Baroness Garden of Frognal Portrait

Baroness Garden of Frognal

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Liaison Committee (Lords)
10th Sep 2015 - 1st Jul 2019
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
4th Nov 2014 - 7th May 2015
Lords Spokesperson (Women & Equalities)
5th Nov 2014 - 7th May 2015
Digital Skills
12th Jun 2014 - 4th Nov 2014
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
13th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2013
Lords Spokesperson (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills)
6th Sep 2012 - 7th Oct 2013
Lords Spokesperson (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Oct 2010 - 6th Sep 2012


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 5th July 2022
Sitting Times
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 38 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 5 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 158 Noes - 124
Speeches
Wednesday 29th June 2022
Schools: Citizenship Education
My Lords, if we wish our young people to emerge from school with skills for life, citizenship education is surely …
Written Answers
Thursday 9th December 2021
Government Departments: Disability
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether attendees of the cross departmental meeting of Disability Champions need to report the number …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness Garden of Frognal has voted in 288 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

8 Dec 2021 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Garden of Frognal voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 50 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 211 Noes - 82
22 Feb 2022 - Procedure and Privileges Committee - View Vote Context
Baroness Garden of Frognal voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 29 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 144 Noes - 133
View All Baroness Garden of Frognal Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
(50 debate interactions)
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(20 debate interactions)
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Conservative)
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
(18 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(56 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(54 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(44 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Garden of Frognal's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Garden of Frognal, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Baroness Garden of Frognal has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness Garden of Frognal has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Baroness Garden of Frognal has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Baroness Garden of Frognal has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


50 Written Questions in the current parliament

(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
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many disabled people are employed by each department.

Information on the number of disabled staff by department can be found in Table 38 of the Civil Service Statistics, the latest version of which was published 28 July 2021 and is available in the Government efficiency, transparency and accountability collection on GOV.UK. The latest figures show that 13.6% of Civil Servants declare themselves as having a disability.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish the (1) results of, (2) guidance arising from, the Events Research Programme.

Research findings from the Events Research Programme’s first phase of pilots will be published on GOV.UK shortly.

The Government has committed to taking a cautious approach to easing restrictions, guided by data instead of dates, to avoid another surge in infections that could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS. The roadmap sets out indicative, “no earlier than” dates for each step which are five weeks apart. Each full step of our roadmap will be informed by the latest available science and data and will be five weeks apart in order to provide time to assess the data, providing one week’s notice to businesses and individuals.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to a Government-backed indemnity for live events after the Stage 4 lifting of restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Government recognises the importance of the UK’s live events sector and has provided significant financial support to cultural organisations, particularly through the Culture Recovery Fund.

As the Secretary of State made clear at the DCMS Select Committee on Thursday 13th May, the government is aware of the wider concerns around securing indemnity for live events and we continue to assess options to provide further support to the sector within the public health context, engaging with relevant stakeholders as necessary.

We need to be confident that any intervention would lead to an increase in activity, and that insurance represents the last barrier to events reopening. The government’s first priority is to remove remaining barriers (such as social distancing) by reaching Stage 4 of the Roadmap.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken towards establishing a transitional support fund for UK musicians seeking to tour the EU.

The UK took an ambitious approach during the EU TCA negotiations that would have ensured that touring artists and their support staff did not need work permits to perform in the EU. Regrettably, our proposals were rejected by the EU, but our door remains open if the European Commission is willing to reconsider its position.

As the Secretary of State has said, we have moved at pace and with urgency on plans to support the creative sectors to tour in Europe. Through our bilateral discussions with EU Member States, we have established that in at least 17 out of 27 Member States some touring activities are possible without visas or work-permits. The UK has significantly more generous arrangements for touring professionals than many Member States, and should they be willing to change their rules to match ours we will have those discussions and encourage them to do so.

UK performers and artists are of course still able to tour and perform in the EU, and vice versa. However, we understand the concerns about the new arrangements and we are committed to supporting the sectors as they get to grips with the changes to systems and processes.

We are also looking closely at funding options to support individuals and businesses to resume touring with ease as soon as it is safe to do so.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have established a timetable for negotiations on reducing barriers to touring with key live music markets in the EU; and if so, what is that timetable.

The UK took an ambitious approach during the EU TCA negotiations that would have ensured that touring artists and their support staff did not need work permits to perform in the EU. Regrettably, our proposals were rejected by the EU, but our door remains open if the European Commission is willing to reconsider its position.

As the Secretary of State has said, we have moved at pace and with urgency on plans to support the creative sectors to tour in Europe. Through our bilateral discussions with EU Member States, we have established that in at least 17 out of 27 Member States some touring activities are possible without visas or work-permits. The UK has significantly more generous arrangements for touring professionals than many Member States, and should they be willing to change their rules to match ours we will have those discussions and encourage them to do so.

UK performers and artists are of course still able to tour and perform in the EU, and vice versa. However, we understand the concerns about the new arrangements and we are committed to supporting the sectors as they get to grips with the changes to systems and processes.

We are also looking closely at funding options to support individuals and businesses to resume touring with ease as soon as it is safe to do so.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they undertook to decide the minimum (1) education, (2) employment, or (3) training, requirements that mean an individual is not classed as someone Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET).

NEET (Not in Education Employment or Training) is a statistical measure agreed across government and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and is not formally assessed or used as a condition to establish entitlement for free training for adults.

Anybody who is not participating in any forms of education or training and who is not in employment is considered to be NEET. This includes those not:

- Enrolled on an education course

- Still attending or waiting for term to (re)start

- Doing an apprenticeship

- On a government supported employment or training programme

- Working or studying towards a qualification

- On job-related training or education in the last 4 weeks

- In some form of paid work, including those working part-time

Under Raising the Participation Age, introduced in the Education and Skills Act 2008, 16- and 17-year-olds are under a statutory duty to particate in education or training. Aligned to this, local authorities are under a statutory duty to support 16- and 17-year-olds into education or training, a minimum of at least 280 planned qualification hours per year for those in full-time work or volunteering (20 hours per week) or 540 hours of planned learning for those in full-time education.

