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

Gavin Williamson
Secretary of State for Education

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
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
Kate Green (LAB - Stretford and Urmston)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
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
Toby Perkins (LAB - Chesterfield)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Tulip Siddiq (LAB - Hampstead and Kilburn)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)
Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)
Matt Western (LAB - Warwick and Leamington)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Ministers of State
Michelle Donelan (CON - Chippenham)
Minister of State (Education)
Nick Gibb (CON - Bognor Regis and Littlehampton)
Minister of State (Education)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Vicky Ford (CON - Chelmsford)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Gillian Keegan (CON - Chichester)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Baroness Berridge (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Scheduled Event
Monday 6th September 2021
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Sep 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Select Committee Docs
Wednesday 28th July 2021
00:00
Select Committee Inquiry
Monday 15th March 2021
Children's Homes

The inquiry will focus on children’s homes.

It will examine a number of areas including educational outcomes and destinations, the …

Written Answers
Thursday 29th July 2021
Further Education: Ethnic Groups
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the (1) guidance, and (2) duty being …
Secondary Legislation
Monday 19th July 2021
Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
These Regulations amend the provisions of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (“the 2006 Regulations”) which govern the recording …
Bills
Thursday 27th October 2016
Technical and Further Education Act 2017
A Bill to make provision about technical and further education.
Dept. Publications
Thursday 29th July 2021
13:44

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
Jun. 21
Oral Questions
Jul. 21
Written Statements
Jul. 21
Westminster Hall
May. 18
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 amend the provisions of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (“the 2006 Regulations”) which govern the recording of a pupil’s non-attendance in a school’s attendance register where the non-attendance is related to coronavirus.
The Education (School Inspection) (England) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/2038) (the “2005 Regulations”) prescribe intervals between which inspections required by the Education Act 2005 (c. 18) (the “2005 Act”) must take place, amongst other things.
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).

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Petitions with most signatures
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194,881 Signatures
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149,465 Signatures
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37,862 Signatures
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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

Advice from the JCVI on the priority groups for a Covid-19 vaccine does not include school/childcare workers. This petition calls for these workers, who cannot distance or use PPE, to be kept safe at work by being put on the vaccine priority list when such a list is adopted into government policy.

All students should be reimbursed of this years tuition fees as universities are now online only due to COVID-19, with only powerpoints online for learning materials which is not worthy of up to £9,250. Furthermore, all assessments are being reconsidered to ‘make do’ and build up credits.

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
David Simmonds Portrait
David Simmonds (Conservative - Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ian Mearns Portrait
Ian Mearns (Labour - Gateshead)
Education Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
David Johnston Portrait
David Johnston (Conservative - Wantage)
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
Jonathan Gullis Portrait
Jonathan Gullis (Conservative - Stoke-on-Trent North)
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

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

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he or any of the Ministers of his Department use personal email addresses to conduct Government business.

I refer the hon. Member for Vauxhall to the answer I gave on 5 July 2021 to Questions 23184 and 23186.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to engage with professional and statutory regulatory bodies to determine how degree apprenticeship proposals are implemented.

This is a matter for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. I have asked its Chief Executive, Jennifer Coupland, to write to the noble Lord and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses when it is available.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the (1) guidance, and (2) duty being placed on colleges, to review local skills provision, to include an explicit reference to ethnicity.

Draft statutory guidance makes clear that in carrying their reviews, the governing bodies of colleges will need to ensure that they comply with their existing statutory obligations, including those related to equality law, under the Equality Act 2010.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the (1) guidance, and (2) duty being placed on colleges, to review local skills provision includes guidance on advancing race equality in further education.

Draft statutory guidance makes clear that in carrying their reviews, the governing bodies of colleges will need to ensure that they comply with their existing statutory obligations, including those related to equality law, under the Equality Act 2010.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reference race equality in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill.

In line with the government’s legal duties and its commitment to equalities, care has been taken to ensure that our proposed legislation is informed by assessments of their impacts for those from protected characteristics. The Impact Assessment of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill was published on 18 May 2021 and includes an assessment of the impacts of its measures on those who share protected characteristics, including in reference to race. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skills-and-post-16-education-bill-impact-assessment-and-jchr-memorandum.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what catch-up funding will be made available to students in further education institutions beyond the 16 to 19 tuition fund.

On 24 February 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced a further investment of £102 million to extend the 16 to 19 tuition fund into the 2021/22 academic year. On 2 June 2021 we announced a further £222 million to extend the 16 to 19 tuition fund for an additional two years until the 2023/24 academic year.

The fund will have a continued focus on targeting additional tuition at young people who need the most support. Eligibility for the 16 to 19 tuition fund in the 2021/22 academic year is being broadened to include economic disadvantage, in addition to low prior attainment. Including these students allows providers to offer tuition to all disadvantaged students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, while still maintaining focus on low prior attainment.

To ensure that those with the least time left have the opportunity to progress, the government is also giving providers of 16 to 19 education the option to offer students in year 13, or equivalent, the opportunity to repeat up to one more year if they have been particularly severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. While we expect most students will continue to progress to a suitable destination (such as higher education or into employment), this option will ensure that those who have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak have sufficient options to complete their education.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children left school with no (1) GCSEs, or (2) equivalent qualifications, in each of the last three years.

In 2020, 2.2% of pupils at the end of key stage 4 (age 16) in state funded schools in England had no GCSEs and equivalent passes. This is a small improvement compared with both 2019 and 2018 when the figure was 2.4%.

At age 16, the percentage of pupils without level 2 (5 good GCSEs or equivalent) was 27.3% in 2019/20, 35.7% in 2018/19, and 35% in 2017/18.

After the age of 16, pupils should stay in full-time education, be in an apprenticeship or traineeship, or spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training. During this period they should gain further qualifications. Of those leaving at age 18 in 2019/20, 20.6% of pupils left school without level 2 (5 good GCSEs or equivalent), an improvement of 14.5% compared with the same cohort at age 16.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Education Policy Institute The cost of high-quality professional development for teachers in England, published on 15 July; and what steps are they taking to improve the quality of existing CPD training that teachers participate in.

The department would like to thank the Education Policy Institute for the report ‘The cost of high-quality professional development for teachers in England’. Supporting our teachers with the highest quality training and professional development is the best way in which we can improve pupil outcomes, with evidence showing that expert teaching can have a disproportionately strong impact on those from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who have fallen behind. That is why the government has made the training, support and professional development we provide for our teachers central to our levelling up agenda and a key part of our plan to deal with the disruption that the COVID-19 outbreak has caused to schools.

To this effect, the government is creating a world-class teacher development system, building from initial teacher training (ITT), through to early career support, specialisation and onto school leadership. At each phase, teachers will have access to high-quality training and professional development underpinned by the best available evidence. This will create a golden thread of support that teachers can draw on at every stage of their careers.

