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

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)
Baroness Wilcox of Newport (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow 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
Monday 4th July 2022
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
4 Jul 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 5th July 2022
09:30
Education Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
5 Jul 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Accountability hearings
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 12th July 2022
Department for Education
Legislation - Main Chamber
Schools Bill - report stage (day 1)
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Scheduled Event
Monday 18th July 2022
Department for Education
Legislation - Main Chamber
Schools Bill - report stage (day 2)
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Scheduled Event
Monday 19th September 2022
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
19 Sep 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Thursday 30th June 2022
BACKBENCH BUSINESS
Westminster Hall
Select Committee Docs
Thursday 30th June 2022
09:37
Select Committee Inquiry
Tuesday 25th January 2022
Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (AEIAG)

The Education Committee is holding an inquiry on the effectiveness of the careers advice given to students.

The inquiry will …

Written Answers
Friday 1st July 2022
Children: Nutrition
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that children have access to …
Secondary Legislation
Thursday 30th June 2022
Coasting Schools (England) Regulations 2022
These Regulations make provision in respect of coasting schools. Regulation 3 provides that the regulations do not apply in relation …
Bills
Thursday 27th October 2016
Technical and Further Education Act 2017
A Bill to make provision about technical and further education.

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
May. 23
Oral Questions
Jun. 30
Written Statements
Jun. 30
Westminster Hall
Mar. 17
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 provision in respect of coasting schools. Regulation 3 provides that the regulations do not apply in relation to maintained nursery school.
These Regulations amend the School Admissions (England) (Coronavirus) (Appeals Arrangements) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (“the 2020 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
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Petitions with most signatures
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63,571 Signatures
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28,427 Signatures
(101 in the last 7 days)
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22,513 Signatures
(871 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
10,586 Signatures
(303 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
8,956 Signatures
(1,905 in the last 7 days)
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
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
Miriam Cates Portrait
Miriam Cates (Conservative - Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Education Committee Member since 19th October 2021
Anna Firth Portrait
Anna Firth (Conservative - Southend West)
Education Committee Member since 15th March 2022
Caroline Ansell Portrait
Caroline Ansell (Conservative - Eastbourne)
Education Committee Member since 15th March 2022
Angela Richardson Portrait
Angela Richardson (Conservative - Guildford)
Education Committee Member since 29th March 2022
Education Committee: Upcoming Events
Education Committee - Oral evidence
Accountability hearings
5 Jul 2022, 9:30 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Dame Rachel de Souza - Children's Commissioner for England at Office of the Children's Commissioner for England

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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

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to Ministerial speeches published on his Department's website, whether he has made a recent assessment of the accuracy of transcripts that are labelled as transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered, as opposed to check against delivery.

Wherever possible a speech transcript will be checked by a member of the department’s communications team or other members of the private office staff who are attending the speaking event, or watching it if it is being broadcast.

This will then be published on the department’s website as ‘as delivered’. Where it is not possible for this verification to take place, the last cleared transcript is published with ‘check against delivery’.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students started an undergraduate degree course at each higher education institution in England in each year since 2017; and what proportion of those students had left that course by (a) Christmas and (b) Easter of the first year.

Official Statistics on student retention are published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) as part of their UK Performance Indicators.

For the academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20, the following link: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/performance-indicators/non-continuation/table-t3 shows the number of undergraduate entrants[1] at each English higher education provider and their associated non-continuation rates.

These non-continuation rates are defined as the percentage of first year students who do not continue their studies after 12 months (full-time students) or 24 months (part-time students). Rates specific to leaving courses by (a) Christmas and (b) Easter are not published by HESA.

Whilst the department holds HESA Student data from which it could derive the information requested on how many students started an undergraduate degree course at each higher education institution since 2017, the information is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

[1] Who did not leave within 50 days of commencing study.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much his Department spent on consultancy fees in the last five years.

Consultancy expenditure is published in the department’s annual report and accounts, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dfe-annual-reports.

Although the audit is still ongoing, figures for the 2021/22 financial year are included. As a result, this value may be subject to change.

The figures below cover the entirety of the departmental group, including executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies, for the years specified:

  • 2021/22: £6.8 million (unaudited)
  • 2020/21: £8.7 million
  • 2019/20: £12.7 million
  • 2018/19: £13.1 million
  • 2017/18: £14.6 million.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to guarantee places in higher education settings for disadvantaged students.

Access to higher education (HE) should be based on a student’s attainment and their ability to succeed, rather than their background.

In November 2021, the department issued guidance to the Office for Students (OfS) to refocus the Access and Participation Regime. We asked them to create a system that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring students can make the right choices, accessing and succeeding on high-quality courses which are valued by employers and lead to good graduate employment. We have appointed John Blake as Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, and he will play a pivotal role in driving this work forward.

It is very important that providers focus on supporting students to see good outcomes, not just getting more disadvantaged students through the door, this will ensure that HE remains an engine of true social mobility. We know that prior attainment is a key determinant of successful participation in HE, and that is why we are asking universities to take on a more direct role in driving up the standards in schools.

The department also recently consulted on the design of a new National State Scholarship, worth up to £75 million, which will help the highest achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds overcome barriers to attending and succeeding on the course that is right for them.

Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access a world-class education remains a top priority, and we expect universities to do all they can to help disadvantaged students. This year, more students from disadvantaged backgrounds went to university than ever before.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to provide support to teaching assistants in transitioning to become fully qualified teachers.

The department is committed to supporting teaching assistants to become qualified teachers, including through providing accessible routes into the teaching profession.

