Baroness Garden of Frognal Portrait

Baroness Garden of Frognal

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Became Member: 15th October 2007


Highgate Cemetery Bill [HL] Committee
15th Dec 2020 - 8th Mar 2021
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


Department Event
Friday 8th March 2024
10:00
Department for Education
Debate - Main Chamber
8 Mar 2024, 10 a.m.
International Women’s Day and the steps taken to promote the economic inclusion of women
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Tuesday 12th March 2024
15:45
Department for Education
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
12 Mar 2024, 3:45 p.m.
Gender Recognition (Approved Countries and Territories and Saving Provision) Order 2023
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 63 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Thursday 8th February 2024
Education: 11 to 16 Year-olds
My Lords, our committee proved that the curriculum is vastly overloaded with knowledge-based things, does not include enough digital or …
Written Answers
Monday 19th February 2024
Mathematics and Science: Teachers
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the gender divide amongst science and maths teachers …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Garden of Frognal has voted in 452 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)
(36 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(62 debate contributions)
Home Office
(56 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(54 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Skills and Post-16 Education Act 2022
(10,545 words contributed)
Schools Bill [HL] 2022-23
(4,943 words contributed)
Professional Qualifications Act 2022
(2,990 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Baroness Garden of Frognal's debates

Lords initiatives

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


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


74 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
1 Other Department Questions
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to ratify the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

His Majesty’s Government is fully committed to the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in the UK.

As with any international treaty, ratification of UNESCO Conventions should be considered fully, taking into account value for money to the UK taxpayer and the interests of both the Devolved Administrations and our Overseas Territories. When this process has been completed, Ministers will take a decision on the merits of ratification.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
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)
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 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 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)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to (1) recruit, and (2) retain, more science and maths teachers in schools serving the most disadvantaged communities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the confidence gap between girls and boys studying STEM subjects at school.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have considered the need for all students to have diverse access to opportunities for enrichment as part of the development of the new Advanced British Standard.

Employability, enrichment and pastoral activities (EEP) are an important part of current post-16 study programmes as they prepare students for future education, employment and life.

On 4 October 2023, the Prime Minister announced plans to introduce the Advanced British Standard (ABS) for 16 to 19 year-olds in England over the next decade. Under the new ABS, the department proposes that EEP activities should continue, to enrich students’ wider personal development, health and wellbeing as well as prepare them for future study and work. The department anticipates that most students will participate in 150 hours of EEP activities over the course of their ABS programme.

The department understands that effective EEP is important for all students regardless of what level they are studying at, which is why the department is currently seeking views on this via the ABS consultation which launched on 14 December 2023 and is due to close on 20 March 2024.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to funding (1) infrastructure, (2) guidance, and (3) training for education providers and potential partners, to support enrichment activity in schools.

The department is committed to ensuring young people have access to high-quality extra-curricular opportunities. The department understands these are an important part of a rich educational experience and can bring wider benefits to young people's mental health, confidence, social skills and general wellbeing.

The department supports a range of initiatives to expand access to high-quality extra-curricular activities. For example, the department is investing over £200 million a year in our Holiday Activities and Food programme and working with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to offer the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to all state secondary schools in England. This is in addition to working with DCMS to help schools ensure their pupils are getting the most out of the National Youth Guarantee, which is designed to ensure young people are given access to more activities, trips away from home and volunteering opportunities.

The department’s wider approach to enrichment is informed by the view that schools are best placed to understand and meet the needs of their pupils and should have flexibility to decide what range of extra-curricular activities to offer. Both pupil premium and recovery premium can be used to fund enrichment activities and in March 2022 the department updated the guidance to make this clearer to schools.