As part of the department’s plans to boost education recovery, the package of measures we announced on 2 June included an investment of £253 million to expand our reforms to teacher development to give 500,000 school teachers the opportunity to access world-leading training appropriate for whatever point they are at in their career. This funding includes £184 million for a reformed suite of National Professional Qualifications which will provide training and support for teachers and school leaders at all levels, from those who want to develop expertise in high quality teaching practice, such as behaviour management, to those leading multiple schools across trusts.

From September 2021, the government is also funding an entitlement for all early career teachers in England to access high quality professional development and support through the Early Career Framework (ECF) reforms. Under the reforms, new teachers will benefit from a longer induction period of two years, replacing the previous one-year induction processes. This means they will have more time to access structured support and to develop their expertise and confidence. The funding available will give every school who wants it access to a Department for Education funded training provider who will design and deliver a comprehensive programme of face-to-face and online training as part of the new statutory induction for early career teachers. The ECF reforms will be backed by over £130 million a year in funding when fully rolled out.

The reforms the department is making to the professional development teachers can access, which also includes the introduction of the ITT Core Content Framework, will root teacher development in the same consistent evidence-based understanding of what works. This will create a thread of high-quality support, training, and development through the entirety of a teacher’s career.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, subject to a parental right to withdraw children from particular lessons, to require depictions of the Prophet Mohammed to be shown to pupils and discussed as part of Religious Studies in the school curriculum; and if they have no such plans, why not.

The department does not specify what a religious education (RE) curriculum should consist of, or how lessons on particular religions or non-religious beliefs should be taught. This is a matter for the school and the local authority’s Agreed Syllabus Conference, depending on whether a school is maintained or an academy, and whether the school has a religious designation or not. The details of these arrangements can be found in department guidance found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010 and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools.

There are therefore no plans for the department to require the depictions of the Prophet Mohammed to be shown to pupils and discussed as part of RE.

Schools are free to include a full range of issues, ideas, and materials in their curriculum, including where they are challenging or controversial, subject to their obligations to ensure political balance. They must balance this with the need to promote respect and tolerance between people of different faiths and beliefs, including in deciding which materials to use in the classroom.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data they collect regarding (1) the participation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students in STEM subjects, and (2) their access to engineering qualifications at vocational or degree level.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency collects information from further education providers via the Individualised Learner Record (ILR). The ILR specification for the 2019/20 academic year is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ilr-specification-validation-rules-and-appendices-2019-to-2020.

The attached table contains the number of STEM enrolments for both adult (19+) education and training, and apprenticeships at all ages by people from ethnic minorities in the 2019/20 full academic year, and the 2020/21 provisional academic year. Please note that these counts are of learning aims [1]. If someone were to enrol on more than one learning aim in a given academic year they would be counted twice.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on students enrolled in higher education in the UK. Latest statistics refer to the academic year 2019/20.

Data on student enrolments at UK higher education providers are available by subject of study and ethnicity in the academic year 2019/20 in Table 45 of HESA’s Higher Education Student Data pages: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-45.

Further details about data collected by HESA is available at the ‘Student record 2019/20’ and ‘Alternative Student record 2019/20’ data collection pages, available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/collection/c19051/a/locsdy and https://www.hesa.ac.uk/collection/c19054.

More data on access to higher education are published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). These include breakdowns by subject of study and ethnicity, available in the End of Cycle Data Resources pages: https://www.ucas.com/data-and-analysis/undergraduate-statistics-and-reports/ucas-undergraduate-sector-level-end-cycle-data-resources-2020.

[1] A learning aim constitutes the package of learning being funded and delivered separately, such as an apprenticeship standard, an individual qualification, a module or a short non-qualification bearing course.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the number of students studying mathematics at (a) A Level and (b) degree level.

Since 2014, mathematics has been the most popular subject for students to study at A level. The Government remains committed to increasing participation in post-16 mathematics. The Department has introduced reformed A levels which provide a better foundation to study mathematics at a higher level. The Department also funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) which supports schools and colleges to improve the effectiveness of level 3 mathematics teaching and increase participation, including by providing tailored support to schools and colleges in areas with low levels of progression. The AMSP also provides targeted support for students preparing to study mathematics at higher education.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to strengthen safeguarding in schools.

Amended statutory guidance for schools in respect of safeguarding, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE), was published on 6 July 2021, alongside revised departmental advice on sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in school, and will come into force from 1 September 2021.

The guidance has been strengthened and updated following the consultation on proposed changes to KCSIE and departmental advice, as well as findings from the Ofsted review into sexual abuse in schools and colleges. KCSIE now provides schools with even clearer guidance on how to deal with reports of sexual abuse, and to support teachers and other school staff to spot the signs of abuse and respond quickly, sensitively, and appropriately. The ‘Reporting Abuse in Education’ helpline has been extended until October to allow anyone to report a concern over sexual abuse in schools, make a referral, or receive advice. The Department will continue to consider what further changes are needed for KCSIE 2022, to ensure all schools and colleges have the guidance to meet their statutory duties to safeguard children, following a further consultation later this year.

The Department will also be extending the pilot support and supervision programme for designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) in up to 500 further schools, and 10 further local authorities. The supervision pilot will test the impact and effectiveness of providing supervision to DSLs through these trials. The programme aims to strengthen support for DSLs and will help build the evidence base on what works. The Department is also committed to sharing lessons learned and good practice from these trials. Alongside creating an online DSL hub and considering how we give greater status to DSLs, my right hon. Friends, the Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, have asked the Children’s Commissioner to immediately start looking at how we reduce children’s access to pornography and other harmful content.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to increase school funding in the north-west of England.

Education funding is a priority for the Government. In the 2019 Spending Round, we committed to significant additional investment in schools of £2.6 billion in financial year 2020/21, £4.8 billion in 2021/22 and £7.1 billion in 2022/23, compared to 2019/20.

The Department has recently announced schools funding for the final year of this three year settlement. In financial year 2022/23, the schools national funding formula (NFF) is increasing by 3.2 per cent overall, and by 2.8 per cent per pupil. The NFF will distribute this funding based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics. Schools in the North-West will see a higher than average increase of 3.4 per cent in funding overall next year, and per pupil funding will increase by 2.8 per cent.

Within the North-West, Blackpool and Oldham are also benefitting from additional funding through the Opportunity Areas programme, which is working to improve education outcomes and social mobility in 12 of the most deprived areas of England. The Department has recently been able to extend this programme for another year, through to the end of August 2022, and will be providing an additional £18 million across all 12 areas.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many supply teachers have taken maintained schools to Employment Tribunal for breach of Agency Workers Regulations in each of the last five years.

The requested information is not held by the Department. The Department does not have an employer-employee relationship with the school workforce and does not collect information on employment tribunal cases.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are responsible for the Agency Worker Regulations. An individual claiming an employer is in breach of those regulations may take their employer to an employment tribunal.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether any of his Ministers plan to visit (a) schools, (b) nurseries or (c) colleges in the Putney constituency in the next six months.

