Census 2020

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, in which countries the carbon dioxide monitors issued to schools in the autumn term of 2021 were manufactured.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered. The programme provided schools and other providers with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time. Providers received roughly one monitor for every two teaching rooms, precise numbers vary according to different provider types. The department knows from feedback following the rollout of CO2 monitors that for most providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

Alongside the rollout, the department has also provided new information on how to use CO2 monitors to better manage ventilation. Our operational guidance includes details for the COVID-19 helpline, and providers are encouraged to contact us if they have any queries regarding their CO2 monitors. For any technical queries, providers should contact the supplier of their monitors directly.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a one metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Providers can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices; batteries are a back-up.  The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges, and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

All CO2 monitors units provided by the department have met an approved technical specification. The department’s technical specification used to assess the units was developed in consultation with industry wide experts in ventilation, including chartered engineers, scientists, and several government departments. The technical specification has been published along with the contract on Contracts Finder in line with the government’s transparency agenda. All CO2 monitors were manufactured in the UK and China. Further details of the models of CO2 monitors issued to schools can be found in the guidance here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12cU_I5q0v1_my97yPMpb87RsSL5d5lpj.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, in what way schools were encouraged to report any technical difficulties they encountered with the carbon dioxide monitors issued to schools in the autumn term of 2021.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered. The programme provided schools and other providers with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time. Providers received roughly one monitor for every two teaching rooms, precise numbers vary according to different provider types. The department knows from feedback following the rollout of CO2 monitors that for most providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

Alongside the rollout, the department has also provided new information on how to use CO2 monitors to better manage ventilation. Our operational guidance includes details for the COVID-19 helpline, and providers are encouraged to contact us if they have any queries regarding their CO2 monitors. For any technical queries, providers should contact the supplier of their monitors directly.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a one metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Providers can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices; batteries are a back-up.  The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges, and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

All CO2 monitors units provided by the department have met an approved technical specification. The department’s technical specification used to assess the units was developed in consultation with industry wide experts in ventilation, including chartered engineers, scientists, and several government departments. The technical specification has been published along with the contract on Contracts Finder in line with the government’s transparency agenda. All CO2 monitors were manufactured in the UK and China. Further details of the models of CO2 monitors issued to schools can be found in the guidance here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12cU_I5q0v1_my97yPMpb87RsSL5d5lpj.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has received feedback from schools on the (a) installation, (b) operation and (c) interpretation of the carbon dioxide monitors issued in the autumn term of 2021.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered. The programme provided schools and other providers with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time. Providers received roughly one monitor for every two teaching rooms, precise numbers vary according to different provider types. The department knows from feedback following the rollout of CO2 monitors that for most providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

Alongside the rollout, the department has also provided new information on how to use CO2 monitors to better manage ventilation. Our operational guidance includes details for the COVID-19 helpline, and providers are encouraged to contact us if they have any queries regarding their CO2 monitors. For any technical queries, providers should contact the supplier of their monitors directly.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a one metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Providers can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices; batteries are a back-up.  The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges, and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

All CO2 monitors units provided by the department have met an approved technical specification. The department’s technical specification used to assess the units was developed in consultation with industry wide experts in ventilation, including chartered engineers, scientists, and several government departments. The technical specification has been published along with the contract on Contracts Finder in line with the government’s transparency agenda. All CO2 monitors were manufactured in the UK and China. Further details of the models of CO2 monitors issued to schools can be found in the guidance here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12cU_I5q0v1_my97yPMpb87RsSL5d5lpj.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether standards on (a) cable length and (b) minimum battery life were specified for the procurement of the carbon dioxide monitors issued to schools in the autumn term of 2021.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered. The programme provided schools and other providers with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time. Providers received roughly one monitor for every two teaching rooms, precise numbers vary according to different provider types. The department knows from feedback following the rollout of CO2 monitors that for most providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

Alongside the rollout, the department has also provided new information on how to use CO2 monitors to better manage ventilation. Our operational guidance includes details for the COVID-19 helpline, and providers are encouraged to contact us if they have any queries regarding their CO2 monitors. For any technical queries, providers should contact the supplier of their monitors directly.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a one metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Providers can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices; batteries are a back-up.  The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges, and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

All CO2 monitors units provided by the department have met an approved technical specification. The department’s technical specification used to assess the units was developed in consultation with industry wide experts in ventilation, including chartered engineers, scientists, and several government departments. The technical specification has been published along with the contract on Contracts Finder in line with the government’s transparency agenda. All CO2 monitors were manufactured in the UK and China. Further details of the models of CO2 monitors issued to schools can be found in the guidance here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12cU_I5q0v1_my97yPMpb87RsSL5d5lpj.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department made of the number of classrooms in use in each school before sending that school its allocation of carbon dioxide monitors in the autumn term of 2021.