Published measures of NEET typically use the Labour Force Survey which is run by the ONS, using their definition of NEET and also aligns to the measure of employment as defined by the International Labour Organisation. This states a person in employment is defined as all those of working age who, during a short reference period, were engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit. They comprise employed persons "at work", i.e. who worked in a job for at least one hour, and employed persons "not at work" due to temporary absence from a job, or to working-time arrangements (such as shift work, flexitime and compensatory leave for overtime).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many hours a week a person under the age of 25 must be in (1) education, (2) employment, or (3) training, to lose their classification as someone Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET).

NEET (Not in Education Employment or Training) is a statistical measure agreed across government and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and is not formally assessed or used as a condition to establish entitlement for free training for adults.

Anybody who is not participating in any forms of education or training and who is not in employment is considered to be NEET. This includes those not:

- Enrolled on an education course

- Still attending or waiting for term to (re)start

- Doing an apprenticeship

- On a government supported employment or training programme

- Working or studying towards a qualification

- On job-related training or education in the last 4 weeks

- In some form of paid work, including those working part-time

Under Raising the Participation Age, introduced in the Education and Skills Act 2008, 16- and 17-year-olds are under a statutory duty to particate in education or training. Aligned to this, local authorities are under a statutory duty to support 16- and 17-year-olds into education or training, a minimum of at least 280 planned qualification hours per year for those in full-time work or volunteering (20 hours per week) or 540 hours of planned learning for those in full-time education.

Published measures of NEET typically use the Labour Force Survey which is run by the ONS, using their definition of NEET and also aligns to the measure of employment as defined by the International Labour Organisation. This states a person in employment is defined as all those of working age who, during a short reference period, were engaged in any activity to produce goods or provide services for pay or profit. They comprise employed persons "at work", i.e. who worked in a job for at least one hour, and employed persons "not at work" due to temporary absence from a job, or to working-time arrangements (such as shift work, flexitime and compensatory leave for overtime).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage students to take all forms of mathematics at Higher Education level.

Mathematics remains the most popular A level subject, with entries up 19% since 2010. There have been increases in A level entries for both maths and further maths – of 3.8% and 7.1% respectively – since 2020.

The Department for Education funds a national network of 40 Maths Hubs across England to raise the standard of mathematics education to meet the standards achieved in top-performing jurisdictions. Through a school-led model, Maths Hubs aim to harness maths leadership and expertise to develop and spread excellent practice in the teaching of mathematics for the benefit of all students.

The Department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) which aims to increase participation and attainment in level 3 mathematics through targeted support ensuring that students in all 16–19 state-funded schools and colleges can access AS/A level maths and AS/A level further mathematics and helping them to study these subjects to a higher level.

The government will nurture our country’s top mathematical talent by delivering its commitment to have a 16–19 maths school in every region. The principal aim of maths schools is to help prepare more of our most mathematically-able students to succeed in maths disciplines at top universities and to pursue mathematically-intensive careers.

This is part of a range of initiatives to improve maths provision, including the AMSP and additional funding via the Advanced Maths Premium to support providers to increase A level maths participation; it will also complement the work of Maths Hubs.

The AMSP also provides targeted support for students preparing for study in higher education.

Effective careers guidance and advice is key to supporting young people in their education and career choices, to learn and develop skills in the areas for which employers are looking. The government’s Careers Strategy sets out a long-term plan to build a world-class careers system to achieve this ambition. We are increasing the information available to students to ensure they can make informed choices about what and where to study. The delivery of the Careers Strategy also ensures that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) encounters, such as with employers and apprenticeships, are built into school careers programmes.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to protect, and (2) to increase, the funding available for all forms of mathematics at universities.

The government strongly supports all forms of mathematics in higher education. We are pleased many students chose to take up courses in mathematical sciences (39,210 students in England[1]) and that many more enrol on courses involving elements of mathematical study such as engineering, computer science, and accounting.

Our student loan system supports students who have the qualifications to benefit from higher education to access higher education, including a range of mathematics courses. Additionally, the government also supports a number of mathematics-based courses via the Strategic Priorities Grant, a funding pot to support the provision of higher education. This includes high-cost subject funding – extra money given to providers to deliver expensive subjects. Mathematical subjects that attract high-cost subject funding are those which have typically higher delivery costs that are not met by tuition fees alone. This includes courses involving the study and application of specialist mathematics such as civil engineering and physics. For the academic year 2021/22, these subjects are in price group B and their high-cost subject funding rate will be £1,515. This is an increase of 4% from the previous academic year – part of our reprioritisation of Strategic Priorities Grant funding towards high-cost subjects which support the NHS and wider healthcare policy, high-cost science, technology and engineering subjects, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

[1] Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student data, Table 49: Table 49 - HE student enrolments by HE provider and subject of study 2019/20 | HESA (English providers only).

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
6th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of charging awarding organisations for the approval of qualifications and the effect of this on the qualifications sector.

The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill introduces provision for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to charge fees in connection with the approval or continued approval of technical education qualifications.

An initial assessment of the impact of charging fees for the approval of technical education qualifications has been published as part of the wider Skills and Post-16 Education Bill impact assessment and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skills-and-post-16-education-bill-impact-assessment-and-jchr-memorandum.

As set out in the bills policy summary note: “approval fees would be charged on a cost-recovery basis. Any approach designed would be proportionate and take into account the impacts on the market to ensure the range of approved qualifications meets the needs of employers and learners, including qualifications in niche areas.”.