Currently there are no plans for any ministers to visit schools, nurseries, or colleges in the Putney constituency in the next six months.

The Department is keen for providers to continue to focus on delivering education for children and young people.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it has been difficult for the Department to plan visits too far ahead. The Department will review visiting opportunities as COVID-19 restrictions are eased further.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support nurseries and other childcare providers to cope with the (a) practical and (b) financial effects of high levels of staff self-isolation during the covid-19 outbreak.

We have provided unprecedented support to early years providers during the COVID-19 outbreak and settings have also had access to a range of business support packages, including the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. As long as the staff in the nursery schools affected meet the criteria for the scheme, then early years providers are still able to furlough their staff while that scheme remains in operation, for example, if settings have to close temporarily to manage local effects of COVID-19, such as infections. Findings from the Childcare and Early Years Provider and Coronavirus survey have shown that in November/December 2020, 74% of group-based providers have made use of the Furlough Scheme at any point. Findings of this survey can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/survey-of-childcare-and-early-years-providers-and-coronavirus-covid-19-wave-3.

Eligible nurseries may also have qualified for a Business Rates discount to help reduce the costs of their business rates bills during the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible Nurseries could get 100% off in the first 3 months of the 2021-22 tax year with 66% off for the rest of the 2021-22 tax year which may help providers who have had a reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additionally, eligible nurseries have been able to access recovery loans to help with access to loans and other types of finance, so that they can recover after the outbreak and transition period.

We liaise regularly with local authorities, and they have not reported to us a significant number of parents unable to secure a childcare place, either during this term or at any time since early years settings re-opened fully on 1 June 2020. Where parents have been unable to temporarily secure a childcare place, for example due to their usual setting being temporarily closed due to COVID-19, this has been able to be quickly resolved locally and local authorities are not reporting significant sufficiency of supply issues.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department plans to issue to early years providers on the covid-19 self-isolation rules that apply before the 16 August 2021 in the context that the requirement to keep school-aged children in self-contained bubbles will end at the beginning of the 2021 summer holidays.

Firstly, I would like to offer my thanks to all early years providers for their support in the national effort to isolate, track and manage the spread of the virus.

Since 19 July 2021, we have not asked early years settings to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’) or to reduce mixing between groups. Updated guidance was issued to the sector on 6 July which included a Frequently Asked Questions document and a process map explaining the changes to contact tracing and self-isolation.

Additionally, early years settings are no longer asked to undertake routine contact tracing as NHS Test and Trace are now taking a more active role in notifying close contacts.

Until 16 August, anyone identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case should continue to self-isolate. From 16 August, fully vaccinated individuals will not have to self-isolate at the point they are identified as a close contact of a positive case. This will also apply to anyone under 18 who is identified as a close contact.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his Department's policy to continue to fund the core salary of academic mentors beyond 31 July 2021.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) was developed at speed to respond to a very immediate need to support pupils to catch up on education lost because of restrictions to schools and colleges. The programme has deployed academic mentors to provide tailored support to schools, including subject specific work, revision lessons, and additional support available outside of schools. Since October 2020, academic mentors have provided significant support to young people to catch up on lost education. The programme has reached over 60,000 pupils in the most disadvantaged schools through placement of academic mentors.

In year one of the programme, schools received funding to cover the core salary of academic mentors between October 2020 and 31 July 2021. Where mentors had made agreements with schools to continue delivery over the summer holidays, arrangements were made for them also to receive a payment to cover August 2021.

Next academic year, mentor contracts will run until the end of August as standard to bring consistency between mentors and others in the school community.

Applications are now open for individuals interested in becoming an academic mentor in the academic year 2021/22. Further information is available here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/ntp-academic-mentors/application-process and here https://tuitionhub.nationaltutoring.org.uk/NTP/s/ntp-academic-mentor-registration.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what their Initial Teacher Training recruitment targets were for secondary physical education in each of the last five years; and what the actual recruitment level was in each of those years.

The table below shows the number of new postgraduate trainee teachers recruited compared to the corresponding Teacher Supply Model (TSM) target in each of the last five years for physical education (PE).

Academic Year1

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

TSM target

999

999

1,078

1,222

1,200

Postgraduate new entrants2

1,087

1,103

1,242

1,281

1,615

Percentage of TSM target reached

109%

110%

115%

105%

135%

Source: Department for Education initial teacher training (ITT) Census statistical publications
Footnote:

  1. Refers to the ITT Census year.
  2. Figures for 2020/21 are provisional and are subject to change.

Information for the number of individuals employed by private providers to teach PE in primary schools is not available as data is only collected from a sample of state-funded secondary schools with electronic timetabling.

The number and proportion of hours of PE taught by a teacher without a relevant post-A level qualification, in state funded secondary schools, in each of the last five years for which data are available, is provided in the table attached. A relevant post-A level qualification is a level 4 qualification or above in PE, sports science, sports physiology, sports psychology, or dance (including ballet).

Data for 2020 is not available because, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, schools and local authorities were not required to provide information on teacher qualifications during the November 2020 school workforce census.

Data for 2019 is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england/2019.

All entrants to teaching must hold a first degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. Legislation does not specify that teachers must have a degree in a particular subject of discipline. There is no specific qualification required for physical education.

In further education, there is no minimum qualification requirement for anyone employed to teach PE or any specific sport or activity. It is for employers to determine the best qualifications and experience required to meet the needs of their pupils. A number of organisations have developed specific qualifications that provide an individual with recognition that they can coach or teach an activity safely.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of individuals employed by private providers to teach physical education in primary schools in each of the last five years; and how many of these individuals hold a qualification in physical education.

The table below shows the number of new postgraduate trainee teachers recruited compared to the corresponding Teacher Supply Model (TSM) target in each of the last five years for physical education (PE).

Academic Year1

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

TSM target

999

999

1,078

1,222

1,200

Postgraduate new entrants2

1,087

1,103

1,242

1,281

1,615

Percentage of TSM target reached

109%

110%

115%

105%

135%

Source: Department for Education initial teacher training (ITT) Census statistical publications
Footnote:

  1. Refers to the ITT Census year.
  2. Figures for 2020/21 are provisional and are subject to change.

Information for the number of individuals employed by private providers to teach PE in primary schools is not available as data is only collected from a sample of state-funded secondary schools with electronic timetabling.

The number and proportion of hours of PE taught by a teacher without a relevant post-A level qualification, in state funded secondary schools, in each of the last five years for which data are available, is provided in the table attached. A relevant post-A level qualification is a level 4 qualification or above in PE, sports science, sports physiology, sports psychology, or dance (including ballet).

Data for 2020 is not available because, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, schools and local authorities were not required to provide information on teacher qualifications during the November 2020 school workforce census.

Data for 2019 is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england/2019.