Teaching assistants that have a degree can choose from various routes, including the School Direct (tuition fees) placement or School Direct (salaried places). Both routes carry the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and some may lead to the award of a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).

An alternative route into teaching is through an apprenticeship.

Currently, schools have access to a range of apprenticeship standards, including the level three teaching assistant apprenticeship and level six postgraduate teacher apprenticeship (PGTA). The level six PGTA is only available to those with a degree. The department is working with all interested parties to improve the PGTA for providers, employers, and candidates as part of its scheduled review.

There are a range of other routes into teaching, including PGCE or postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) for those with an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. Additionally, qualified teacher learning and skills status (QTLS) allows those without degrees to teach in schools, providing they meet the eligibility criteria. Those without a degree can also train to teach through an undergraduate degree. Unlike the apprenticeships and School Direct routes, these routes do not allow teaching assistants to train within a school they may already be employed in.

While teaching is a graduate profession, the department is working with interested parties to consider how teaching assistants and others working in schools can attain the relevant qualifications to become teachers.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what comparative assessment he has made of the levels of business rates paid by state schools and independent schools which have charitable status.

The department has done no comparative assessment between the levels of business rates paid by state schools and independent schools which have charitable status.

Currently, 80% mandatory rates relief is applied to academies, voluntary aided schools, and foundation schools. The majority of special schools also receive full relief because they make provision for children with a disability. In addition, under the Local Government Finance Act 1988, local authorities are permitted to grant relief against the business rate liability to certain charitable and non-profit organisations. Local authorities are able to offer discretionary relief for local authority-maintained schools in their area.

Local authorities receive funding for business rates through the national funding formula, to meet the full costs of schools’ business rates. This means the costs for local authority maintained schools’ and academies’ business rates are currently covered by the department. Therefore, there is no disadvantage to state funded schools from paying full rates, or advantage from receiving rates relief.

Charities can apply for charitable rate relief of up to 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes. Around half of independent schools are charities so enjoy at least 80% relief on business rates. The rest are private business and therefore do not benefit from such discounted business rates.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have offered places to Ukrainian refugees in each local authority area.

The department does not hold information on how many schools have offered places to Ukrainian refugees in each local authority.

We can share headline data on how many Ukrainian children are coming into the country and out of those how many children are being allocated school places. This data is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-placements-for-children-from-outside-of-the-uk/2022-may.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many members of the Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce were also members of the Maritime Enterprise Working Group.

There are twenty-one members of the UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce, three of whom were also part of the Maritime Enterprise Working Group. The lead for the skills work of the Working Group from BMT MarRI-UK is a member of the Taskforce, as well as representatives from Babcock International Group and UKNEST who were also members of the Maritime Enterprise Working Group. This will ensure that the reports and conclusions of the Working Group will be considered in the work of the Taskforce.

There are other members on the Taskforce representing the same organisations that were represented on the Working Group such as BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and A&P Group, the Royal Navy and the University of Strathclyde. The Taskforce also has members who represent organisations which were not part of the Working Group and so will bring different views and experience.

To ensure the Taskforce is connected to existing stakeholder groups working on shipbuilding, the Chair of the Taskforce will join the Maritime Skills Commission and the Shipbuilding Enterprise for Growth so that the work of these groups is aligned.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent progress his Department has made on the establishment of the Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce.

As part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy refresh publication on the 10 March 2022, it was announced that the Department for Education would lead the establishment of the UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce.

The department has made good progress in establishing the Taskforce, in collaboration with the National Shipbuilding Office and colleagues from the devolved administrations. The Taskforce membership, announced in May, has UK wide representation, including both small and medium-sized enterprises and larger organisations, academia and trade representative bodies. Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-shipbuilding-skills-taskforce-membership-confirmed.

The Taskforce will be Chaired by Honorary Captain Dr Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive of City of Glasgow College. The first meeting and official launch of the Taskforce will be on 7 July.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will make an assessment of the adequacy of the UCAS application process for people who attended school outside the UK when they were aged between 11 and 16.

The government works closely with schools, colleges, awarding organisations and the higher education (HE) sector to ensure that students’ interests are at the centre of decision-making, and to ensure that students have the time to carefully consider their options and make the best choices for their future.

As set out in the International Education Strategy, the government is committed to enhancing the international student experience, from application to employment. We work closely across government and the HE sector to achieve this.

Higher education (HE) providers are autonomous and independent institutions and are therefore responsible for their own admissions decisions. As such, HE providers are used to assessing a wide range of qualifications from domestic and international applicants to make fair admissions decisions.

UCAS is a charity, operating independently of the government. Prospective international and domestic applicants can find a range of information, advice and guidance on their website, and on the websites of their preferred providers.

The department is continuing to work with UCAS and sector bodies to improve transparency, reduce the use of unconditional offers, and reform the personal statement to improve fairness for domestic and international applicants of all backgrounds.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will take steps to ensure that UCAS applicants who have undertaken qualifications that are equivalent to GCSEs are not penalised in their applications.

The government works closely with schools, colleges, awarding organisations and the higher education (HE) sector to ensure that students’ interests are at the centre of decision-making, and to ensure that students have the time to carefully consider their options and make the best choices for their future.

As set out in the International Education Strategy, the government is committed to enhancing the international student experience, from application to employment. We work closely across government and the HE sector to achieve this.

Higher education (HE) providers are autonomous and independent institutions and are therefore responsible for their own admissions decisions. As such, HE providers are used to assessing a wide range of qualifications from domestic and international applicants to make fair admissions decisions.

UCAS is a charity, operating independently of the government. Prospective international and domestic applicants can find a range of information, advice and guidance on their website, and on the websites of their preferred providers.