During the autumn term, the department provided CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. We have now delivered on our public commitment with over 353,000 monitors delivered. The programme provided schools and other providers with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time. Providers received roughly one monitor for every two teaching rooms, precise numbers vary according to different provider types. The department knows from feedback following the rollout of CO2 monitors that for most providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

Alongside the rollout, the department has also provided new information on how to use CO2 monitors to better manage ventilation. Our operational guidance includes details for the COVID-19 helpline, and providers are encouraged to contact us if they have any queries regarding their CO2 monitors. For any technical queries, providers should contact the supplier of their monitors directly.

All department-funded CO2 monitors are supplied with a one metre USB cable that can be plugged into a standard USB power source, such as mains adaptors or laptop. Providers can use any standard USB plug adaptor for the CO2 monitors, such as ones used to charge mobile phones or other electrical devices. This is the primary means of powering the devices; batteries are a back-up.  The life of the back-up battery is variable based on the refresh rate of the device and if providers wish to use the CO2 monitor battery powered. In most cases, they can extend battery life by changing the refresh rate on their CO2 monitors. We have provided schools, colleges, and nurseries with guidance on how to use their monitors effectively. Providers can also contact the supplier of their device if they have any technical queries.

All CO2 monitors units provided by the department have met an approved technical specification. The department’s technical specification used to assess the units was developed in consultation with industry wide experts in ventilation, including chartered engineers, scientists, and several government departments. The technical specification has been published along with the contract on Contracts Finder in line with the government’s transparency agenda. All CO2 monitors were manufactured in the UK and China. Further details of the models of CO2 monitors issued to schools can be found in the guidance here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12cU_I5q0v1_my97yPMpb87RsSL5d5lpj.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many grants for Senior Mental Health Lead Training have been made since April 2021.

Since April 2021 the government has allocated over £9.5 million to fund senior mental health lead training grants for over 8,000 eligible schools and colleges. Over 3,500 senior leads are estimated to have begun their training. This training will provide knowledge and skills to enable senior mental health leads to implement effective holistic approaches to promoting and supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing in their school or college.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 December 2021 to Question 92908 on Department for Education: Visits, on what dates any changes to the departmental guidance on in-person visitors were made, between 1 May 2021 and 31 December 2021; and if he will place copies of each iteration of that guidance in the Library.

Following Step 4 of the government’s roadmap, the department updated its guidance on in-person visitors from ‘No visitors to site are allowed.’ to ‘External visitors can visit the office and must sign in and out of reception.’ on all 11 of our “DfE Buildings” intranet pages. This was published on the department’s intranet on 15 July 2021, in preparation for Step 4 on 19 July 2021.

A copy of the guidance, both pre and post update to reflect Step 4 will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Please note that the guidance on visitors is the same across all of the department’s sites.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number special schools that have been forced to (a) close or (b) reduce their opening hours due to covid-19 cases in December 2021.

The department publishes data on state-funded special schools that have closed for COVID-19 since the start of the academic year. This can be found on Explore Education Statistics. The lowest geographical level the data is split to is local authority level.

The most recent published data at national level is 6 January 2022. For regional and local authority level data, the latest published data is 16 December 2021. The most recent national, regional and local authority data can be found through this link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-23-march-2020-to-6-january-2022.

The published data on state-funded special schools that have closed for COVID-19 within the last 12 months can be found in Table 1B:
https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-catalogue/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2022-week-2.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of special schools that have been forced to (a) close or (b) reduce their opening hours due to covid-19 cases to date in January 2022.

The department publishes data on state-funded special schools that have closed for COVID-19 since the start of the academic year. This can be found on Explore Education Statistics. The lowest geographical level the data is split to is local authority level.

The most recent published data at national level is 6 January 2022. For regional and local authority level data, the latest published data is 16 December 2021. The most recent national, regional and local authority data can be found through this link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-23-march-2020-to-6-january-2022.