All entrants to teaching must hold a first degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. Legislation does not specify that teachers must have a degree in a particular subject of discipline. There is no specific qualification required for physical education.

In further education, there is no minimum qualification requirement for anyone employed to teach PE or any specific sport or activity. It is for employers to determine the best qualifications and experience required to meet the needs of their pupils. A number of organisations have developed specific qualifications that provide an individual with recognition that they can coach or teach an activity safely.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of secondary school physical education classes taught by a person without a physical education qualification in each of the last five academic years.

The table below shows the number of new postgraduate trainee teachers recruited compared to the corresponding Teacher Supply Model (TSM) target in each of the last five years for physical education (PE).

Academic Year1

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

TSM target

999

999

1,078

1,222

1,200

Postgraduate new entrants2

1,087

1,103

1,242

1,281

1,615

Percentage of TSM target reached

109%

110%

115%

105%

135%

Source: Department for Education initial teacher training (ITT) Census statistical publications
Footnote:

  1. Refers to the ITT Census year.
  2. Figures for 2020/21 are provisional and are subject to change.

Information for the number of individuals employed by private providers to teach PE in primary schools is not available as data is only collected from a sample of state-funded secondary schools with electronic timetabling.

The number and proportion of hours of PE taught by a teacher without a relevant post-A level qualification, in state funded secondary schools, in each of the last five years for which data are available, is provided in the table attached. A relevant post-A level qualification is a level 4 qualification or above in PE, sports science, sports physiology, sports psychology, or dance (including ballet).

Data for 2020 is not available because, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, schools and local authorities were not required to provide information on teacher qualifications during the November 2020 school workforce census.

Data for 2019 is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england/2019.

All entrants to teaching must hold a first degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. Legislation does not specify that teachers must have a degree in a particular subject of discipline. There is no specific qualification required for physical education.

In further education, there is no minimum qualification requirement for anyone employed to teach PE or any specific sport or activity. It is for employers to determine the best qualifications and experience required to meet the needs of their pupils. A number of organisations have developed specific qualifications that provide an individual with recognition that they can coach or teach an activity safely.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the minimum qualification or requirement for a person to teach physical education to (1) primary students, (2) secondary students, and (3) post-16 students.

The table below shows the number of new postgraduate trainee teachers recruited compared to the corresponding Teacher Supply Model (TSM) target in each of the last five years for physical education (PE).

Academic Year1

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

TSM target

999

999

1,078

1,222

1,200

Postgraduate new entrants2

1,087

1,103

1,242

1,281

1,615

Percentage of TSM target reached

109%

110%

115%

105%

135%

Source: Department for Education initial teacher training (ITT) Census statistical publications
Footnote:

  1. Refers to the ITT Census year.
  2. Figures for 2020/21 are provisional and are subject to change.

Information for the number of individuals employed by private providers to teach PE in primary schools is not available as data is only collected from a sample of state-funded secondary schools with electronic timetabling.

The number and proportion of hours of PE taught by a teacher without a relevant post-A level qualification, in state funded secondary schools, in each of the last five years for which data are available, is provided in the table attached. A relevant post-A level qualification is a level 4 qualification or above in PE, sports science, sports physiology, sports psychology, or dance (including ballet).

Data for 2020 is not available because, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, schools and local authorities were not required to provide information on teacher qualifications during the November 2020 school workforce census.

Data for 2019 is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england/2019.

All entrants to teaching must hold a first degree from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. Legislation does not specify that teachers must have a degree in a particular subject of discipline. There is no specific qualification required for physical education.

In further education, there is no minimum qualification requirement for anyone employed to teach PE or any specific sport or activity. It is for employers to determine the best qualifications and experience required to meet the needs of their pupils. A number of organisations have developed specific qualifications that provide an individual with recognition that they can coach or teach an activity safely.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made as to when the Batley Grammar School teacher who has been receiving threats to his life will be able to return to normal (1) teaching duties, and (2) family life.

The department has continued to work closely with Batley Multi Academy Trust, the local authority and the Police to ensure that the trust is fully supported in implementing any necessary safety measures for the individual staff member.

The department does not hold specific information on individual staff members, as this is deemed personal information and is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of children educated at home in each of the last two years.

The department does not collect data on children who are home educated, however we are aware of the rising numbers of home-educated children.

The department supports the right of parents to educate their children at home. Most parents do this with the intention of providing their child with the best education possible, and sometimes during challenging circumstances.

However, the rising numbers of home educated children cannot be overlooked. For some parents, the child’s education is not the primary reason behind the decision to home educate, which can mean that some children are not being provided with a suitable education.

The government remains committed to a form of registration system for children not in school. Further details on this will be in the government response to the Children Not in School Consultation, which we will publish in the coming months.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take in response to the judgment on Tameside MBC v L (Unavailability of Regulated Therapeutic Placement), made in the High Court on 5 July; and whether they will publish any action plan for dealing with the matters arising from this judgment.

Every child growing up in care should have a stable, secure environment where they feel supported and can thrive. The judgment in the case of Tameside MBC v L raises many concerns about the lack of available children’s home provision for some of the most vulnerable children in care.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to make sure there is sufficient provision in their area to meet the needs of all children in their care. We understand that local authorities sometimes find themselves in positions where the most appropriate placement is difficult to access. This is why the government announced £24 million of investment at the Spending Review in November to start a programme of work to support local authorities maintain and expand provision in secure children’s homes. We are also currently developing a new capital funding programme for open residential children’s homes to aid local authorities to develop innovative approaches to reduce the number of children needing care over time, and to develop provision for children with more complex needs or children on remand.

The government launched a bold, broad and independently-led review, to take a comprehensive look at what is needed to make a real difference to the needs, experiences and outcomes of the children supported by children’s social care. The Care Review, led by Josh MacAlister, has now reached its first major milestone with the publication of its Case for Change, published on 17 June. The Case for Change recognises many of the issues raised in the judgment in this case. We eagerly await the review’s final report and recommendations, which will follow further consultation, analysis and public engagement. At that stage we will consider the review’s recommendations and any cost implications.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing students to study British Sign Language as a language option in Key Stage 3.

The Government has recognised British Sign Language (BSL) as a language since 2003. BSL is not a compulsory part of the National Curriculum, although schools are free to offer BSL as part of their wider school curriculum or as part of a varied programme of extra-curricular activities. Some schools may also offer accredited BSL qualifications to support pupils' achievements in the language. ​

The Department is aiming to introduce a GCSE in BSL as soon as possible, provided it meets the rigorous requirements that apply to all GCSEs. Officials are currently working closely with subject experts and Ofqual to develop draft subject content. The Department plans to consult publicly in due course. Officials are also engaging with Ofqual to ensure the subject content can be assessed appropriately and will be working with stakeholders to ensure that a wide range of views is reflected.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2021 to Question 28129 on Holiday Activities and Food Programme, what the evidential basis is of the four hours a day, four days a week, for four weeks aspiration for holiday provision; and whether periods of longer than 4:4:4 were monitored.