The department has also started to work alongside DCMS on the Enrichment Partnerships Pilot (EPP), which aims to improve the enrichment offer of up to 200 secondary schools in Education Investment Areas. The EPP has been awarded £3.381 million from HM Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund and will test whether greater coordination locally can enhance school enrichment offers and remove barriers to participation, create efficiencies (reducing the burden on school staff resources) and unlock existing funding and provision. The Centre of Learning run by our joint delivery partners, the National Citizen Service Trust and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, will also develop best practice guidance and resources. This will support relevant, high-quality enrichment coordination for the pilot, which is subsequently intended to support schools and improve access to and participation in enrichment in the future.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support students studying a classroom-based electrical technical diploma to transition into the workforce.

Further education outcomes are published annually and include information on the employment and further learning destinations of adult learners in the academic year after achieving their learning aim. The outcomes are available to view online at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/further-education-outcome-based-success-measures. Earnings outcomes are also tracked in each of the five academic years after achievement of the learning aim. Users can break down the data to view the outcomes for learners achieving specific qualifications. The most recent published data relates to adult learners who achieved their qualification in the 2020/21 academic year and their destinations in the following academic year (2021/22).

For example, the following table shows the sort of learner outcome measures that can be found in the publication. The outcomes relate to the year after achievement of the qualification. Full methodology is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/methodology/further-education-outcomes.

Qualification title

Sustained employment and/or learning

Sustained employment

Sustained learning

Median earnings

Advanced Technical Diploma in Electrical Installation

78%

75%

11%

c

Diploma in Electrical Installation

90%

77%

56%

£17,730

Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures)

89%

79%

49%

£21,460

Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation

86%

85%

10%

c

Diploma in Electrical Installation (Engineering)

93%

83%

60%

z

Diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering

83%

75%

58%

z

Intermediate Diploma in Electrical Installation

93%

85%

66%

z

c denotes where a figure has been suppressed for confidentiality reasons and z denotes where data is unavailable.

The department expects further education providers to ensure students are well informed about the world of work and their options for employment, and to tailor careers activities to the needs of their students. Providers should deliver support and advice on transitional pathways into further/higher education, training or into employment. These expectations are underpinned by funding agreements that require further education colleges and sixth form colleges to secure access to independent careers guidance for all students up to the age of 18 and to 19- to- 24-year-olds with an Education, Health and Care Plan. Further education colleges also have a statutory duty under the Education Act 1997 to provide persons attending the college with access to both guidance materials and reference materials relating to careers education and career opportunities.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to measure the learner outcomes and career progression of students completing electrical technical diplomas.

Further education outcomes are published annually and include information on the employment and further learning destinations of adult learners in the academic year after achieving their learning aim. The outcomes are available to view online at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/further-education-outcome-based-success-measures. Earnings outcomes are also tracked in each of the five academic years after achievement of the learning aim. Users can break down the data to view the outcomes for learners achieving specific qualifications. The most recent published data relates to adult learners who achieved their qualification in the 2020/21 academic year and their destinations in the following academic year (2021/22).

For example, the following table shows the sort of learner outcome measures that can be found in the publication. The outcomes relate to the year after achievement of the qualification. Full methodology is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/methodology/further-education-outcomes.

Qualification title

Sustained employment and/or learning

Sustained employment

Sustained learning

Median earnings

Advanced Technical Diploma in Electrical Installation

78%

75%

11%

c

Diploma in Electrical Installation

90%

77%

56%

£17,730

Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures)

89%

79%

49%

£21,460

Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation

86%

85%

10%

c

Diploma in Electrical Installation (Engineering)

93%

83%

60%

z

Diploma in Electrical/Electronic Engineering

83%

75%

58%

z

Intermediate Diploma in Electrical Installation

93%

85%

66%

z

c denotes where a figure has been suppressed for confidentiality reasons and z denotes where data is unavailable.

The department expects further education providers to ensure students are well informed about the world of work and their options for employment, and to tailor careers activities to the needs of their students. Providers should deliver support and advice on transitional pathways into further/higher education, training or into employment. These expectations are underpinned by funding agreements that require further education colleges and sixth form colleges to secure access to independent careers guidance for all students up to the age of 18 and to 19- to- 24-year-olds with an Education, Health and Care Plan. Further education colleges also have a statutory duty under the Education Act 1997 to provide persons attending the college with access to both guidance materials and reference materials relating to careers education and career opportunities.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage small businesses to engage in apprenticeship programmes aimed at delivering a skilled pipeline of electrical contractors into the workforce.