The intention is that the introduction of fees will not be considered until the initial reforms to technical qualifications have been implemented. The fee-charging power would be subject to regulations published by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education. A further assessment of the impact of the regulations on the market will be undertaken when the regulations are being made.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether evidence relating to the delivery of the core content framework by initial teacher education providers will be used to inform their review on the initial teacher training market; and if so, how.

The government is committed to driving up and levelling up education standards so that children and young people in every part of the country acquire the knowledge, skills, and qualifications they need to progress.

Central to this is making sure that we have great teachers in every classroom. We are making England the best place in the world to become a great teacher through giving every teacher, particularly those in the most disadvantaged areas, access to world-class training and professional development opportunities throughout their career. Reforms to teacher training and early career support are key to the government’s plans to improve school standards for all.

The Review will focus on how the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) sector can provide consistently high-quality training, in line with the Core Content Framework (CCF), in a more efficient and effective market. We are reviewing the available evidence on ITT, which includes published research commissioned by the department, as well as wider evidence from the sector. Department analysts, including social researchers, are feeding into the Review to ensure that the evidence is interpreted accurately and will be used to inform any recommendations. As we did with the CCF and Early Career Framework, the Review is considering international evidence alongside evidence from UK ITT markets.

Ofsted inspections for ITT were paused whilst schools and the ITT sector responded to the COVID-19 outbreak. On 26 March, Ofsted confirmed that they would recommence ITT inspection in the summer term 2021, which means a relatively small number of ITT inspections will take place this academic year.

The Chair of the review will deliver his recommendations this summer, after which the department will consider whether to accept these and plans for implementation.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the timescale for their review of the initial teacher training market will allow for evidence from the first round of OFSTED inspections under its new inspection framework to be taken into account.

The government is committed to driving up and levelling up education standards so that children and young people in every part of the country acquire the knowledge, skills, and qualifications they need to progress.

Central to this is making sure that we have great teachers in every classroom. We are making England the best place in the world to become a great teacher through giving every teacher, particularly those in the most disadvantaged areas, access to world-class training and professional development opportunities throughout their career. Reforms to teacher training and early career support are key to the government’s plans to improve school standards for all.

The Review will focus on how the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) sector can provide consistently high-quality training, in line with the Core Content Framework (CCF), in a more efficient and effective market. We are reviewing the available evidence on ITT, which includes published research commissioned by the department, as well as wider evidence from the sector. Department analysts, including social researchers, are feeding into the Review to ensure that the evidence is interpreted accurately and will be used to inform any recommendations. As we did with the CCF and Early Career Framework, the Review is considering international evidence alongside evidence from UK ITT markets.

Ofsted inspections for ITT were paused whilst schools and the ITT sector responded to the COVID-19 outbreak. On 26 March, Ofsted confirmed that they would recommence ITT inspection in the summer term 2021, which means a relatively small number of ITT inspections will take place this academic year.

The Chair of the review will deliver his recommendations this summer, after which the department will consider whether to accept these and plans for implementation.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to collect evidence to inform their review of the initial teacher training market; and if so, (1) in what format, (2) from whom, and (3) where that evidence will be published.

The government is committed to driving up and levelling up education standards so that children and young people in every part of the country acquire the knowledge, skills, and qualifications they need to progress.

Central to this is making sure that we have great teachers in every classroom. We are making England the best place in the world to become a great teacher through giving every teacher, particularly those in the most disadvantaged areas, access to world-class training and professional development opportunities throughout their career. Reforms to teacher training and early career support are key to the government’s plans to improve school standards for all.

The Review will focus on how the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) sector can provide consistently high-quality training, in line with the Core Content Framework (CCF), in a more efficient and effective market. We are reviewing the available evidence on ITT, which includes published research commissioned by the department, as well as wider evidence from the sector. Department analysts, including social researchers, are feeding into the Review to ensure that the evidence is interpreted accurately and will be used to inform any recommendations. As we did with the CCF and Early Career Framework, the Review is considering international evidence alongside evidence from UK ITT markets.

Ofsted inspections for ITT were paused whilst schools and the ITT sector responded to the COVID-19 outbreak. On 26 March, Ofsted confirmed that they would recommence ITT inspection in the summer term 2021, which means a relatively small number of ITT inspections will take place this academic year.

The Chair of the review will deliver his recommendations this summer, after which the department will consider whether to accept these and plans for implementation.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to promote the resumption of in-person cadet force activity.

There are a total of 319 state funded schools in the UK that have a cadet unit. The Department does not collect data on the number of teachers that are cadet force adult volunteers or instructors in these schools. Cadets are funded through the Ministry of Defence and the Department supports this with co-chairmanship of the cadet expansion steering group and through its joint cadet expansion team that works closely with colleagues within Ministry of Defence. Several schools have continued cadet activities through virtual activities and remote education. Outdoor cadet activity can resume from March 8 within school grounds. It will be up to individual schools to undertake appropriate risk assessment to resume such activities in a COVID-19 secure manner. The Department recognises the significant benefits that cadet units in schools bring, for young people, schools, and local communities and that they can play an important part in catchup and recovery activity for many young people.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what contribution the Department for Education makes towards school cadet forces.

There are a total of 319 state funded schools in the UK that have a cadet unit. The Department does not collect data on the number of teachers that are cadet force adult volunteers or instructors in these schools. Cadets are funded through the Ministry of Defence and the Department supports this with co-chairmanship of the cadet expansion steering group and through its joint cadet expansion team that works closely with colleagues within Ministry of Defence. Several schools have continued cadet activities through virtual activities and remote education. Outdoor cadet activity can resume from March 8 within school grounds. It will be up to individual schools to undertake appropriate risk assessment to resume such activities in a COVID-19 secure manner. The Department recognises the significant benefits that cadet units in schools bring, for young people, schools, and local communities and that they can play an important part in catchup and recovery activity for many young people.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many school teachers are involved as cadet staff and instructors in state-funded schools.