The department is continuing to work with UCAS and sector bodies to improve transparency, reduce the use of unconditional offers, and reform the personal statement to improve fairness for domestic and international applicants of all backgrounds.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to issue guidance to universities on making adjustments and improvements to premises used for teaching and accommodation to (a) improve ventilation and (b) reduce the risk of covid-19 transmission during the summer 2022 university vacation period.

The department has no plans to issue further guidance to the higher education (HE) sector with regards to COVID-19.

On 21 February 2022, the Prime Minister announced the Living with COVID-19 guidance which set out how England would move into a new phase of managing COVID-19. On 1 April 2022, the department published ‘Emergency planning and response for education, childcare, and children’s social care settings’. This is non-statutory guidance which replaced previous guidance for education settings, including HE. This emergency planning and response guidance was produced to help all education,including HE, childcare, and children’s social care settings respond to emergencies.

In April 2022, the UK Health Security Agency published a practical guide for staff on managing cases of infectious diseases in education and childcare settings. This included guidance on keeping occupied spaces well ventilated. There is additional guidance on ventilation in the workplace provided by the Health and Safety Executive, available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/ventilation/.

The department remains grateful to the HE sector for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the great effort it makes to ensure staff and students remain protected.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will instruct the Competition and Markets Authority to conduct a market review of the academic e-book market.

The department is aware of the concerns about pricing and licensing of e-books, which are at the heart of the campaign led by a group of UK-based academic librarians seeking an investigation into the academic publishing industry by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

There are different views across the publishing and higher education (HE) sectors, as these concerns engage wide-ranging issues, including consumer protection.

I will be hosting a discussion shortly with representatives of the publishing sector, government and HE bodies, including the body for university libraries. Any moves to request a market study or challenge practice on confidentiality agreements will be decided after this discussion.

While it is possible for my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education to ask the CMA to look into issues in markets, the CMA is independent of government and makes its own decisions about its work according to published prioritisation principles. Under statute, it is the CMA Board who decides whether to publish a market study notice, and thereby launch a market study.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he is taking steps to regulate the use of non-disclosure agreements concerning the pricing and licensing arrangements of academic e-book agreements between universities and providers.

The department is aware of the concerns about pricing and licensing of e-books, which are at the heart of the campaign led by a group of UK-based academic librarians seeking an investigation into the academic publishing industry by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

There are different views across the publishing and higher education (HE) sectors, as these concerns engage wide-ranging issues, including consumer protection.

I will be hosting a discussion shortly with representatives of the publishing sector, government and HE bodies, including the body for university libraries. Any moves to request a market study or challenge practice on confidentiality agreements will be decided after this discussion.

While it is possible for my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education to ask the CMA to look into issues in markets, the CMA is independent of government and makes its own decisions about its work according to published prioritisation principles. Under statute, it is the CMA Board who decides whether to publish a market study notice, and thereby launch a market study.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the process of appointing the Director of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom will be anonymised.

The Director of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom is not a post listed in the Public Appointments Order in Council, but we have committed that the recruitment process will be done in accordance with the public appointments process.

The Governance Code on Public Appointments does not require data to be anonymised at any stage of the appointments process. It does require the process to be open, transparent and conducted with integrity. It also requires that public appointments should reflect the diversity of the society in which we live.

The scrutiny of candidates’ CVs allows for the completion of due diligence and supports a robust process. Therefore, the process of making this appointment will not be anonymised.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure English students wishing to attend the University of Gibraltar are able to apply for funding under Student Finance England.

The department is exploring options to finance English students to study in Gibraltar, whilst ensuring that these students receive an education and benefit from safeguards broadly comparable with those in England.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to lift the cap on (a) medicine and (b) dentistry course places for the academic year 2022-2023.

It is important to carefully manage dental and medical places to ensure a sustainable pipeline of practitioners to the NHS across all regions of the UK. The department will continue to monitor current arrangements to ensure student intakes are in line with workforce requirements. However, we have no immediate plans to increase the number of medical and dental school places.

The number of places available to study medicine and dentistry is regulated by the government and controlled through intake targets operated by the Office for Students. These places are quality assured by the General Medical Council to ensure the availability of sufficient provision of high-quality education, training and clinical placements and therefore have all been allocated for this coming academic year.

The department funded an additional 1,500 undergraduate medical school places each year for domestic students in England, a 25% increase over three years. This expansion was completed in September 2020 and has delivered five new medical schools in England. In addition, we temporarily lifted the cap on medical and dental school places for students who completed A levels in 2020 and 2021, and who had an offer from a university in England to study medicine or dentistry, subject to their grades.

The department is working with the British Dental Association to reform the NHS dental contract to make it more attractive to the profession. Health Education England set out a range of recommendations in their Advancing Dental Care Review, which will improve recruitment and retention of dentists and other professionals. Action is being taken to implement these through their Dental Education Reform Programme. We are also working to allow greater flexibility to expand on the registration options open to international dentistry applicants.

My hon. Friend, the Minister for Health and I have made clear to all medicine and dental schools, through joint letters sent in October and March, that there is no room for flexibility this year, and it is the department’s firm expectation that all schools will only recruit up to the maximum number of students as set in the Office for Students’ intake targets. Students recruited above these numbers would need to be fully funded by the institutions and relevant clinical placements secured without department support.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department is taking steps to provide additional support to universities in preparation for A-Level results day in 2022.

I will continue to work closely with the higher education (HE) sector to support the 2022 intake of students to ensure they can go on to their next step in life following A level and T Level Results day on 18 August, whether that’s university, on-the-job training, moving into employment or continuing to study elsewhere.