The published data on state-funded special schools that have closed for COVID-19 within the last 12 months can be found in Table 1B:
https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-catalogue/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2022-week-2.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of special schools that have (a) closed or (b) reduced their opening hours as a result of covid-19 cases in each of the last 12 months.

The department publishes data on state-funded special schools that have closed for COVID-19 since the start of the academic year. This can be found on Explore Education Statistics. The lowest geographical level the data is split to is local authority level.

The most recent published data at national level is 6 January 2022. For regional and local authority level data, the latest published data is 16 December 2021. The most recent national, regional and local authority data can be found through this link:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-23-march-2020-to-6-january-2022.

The published data on state-funded special schools that have closed for COVID-19 within the last 12 months can be found in Table 1B:
https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-catalogue/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2022-week-2.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools are on the waiting list after applying to receive a grant for senior mental health lead training as of 13 January 2022; and what steps he is taking to reduce that waiting list to help ensure that training is offered to all eligible schools and colleges by 2025.

The government is making good progress on its commitment to offer senior mental health lead training to all state-funded schools and colleges in England by 2025. Since applications opened in October 2021, over 8,000 eligible schools and colleges have applied for a senior mental health training grant. As at 12 January 2022, over 6,500 of these have booked onto a Department for Education quality-assured training course, and their grant payments are being processed. Furthermore, over 3,500 senior leads are estimated to have begun their training, providing knowledge and skills to enable them to implement effective holistic approaches to promoting and supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing in their school or college.

As at 14 January 2022, around 270 schools and colleges are on a waiting list for a senior mental health lead training grant. All currently available grants are reserved, pending schools and colleges that have submitted their initial application confirming they have booked a training course. The waiting list enables the department to quickly allocate any grants that become available, and our position on issuing grants for the 2022-23 financial year will be confirmed later in the spring.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January to Question 98353 on Pupil Referral Units, what estimate he has made of the proportion of children and young people with special education needs or disabilities referred to pupil referral units or alternative prevision who (a) were assessed for an EHC plan, (b) were provided with additional support prior to being referred and (c) had their needs identified after their referral.

In January 2021, there were 12,785 pupils whose main registration was at a state place-funded alternative provision (AP) setting (including pupil referral units, AP academies and free schools). Of those pupils, 10,575 (82.7%) were identified with special educational needs (SEN); 3,064 (24.0%) with an education, health and care plan and 7,511 (58.7%) with SEN support. The department does not publish statistics on the number of pupils who had their needs identified after referral into AP.

The department does not collect or publish information concerning the reintegration of pupils from state-place funded AP (including pupil referral units, AP academies and free schools) into mainstream education.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January to Question 98353 on Pupil Referral Units, what recent assessment has he made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) outcomes of pupil referral units in reintegrating pupils into mainstream education.

In January 2021, there were 12,785 pupils whose main registration was at a state place-funded alternative provision (AP) setting (including pupil referral units, AP academies and free schools). Of those pupils, 10,575 (82.7%) were identified with special educational needs (SEN); 3,064 (24.0%) with an education, health and care plan and 7,511 (58.7%) with SEN support. The department does not publish statistics on the number of pupils who had their needs identified after referral into AP.

The department does not collect or publish information concerning the reintegration of pupils from state-place funded AP (including pupil referral units, AP academies and free schools) into mainstream education.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for the training and development of the children's social work workforce.

Local authorities are responsible for the training and development of their children’s social care workforce, including ensuring that their social workers meet the standards set out in the ‘Post qualifying standards: knowledge and skills statement for child and family practitioners’.

The government is providing local authorities with £4.8 billion of new grant funding over the Spending Review period to 2025. This will enable the sector to maintain vital frontline services including children’s social care. Moreover, the government has given over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures. Local authorities are best placed to decide how much to invest in the training and development of their children’s social care workforce.

The government supports local authorities by funding the initial training of social workers. The Department of Health and Social Care provides funding of approximately £77 million per annum for social worker initial training (both child and family and adult social). In addition, the department provides approximately £50 million per annum on fast-track initial training programmes.

The government works closely with local authorities to ensure that child and family social worker have the right skills and capability to meet the needs of children and families.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what training is provided to staff in his Department on avoiding implicit bias in the workplace.

The Written Ministerial Statement on Unconscious Bias (December 2020) set out the findings of the ‘Unconscious bias and diversity training - what the evidence says’ report. The findings concluded that there was no evidence that the training changed behaviour in the long term or improved workplace equality. It also found there is emerging evidence of unintended negative consequences. The department has therefore ceased offering Unconscious Bias training.