There are a total of 319 state funded schools in the UK that have a cadet unit. The Department does not collect data on the number of teachers that are cadet force adult volunteers or instructors in these schools. Cadets are funded through the Ministry of Defence and the Department supports this with co-chairmanship of the cadet expansion steering group and through its joint cadet expansion team that works closely with colleagues within Ministry of Defence. Several schools have continued cadet activities through virtual activities and remote education. Outdoor cadet activity can resume from March 8 within school grounds. It will be up to individual schools to undertake appropriate risk assessment to resume such activities in a COVID-19 secure manner. The Department recognises the significant benefits that cadet units in schools bring, for young people, schools, and local communities and that they can play an important part in catchup and recovery activity for many young people.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many state-funded schools have cadet forces.

There are a total of 319 state funded schools in the UK that have a cadet unit. The Department does not collect data on the number of teachers that are cadet force adult volunteers or instructors in these schools. Cadets are funded through the Ministry of Defence and the Department supports this with co-chairmanship of the cadet expansion steering group and through its joint cadet expansion team that works closely with colleagues within Ministry of Defence. Several schools have continued cadet activities through virtual activities and remote education. Outdoor cadet activity can resume from March 8 within school grounds. It will be up to individual schools to undertake appropriate risk assessment to resume such activities in a COVID-19 secure manner. The Department recognises the significant benefits that cadet units in schools bring, for young people, schools, and local communities and that they can play an important part in catchup and recovery activity for many young people.

1st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what alternative provision has been put in place if association to the Erasmus programme after 31 December cannot be negotiated.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2014–20) Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes. This means that projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period.

The UK’s participation in the next Erasmus+ programme (2021–27) is matter for our ongoing negotiations with the EU. The government remains open to considering participation in elements of the next Erasmus+ programme, provided that the terms are in the UK’s interests. It would not be appropriate to pre-empt the outcome of those negotiations.

In parallel to our negotiations with the EU, the government is continuing to develop a domestic alternative to Erasmus+ to ensure that we are prepared for every eventuality. This is subject to decisions on funding at the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
1st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in ensuring the continuation of the Erasmus programme after 31 December.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the UK will continue to participate fully in the current (2014–20) Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes. This means that projects successfully bid for during the current programmes will continue to receive funding for the full duration of the project, including those where funding runs beyond 2020 and the end of the transition period.

The UK’s participation in the next Erasmus+ programme (2021–27) is matter for our ongoing negotiations with the EU. The government remains open to considering participation in elements of the next Erasmus+ programme, provided that the terms are in the UK’s interests. It would not be appropriate to pre-empt the outcome of those negotiations.

In parallel to our negotiations with the EU, the government is continuing to develop a domestic alternative to Erasmus+ to ensure that we are prepared for every eventuality. This is subject to decisions on funding at the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
16th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the viability of the small, specialist higher education sub-sector.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak poses significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector, including small and specialist providers.

We are committed to supporting small and specialist providers which play an important part in our HE sector to develop and nurture skills and talent that our country needs. We have been working closely with the sector, the Office for Students (OfS), and across government to understand the financial risks that providers are facing, to stabilise the admissions system, and to help providers access the support on offer. The OfS has stated that one of its key priorities during the outbreak is to support the financial sustainability of the sector. Providers with concerns about their financial viability or sustainability have been encouraged to contact the OfS at the earliest opportunity. In light of COVID-19, the OfS has enhanced its financial sustainability reporting to identify sector and short-term viability risks to individual universities, as well as patterns across the sector.

The government has already provided significant support to help providers through the financial challenges that COVID-19 has brought. The HE package we announced on 4 May, with its reprofiling of public funding and measures on admissions, has acted to stabilise the situation in England. Alongside this, eligible HE providers have also been able to apply to take advantage of the range of measures put in place to support businesses across the economy, including government-backed loan schemes and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

On 27 June, we announced further UK-wide support in the form of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s research stabilisation package.

On 16 July, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced further information about the HE restructuring regime. The government will be able to intervene to support a provider in England, where there is a case to do so as a last resort, when a provider has exhausted other steps to mitigate its risk of market exit because of COVID-19. The over-arching policy objectives that will guide the department’s assessment of cases will be protecting the welfare of current students, preserving the sector’s internationally outstanding science base, and supporting the role that higher education providers play in regional and local economies through the provision of high-quality courses aligned with economic and societal needs.

Financial support in the form of repayable loans will only be offered as a last resort and with strict conditions attached, such as tackling low-quality courses and reducing excessive vice-chancellor pay.

Details on the HE restructuring regime can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-restructuring-regime.

The government continues to prioritise world-leading specialist teaching and provides teaching grant funding, via the OfS, to support the costs of this type of provision. The teaching grant funding for academic year 2020-21 has been protected in full in cash terms and totals £43 million.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
16th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to protect high quality creative courses in the small, specialist higher education sub-sector.

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak poses significant financial challenges to the higher education (HE) sector, including small and specialist providers.

We are committed to supporting small and specialist providers which play an important part in our HE sector to develop and nurture skills and talent that our country needs. We have been working closely with the sector, the Office for Students (OfS), and across government to understand the financial risks that providers are facing, to stabilise the admissions system, and to help providers access the support on offer. The OfS has stated that one of its key priorities during the outbreak is to support the financial sustainability of the sector. Providers with concerns about their financial viability or sustainability have been encouraged to contact the OfS at the earliest opportunity. In light of COVID-19, the OfS has enhanced its financial sustainability reporting to identify sector and short-term viability risks to individual universities, as well as patterns across the sector.