In November 2021 I wrote to Vice Chancellors to recognise the hard work and dedication that the sector has shown to students throughout the last 2 admissions cycles, and to ask that they build additional resilience into their offer making strategies for the 2022 HE admissions cycle. I have also engaged HE sector bodies through the HE Taskforce to commend them on their efforts to date and to ask that they continue to put students first through the 2022 admissions cycle.

Furthermore, the department, in collaboration with Ofqual, has actively engaged with and sought the views of the HE sector in shaping the decisions for the 2022 exam series for AS and A levels and vocational and technical qualifications. We have put a package of measures in place to ensure that students can take their exams fairly to recognise the disruption that this year’s students have faced.

In addition, this summer Ofqual will ask exam boards to set grade boundaries in a way that avoids disadvantaging some students who might otherwise have just missed out on a higher grade. This means that overall 2022 results are very likely to be stronger than in 2019, but lower than we saw in 2021. This package of adaptations, combined with Ofqual’s approach to grading, provides unprecedented support to maximise fairness and help students reach their potential.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has any plans to merge advocacy services with independent reviewing officers.

The government will give careful consideration to the recommendations of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care relating to advocacy and the role of independent reviewing officers. Further information will be provided in the publication of a detailed and ambitious implementation strategy later this year.


Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that children have access to healthy meals during the school summer holidays when free school meals are not provided.

The department is investing over £600 million in the holiday activities and food programme over the next three years. Children who are in receipt of free school meals are eligible for a place on the holiday activities and food programme, free of charge. This is being delivered in all 152 local authorities in England and ensures that disadvantaged children have access to healthy food and enriching activities during the longer school holiday periods.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the proposal in the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care to place (a) fostering and (b) other children's services at a regional level; and whether he has made an assessment of how his Department would maintain an effective relationship with the local authorities that deliver those services.

The recommendations from the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care must be considered carefully.

Very shortly, the department will organise many more of its functions including children’s social care, special educational needs and disability improvement and schools functions regionally to ensure we can better meet the needs of our users, including local authorities. This will set the department up to respond more effectively to local needs and understand how local contexts impact children and families.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure every (a) disabled child, (b) young person and (c) their families receive the social care support they need.

I refer my hon. Friend, the Member for Rother Valley, to the answer I gave on 25 May 2022 to Question 3798.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the outbound call campaign relating to the National Tutoring Programme which was launched by his Department on 28 April 2022.

The department’s calls to schools are part of the wider campaign to improve awareness and increase school engagement with the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), allowing more pupils to benefit from personalised catch-up support.

The costs are covered by the existing funding envelope. The department staff resource for the NTP call campaign was seven existing full time equivalent employees. Additional support was provided by up to ten agency staff already engaged by the department to deliver another campaign.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his latest estimate is of the number of primary schools that have a dedicated teacher for (a) music, (b) arts, (c) drama and (d) PE.

The department does not collect primary school curriculum data in the annual school workforce census. The school workforce census collects information on teaching in a sample of secondary schools and this information is published in our national statistics, the latest of which refers to the November 2021 census and is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

Music, arts, drama, and physical education (PE) are vital aspects of primary school. The department supports this via the curriculum first and foremost, where music, arts, drama, and PE are part of the national curriculum, but we also want pupils to have the opportunity to engage in enrichment and physical activity, including sport. These are important for academic progress, for health and wellbeing, and for increasing life chances and future opportunities.

On 25 June 2022, the government published its refreshed national plan for music education, setting clear expectations for schools and announcing £25 million of new capital funding for musical instruments and equipment and £79 million per year until 2025 for the music hubs programme. The government also announced opportunities for pupils to stay active, continuing the £320 million PE and sport premium, as well as the School Games programme for the 2022/23 academic year. The update to the School Sport and Activity Action Plan will be published shortly and, in 2023, the government will be publishing a cultural education plan.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when will schools who offer places to Ukrainian refugees receive additional per pupil funding for those children.

For children who have arrived via the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the department has advised local authorities that funding will be on a per pupil basis for the three phases of education. This bespoke scheme enables individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for people fleeing from Ukraine.

Eligible local authorities will receive full tariff amount for each child from Ukraine who has arrived under the Homes for Ukraine scheme up to and including 31 May 2022. This payment will be made in July 2022. Further funding allocations for children that arrive in a local authority from June 2022 onwards will be made at a later date.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2022 to Question 18885 on Schools: Platinum Jubilee 2022, if he will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on applying the lessons learned from the roll out of covid-19 vaccinations to the distribution of the Platinum Jubilee book to schools.

The department is working hard to distribute ‘Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration’ to schools as quickly as possible. The distribution of the books is being managed by DK, as per their contract with the department. The majority of deliveries to schools in England have now been completed with 3,053,000 copies delivered as of 24 June 2022, including all books delivered to schools in Northern Ireland. The delivery process is on course to be completed by 11 July 2022 at the latest.

As we are nearing the final stages of the delivery process, a discussion with my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, is not needed.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when primary schools will be informed of the (a) outcome of their application to and (b) funding allocation from the PE and Sport Premium Fund.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced on 25 June that the £320 million PE and sport premium will continue for the 2022/23 academic year.

The PE and sport premium is paid to all eligible schools and there is no application process. Funding allocations for individual schools will be published in September.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) nurseries and (b) childcare settings have closed in each region of England in each year since 2018.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support adoptive parents with the educational needs of their child.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to promote the achievement of previously looked-after children, including those who have left care through adoption. They must appoint an officer, the Virtual School Head, who discharges this duty through the provision of expert advice and information to those with parental responsibility, designated teachers and educators.