The government requested other parts of the public sector, including local government, the police and the NHS, to review their approaches in light of the evidence.

Since October 2020, the department has provided separate workshops aimed at supporting staff to have informed and productive conversations on the subject of race.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 94337 on Schools: Air Conditioning, what steps he took to engage with existing British manufacturers of potentially suitable devices to (a) benefit from their operational experience of fitting and deploying similar technologies and (b) encourage them to produce suitable devices in the UK.

The department’s technical specification was created following significant participation and input from leading (UK) cross-industry and cross-governmental experts, including the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, in addition to engagement from manufacturers in this process.

As part of the procurement and selection process, suppliers on the Crown Commercial Services Framework RM6157 Lot 3 were assessed on multiple criteria which included their conformance to the technical specification, as well as their ability to satisfy the delivery timescales at the volumes required by the department. The volume required was significantly higher than stock available in the UK so not all manufacturers could meet either the technical threshold of the specification, the volumes, or the delivery timescales, or all 3.

To increase the selection of products available on the marketplace for schools, colleges and universities, we are continuing to work with suppliers and manufacturers within their supply chain both in the UK and wider to ensure that their products conform with the department’s technical specification.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on the level of pupil uptake of free school breakfasts in schools receiving support from the National School Breakfast Programme from September to December 2021.

The government is committed to continuing support for school breakfast clubs and the department is investing up to £24 million to continue our national programme until the end of the summer term in 2023. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing, and readiness to learn. The focus of the programme is to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the department’s opportunity areas.

The enrolment process for schools joining the programme is currently ongoing, and the department has seen a strong interest so far from eligible schools since we invited the expressions of interest.

Throughout the current contract the department will be working with our provider, Family Action, to monitor different aspects of the current programme, including data on pupil uptake. The department will consider the best opportunities to share information on the programme as it progresses.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to (a) measure pupil uptake of free school breakfasts in each school as part of the National School Breakfast Programme and (b) publish the average pupil uptake across all schools involved in that programme.

The government is committed to continuing support for school breakfast clubs and the department is investing up to £24 million to continue our national programme until the end of the summer term in 2023. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing, and readiness to learn. The focus of the programme is to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the department’s opportunity areas.

The enrolment process for schools joining the programme is currently ongoing, and the department has seen a strong interest so far from eligible schools since we invited the expressions of interest.

Throughout the current contract the department will be working with our provider, Family Action, to monitor different aspects of the current programme, including data on pupil uptake. The department will consider the best opportunities to share information on the programme as it progresses.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the outcomes of the Developer Loans for Schools pilot between 2019-2021; and whether that programme will remain open in 2022.

The Developer Loans for Schools pilot was launched in October 2019. Expressions of interest were received and assessed against the initial eligibility criteria. No loans were agreed, and no monies were committed. In July 2020, an internal review of all aspects of the pilot concluded that the need had changed, and it would not continue. There is no intention to revisit the initiative in 2022.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the impact of covid-19 on schools in Weaver Vale constituency; and what steps his Department is taking to limit the spread of the virus.

The government continues to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of COVID-19 through the steps described below.

The department has reintroduced face coverings for all adults in schools, including primary, and for pupils and students in year 7 and above in communal areas, and now also in classrooms. This is a temporary measure and will be reviewed on 26 January. Health advice continues to be that children in primary schools should not be asked to wear face coverings.

Testing remains important in reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 within schools and colleges. We asked secondary schools to provide one on-site test for all pupils upon return.

Staff and secondary school pupils should continue to test twice weekly at home. Schools are strongly encouraged to ask parents and other visitors to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test before entering the school.

Young people aged 5 to 18 and fully vaccinated adults who are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 can take an NHS rapid LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their school or college as normal unless they have a positive test result.

Every child aged 12 and over is eligible to receive the vaccine. Healthy 12 to 15-year-olds can have a second dose 12 weeks after their first dose. The booster programme was accelerated to offer every adult in England a booster jab by the end of 2021.

Children aged 5 to 11 who are in a clinical risk group or who are a household contact of someone (of any age) who is immunosuppressed, will be offered a primary course of vaccination.

To improve ventilation, we have provided CO2 monitors backed by £25 million in government funding. Over 99% of eligible maintained schools, further education colleges, and the majority of early years education providers have now received a carbon dioxide monitor with over 350,000 now delivered. The government is also now making available at least 8,000 funded air cleaning units for poorly ventilated teaching spaces where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible.