Apprenticeships provide a fantastic opportunity for people to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to progress into electrical occupations, and the department is increasing investment in apprenticeships to £2.7 billion by 2024/25 to support employers of all sizes to grow their apprenticeships workforce.

The department’s employer-designed apprenticeship standards ensure that apprentices are gaining relevant industry experience to progress in over 690 different occupations, including in electrical occupations such as Level 3 domestic electrician, Level 4 building energy management systems controls engineer and Level 6 electro-mechanical engineer.

The department has made it easier for smaller employers to recruit the next generation of talent removing the limit on the number of apprentices they can take on and cutting by a third the number of steps needed to register to take on an apprentice. The department continues to fund 95% of the cost of apprenticeships in small employers who do not pay the levy and meet 100% of the cost for the smallest employers (fewer than 50 staff) when they take on eligible young apprentices. The levy transfer system has also been simplified so smaller employers can more easily benefit from transferred funds.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of financial incentives on the recruitment and retention of teachers in schools serving disadvantaged communities.

The department offers bursaries worth up to £27,000 tax-free and scholarships worth up to £29,000 tax-free, to encourage talented trainee teachers in key subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing.

The National Foundation for Educational Research has published independent research which corroborates the department’s analysis that a £1,000 increase in bursary value results in an approximately 3% increase in applicants on average, all other things being equal.

There is evidence that schools serving disadvantaged communities face greater teacher workforce challenges. This is why the department is also offering a Levelling Up Premium worth up to £3,000 tax-free for mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing teachers in the first five years of their careers who choose to work in disadvantaged schools, including in Education Investment Areas. This will support the retention of specialist teachers in these subjects and in the schools and areas that need them most.

The Levelling Up Premium is informed by the previous maths and physics teacher retention payments pilot. A University College London evaluation of this found that teachers who received these £2,000 tax-free payments were 23% less likely to leave teaching, showing retention payments can help solve teacher shortages.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential impact on teacher retention of reducing teacher timetables in schools serving disadvantaged communities.

School and trust leaders decide how best to allocate their teacher timetables.

Teacher retention is key to ensuring effective teacher supply and quality, and the department is taking action to support teachers to stay in the profession. The department has published a range of resources to help address teacher workload and wellbeing, and support schools to introduce flexible working practices.

The department is offering a Levelling Up Premium worth up to £3,000 tax-free for mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing teachers in the first five years of their careers who choose to work in disadvantaged schools, including in Education Investment Areas. This will support the retention of specialist teachers in these subjects and in the schools and areas that need them most.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
31st Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of proposed budget cuts to Birkbeck University’s Mathematics and Statistics Department on opportunities for (1) mature, and (2) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), students.

Higher education (HE) providers are independent, autonomous institutions responsible for their own decisions on staffing issues, including how they structure themselves to deliver research and teaching priorities. Where it is necessary to reshape their activities, it is important that universities carefully consider the impact of job losses on staff and students, and the overall sustainability of teaching and research in this country.

The department will continue to work closely with the Office for Students (OfS) and various parties, including a variety of HE providers across the sector, mission groups and other Government departments, to understand the ongoing impacts and changing landscape of financial sustainability in the HE sector.

We want to provide a ladder of opportunity for everyone to get the education and skills they need for job security and prosperity and to support levelling up across the country. Access to HE should be based on a student’s attainment and their ability to succeed, rather than background.

The government has issued guidance to the OfS, asking it to refocus the entire access and participation regime to create a system that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring students are able to make the right choices and to access and succeed on high quality courses that are valued by employers and lead to good graduate employment.

John Blake, as the Director for Fair Access and Participation, is driving forward this important change. Using his experience and expertise from the schools’ sector, he is supporting and challenging providers to identify what will ultimately help students progress on their course and obtain good outcomes from their degree, such as programmes of intervention in schools, summer schools, and targeted bursaries to assist with living costs.