Previously looked-after children have priority access in school admissions, alongside looked-after children, and schools are required to appoint a designated teacher to promote their achievement. These pupils attract pupil premium plus funding of £2,410 per annum, which is managed by the school. Statutory guidance on the role of the designated teacher sets a clear expectation for schools to involve parents and guardians in deciding how best the funding is used to support their child.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make a comparative assessment of the higher needs funding per pupil (a) in Ipswich and (b) across England on average for pupils with (i) mild to severe and (ii) severe needs.

Suffolk County Council, in which Ipswich is located, will attract a year-on-year increase in its high needs allocation of 12.5% per head of their 2-18 population this financial year, bringing its total high needs funding allocation in 2022-23 to £96.1 million.

Suffolk County Council’s allocation of high needs funding is calculated through a national funding formula (NFF) that includes an element of funding based on the number of pupils in special schools in the county, which contributes to the cost of the place funding for those schools. This basic entitlement factor allocates a per-pupil amount of £4,660, to which an area cost adjustment is added, that reflects higher staffing costs in some areas of the country, such as London. The area cost adjustment weightings and basic entitlement per-pupil amounts for each local authority in England are set out in the published NFF calculations which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2022-to-2023. The Impact of the schools NFF, 2022 to 2023 spreadsheet shows how the financial year 2022/23 NFF allocations have been calculated. This shows that Suffolk’s area cost adjustment is 1.000. How area cost adjustment is calculated is set out here in Annex A: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2022-to-2023.

A significant proportion of overall funding for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is delivered through the schools NFF and subsequently through each local authority’s local schools funding formula. The information collected from local authorities or schools does not allow us to make a comparative assessment of total SEND or high needs funding on an overall per-pupil basis, at local authority or constituency level, or taking into account the severity of pupils’ needs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much SEND pupils receive per pupil in Ipswich constituency under the area cost adjustment to the basic entitlement factor; and how that figure compares to the UK average.

Suffolk County Council, in which Ipswich is located, will attract a year-on-year increase in its high needs allocation of 12.5% per head of their 2-18 population this financial year, bringing its total high needs funding allocation in 2022-23 to £96.1 million.

Suffolk County Council’s allocation of high needs funding is calculated through a national funding formula (NFF) that includes an element of funding based on the number of pupils in special schools in the county, which contributes to the cost of the place funding for those schools. This basic entitlement factor allocates a per-pupil amount of £4,660, to which an area cost adjustment is added, that reflects higher staffing costs in some areas of the country, such as London. The area cost adjustment weightings and basic entitlement per-pupil amounts for each local authority in England are set out in the published NFF calculations which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2022-to-2023. The Impact of the schools NFF, 2022 to 2023 spreadsheet shows how the financial year 2022/23 NFF allocations have been calculated. This shows that Suffolk’s area cost adjustment is 1.000. How area cost adjustment is calculated is set out here in Annex A: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2022-to-2023.

A significant proportion of overall funding for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is delivered through the schools NFF and subsequently through each local authority’s local schools funding formula. The information collected from local authorities or schools does not allow us to make a comparative assessment of total SEND or high needs funding on an overall per-pupil basis, at local authority or constituency level, or taking into account the severity of pupils’ needs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which there is a skills shortage in the technology sector; in particular, in respect of emerging technologies.

The recently published Digital Strategy (June 2022) identifies the supply of digitally and tech-enabled workers, at all levels, as crucial for the UK’s long-term economic prosperity. It estimates that the digital skills gap costs the UK economy £63 billion per year in lost potential gross domestic product. This gap cuts across all areas of the economy and is expected to widen. The department's Employer Skills Survey (2019) identifies that two-fifths of skills gaps (38%) involved a deficiency in digital skills, which includes both basic computer literacy and IT skills, as well as more advanced or specialist IT skills.

Building on the vision of the Skills for Jobs White Paper (January 2021), the department is working closely with the industry to tailor training offers to meet their needs and strengthen progression routes into the tech sector. We are growing the prestigious apprenticeships programme, rolling out T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications, and investing in Institutes of Technology. We have overhauled the outdated ICT curriculum and replaced it with computing and invested £84 million to improve the quality of computing teaching in England and to inspire the next generation of computer scientists. The newly formed Digital Skills Council will provide a crucial forum for developing these interventions, ensuring they are relevant and responsive to emerging technologies.

In addition, the department has established a new Unit for Future Skills to improve the quality of jobs and skills data and to make these available and more accessible to policymakers, stakeholders, and the public. Last month the Unit for Future Skills published new data products on the routes that learners take through education and into employment in different industry sectors (including the IT sector), which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/unit-for-future-skills.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that young people have the skills necessary to enter the workforce in the technology sector, particularly organisations working on emerging technologies.

The recently published Digital Strategy (June 2022) identifies the supply of digitally and tech-enabled workers, at all levels, as crucial for the UK’s long-term economic prosperity. It estimates that the digital skills gap costs the UK economy £63 billion per year in lost potential gross domestic product. This gap cuts across all areas of the economy and is expected to widen. The department's Employer Skills Survey (2019) identifies that two-fifths of skills gaps (38%) involved a deficiency in digital skills, which includes both basic computer literacy and IT skills, as well as more advanced or specialist IT skills.

Building on the vision of the Skills for Jobs White Paper (January 2021), the department is working closely with the industry to tailor training offers to meet their needs and strengthen progression routes into the tech sector. We are growing the prestigious apprenticeships programme, rolling out T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications, and investing in Institutes of Technology. We have overhauled the outdated ICT curriculum and replaced it with computing and invested £84 million to improve the quality of computing teaching in England and to inspire the next generation of computer scientists. The newly formed Digital Skills Council will provide a crucial forum for developing these interventions, ensuring they are relevant and responsive to emerging technologies.