The government has already provided significant support to help providers through the financial challenges that COVID-19 has brought. The HE package we announced on 4 May, with its reprofiling of public funding and measures on admissions, has acted to stabilise the situation in England. Alongside this, eligible HE providers have also been able to apply to take advantage of the range of measures put in place to support businesses across the economy, including government-backed loan schemes and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

On 27 June, we announced further UK-wide support in the form of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s research stabilisation package.

On 16 July, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced further information about the HE restructuring regime. The government will be able to intervene to support a provider in England, where there is a case to do so as a last resort, when a provider has exhausted other steps to mitigate its risk of market exit because of COVID-19. The over-arching policy objectives that will guide the department’s assessment of cases will be protecting the welfare of current students, preserving the sector’s internationally outstanding science base, and supporting the role that higher education providers play in regional and local economies through the provision of high-quality courses aligned with economic and societal needs.

Financial support in the form of repayable loans will only be offered as a last resort and with strict conditions attached, such as tackling low-quality courses and reducing excessive vice-chancellor pay.

Details on the HE restructuring regime can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-restructuring-regime.

The government continues to prioritise world-leading specialist teaching and provides teaching grant funding, via the OfS, to support the costs of this type of provision. The teaching grant funding for academic year 2020-21 has been protected in full in cash terms and totals £43 million.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what considerations they have made of BAME households in developing plans to re-open schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have developed plans to open schools to more children and young people in line with our responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, including the Public Sector Equality Duty. This means we have had due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act; advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic, including race, and persons who do not share it; and foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

We are aware that there is emerging evidence that BAME individuals can be more severely affected than their peers by the virus, though this is not yet fully understood. On 4 May, Public Health England launched a review into the factors affecting health outcomes from COVID-19, to include ethnicity, gender and obesity. This will be published by the end of May and will help to inform our approach. In the meantime, schools should be especially sensitive to the needs and worries of BAME members of staff, BAME parents and BAME pupils, and consider if any additional measures or reasonable adjustments may need to be put in place to mitigate concerns.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what role will testing and contact-tracing play in education; whether the systematic testing of staff and pupils at schools play a role in keeping effective reproduction number of coronavirus below 1; and what PPE is appropriate for use across the variety of school settings in view of the expected levels of prevalence of the virus.

On 12 May, the department published comprehensive guidance to schools which included advice on protective measures and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The guidance can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

On 18 May 2020, the Government announced that with immediate effect, all UK citizens over the age of 5 who experience symptoms are eligible to be tested.

To support schools in the return of a wider group of children and young people from 1 June, they will have access to testing if they display symptoms, as will any symptomatic members of their household.

The government has launched a new national test and trace programme. This will include more traditional methods of contact tracing if a child, young person or parent tests positive. This could include, for example, direct discussion with parents and schools or colleges on recent contacts.

The majority of staff in education, childcare and children’s social care settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain distance of 2 metres from others.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they will provide on parameters for (1) appropriate physical distancing, (2) levels of social mixing, and (3) appropriate use of PPE, in schools.

On 12 May, the department published comprehensive guidance to schools which included advice on protective measures and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The guidance can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

On 18 May 2020, the Government announced that with immediate effect, all UK citizens over the age of 5 who experience symptoms are eligible to be tested.

To support schools in the return of a wider group of children and young people from 1 June, they will have access to testing if they display symptoms, as will any symptomatic members of their household.

The government has launched a new national test and trace programme. This will include more traditional methods of contact tracing if a child, young person or parent tests positive. This could include, for example, direct discussion with parents and schools or colleges on recent contacts.

The majority of staff in education, childcare and children’s social care settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain distance of 2 metres from others.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there will be comprehensive access to regular testing for children and staff to ensure that schools and colleges do not become hotspots for COVID-19.

On 12 May, the department published comprehensive guidance to schools which included advice on protective measures and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The guidance can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

On 18 May 2020, the Government announced that with immediate effect, all UK citizens over the age of 5 who experience symptoms are eligible to be tested.

To support schools in the return of a wider group of children and young people from 1 June, they will have access to testing if they display symptoms, as will any symptomatic members of their household.

The government has launched a new national test and trace programme. This will include more traditional methods of contact tracing if a child, young person or parent tests positive. This could include, for example, direct discussion with parents and schools or colleges on recent contacts.

The majority of staff in education, childcare and children’s social care settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain distance of 2 metres from others.

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to postponing the consultation by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education on changes to the funding recommendation process during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 when it is available.

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what incentives and support they plan to provide to encourage employers to continue to recruit apprentices in the coming months.

This is a difficult time for apprentices, employers and providers of apprenticeship training, assessment and external assurance. We are committed to supporting apprentices and employers so that we can continue to build the skills capabilities that the country needs. While we recognise that many employers will not feel that they are in a position to recruit apprentices during a period of considerable uncertainty, a comprehensive package of support remains available to those that do.

Employers can still use the apprenticeship service to find a suitable provider, advertise vacancies and manage the recruitment of apprentices. In January 2020, we began rolling out all aspects of the service to smaller employers that do not pay the levy, giving them more control over accessing funding for their apprenticeship choices. This roll-out is continuing, with smaller employers able to reserve funding for new apprenticeship starts through the apprenticeship service.

We provide financial incentives to businesses interested in recruiting apprentices, including paying 95% of training costs for employers that do not pay the levy. The government meets the full cost of training for the smallest employers (those with under 50 employees) for 16 to 18 year old apprentices and some 19 to 24 year old apprentices. We also provide additional payments of £1,000 to both the employer and provider for hiring and training 16 to 18 year olds and for 19 to 24 year olds who have an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Guidance on the measures that we are taking to help employers retain their apprentices and plan with more certainty can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response.