The contingency framework gives directors of public health a range of flexible options for advising temporary measures in certain situations. This framework is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-restrictions-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

Schools should follow the control measures set out in the guidance, continuing to comply with health and safety law. Schools must regularly review and update their risk assessments.

The measures outlined above apply nationally. Regarding Weaver Vale, the regional team in the West Midlands has offered regular calls with Cheshire West and Chester local authority in which we provide advice and guidance on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 and support schools in managing it. These calls have more recently involved public health colleagues.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Officials searched the Department for Education commercial record system and I can confirm that no contracts have been recorded with suppliers (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Officials are unable to check all electronic diaries across the department for meeting with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partner.

Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 92912 on Department for Education: Telephone Services, for what reason there was a more than sevenfold increase in waiting time before calls were answered between (a) October 2021 and (b) November 2021.

There was a sevenfold increase in the waiting time, and more than a 20-fold increase in the abandonment rate to the COVID-19 helpline from October 2021 to November 2021 due to the emergence of the Omicron variant and my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s announcement on 28 November 2021 of new restrictions due to the variant’s transmissibility and prevalence.

Call levels during October were low, and for the majority of November a similar level of low call volumes was recorded, meaning that waiting time and abandonment rates were very low and sufficient resource was available to ensure this continued. However, once restrictions were introduced at the end of November, call levels significantly increased.

The previous data shared in relation to Question 92912 on 5 January 2022 gave a monthly average of call volumes, rather than a breakdown by date. The monthly average for November 2021 was impacted by a significant increase in calls at the end of the month over a short period of time, rather than a general increase in demand spread throughout the month. The attached table shows the daily call volumes during October, November and the first few days in December 2021 as context for this response.

The COVID-19 helpline is part of a wider outsourced customer engagement contract which provides other helplines for the department. Given that lower call volumes were maintained through the autumn, some of the COVID-19 helpline resource was released to support another of the department’s helplines during October and November which was experiencing high demand, as part of a flexible resourcing model. Following my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s announcement on 28 November and the increase in call volumes to the COVID-19 helpline, we recalled the agents to ensure that there was sufficient capacity on the COVID-19 helpline to minimise call wait times for our customers.

The data shows that the average call duration (call handling time) during this period also increased, which impacts the number of calls each agent can handle per hour. We assume that the higher abandonment rate was a result of the increases in the call wait time, as callers are informed of the likely call wait time when they join the queue. Callers may also have found the information they require on the department’s website or blog whilst waiting for their call to be answered.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 92912 on Department for Education: Telephone Services, for what reasons there was a more than 20-fold increase in the number of calls to that line which were abandoned by callers between (a) October 2021 and (b) November 2021.

There was a sevenfold increase in the waiting time, and more than a 20-fold increase in the abandonment rate to the COVID-19 helpline from October 2021 to November 2021 due to the emergence of the Omicron variant and my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s announcement on 28 November 2021 of new restrictions due to the variant’s transmissibility and prevalence.

Call levels during October were low, and for the majority of November a similar level of low call volumes was recorded, meaning that waiting time and abandonment rates were very low and sufficient resource was available to ensure this continued. However, once restrictions were introduced at the end of November, call levels significantly increased.

The previous data shared in relation to Question 92912 on 5 January 2022 gave a monthly average of call volumes, rather than a breakdown by date. The monthly average for November 2021 was impacted by a significant increase in calls at the end of the month over a short period of time, rather than a general increase in demand spread throughout the month. The attached table shows the daily call volumes during October, November and the first few days in December 2021 as context for this response.

The COVID-19 helpline is part of a wider outsourced customer engagement contract which provides other helplines for the department. Given that lower call volumes were maintained through the autumn, some of the COVID-19 helpline resource was released to support another of the department’s helplines during October and November which was experiencing high demand, as part of a flexible resourcing model. Following my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s announcement on 28 November and the increase in call volumes to the COVID-19 helpline, we recalled the agents to ensure that there was sufficient capacity on the COVID-19 helpline to minimise call wait times for our customers.

The data shows that the average call duration (call handling time) during this period also increased, which impacts the number of calls each agent can handle per hour. We assume that the higher abandonment rate was a result of the increases in the call wait time, as callers are informed of the likely call wait time when they join the queue. Callers may also have found the information they require on the department’s website or blog whilst waiting for their call to be answered.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)