The government is committed to cementing the UK’s status as a science and technology superpower, levelling up across the country.

To achieve this, the UK needs talented people with the right knowledge, skills, and experience. We are investing in programmes that do this at all levels of education, including through:

  • My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister‘s recently announced mission to ensure all pupils study some form of maths to 18.
  • Investing an additional £750 million over the next three years to support high quality teaching and facilities including in science and engineering, subjects that support the NHS, and degree apprenticeships. This includes the largest increase in government funding for the HE sector to support students and teaching in over a decade.
  • Several government strategies are in place to support our science and technology superpower ambition, in specific areas including the UK Innovation Strategy (2021), the National AI Strategy (2021), and the UK Digital Strategy (2022). They set out how we will strengthen our reserves of talent and skills in order to drive success.
Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
31st Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of proposed cuts to university mathematics departments, including Birkbeck University, on their ambition for the UK to become a science and technology superpower.

Higher education (HE) providers are independent, autonomous institutions responsible for their own decisions on staffing issues, including how they structure themselves to deliver research and teaching priorities. Where it is necessary to reshape their activities, it is important that universities carefully consider the impact of job losses on staff and students, and the overall sustainability of teaching and research in this country.

The department will continue to work closely with the Office for Students (OfS) and various parties, including a variety of HE providers across the sector, mission groups and other Government departments, to understand the ongoing impacts and changing landscape of financial sustainability in the HE sector.

We want to provide a ladder of opportunity for everyone to get the education and skills they need for job security and prosperity and to support levelling up across the country. Access to HE should be based on a student’s attainment and their ability to succeed, rather than background.

The government has issued guidance to the OfS, asking it to refocus the entire access and participation regime to create a system that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring students are able to make the right choices and to access and succeed on high quality courses that are valued by employers and lead to good graduate employment.

John Blake, as the Director for Fair Access and Participation, is driving forward this important change. Using his experience and expertise from the schools’ sector, he is supporting and challenging providers to identify what will ultimately help students progress on their course and obtain good outcomes from their degree, such as programmes of intervention in schools, summer schools, and targeted bursaries to assist with living costs.

The government is committed to cementing the UK’s status as a science and technology superpower, levelling up across the country.

To achieve this, the UK needs talented people with the right knowledge, skills, and experience. We are investing in programmes that do this at all levels of education, including through:

  • My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister‘s recently announced mission to ensure all pupils study some form of maths to 18.
  • Investing an additional £750 million over the next three years to support high quality teaching and facilities including in science and engineering, subjects that support the NHS, and degree apprenticeships. This includes the largest increase in government funding for the HE sector to support students and teaching in over a decade.
  • Several government strategies are in place to support our science and technology superpower ambition, in specific areas including the UK Innovation Strategy (2021), the National AI Strategy (2021), and the UK Digital Strategy (2022). They set out how we will strengthen our reserves of talent and skills in order to drive success.
Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reach a negotiated settlement with trade unions representing the teaching profession in the ongoing industrial dispute over teacher pay and conditions.

The department thoroughly appreciates the work the teaching profession does to build a world class education system and offer an excellent education to all. The department acknowledges the dedication and passion of those within the sector.

By 2024/25 school funding will reach £58.8 billion. This investment will be funding schools, in real terms per pupil, at the highest ever level in history. In 2023/24 mainstream school funding will increase, on average, by 5.6% per pupil. The department implemented the School Teacher Review Body’s recommendation of a significant 8.9% pay uplift to teacher starting salaries outside London, keeping us on track to deliver the manifesto commitment of £30,000 starting salaries. We also implemented a 5% uplift for experienced teachers. This is the highest pay award for experienced teachers in 30 years and underlines the importance this government attaches to schools. On top of this, around 40% of teachers will get pay increases through progression or promotion of up to 15.9%.