In addition, the department has established a new Unit for Future Skills to improve the quality of jobs and skills data and to make these available and more accessible to policymakers, stakeholders, and the public. Last month the Unit for Future Skills published new data products on the routes that learners take through education and into employment in different industry sectors (including the IT sector), which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/unit-for-future-skills.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether there is a deficit in the number of apprenticeships in the technology sector.

The department continues to work in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport and support their newly launched strategy to make the digital economy more inclusive, competitive, and innovative by supporting the growth of Digital, Cyber, and Artificial Intelligence strategies.

The department recognises the important role that small and medium sized employers (SMEs) play in creating apprenticeship opportunities, particularly for younger people and those in disadvantaged areas. On 1 June, we reset the reservation levels for all employers who do not pay the levy to zero. This means that employers will be able to make up to 10 new reservations to fund new starts.

Furthermore, we have just published a tender calling for suppliers to engage with SMEs, to encourage more apprenticeship starts. We are using this SME Pathfinder to improve opportunities for individuals and productivity for SMEs in sectors and areas of the country where these are needed most.

Employers in the digital sector have developed 26 high-quality apprenticeships standards including: level 3 Data Technician, level 4 Software Developer and level 7 Artificial Intelligence Data Specialist.

In the 2020/21 academic year there were 14,760 apprenticeship starts in the Digital sector subject area, with a further 10,130 starts so far in the second quarter of the 2021/22 academic year.

The department is also encouraging all employers to offer more flexible training models. There are two flexi-job apprenticeship agencies supporting the digital sector, ensuring apprentices are ready to work on-site and can benefit from the high-quality long-term training that an apprenticeship provides.

We continue to make improvements to the apprenticeship levy transfer system to make it easier for large employers to make full use of their levy funds and support more employers, including SMEs, to take on new apprentices in the technology sectors.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to secure to the co-operation of small and large technology organisations to facilitate opportunities for apprenticeships in that sector.

The department continues to work in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport and support their newly launched strategy to make the digital economy more inclusive, competitive, and innovative by supporting the growth of Digital, Cyber, and Artificial Intelligence strategies.

The department recognises the important role that small and medium sized employers (SMEs) play in creating apprenticeship opportunities, particularly for younger people and those in disadvantaged areas. On 1 June, we reset the reservation levels for all employers who do not pay the levy to zero. This means that employers will be able to make up to 10 new reservations to fund new starts.

Furthermore, we have just published a tender calling for suppliers to engage with SMEs, to encourage more apprenticeship starts. We are using this SME Pathfinder to improve opportunities for individuals and productivity for SMEs in sectors and areas of the country where these are needed most.

Employers in the digital sector have developed 26 high-quality apprenticeships standards including: level 3 Data Technician, level 4 Software Developer and level 7 Artificial Intelligence Data Specialist.

In the 2020/21 academic year there were 14,760 apprenticeship starts in the Digital sector subject area, with a further 10,130 starts so far in the second quarter of the 2021/22 academic year.

The department is also encouraging all employers to offer more flexible training models. There are two flexi-job apprenticeship agencies supporting the digital sector, ensuring apprentices are ready to work on-site and can benefit from the high-quality long-term training that an apprenticeship provides.

We continue to make improvements to the apprenticeship levy transfer system to make it easier for large employers to make full use of their levy funds and support more employers, including SMEs, to take on new apprentices in the technology sectors.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to require the Office for Students to (1) monitor trends in international student recruitment, and (2) impose regulatory conditions on universities that have low diversity rates among their student body.

The department monitors international student recruitment trends and has set out in the International Education Strategy (IES) that diversification and sustainable recruitment of international students remains a key strategic priority.

The IES sets an ambition to host at least 600,000 international higher education students in the UK, per year, by 2030. This ambition was met for the first time in the 2020/21 academic year, with over 605,000 international students studying in the UK.

The government does not plan to require the Office for Students (OfS) to undertake additional monitoring of trends in international student recruitment.

Regarding measures to improve diversity at specific providers, under OfS registration condition A1, all approved (fee cap) providers charging higher fees must have an approved access and participation plan in place. These must present a credible, ambitious strategy by the provider for closing identified gaps in access, continuation, and progression for disadvantaged and under-represented groups within their student body. Providers are held accountable on their targets via an annual monitoring return to the OfS. 171 providers had an OfS approved access and participation plan in the 2020/21 academic year, in accordance with the regulatory framework and powers under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017.

It is important that providers focus on supporting students to see good outcomes, not just getting more disadvantaged students through the door, this is what will ensure that Higher Education (HE) remains an engine of true social mobility. The department expects providers to do more to support high prior attainment for all, and to help students to identify and access the pathways that are right for them. That is why we have tasked the OfS through guidance issued in November 2021 with a reboot of access and participation in English HE.

John Blake, as Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, is responsible for driving these changes forward. John is working closely with the sector to encourage stronger partnerships between HE providers and schools, and the expansion of the range of courses that are both offered and promoted to prospective students.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students started a level three course at each English further education institution in each year since 2017; and what proportion of those students had left that course by (a) Christmas and (b) Easter of the first year.

The tables attached show the number of level 2 and level 3 courses started in each academic year alongside the number and percentage of courses with an end date before Christmas and before Easter[1] [2] [3].

[1] It is possible for one student to undertake more than one course.

[2] Data includes 16-19 (excluding Apprenticeships) ESFA funded courses.