This will continue to be updated as the situation develops. We are also planning a number of campaigns to stimulate employer interest in the recruitment of apprentices during the period of economic recovery from COVID-19.

4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to promote apprenticeships in the woodworking and joinery sector.

We have introduced a wide range of reforms to improve the quality of apprenticeships and to encourage employers, of all sizes and in all sectors, across England to create more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities.

New high-quality apprenticeship standards, designed and driven by industry, are providing employers with the skills they need. Over 530 standards have been approved for delivery to apprentices. From August 2020 all starts will be on these employer-designed standards.

Employers in the woodwork and joinery sector have developed two standards available for delivery – one at level 2 and one at level 3. The sector can also benefit from the 76 new apprenticeship standards in construction-related roles that have been approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. This exceeds the target of 50 set in the 2018 Construction Sector Deal. A further 22 are in development.

We continue to encourage the take up of our apprenticeship programme across all sectors, including in construction. The third phase of the Fire it Up campaign launched in January, targeting audience groups that contribute to widening participation in apprenticeships.

To ensure that young people hear about all the education and employment options available to them, in January 2018 we introduced a legal requirement for schools to give training providers the chance to talk to pupils about technical qualifications and apprenticeships. We offer a free service to schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK) project to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support to enable them to promote apprenticeships to their students. In the last academic year, ASK reached over 300,000 students.

Representatives from the National Apprenticeship Service also attended 30 UCAS exhibitions in 2019, engaging with around 10,000 young people, their parents and careers advisers. This work will continue during 2020 alongside our wider communications and marketing activity to raise the profile of apprenticeships.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to prioritise the woodworking and joinery sector as part of any review of apprenticeship standards.

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.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent steps they have taken to allocate additional resources for the roll-out of the apprenticeship standards in the woodworking and joinery sector.

New high-quality apprenticeships standards, designed and driven by industry, are providing employers with the skills they need. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is responsible for working with employer trailblazer groups to design and approve these standards. The standards describe full occupational competence, as agreed by employers, and must include a rigorous and independent end-point assessment.

Over 530 standards have been approved for delivery to apprentices. From August 2020 all starts will be on these employer-designed standards. Employers in the woodwork and joinery sector have developed two standards available for delivery – Carpentry/Joinery and Advanced Carpentry/Joinery. The sector can also benefit from the 76 standards in construction-related roles.

We support employers via the National Apprenticeship Service, offering free impartial, expert advice to employers in every sector. To support SMEs in sectors such as joinery and woodwork to use these standards to address their skills needs, we have begun to move smaller employers onto our apprenticeship service, giving them a greater choice of training providers. Smaller employers, such as those in supply chains, can also benefit from transferred funds from levy payers. This year, 2019-20 funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England is over £2.5 billion; double what was spent in 2010.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much in total the woodworking and joinery sector has contributed to the apprenticeship levy fund to date; what proportion of that total has been spent on apprenticeships; and whether any unspent levy can be redistributed back to non-levy payers to be used by SMEs to address skills shortages.

The apprenticeship levy is collected by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs from all UK employers with a pay bill above £3 million.

Employers in England access their levy funding through their apprenticeship service accounts. The Education and Skills Funding Agency does not require levy-paying employers to document their industry sector when registering an apprenticeship service account. For this reason, we are unable to provide data which shows the amount of levy funds entering the accounts of employers in the woodworking and joinery sector, or the proportion of that total which has been spent on apprenticeships.

In 2019-20, funding available for investment in apprenticeships in England has risen to over £2.5 billion, double what was spent in 2010-11, allowing employers of all sizes, including those in the woodworking and joinery sector, to access funding for apprenticeships.

The department’s annual apprenticeships budget, which is distinct to the funds available to levy-paying employers through their apprenticeship service accounts, funds apprenticeships in England for both levy payers and Small and Medium Enterprises. This means that levy payers’ unspent funds are not lost but are used to support apprenticeships in smaller employers.

We are also supporting smaller employers who do not pay the levy by moving them onto our digital apprenticeship service, giving them a greater choice of training providers and more control over their apprenticeships. In addition, smaller employers can benefit from transferred funds from levy payers, supporting new starts in supply chains and addressing sector skills shortages and local skills needs.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the national skills fund is fully accessible to SMEs in the woodworking and joinery sector on a (1) national, (2) regional, and (3) local basis.

Over the course of this parliament, the government will provide an extra £3 billion for a new National Skills Fund. The Fund is part of a dramatic rebooting of our skills system and will help workers to have the skills they need to flourish and fulfil their potential.

To decide how best to develop the National Skills Fund, the government are planning to consult widely on the Fund, to ensure the Fund provides the best return on investment.

The insights gained will help to build an understanding how to target the National Skills Fund to ensure it best supports people to learn new skills and prepare for future changes to the economy.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that resources allocated by the national skills fund fully support the provision of (1) training for specialist technical trainers, (2) training for assessors, and (3) machinery and materials, in the woodworking and joinery sector.

Over the course of this parliament, the government will provide an extra £3 billion for a new National Skills Fund. The Fund is part of a dramatic rebooting of our skills system and will help workers to have the skills they need to flourish and fulfil their potential.

To decide how best to develop the National Skills Fund, the government are planning to consult widely on the Fund, to ensure the Fund provides the best return on investment.

The insights gained will help to build an understanding how to target the National Skills Fund to ensure it best supports people to learn new skills and prepare for future changes to the economy.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with further education colleges about the delivery of practical qualifications needed to support the woodworking and joinery sector.

The government approves a number of qualifications for funding, across a range of subjects and levels, which providers, including further education (FE) colleges, can offer to their students. Qualifications are approved for funding in line with the government’s funding conditions and in response to student, employer and local skills needs. We expect those qualifications approved for government funding to be delivered in line with guidance set out by the awarding organisation offering the qualification, and all government funded provision is subject to inspection by Ofsted.