Department officials and Ministers meet regularly with teaching unions and other representative bodies to discuss a wide range of school and college policy issues, including actions to improve the daily working lives of teachers. Since confirmation of a formal trade dispute, Ministers have met with unions on multiple occasions. The department will continue to engage going forwards.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the success rate of schools applying to the Turing Scheme.

The success rate of schools applying to participate in the Turing Scheme over the two years the scheme has operated are:

  • 2021/22 academic year: 131 schools applied, 114 were successful, 87% success rate, which equated to 5,139 individual student placements.
  • 2022/23 academic year: 157 schools applied, 70 were successful, 45% success rate, which equated to 4,721 individual student placements.

All applications were independently assessed by sector experts, who ensured all successful projects met the quality standards required. 70 applications failed on the levelling up criterion. Others had less well-developed projects. This could be due to some of those applicants having less experience in designing projects of this type and securing applying for funding for them. 67% of applicants for the 2022/23 academic year were new applicants, and 71% of applicants that failed were new applicants.

The Turing Scheme has a strong focus on supporting levelling up by providing opportunities for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the 2021/22 academic year, 48% of 41,000 approved placements for all sectors, which includes schools, further education/vocational education and training (FE/VET), and higher education (HE) were for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. 52% of 38,000 approved placements for all sectors in the 2022/23 academic year are for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Turing Scheme uses a range of measures based on sector standards across the UK to define what we mean by participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. These are listed in full on the Turing Scheme website and can be found here: https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk/about/widening-access/.

The tables below show the percentage of placements allocated for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds, by sector, for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 academic years.

Table 1: Placements by sector for the 2021/22 academic year

Sector

HE

FE/VET

Schools

Totals

Total no. of participants

28,997

6,888

5,139

41,024

No. of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

13,817

3,843

2,053

19,713

% of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

47.6%

55.8%

39.9%

48.1%

Table 2: Placements by sector for the 2022/23 academic year

Sector

HE

FE/VET

Schools

Totals

Total no. of participants

23,986

9,605

4,721

38,312

No. of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

12,356

5,554

2,022

19,932

% of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

52%

58%

43%

52%

A full breakdown is provided on the Turing Scheme website.

The application form for the Turing Scheme is framed around the main objectives of the scheme, requiring applicants to set out how their planned projects will support priorities, including Global Britain and levelling up. This year’s application form entailed fewer questions than last year’s, in response to feedback from applicants.

The department will keep engaging with stakeholders so that we can continue to develop the scheme in subsequent years, to ensure it delivers on its objectives, supports students to make the most of their international experiences, and is aligned with government priorities. This will include the application experience.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the percentage of disadvantaged participants by sector in the Turing Scheme.

The success rate of schools applying to participate in the Turing Scheme over the two years the scheme has operated are:

  • 2021/22 academic year: 131 schools applied, 114 were successful, 87% success rate, which equated to 5,139 individual student placements.
  • 2022/23 academic year: 157 schools applied, 70 were successful, 45% success rate, which equated to 4,721 individual student placements.

All applications were independently assessed by sector experts, who ensured all successful projects met the quality standards required. 70 applications failed on the levelling up criterion. Others had less well-developed projects. This could be due to some of those applicants having less experience in designing projects of this type and securing applying for funding for them. 67% of applicants for the 2022/23 academic year were new applicants, and 71% of applicants that failed were new applicants.

The Turing Scheme has a strong focus on supporting levelling up by providing opportunities for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the 2021/22 academic year, 48% of 41,000 approved placements for all sectors, which includes schools, further education/vocational education and training (FE/VET), and higher education (HE) were for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. 52% of 38,000 approved placements for all sectors in the 2022/23 academic year are for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Turing Scheme uses a range of measures based on sector standards across the UK to define what we mean by participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. These are listed in full on the Turing Scheme website and can be found here: https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk/about/widening-access/.

The tables below show the percentage of placements allocated for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds, by sector, for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 academic years.