Our holiday activities and food (HAF) programme guidance sets out our aim that children eligible for and in receipt of free school meals should be able to access free holiday clubs for the equivalent of at least 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, and 6 weeks a year. We have made it clear that local authorities and their providers will have flexibility in how they deliver this provision to best serve the needs of children and families in their area, for example, in considering how the programme can be most effectively delivered to older children.

We piloted the HAF programme in the summer holidays between 2018 and 2020 to build our knowledge. The 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, and 6 weeks a year model referenced was part of the framework of standards established based on insight from providers. The approach enables local authorities across the country to offer good coverage, high quality, but flexible provision. We know that many local authorities are choosing to offer provision that goes beyond this.

Through our investment of up to £220 million this year, including £1,491,000 in Sunderland, we are supporting children and families across the country this summer. We are monitoring the scheme closely, and we have an independent evaluator in place to ensure we continue to learn what works well.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to review the self-isolation requirements in educational settings before the new school year.

In line with Step 4 of the roadmap, nurseries, schools, and colleges are no longer routinely required to undertake contact tracing for pupils and staff. Instead, those who test positive will be subject to the normal test and trace process, which will identify close contacts.

From 16 August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old, and staff who are fully vaccinated, will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, they will be advised to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The Department encourages all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

18 year-olds will be treated in the same way as children up until four months after their 18th birthday to allow them the opportunity to get fully vaccinated, at which point they will be subject to the same rules as adults. Therefore, if they choose not to get vaccinated, they will need to self-isolate if identified as a close contact.

Nurseries, schools, and colleges will continue to have a role in working with health protection teams in the case of a local outbreak. If there is a COVID-19 outbreak or if central Government offers the area an enhanced response package, a director of public health might advise a nursery, school or college to temporarily reintroduce some control measures.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
14th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to stop fake positive COVID-19 test results being used to require school pupils to self-isolate.

It is important that everyone using lateral flow devices (LFD) uses them in the correct way to ensure we can control and slow the spread of COVID-19. On their return to school or college from 8 March, pupils and students were tested three times at an on-site asymptomatic testing site. This gave pupils and students the opportunity to get used to swabbing in a supervised environment.

In line with the latest public health advice, it is important to continue regular testing and reporting in order to detect cases of COVID-19. Around one in three people with COVID-19 experience no symptoms and rapid testing with lateral flow tests helps to identify positive cases that would otherwise be missed. Antigen LFD tests have a very high specificity, possibly as high as 99.97%, which means three false positives in every 10,000 LFDs. Despite this, due to the lower prevalence, the probability of a false positive from an LFD becomes higher. We are mitigating this by asking people to confirm a positive antigen LFD test with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

From Step 4 of the roadmap, nurseries, schools and colleges will not routinely be required to undertake contact tracing for children and young people. Instead, pupils and students who test positive will be subject to the normal test and trace process, which will identify close contacts. This will be limited to close contacts. Unless they test positive, children and those who are double vaccinated will not be required to isolate from 16 August, if they are identified as a close contact, and instead will be advised to take a PCR test. Further guidance will be provided shortly. Self-isolation continues for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and for those with symptoms.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his policy to increase the funding available for students taking pure mathematics at university.

In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, asked the Office for Students (OfS) to reform the Strategic Priorities Grant for academic year 2021/22. The OfS consulted on the Secretary of State for Education’s proposals and has recently published its conclusions. The consultation responses were carefully analysed, and the issues raised were considered by both the OfS and the Secretary of State for Education in reaching their respective decisions about the allocation of the Strategic Priorities Grant in 2021/22.

Mathematics is in price group C2 of the Strategic Priorities Grant and therefore does not receive a high-cost subject funding top-up.

Funding for future years will be subject to the Spending Review.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Berridge on 13th July (HL1530, HL1531 and HL1532), why they do not collect data on the use of handcuffs on looked after children; whether the regulations cited apply to those transporting looked after children from one location to another; what specific steps are taken during Ofsted inspections to assess compliance with the regulations both (1) in children’s homes, and (2) in transport between locations; and whether they intend to review the policy and its practical implementation in these areas.

Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 and accompanying statutory guidance, ‘Guide to the Children’s Homes Regulations including the quality standards’, include provisions around behaviour and restraint. Responsibility for the welfare of children while transported, including from one location to another, from a secure children’s home is noted in the protection of children quality standard, Regulation 12. The registered person and local authority overall have a responsibility to ensure that children are kept safe, and their welfare promoted.

All incidents of restraint when a young person is cared for by a children’s home must be recorded and made available to Ofsted during an inspection. If transportation is arranged by the local authority who has responsibility for the child, then the care of the child would fall to them. Where local authorities have contract arrangements with transport services, restraint should only be used in very limited circumstances, in accordance with government guidance on the use of restraint, and must always be necessary and proportionate.

During all inspections of children’s homes, inspectors assess all incidents of restraint. Where a provider has restrained a child in a way that does not comply with the regulations, Ofsted will take action. This can include suspension of a service if they believe that children are at risk due to the inappropriate use of restraint or restrictive practices.

Data is not collected by the Department for Education on the use of restraint. This is collected by Ofsted.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to support specialist post-16 institutions to access the Condition Improvement Fund.

The Department allocates condition funding each year to schools and those responsible for school buildings to maintain and improve the condition of their estates. We have allocated £11.3 billion in condition funding since 2015, including £1.8 billion committed in the financial year 2021/22.

Schools and other eligible institutions access funding through different routes depending on their size and type. The per pupil amount of funding available is calculated using the same funding formula.

Local authorities, larger multi-academy trusts and large voluntary-aided (VA) school bodies receive an annual School Condition Allocation (SCA) to invest in capital maintenance and upgrades across the schools for which they are responsible.

Smaller multi-academy, or stand-alone trusts, VA schools not part of large VA school bodies, and sixth form colleges are instead able to bid to the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) each year.

Special post-16 institutions (SPIs), with students funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, are eligible for condition funding, which they access through an annual SCA, rather than bidding to the CIF.

All schools, including eligible SPIs, also receive funding to spend on their capital priorities through an annual Devolved Formula Capital allocation.

Capital allocations are published on GOV.UK.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Berridge on 11 June (HL 660), what assessment they have made of the report School Uniform: Dressing Girls to Fail, published on 5 July; and whether they took into account the finding in that report that uniforms are more expensive for girls than boys when drawing up the statutory guidance on the cost of school uniforms.

The department has reviewed the findings of the report ‘School Uniform: Dressing Girls to Fail’ and is engaging with stakeholders, including the authors of the report, ahead of publishing statutory guidance under the Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021. This statutory guidance will be limited in scope to the cost aspects of uniform. Schools have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 not to discriminate unlawfully due to the protected characteristics of sex and gender reassignment.