The government is conducting a review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below to ensure that there is a simpler, clearer qualifications offer in which all qualifications are high quality, have a clear purpose and support students to progress to positive outcomes. The government will be publishing the next stage of the consultation on this review later in the year.

We continue to engage with stakeholders, including FE providers and their representatives, on matters relating to technical education.

10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their proposed replacement student exchange scheme to be used in the event that the UK does not participate in Erasmus after 2021 will be open to further education students.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Erasmus+, are currently being negotiated in the EU institutions and have not yet been finalised. The UK government is preparing for every eventuality, and is considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

The UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes, once the EU has agreed the baseline in its 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and has taken into account the overall value to the UK of doing so.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and his ministers regularly discuss matters relating to education and EU exit with the devolved administrations, including on Erasmus+. Officials also hold regular meetings on the topic of Erasmus+ with officials from the Devolved Administrations to ensure close cooperation on this matter. Ministers and officials engage with stakeholders from across the education sector, including further education, to understand their views.

10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their proposed replacement student exchange scheme to be used in the event that the UK does not participate in Erasmus after 2021 will be open to students from (1) England, (2) Scotland, (3) Wales, and (4) Northern Ireland.

The shape and content of EU Programmes post-2020, including Erasmus+, are currently being negotiated in the EU institutions and have not yet been finalised. The UK government is preparing for every eventuality, and is considering a wide range of options with regards to the future of international exchange and collaboration in education and training, including potential domestic alternatives.

The UK is ready to consider participation in certain EU programmes, once the EU has agreed the baseline in its 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and has taken into account the overall value to the UK of doing so.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and his ministers regularly discuss matters relating to education and EU exit with the devolved administrations, including on Erasmus+. Officials also hold regular meetings on the topic of Erasmus+ with officials from the Devolved Administrations to ensure close cooperation on this matter. Ministers and officials engage with stakeholders from across the education sector, including further education, to understand their views.

6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the value of the grant from the Department for Transport to Aerobility for the Vigilant T1 aircraft.

A grant of £745,000 was awarded to Aerobility, a registered charity, to support its work to refurbish the Vigilant T1 glider fleet, acquired from the Ministry of Defence. The gliders had been grounded by the Royal Air Force in May 2018. The grant was specifically to cover the costs relating to the refurbishment package, including modifications needed to enable people with physical disabilities to fly the gliders, and for the full refurbishment of eight aircraft, to be retained by Aerobility for its operations.

Expanding Aerobility’s fleet of aircraft will lead to a number of benefits, including, improving access to flight training and flight experiences for those living with physical and mental disabilities. It will also enable Aerobility to offer services at additional locations in the UK.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether attendees of the cross departmental meeting of Disability Champions need to report the number of disabled people employed in each department.

At the request of the Prime Minister, the first Ministerial Disability Champions were appointed in summer 2020 to drive the development and delivery of the National Disability Strategy (NDS).

Their objectives include championing disabled people and driving the delivery of the NDS in their respective departments. All champions contributed a statement of intent, and a specific range of commitments published in the strategy. They are not required to report on the number of disabled people employed in their department.

In the strategy, the Cabinet Office Disability Unit committed to publishing an annual report in summer 2022, which will detail the progress made against the commitments, including efforts to rebuild the economy and society post pandemic, and to which the Ministerial Disability Champions will have direct input.

The most recent Ministerial Disability Champions meeting was on 16 November 2021 where the ministers discussed the progress of NDS commitment delivery; championing disability policies within departments; engaging with Disability and Access Ambassadors; and Disability Confident. The government does not plan to publish the minutes from champion meetings, but as with previous meetings, will update the Ministerial Disability Champions GOV.UK page with discussion highlights.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the main objectives of the cross departmental meeting of Disability Champions.

At the request of the Prime Minister, the first Ministerial Disability Champions were appointed in summer 2020 to drive the development and delivery of the National Disability Strategy (NDS).

Their objectives include championing disabled people and driving the delivery of the NDS in their respective departments. All champions contributed a statement of intent, and a specific range of commitments published in the strategy. They are not required to report on the number of disabled people employed in their department.

In the strategy, the Cabinet Office Disability Unit committed to publishing an annual report in summer 2022, which will detail the progress made against the commitments, including efforts to rebuild the economy and society post pandemic, and to which the Ministerial Disability Champions will have direct input.

The most recent Ministerial Disability Champions meeting was on 16 November 2021 where the ministers discussed the progress of NDS commitment delivery; championing disability policies within departments; engaging with Disability and Access Ambassadors; and Disability Confident. The government does not plan to publish the minutes from champion meetings, but as with previous meetings, will update the Ministerial Disability Champions GOV.UK page with discussion highlights.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to publish the minutes of the most recent cross-departmental meeting of Disability Champions.

At the request of the Prime Minister, the first Ministerial Disability Champions were appointed in summer 2020 to drive the development and delivery of the National Disability Strategy (NDS).

Their objectives include championing disabled people and driving the delivery of the NDS in their respective departments. All champions contributed a statement of intent, and a specific range of commitments published in the strategy. They are not required to report on the number of disabled people employed in their department.

In the strategy, the Cabinet Office Disability Unit committed to publishing an annual report in summer 2022, which will detail the progress made against the commitments, including efforts to rebuild the economy and society post pandemic, and to which the Ministerial Disability Champions will have direct input.

The most recent Ministerial Disability Champions meeting was on 16 November 2021 where the ministers discussed the progress of NDS commitment delivery; championing disability policies within departments; engaging with Disability and Access Ambassadors; and Disability Confident. The government does not plan to publish the minutes from champion meetings, but as with previous meetings, will update the Ministerial Disability Champions GOV.UK page with discussion highlights.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they are developing for extensive testing, contact-tracing and quarantine in society as a whole prior to schools starting up again during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May. It will help identify, contain and control COVID-19, reducing its spread and saving lives.