Table 1: Placements by sector for the 2021/22 academic year

Sector

HE

FE/VET

Schools

Totals

Total no. of participants

28,997

6,888

5,139

41,024

No. of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

13,817

3,843

2,053

19,713

% of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

47.6%

55.8%

39.9%

48.1%

Table 2: Placements by sector for the 2022/23 academic year

Sector

HE

FE/VET

Schools

Totals

Total no. of participants

23,986

9,605

4,721

38,312

No. of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

12,356

5,554

2,022

19,932

% of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

52%

58%

43%

52%

A full breakdown is provided on the Turing Scheme website.

The application form for the Turing Scheme is framed around the main objectives of the scheme, requiring applicants to set out how their planned projects will support priorities, including Global Britain and levelling up. This year’s application form entailed fewer questions than last year’s, in response to feedback from applicants.

The department will keep engaging with stakeholders so that we can continue to develop the scheme in subsequent years, to ensure it delivers on its objectives, supports students to make the most of their international experiences, and is aligned with government priorities. This will include the application experience.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to simplifying the application forms for the Turing Scheme.

The success rate of schools applying to participate in the Turing Scheme over the two years the scheme has operated are:

  • 2021/22 academic year: 131 schools applied, 114 were successful, 87% success rate, which equated to 5,139 individual student placements.
  • 2022/23 academic year: 157 schools applied, 70 were successful, 45% success rate, which equated to 4,721 individual student placements.

All applications were independently assessed by sector experts, who ensured all successful projects met the quality standards required. 70 applications failed on the levelling up criterion. Others had less well-developed projects. This could be due to some of those applicants having less experience in designing projects of this type and securing applying for funding for them. 67% of applicants for the 2022/23 academic year were new applicants, and 71% of applicants that failed were new applicants.

The Turing Scheme has a strong focus on supporting levelling up by providing opportunities for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the 2021/22 academic year, 48% of 41,000 approved placements for all sectors, which includes schools, further education/vocational education and training (FE/VET), and higher education (HE) were for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. 52% of 38,000 approved placements for all sectors in the 2022/23 academic year are for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Turing Scheme uses a range of measures based on sector standards across the UK to define what we mean by participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. These are listed in full on the Turing Scheme website and can be found here: https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk/about/widening-access/.

The tables below show the percentage of placements allocated for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds, by sector, for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 academic years.

Table 1: Placements by sector for the 2021/22 academic year

Sector

HE

FE/VET

Schools

Totals

Total no. of participants

28,997

6,888

5,139

41,024

No. of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

13,817

3,843

2,053

19,713

% of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

47.6%

55.8%

39.9%

48.1%

Table 2: Placements by sector for the 2022/23 academic year

Sector

HE

FE/VET

Schools

Totals

Total no. of participants

23,986

9,605

4,721

38,312

No. of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

12,356

5,554

2,022

19,932

% of participants from disadvantaged backgrounds

52%

58%

43%

52%

A full breakdown is provided on the Turing Scheme website.

The application form for the Turing Scheme is framed around the main objectives of the scheme, requiring applicants to set out how their planned projects will support priorities, including Global Britain and levelling up. This year’s application form entailed fewer questions than last year’s, in response to feedback from applicants.

The department will keep engaging with stakeholders so that we can continue to develop the scheme in subsequent years, to ensure it delivers on its objectives, supports students to make the most of their international experiences, and is aligned with government priorities. This will include the application experience.

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
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications were made to colleges for enrolment on courses for the forthcoming academic year by the end of January (1) 2019, (2) 2020, and (3) 2021.

We do not hold college application data on enrolments. We publish actual enrolments as collected on the Individualised Learner Record in the further education and skills statistics publication, available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/further-education-and-skills.

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 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
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

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.

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 Secretary (HM Treasury)
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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on academic institutions in the UK of increasing the annual immigration health surcharge for overseas researchers from £624 to £1,035 for main applicants and to £776 for child dependants from this autumn in combination with an increase of 15 per cent in visa fees.

The Government is preparing full economic impact assessments for the increases to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and the immigration and nationality fees. Regulations will be laid in Autumn to increase immigration and nationality fees and the IHS.