Where a school has different dress codes for male and female pupils, they will need to carefully consider their obligations under equalities legislation not to discriminate unlawfully on the grounds of any protected characteristic.

The department published guidance to help schools understand how to fulfil their duties under the Equality Act 2010, this guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools. The department has also published non-statutory best practice guidance on school uniform which is clear that, “In formulating its school uniform policy, a school will need to consider its obligations not to discriminate unlawfully. For example, it is not expected that the cost of girls’ uniform is significantly more expensive than boys.”. This guidance is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/514978/School_Uniform_Guidance.pdf.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to support local authorities to meet their statutory targets for Education, Health and Care plan assessment waiting times.

The special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice makes clear that local authorities must give their decision in response to any request for an education, health and care needs assessment within a maximum of 6 weeks from when the request was received or the point at which a child or young person was brought to the local authority’s attention.

We have been using data to provide challenge and support to those local authorities where there are long-standing delays. Additionally, because of circumstances relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are carrying out monthly surveys of local authority performance. Our teams of SEND Advisers, and colleagues in NHS England, are working with local authorities to help improve performance. Each year, we also deliver a training programme to local authorities, health, and social care staff on their statutory duties for education, health and care plans and reviews, and we have continued to do this on a virtual basis.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) re-started their revisit programme to areas that received a Written Statement of Action in May, with the full inspection programme re-starting in June. We are continuing to provide support and challenge to individual local authorities with a Written Statement of Action. We have commissioned the CQC and Ofsted, with the support of the Department of Health and Social Care, to develop a new area SEND inspection framework to launch after the existing cycle has finished.

Furthermore, we are providing over £42 million in the 2021/22 financial year to continue funding projects to support children with SEND. This investment will ensure that specialist organisations around the country can continue to help strengthen local area performance, support families, and provide practical support to schools and colleges.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support he plans to provide for nursery schools closed since 21 June 2021 as a result of levels of covid-19 infection or self-isolation.

The government wants to support nurseries, pre-schools and childminders during this uncertain time, which is why we have spent over £3.5 billion in each of the past 3 years on our early education entitlements, and have invested £44 million for the 2021/22 financial year, for local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers for the government’s free childcare entitlement offers.

For the 2021/22 financial year, we have also increased the hourly funding rates for all local authorities by 8p an hour for the 2-year-old entitlement and, for the vast majority of areas, by 6p an hour for the 3-year-old and 4-year-old entitlement. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs that nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April. We have also increased the minimum funding floor, meaning no council can receive less than £4.44 per hour for the 3-year-old and 4-year-old entitlements.

As with other sectors, the COVID-19 outbreak has been an uncertain time for childcare providers. Our policy is to ensure that there are sufficient childcare places to meet demand from parents. Despite the level of uncertainty faced by providers over the COVID-19 outbreak, Ofsted data shows that as of 31 March 2021, the number of childcare places, offered by providers on the Early Years Register, has remained broadly stable since August 2015.

We have provided unprecedented support to early years providers during the COVID-19 outbreak, and settings have also had access to a range of business support packages, including the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. As long as the staff in the nursery schools affected meet the criteria for the scheme, early years providers are still able to furlough their staff while that scheme remains in operation (for example, if settings have to close temporarily to manage local effects of COVID-19, such as infections).

Findings from the Childcare and Early Years Provider and Coronavirus survey have shown that, in November/December 2020, 74% of group-based providers have made use of the Furlough Scheme at any point. Findings of this survey can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/survey-of-childcare-and-early-years-providers-and-coronavirus-covid-19-wave-3.

Eligible nurseries may also have qualified for a business rates discount to help reduce the costs of their business rates bills during the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible nurseries could get 100% off in the first 3 months of the 2021 to 2022 tax year, with 66% off for the rest of the 2021 to 2022 tax year which may help providers who have had a reduced income as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additionally, eligible nurseries have been able to access recovery loans to help with access to loans and other types of finance, so that they can recover after the COVID-19 outbreak and transition period.

We liaise regularly with local authorities, and they have not reported to us a significant number of parents unable to secure a childcare place, either during this term or at any time since early years settings re-opened fully on 1 June 2020. Where parents have been unable to temporarily secure a childcare place (for example, due to their usual setting being temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak), this has been able to be quickly resolved locally, and local authorities are not reporting significant sufficiency of supply issues.

We continue to work with local authorities and the sector to ensure there is sufficient, safe and affordable childcare for those who need it most.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to encourage employers to take on more apprentices.

In the 2021-22 financial year, funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England will remain around £2.5 billion - double that spent in 2010-11 financial year, supporting employers of all sizes to offer apprenticeships.

We are supporting employers to offer new apprenticeship opportunities by offering a higher incentive payment of £3,000 for every new apprentice hired between 1 April and 30 September 2021 as part of the government's Plan for Jobs. We have seen over 71,000 incentive payments claimed by employers so far (as of 8 June).

We continue to improve apprenticeships by making them more flexible and making it easier for employers to make full use of their levy funds. We are developing and encouraging innovative apprenticeships training models, such as the front-loading of off-the-job training and accelerated apprenticeships. These models support apprentices to be effective in their role and accelerate their progression and completion. We will also shortly launch a £7 million fund to help employers set up and expand flexi-job apprenticeship schemes, enabling people to work across multiple projects with different employers and benefit from the high-quality long-term training that an apprenticeship provides.

Levy-paying employers can already transfer up to 25% of their annual funds to support apprenticeships in their supply chains or to meet local skills needs. In August 2021, we will make the transfer of levy funds to small and medium-sized enterprises easier by launching an online matching service, whereby levy payers will be able to pledge funds for transfer and create more apprenticeship opportunities in their supply chain, sector or region.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children have had to isolate in York since the lifting of restrictions on 21 June 2021.

National data on the attendance of pupils during the COVID-19 outbreak is published weekly at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data at local authority level for the period since 21 June 2021 is scheduled to be published on 27 July. It is not possible to determine the number of children that have had to isolate since 21 June 2021, as individual child level data is not available.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the (a) average and (b) total number of missed school days by children as a result of the covid-19 outbreak in York since 21 June 2021.

National data on the attendance of pupils during the COVID-19 outbreak is published weekly at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data at local authority level for the period since 21 June 2021 is scheduled to be published on 27 July. It is not possible to determine the number of children that have had to isolate since 21 June 2021, as individual child level data is not available.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost of restoring the Modern Foreign Languages bursary to its pre-2020/21 level of £26,000 per student.

The Department reviews the bursaries and scholarships offered for initial teacher training (ITT) before the start of each annual recruitment cycle. Factors such as historic recruitment, forecast economic conditions, and teacher supply need are considered. Being able to change the financial incentives offered for ITT provides flexibility in responding to the need to attract new teachers and ensures money is spent where it is needed most.