As part of this service, the Government has extended eligibility for tests to all those who display symptoms of COVID-19 including children of all ages. This means that, once schools open to a wider cohort, a child or young person will be able to get back into childcare or education, and their parents or guardians to return to work, if the test proves to be negative.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice and evidence do they have concerning the transmission of COVID-19 between children and between children and adults, including how this varies with age group of the child.

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Science of COVID-19 – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library.

24th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the backlog of student visa applications for Northern Ireland universities from applicants from China and India.

Our Visa Application Centres in China began to open on 2nd June 2020 and to date have provided sufficient capacity to accommodate Tier 4 demand for students wishing to study at all locations within the United Kingdom.

Our Visa Application Centres in India reopened from 6th July. We are opening further locations globally to allow the further submission of student applications.

We are continuing to work with the Education Sector and our Commercial Partners to ensure there is sufficient capacity in the system, to allow for all applications to be made for the Autumn enrolment.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Ministry of Defence's Review of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations 2019, published on 24 March 2020, what plans they have to increase volunteer support for the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets Associations under the proposed formation of a Non-Departmental Public Body.

The 2019 Review of the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations (RFCAs) recognises that a key strength of the RFCAs is their extensive volunteer membership, which brings with it a breadth of expertise and community links.

Through the establishment of a Non-Departmental Public Body, The Ministry of Defence will look to both preserve and enhance the volunteer ethos, establishing a diverse and inclusive organisation representative of the communities in which they serve, enabled by a vibrant and active volunteer cohort.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
10th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the organisation Justice 4 Troops, established on 5 June to address military grievances.

There is a well-established Service Complaints process for those personnel who wish to raise grievances about any aspect of their Service life. This is underpinned by legislation and independently overseen by the Service Complaints Ombudsman (SCO) for the Armed Forces. Justice 4 Troops is a community interest company incorporated in July 2019. Justice4Troops has no official mandate to intervene in grievances or their handling; this is a role it has self-appointed. Accordingly, no assessment has been made, nor is one appropriate. Representations received from this organisation are not afforded any particular status within the Ministry of Defence, but we do remain concerned to ensure that the individuals who engage with Justice4Troops are provided with unbiased advice to ensure that they do not miss the opportunity to raise any grievance through the official channels.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the proposed costs were of works to bring the Vigilant T1 aircraft back online for training RAF Air Cadets.

The Vigilant T1 originally had an Out-of-Service Date of 2019; this was brought forward to May 2018 in order to refocus resource for the benefit of the Cadets, extending the life of the Viking conventional glider and investing in the wider Air Cadet Aerospace Offer.

The glider recovery programme from 2014-2018 covering both Viking Conventional glider and Vigilant motor-glider was subject to routine investment appraisal processes. This showed that substantial operational, technical and commercial negotiations with a range of aerospace leaders in this field had failed to find a value for money approach to successfully repair and recover or replace all the gliders. Therefore, in line with the available technical and commercial capacity the value for money was in restructuring the Aerospace Offer for cadets.

The recovery programme of both glider types was resourced within wider support contracts which also supported the operation of the active fleets with Volunteer Gliding Squadrons. Consequently, we cannot separately identify the resource used for the recovery of the six Vigilant airframes which were successfully recovered prior to the Out-of-Service date.

The Vigilant fleet was disposed of to Aerobility. I am withholding the value of the disposal sale as it would prejudice commercial interests.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Vigilant T1 aircraft sold for.

The Vigilant T1 originally had an Out-of-Service Date of 2019; this was brought forward to May 2018 in order to refocus resource for the benefit of the Cadets, extending the life of the Viking conventional glider and investing in the wider Air Cadet Aerospace Offer.

The glider recovery programme from 2014-2018 covering both Viking Conventional glider and Vigilant motor-glider was subject to routine investment appraisal processes. This showed that substantial operational, technical and commercial negotiations with a range of aerospace leaders in this field had failed to find a value for money approach to successfully repair and recover or replace all the gliders. Therefore, in line with the available technical and commercial capacity the value for money was in restructuring the Aerospace Offer for cadets.

The recovery programme of both glider types was resourced within wider support contracts which also supported the operation of the active fleets with Volunteer Gliding Squadrons. Consequently, we cannot separately identify the resource used for the recovery of the six Vigilant airframes which were successfully recovered prior to the Out-of-Service date.

The Vigilant fleet was disposed of to Aerobility. I am withholding the value of the disposal sale as it would prejudice commercial interests.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the reasons for decommissioning the Vigilant T1 aircraft.

The Vigilant T1 originally had an Out-of-Service Date of 2019; this was brought forward to May 2018 in order to refocus resource for the benefit of the Cadets, extending the life of the Viking conventional glider and investing in the wider Air Cadet Aerospace Offer.

The glider recovery programme from 2014-2018 covering both Viking Conventional glider and Vigilant motor-glider was subject to routine investment appraisal processes. This showed that substantial operational, technical and commercial negotiations with a range of aerospace leaders in this field had failed to find a value for money approach to successfully repair and recover or replace all the gliders. Therefore, in line with the available technical and commercial capacity the value for money was in restructuring the Aerospace Offer for cadets.

The recovery programme of both glider types was resourced within wider support contracts which also supported the operation of the active fleets with Volunteer Gliding Squadrons. Consequently, we cannot separately identify the resource used for the recovery of the six Vigilant airframes which were successfully recovered prior to the Out-of-Service date.

The Vigilant fleet was disposed of to Aerobility. I am withholding the value of the disposal sale as it would prejudice commercial interests.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)