[3] All courses have been included regardless of the outcome and completion status.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students started in a level two course at each further education institution in England in each year since 2017; and what proportion of those students had left their course by (a) Christmas and (b) Easter of the first year.

The tables attached show the number of level 2 and level 3 courses started in each academic year alongside the number and percentage of courses with an end date before Christmas and before Easter[1] [2] [3].

[1] It is possible for one student to undertake more than one course.

[2] Data includes 16-19 (excluding Apprenticeships) ESFA funded courses.

[3] All courses have been included regardless of the outcome and completion status.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2022 to Question 18916 on Children: Asylum, if he will ask the Children's Commissioner to provide a written update on that issue; and if he will make it his policy to place a copy of the response in the Library of both Houses.

This is a matter for the Children’s Commissioner. Given her independence, the hon. Member for South Shields will need to contact her directly.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make provision for Ukrainian refugee children to attend holiday clubs over summer 2022 (a) in general and (b) in order that their parents are able to attend language courses.

Ukrainian children eligible for benefits-related free school meals (FSM) will be able to access the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme. This holiday provision is for school aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive) who receive benefits-related FSM.

Local authorities have discretion to also provide free or subsidised holiday club places for children who are not in receipt of benefits-related FSM but who the local authority believe could benefit from HAF provision, which could include Ukrainian children who may not be eligible for FSM or are in the process of having their FSM claims assessed.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to reinstate the practical 4-year apprentice scheme for the building industry in light of the reduction in skilled workers in this sector since the UK’s departure from the EU.

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 Lady and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the Schools Bill on how Special Educational Needs will be taken into account when monitoring school attendance.

Regular attendance at school is vital for children’s education, wellbeing, and long-term development. School attendance is mandatory, and parents have a duty, under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 to ensure that their child of compulsory age (5-16) receives an efficient full-time education either by attendance at school or otherwise.

The department appreciates that barriers to attendance are wide and complex, particularly for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Addressing these requires strong relationships and close working between families, schools, local authorities, and other relevant local services. This is the intention of the attendance clauses in the Schools Bill.

The Bill will put the department’s new attendance guidance ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ onto a statutory footing. This will ensure greater consistency in the attendance support offered to pupils and families, regardless of where in the country they live, and emphasises the importance of providing attendance support in an earlier and more targeted way to respond to pupils’ individual needs.

The new guidance makes it clear that schools should develop and maintain a whole school culture that promotes the benefits of attendance, whilst recognising the interplay between attendance and wider school improvement efforts, such as strategies on mental health, wellbeing, and SEND. Schools will be expected to have sensitive conversations with pupils about their needs and work with families to develop specific support approaches for pupils with SEND. This includes establishing strategies for removing in-school barriers to attendance, ensuring attendance data of this group of pupils is regularly monitored to spot patterns and provide support earlier, including ensuring joined-up pastoral care is in place and referring pupils to support from other services and partners where necessary.

These expectations, alongside the expectations placed on academy trust boards, governing bodies, and local authorities to work in conjunction with school staff to provide joined-up support for all pupils and families, will ensure that pupils with SEND are supported to attend school regularly.

Alongside the new expectations in the Schools Bill, the department is currently consulting on proposed changes we want to make to the SEND and alternative provision (AP) system in England.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Green Paper, which is open for public consultation until 22 July 2022, sets out the department’s proposals for a system that offers children and young people the opportunity to thrive, with access to the right support, in the right place, and at the right time.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2022 to Question 18884, on Schools: Email, whether he has issued recent guidance to academy schools on ensuring that information intended for parents and supplied over email is routinely made as accessible as possible to parents who (a) lack access to a desktop computer or tablet at home, (b) do not have English as a first language and (c) may experience other challenges in opening and reading attachments to emails.

The department does not issue specific guidance covering information provided from schools to parents via email. However, we would expect schools to consider the needs of their own parents, and to communicate with them in a range of effective and accessible ways. This includes considering the best way to communicate with those for whom English is not their first language, or who may be less digitally literate.

The department issues guidance to schools and academies which sets out what school level information they need to publish online. This is a requirement for maintained schools in the School Information (England) Regulations 2008 and for many trusts in their academy funding agreements.

As the school information regulations cover what schools must publish on their website, and not what is sent via email, it is not suitable to amend these in order to include making digital communications from schools to parents accessible.

If a parent has concerns about information sent via email not being accessible, they should in the first instance raise these with their school.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2022 to Question 18884, on Schools: Email, if he will amend the (a) School Information Regulations and (b) Governance Handbook to ensure that schools use modern digital communications with parents in a way that is (i) effective and (ii) inclusive, especially for those parents who have difficulties using email, reading and opening attachments, and (iii) in line with wider best practice across government; and if he will make a statement.

The department does not issue specific guidance covering information provided from schools to parents via email. However, we would expect schools to consider the needs of their own parents, and to communicate with them in a range of effective and accessible ways. This includes considering the best way to communicate with those for whom English is not their first language, or who may be less digitally literate.

The department issues guidance to schools and academies which sets out what school level information they need to publish online. This is a requirement for maintained schools in the School Information (England) Regulations 2008 and for many trusts in their academy funding agreements.

As the school information regulations cover what schools must publish on their website, and not what is sent via email, it is not suitable to amend these in order to include making digital communications from schools to parents accessible.

If a parent has concerns about information sent via email not being accessible, they should in the first instance raise these with their school.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to establish a British Baccalaureate which offers a mix of (1) academic, and (2) vocational, qualifications at age 18.