The financial incentives for trainee teachers starting ITT in the academic year 2022/23 will be announced this autumn. In advance of this, the Department will consider the need and potential impact of incentives for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) alongside the offer for all other subjects.

It is not possible to say what the cost of increasing the MFL bursary or restoring the MFL scholarship would be in future, as this is dependent on the number of eligible trainee teachers that are recruited. The Department publishes ITT census data each year showing the numbers of trainee teachers recruited, from which we can estimate the cost per annum. The published 2019/20 ITT census data shows approximately 1,145 MFL trainees were eligible for either a £26,000 bursary or £28,000 scholarship[1][2][3].

[1] Includes postgraduate MFL trainees with 1st, 2:1 and 2:2 degree classes only from the following routes only: Higher Education Institution, School Centred ITT and School Direct (fee-funded). Total excludes trainees whose degree classes are unknown.

[2] It is possible that some of these trainees may have been ineligible for a bursary or scholarship because they were in fact awarded a degree classification lower than a 2:2.

[3] A small minority of these trainees will also have been ineligible for a bursary or scholarship because they were ineligible for student finance.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost per annum of restoring the Language Teacher Training Scholarships.

The Department reviews the bursaries and scholarships offered for initial teacher training (ITT) before the start of each annual recruitment cycle. Factors such as historic recruitment, forecast economic conditions, and teacher supply need are considered. Being able to change the financial incentives offered for ITT provides flexibility in responding to the need to attract new teachers and ensures money is spent where it is needed most.

The financial incentives for trainee teachers starting ITT in the academic year 2022/23 will be announced this autumn. In advance of this, the Department will consider the need and potential impact of incentives for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) alongside the offer for all other subjects.

It is not possible to say what the cost of increasing the MFL bursary or restoring the MFL scholarship would be in future, as this is dependent on the number of eligible trainee teachers that are recruited. The Department publishes ITT census data each year showing the numbers of trainee teachers recruited, from which we can estimate the cost per annum. The published 2019/20 ITT census data shows approximately 1,145 MFL trainees were eligible for either a £26,000 bursary or £28,000 scholarship[1][2][3].

[1] Includes postgraduate MFL trainees with 1st, 2:1 and 2:2 degree classes only from the following routes only: Higher Education Institution, School Centred ITT and School Direct (fee-funded). Total excludes trainees whose degree classes are unknown.

[2] It is possible that some of these trainees may have been ineligible for a bursary or scholarship because they were in fact awarded a degree classification lower than a 2:2.

[3] A small minority of these trainees will also have been ineligible for a bursary or scholarship because they were ineligible for student finance.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to introduce a fully funded re-training programme to support people to re-train in new jobs in response to the transition to a green economy.

In November 2020, the government established the Green Jobs Taskforce, comprising individuals from industry, academia, unions and the education and skills sector. It was tasked with assembling evidence on the skills needed in the green economy and setting out independent recommendations for how government, industry and a wide range of stakeholders might work together to meet the green skills challenge and grasp the opportunities presented by the transition to net zero.

The taskforce’s final report was published on 14 July. We will consider its recommendations carefully ahead of setting out, later in the year, our Net Zero Strategy.

In England, the reforms to the skills system set out in the recently published Skills for Jobs white paper provide the foundation on which we can build. This programme of reform, which places employers at the centre of our technical education system, includes the introduction of new T Levels, flexible apprenticeships, Skills Bootcamps and occupational traineeships. Earlier in the year, we marked a major milestone in the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, with the rollout of almost 400 qualifications which are now available and fully funded for any adult who has not already achieved a level 3 (A level equivalent) qualification. We will ensure that these programmes include supporting more people to get the skills they need to move into green jobs and consider where we might need to go further or faster to fill identified skills gaps.

We are already making progress. The Skills Bootcamps will, from July this year, support flexible training in key green sectors such as construction and nuclear. A Green Apprenticeship Advisory Panel is identifying existing apprenticeships that best support green career pathways and our Free Courses for Jobs offer is supporting more adults to study fully funded qualifications in subject areas crucial for green jobs, such as construction, forestry and engineering. The new Emerging Skills Electrification Project will foresight cutting-edge skills in the battery/electrification sector, develop short, modular content to meet the needs of employers and upskill the teaching workforce.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will provide additional catch-up educational support for days missed at school as a result of the covid-19 outbreak since 21 June 2021.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department has provided extensive support for schools and acted swiftly to help minimise the effect on pupils’ education. Being in school is vital for pupils’ education, wellbeing, and development, and the Department has kept schools open for as long as possible whilst managing the spread of COVID-19.

Since June 2020, the Department has announced more than £3 billion to support education recovery which will help in closing gaps that have emerged. This includes over £900 million that schools can use as they see best to support the children and young people who have been most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to an ambitious, long term education recovery plan and the next stage will include a review of time spent in school and college, and the effect this could have on helping children and young people to catch up. The findings of the review will be set out later in the year to inform the Spending Review. The Department will also continue to consider what steps we need to take to support children and young people to catch up following our latest education recovery announcement on 2 June 2021.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they contribute per annum to support the Mandarin Excellence Programme.

The annual funding of the existing Mandarin Excellence Programme committed by the department since the launch in 2016 is set out in the table below:

Financial year

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Total

Funding
(£ million)

0.93

1.47

2.63

1.35

2.97

9.35

The programme is led by the Institute of Education, University College London. It initially started with 14 schools and has now grown to 75 schools with over 6,300 pupils, and the increased funding over the period reflects this. The next phase of the programme and funding is due to be announced shortly and will start from September this year.

The funding of the Modern Foreign Language (MFL) Pedagogy Pilot Hubs by contract period, committed by the department, is set out in the table below:

Contract period

Dec 2018
- Dec 2020

Dec 2020
- Dec 2021

Dec 2021
- Dec 2022

Total

Funding
(£ million)

2.17

1.45

1.17

4.79

The MFL Pedagogy Pilot is managed by the National Centre for Excellence for Languages Pedagogy (NCELP) and was launched in December 2018. In addition to the support provided to the 45 schools in the pilot programme, NCELP has also so far developed Key Stage 3 schemes of work, lesson plans and accompanying resources for French, German and Spanish, which are available free of charge through its resource portal for all teachers.

In the 4th year of the programme, NCELP will deliver free professional development courses on MFL curriculum design and pedagogy to over 1,350 teachers nationally and develop fully resourced schemes of work for Key Stage 4 that will align with the new GCSE in French, German and Spanish.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the annual cost of supporting Modern Foreign Languages Hubs.

The annual funding of the existing Mandarin Excellence Programme committed by the department since the launch in 2016 is set out in the table below:

Financial year

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Total

Funding
(£ million)

0.93

1.47

2.63

1.35

2.97

9.35

The programme is led by the Institute of Education, University College London. It initially started with 14 schools and has now grown to 75 schools with over 6,300 pupils, and the increased funding over the period reflects this. The next phase of the programme and funding is due to be announced shortly and will start from September this year.