The IHS rates have not increased since 2020, and the cost of providing public services has increased in that time. It is right that we keep the IHS level under review to ensure that it reflects the genuine cost to the NHS of providing healthcare to those who pay it.

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
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the reasons for the differences between the non-confinement policies operated by the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, specifically in Kenya; and why the Ministry of Defence is more restrictive.

The criteria for confinement or non-confinement during the pregnancies of Service personnel are based on individual medical assessments. A decision on confinement in any location is based on an assessment of risk, to both the mother and baby, informed by both primary and secondary healthcare experts.

For Kenya, specifically, a number of factors are considered. For example, Service personnel in Kenya mainly reside in Nanyuki, which does not provide access to the level of neonatal care equivalent to the NHS. Once born, the child and their supportability must also be considered, including access to specialist emergency care and the risks posed by Yellow Fever and malaria, for which vaccination and chemoprophylaxis respectively are not recommended from birth.

27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what resources they provide to support pregnant service persons or dependents who are required to return to the UK to have their baby while on an overseas posting, especially if there is no familial network for support.

Pregnant Servicewomen returning to the UK will be the responsibility of a chain of command and managed by a parent unit, having the ability to use welfare facilities provided by that unit, and access welfare support provided by that unit's chain of command.

If a pregnant Servicewoman, or spouse of a Service person, is returned to the UK on the advice of medical professionals, travel by an appropriate method will be at public expense. Additionally, the cost of subsistence may be paid for the pregnant woman up to a period of six weeks before, and up to two weeks after the birth. Compassionate leave may be granted by the Commanding Officer of the pregnant Servicewoman, or their serving spouse/civil partner, providing an authorised period of absence to enable them to attend to an immediate domestic crisis.

Servicewomen are not entitled under law to Statutory Maternity Leave. However, provision for maternity leave equating to the statutory arrangements is made by the Armed Forces Occupational Maternity Scheme. Additionally, the MOD enables Shared Parental Leave which provides eligible Service personnel who are parents, with a flexible way to share time off work in the first year after their child is born or placed with them for adoption. Defence also offers Service personnel a package of modern Flexible Working opportunities aimed at reducing stress, improving work/life balance, and encouraging continued service through changing circumstances. In return, Flexible Working gives Defence greater agility to deliver its outcomes.

27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how the Ministry of Defence is ensuring that its non-confinement policy is (1) not discriminatory to its workforce, and (2) ensures the greatest available pool of talent is available to serve in demanding roles overseas.

Before a posting, Service personnel are informed by the Ministry of Defence if it is to a non-confinement location, where children are not supportable until 6 months of age. Most personnel are willing to follow this advice and return to the UK. If concerns are expressed, however, Defence Primary Healthcare will work with the Chain of Command to offer the best possible solution on an individual basis. This might include an earlier return to a non-confinement location, after consideration of all the relevant factors.

27th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what resources they provide to a service person who is serving overseas to visit their pregnant partner or new baby in the UK.

While it is understood that pregnancy and the birth of a baby are exceptionally important events in the life of a Service person, in the absence of medical complications or emergencies Service personnel would be expected to use their standard allocations of leave and travel for travel back to the UK. Known pregnancies are fully considered in the pre-deployment phase to either mitigate the need for the Service person to return home or plan for that eventuality.

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.

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.

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.

6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration, if any, was given to (1) replacing, or (2) refurbishing, the Vigilant airframes; and if any such consideration was given, why were both options rejected.

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.

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.

11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will commit to publishing an updated progress report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Lammy Review report, published in 2017, which reviewed the treatment of and outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals in the criminal justice system.

In the coming Spring, the Government will again update Parliament regarding the work of the Inclusive Britain Strategy, as it did in April this year. As we work towards this, we are also considering what further updates may be provided from the Ministry of Justice regarding our work to tackle racial disparities in the Criminal Justice System, including the work we committed to in response to the Lammy Review.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)