Since 2010, the government’s reforms have made a lasting improvement to the rigour of qualifications, ensuring they reflect the knowledge and skills pupils need to progress. With further reforms currently in train, the department has no plans to introduce a Baccalaureate-style system at age 18.

GCSEs were reformed from 2013 to ensure they rigorously assess the knowledge acquired by pupils during key stage 4. They are in line with the expected standards in high-performing jurisdictions. Around half of students change institution at age 16. GCSEs therefore provide an important reflection of academic attainment, giving students recognised and respected qualifications, and supporting a smooth transition between institutions.

With the benefit of a broad education pre-16, students can then specialise post-16. The academic and technical pathways the department has developed serve different purposes, but they are rigorous and enable students to progress to the next stage of their education or employment.

The academic pathway includes our gold standard A levels. We have worked with higher education (HE) providers to reform A levels to ensure they are as robust as possible and support progression to HE.

The technical pathway includes T levels, which have been designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they need to secure employment in a range of occupations or to progress to higher technical education. Our ten new T levels, including digital, construction, and health and science, are now being taught. Over twenty T Levels will be available by 2023.

In addition, our high-quality apprenticeships provide young people with the opportunity to earn while learning the skills needed to start an exciting career in a wide range of industries. There are currently over 640 employer-designed apprenticeship standards available at all levels, ensuring a wide variety of options for young people. We are also promoting front-loaded and accelerated apprenticeships to ensure apprentices can hit the ground running, and to support progression from other skills programmes, including T levels.

The department is also streamlining and improving the quality of all post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below. The changes we are making will give students a clear route map to the high-quality technical and academic pathways available, which they can trust to lead to rewarding careers.

The department is confident that recent and upcoming reforms have and will provide students with a range of rigorous and evidence-informed academic and technical qualifications, and that our qualifications system supports all students to achieve their full potential.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what process his Department has in place to measure social mobility in children and young people from primary school age to (a) leaving education and (b) entering higher education.

The department monitors key metrics internally and publishes data on outcomes of children and young people from early years to post-16. This includes breakdowns of data by disadvantaged and vulnerable cohorts, and by regions and local authority.

The most relevant measures that the department tracks by these cohorts are described below, with links to the latest statistical publications:

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many designated Sure Start Children's Centres there were in each local authority in (a) 2010 and (b) 2021.

Data on Sure Start children’s centres and children’s centre linked sites has been supplied by local authorities via the department’s Get Information about Schools database portal since 18 September 2017. This data is available at: https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/.

Based on the information supplied by local authorities, the attached table provides details of the number of children’s centre sites by local authority in 2010 and 2021. Councils are reconfiguring services to deliver them more efficiently. If a council decides to close a children’s centre, statutory guidance is clear that they should demonstrate that local children and families would not be adversely affected, and local areas continue to have sufficient children’s centres to meet their needs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the impact of supported apprenticeships on (a) improving the confidence and (b) the future employability of SEND pupils.

Apprenticeships are jobs and are available for all people of all backgrounds, including people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), to start an exciting career in a variety of industries.


In recent years, the department has seen an improved representation of learners who have declared SEND starting apprenticeships, and we want this to continue. The department has improved its ‘find an apprenticeship’ service to allow people to identify Disability Confident employers offering opportunities and ensuring apprenticeships are available to all.


In partnership with the Disability Rights UK, the department has launched a Disabled Apprentice Network to provide valuable insight and evidence on how to attract and retain disabled people into apprenticeships. Disability Rights UK published a report during National Apprenticeship Week 2022 to support employers to improve the diversity of their apprenticeship programmes, whilst highlighting the barriers people may face when undertaking an apprenticeship. In this report, the apprentices identified the opportunity to build confidence, skills, and networks with people with different experiences and gain paid work experience as the key points which influenced them towards undertaking an apprenticeship.


To ensure that more people who declare learning difficulty or disability (LDD) feel confident to undertake apprenticeships, the department has lowered the English and maths requirements to apprenticeships for a defined group of individuals with LDD. We have also introduced British Sign Language (BSL) as an alternative to English Functional Skills for those who have BSL as their first language.


Furthermore, the department makes £1,000 payments to employers and providers for taking on 16 to 18 year olds, or those aged 19 to 24 with an education, health and care (EHC) plan. We also offer £150 per month to help providers make reasonable adjustments for eligible apprentices with special educational needs. Providers can claim additional funding if the cost of support exceeds this rate.


More widely, the department is investing up to £18 million over the next three years to build capacity in the supported internships programme, providing extra support to people with EHC plans to build the necessary skills they need to secure and sustain paid employment or transition into an apprenticeship if they wish to do so.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to provide Ukrainian refugees with English language training to support their ability to work in the UK.

The department knows that language skills are crucial to help people integrate into life in England, as well as to break down barriers to work and further learning.

The government is committed to supporting all Ukrainians in the UK to give them the same access to education and childcare as a UK citizen. All Ukrainian adults and their family members supported through the Ukraine Family Scheme, Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, and Ukraine Extension Scheme have been made immediately eligible for education and training funded through the adult education budget (AEB), and are exempt from the 3-year residency requirement as per the current AEB funding rules. This includes English for speakers of other languages provision.

Currently, approximately 60% of the AEB is devolved to 9 Mayoral Combined Authorities and delegated to the Mayor of London acting through the Greater London Authority. These authorities are responsible for the provision of adult education and allocation of the AEB in their local areas. The Education and Skills Funding Agency is responsible for the remaining AEB in non-devolved areas where colleges and training providers have the freedom and flexibility to determine how they use their AEB to meet the needs of their communities.

Departmental officials and I continue to work closely with colleagues across government to consider where further support may be necessary.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)