The funding of the Modern Foreign Language (MFL) Pedagogy Pilot Hubs by contract period, committed by the department, is set out in the table below:

Contract period

Dec 2018
- Dec 2020

Dec 2020
- Dec 2021

Dec 2021
- Dec 2022

Total

Funding
(£ million)

2.17

1.45

1.17

4.79

The MFL Pedagogy Pilot is managed by the National Centre for Excellence for Languages Pedagogy (NCELP) and was launched in December 2018. In addition to the support provided to the 45 schools in the pilot programme, NCELP has also so far developed Key Stage 3 schemes of work, lesson plans and accompanying resources for French, German and Spanish, which are available free of charge through its resource portal for all teachers.

In the 4th year of the programme, NCELP will deliver free professional development courses on MFL curriculum design and pedagogy to over 1,350 teachers nationally and develop fully resourced schemes of work for Key Stage 4 that will align with the new GCSE in French, German and Spanish.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will hold discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on increasing annual spending on children’s services ahead of the next Spending Review.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and his department discuss a range of issues, including children’s services funding with my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as well as the HM Treasury and other government departments on a regular basis.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support students who do not receive the grades that they expected in August 2021, in particular students who do not meet their offers for college, university and apprenticeships.

Students should feel confident in their grades this year. Teachers have been able to choose from a range of evidence and students have only been assessed on what they have been taught.

Students should also have been able to see the evidence their teacher planned to submit for them, allowing any errors or circumstances relating to particular pieces of evidence to be taken into account in advance of grade submission.

Teachers have also received support and guidance on the assessment process this year, and examination boards have shared grade descriptors. The process has been subject to multiple internal and external quality assurance checks. This should allow students to feel assured that the process has been applied as fairly and consistently as possible.

Teacher assessed grade results will be issued on the 10 August for A levels and 12 August for GCSEs. While we hope all students receive the grades they need to progress, any student who does feel disappointed with their results will have options open to them.

The Department encourages students to talk to their school or college, and to their prospective college, university, or employer to discuss available options. The National Careers Service will also be running an examination results helpline.

Students who want to improve on their teacher assessed grade may want to consider entering autumn examinations. Examination boards will offer autumn examinations in all GCSE and A level subjects, and in mathematics and science AS level subjects. These examinations will take place over October, November and December.

There will also be an appeals system, which can be used in exceptional circumstances to correct oversights and errors not identified during earlier parts of the process. An appeal will only be successful if either an error is found, or the grade awarded or the selection of evidence is found to be unreasonable. Students’ grades could go up, down or stay the same on appeal, therefore students should carefully consider whether appealing is the right course of action for them.

With regard to examinations in 2022, we recognise that pupils taking examinations next year have faced significant disruption to their education. The Department has launched a joint consultation with Ofqual to seek views on proposed changes to examinations in summer 2022, in light of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on pupils entering these qualifications.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department is having with Ofqual on the impact of unconscious bias on teacher determined exam grades for (a) GCSE, (b) A-Level and (c) BTEC students.

This Government is committed to maximising fairness for all pupils receiving qualifications this summer, no matter their background.

Following discussions with Ofqual, guidance was issued to centres on making objective judgements to support teachers in awarding GCSE, A level, BTEC and vocational and technical qualifications in 2021. It was designed to help teachers make their judgements as objectively as possible, providing guidance around basing decisions on evidence, being aware of unconscious effects on objectivity, using other evidence to identify possible bias and reviewing judgements with others. Following the steps outlined in Ofqual’s guidance helps a school or college assure itself that it has maximised objectivity and avoided bias in its judgments.

Awarding organisations have also produced their own guidance on assessing grades in 2021, including information about the evidence schools and colleges need to use to produce their teacher assessed grade and what the expectations are for different grades.

All centres are required to establish how they will ensure objectivity in their centre policies which will be reviewed by exam boards. Schools, colleges, exam boards and awarding organisations will also undertake rigorous internal and external quality assurance checks to help identify any errors or instances of malpractice in their grading, maximising fairness for all pupils this summer.

Finally, an appeals system has been put in place as a safety net to correct any errors that were not identified earlier in the grading process. Pupils can, therefore, have confidence in the grades awarded this summer.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answers of 14 July 2021 to Questions 30351 and 30352 on ventilation in schools and colleges, what budget has been made available for enforcement activities in respect of ventilation in each of the last 10 years in (a) schools and (b) colleges; what enforcement action has been taken in respect of ventilation in each of the last 10 years in (a) schools and (b) colleges; and when he last met school or college leaders to discuss ventilation.

The Department does not enforce action on ventilation in schools and colleges, but does provide guidance through ‘BB 101: Guidelines on ventilation, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality in schools’, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-bulletin-101-ventilation-for-school-buildings. Good estate management for schools provides further guidance on managing school buildings effectively, further information can be found via this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/good-estate-management-for-schools.

The Department has provided guidance on COVID-19 control measures, including ventilation, which is informed by the latest scientific evidence in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

The guidance for schools can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak and the guidance for further education colleges can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision.

Department officials and Ministers regularly meet with a wide range of stakeholder organisations to discuss the Government's COVID-19 response, including on the use of public health measures in schools and colleges, such as ventilation.

The Department allocates condition funding each year to schools and those responsible for school buildings to maintain and improve the condition of the school estate, including improving ventilation where that is their priority. This includes funding for 16 to 19 academies and sixth form colleges.

The Department has allocated £11.3 billion in condition funding since 2015, including £1.8 billion in the current financial year. Capital allocations for financial year 2021/22, how funding is allocated, and links to previous years’ allocations are available on GOV.UK.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will set out the reasons for the Infrastructure and Projects Agency's red rating of delivery of the National Tutoring Programme in 2021.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) was developed at speed to respond to a very immediate need to support pupils to catch-up on education lost because of restrictions to schools and colleges.

The NTP is an ambitious scheme that supports schools to access additional targeted support for those children and young people who have been hardest hit from disruption to their education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In the longer term, we aim to stimulate a well-functioning and sustainable tutoring market, offering high quality tutoring across the country.

Since the programme launched in November 2020, over 240,000 pupils have enrolled on the NTP, and over 195,000 have now commenced tutoring. This is in addition to over 1,000 academic mentors that have been placed in our most disadvantaged schools to provide tuition to pupils that need the most help to catch up.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) undertook a full review of the NTP on 1 March 2021. Nine recommendations were made, including more dedicated resourcing with relevant skills, longer term planning and more direct engagement with the sector.

The IPA carried out a review focused on progress against the recommendations at the end of April 2021, and found that progress had been made. Based on these findings, the review team rated the programme Amber.

A further review is planned for August 2021, focusing on readiness for launch of the Core NTP programme in academic year 2021-22 and progress on the expansion of the programme through school-led tutoring.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)