Baroness Chapman of Darlington Portrait

Baroness Chapman of Darlington

Labour - Darlington

Became Member: 1st February 2021

Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office

(since June 2021)

Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury)

(since February 2023)

1 APPG membership (as of 13 May 2024)
Folk Arts
6 Former APPG memberships
Beauty and Wellbeing, Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing, Fatherhood, Menopause, Nepal, Pigeon Racing
Shadow Spokesperson (Business and Trade)
21st Feb 2023 - 26th Oct 2023
Shadow Spokesperson (Justice)
4th Dec 2021 - 20th Feb 2023
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
10th May 2022 - 20th Feb 2023
Opposition Whip (Lords)
22nd Jun 2021 - 21st Dec 2022
Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and International Trade)
4th Dec 2021 - 17th Jun 2022
Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)
9th Oct 2016 - 6th Nov 2019
Procedure Committee
7th Nov 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Procedure Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 31st Oct 2016
Shadow Minister (Education)
7th Jan 2016 - 27th Jun 2016
Shadow Minister (Justice)
7th Oct 2011 - 7th Jan 2016
Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
6th Dec 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Procedure Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Chapman of Darlington has voted in 330 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Chapman of Darlington 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 Neville-Rolfe (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
(69 debate interactions)
Baroness Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(61 debate interactions)
Baroness Penn (Conservative)
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
(36 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(83 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(78 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Chapman of Darlington's debates

Lords initiatives

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


1 Bill introduced by Baroness Chapman of Darlington


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to regulate the advertising on television and radio of credit and debt management services; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 21st December 2010

Baroness Chapman of Darlington has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 16 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will update the National Risk Register 2020; and whether it will include the risk of school buildings collapsing.

The National Risk Register (NRR) will be updated in the coming months.

The Cabinet Office works with all departments on the assessment of their risks, such as the safety of public buildings.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for Education on 13 January (114721), when they will publish the "detailed, school level" findings of the Condition Data Collection Programme.

The Condition Data Collection (CDC) programme was one of the largest and most comprehensive data collection programmes in the UK public sector, which has helped the department to understand the condition of the school estate in England and how it is changing over time. The key, high-level findings of the CDC programme were published in May 2021 in the ‘Condition of School Buildings Survey: Key Findings’ report. This is available in the attached document.

The department is still planning to publish more detailed school level CDC data. The data is still being prepared, but due to the size of the dataset, there has been a delay in publication. We plan to publish the CDC data as soon as possible.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of English universities facing financial difficulties; and what assessment they have made of the impact closure could have on local communities.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the independent regulator of higher education (HE) in England. The OfS monitors the financial viability and sustainability of providers registered with them to ensure they have an up to date understanding of the sustainability of the sector.

The OfS latest published report can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/445d176e-e61c-4e95-a76a-7acb7e5bb654/financial-sustainability-2022_corrected-sept-2022.pdf. It stated that despite the many operational and financial challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall aggregate financial position of universities, colleges and other registered HE providers remains sound. However, there continues to be variation in the financial performance and strength of individual HE providers. The department recognises that the situation remains challenging, and that providers will need to adapt to uncertainties and financial risks to protect their longer-term sustainability.

Officials meet regularly with the OfS to oversee the overall climate for HE provider financial sustainability and to identify emerging key risks and issues for the English HE sector as a whole.

The financial sustainability of the HE sector is essential to the future success of the economy and society, including local communities. Universities are autonomous and independent, meaning they are responsible for the decisions that they make in regard to their operating model, day-to-day management and sustainability.

The department supplies annual funding via the Strategic Priorities Grant (SPG) to support teaching and students in HE, including expensive to deliver subjects, such as science and engineering, students at risk of discontinuing their studies, and world-leading specialist providers.

The recurrent SPGS budget is £1,397 million for financial year 2022/23, which is 5% higher than last year. This includes an additional £56 million in recurrent SPG, an additional £10 million to support the expansion of medical student places agreed by government in 2016/17, and an additional £1 million in HE Innovation funding. We are 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.

As part of the £750 million, we have provided the OfS with £450 milloon of capital funding for financial years 2022/23 to 2024/25. Almost £400 million of this funding has been made available through a bidding exercise to target funds at key strategic priorities, including high-cost subjects and level 4, 5 and degree apprenticeships.

One hundred providers were successful in securing funding for capital projects that will directly help us achieve our skills reform ambitions to strengthen HE and better align skills training to the needs of employers to enable communities to thrive.

If a provider was at risk of an unplanned closure, the department’s priority would be to work with the OfS, the institution and other government departments to ensure students' best interests are protected.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to improve the (1) recruitment, and (2) retention, of teachers.

The number of teachers remains high, with over 465,500 working in state-funded schools across the country at Full Time Equivalent (FTE). This is 24,000 more than in 2010.

The department recognises there is more to do to ensure teaching remains an attractive, high status profession, and to recruit and retain teachers in key subjects and areas. Reforms are aimed at increasing teacher recruitment through an attractive pay offer and financial incentives such as bursaries, as well as at ensuring teachers stay and succeed in the profession.

The department remains committed to delivering starting salaries of £30,000 to attract and retain the best teachers.

The department is investing £181 million in financial incentives. For those starting initial teacher training (ITT) in the 2023/24 academic year, bursaries worth up to £27,000 and scholarships worth up to £29,000 are offered to encourage talented trainees to apply to train in key secondary subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing. This offer has also been expanded to international trainees in physics and languages.

The department offers a Levelling Up Premium worth up to £3,000 annually for mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing teachers working in disadvantaged schools in the first five years of their careers.

In autumn 2021, the new digital service, ‘Apply for teacher training’ was launched. This provides a more streamlined, user-friendly application route, to make it easier for people to train to become teachers.

The department is also taking action to enable teachers to succeed by transforming their training and support. 500,000 teacher training and development opportunities will be delivered by the end of 2024, giving all teachers and head teachers access to world class, evidence based training and professional development at every stage of their career.

To support retention in the first few years of teaching, the department has rolled out the Early Career Framework (ECF) nationally, providing the foundations for a successful career in teaching, with over £130 million a year in funding.

Additionally, the department has published a range of resources to help address teacher workload and wellbeing, including the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter, which schools are being encouraged to sign up to as a shared commitment to promote staff wellbeing. The charter can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-staff-wellbeing-charter. Additionally, the workload reduction toolkit has been developed alongside head teachers and has been published here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-workload-reduction-toolkit. Several other resources have also been published to support schools to implement effective flexible working practices, and these can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/flexible-working-resources-for-teachers-and-schools.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the rise in energy bills on ventilation in classrooms over the winter.

The department has not made an assessment of the impact of the rise in energy bills on ventilation in classrooms over the winter. Maintaining adequate ventilation remains the responsibility of individual schools.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government provided over 386,000 CO2 monitors to schools, colleges, and early years settings to help manage ventilation. As well as helping settings to identify areas that are poorly ventilated, CO2 monitors can be useful in helping balance good ventilation with keeping classrooms warm.

In December 2022, the department published guidance on energy efficiency for schools and colleges, including guidance on managing ventilation, which can be found attached and at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-efficiency-guidance-for-the-school-and-fe-college-estate.

In addition, eligible schools and sixth-form colleges will receive an allocation of £447 million of capital funding to improve energy efficiency in 2022/2023. This is part of an additional £500 million of capital funding for schools and further education institutions in England.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Initial teacher training: trainee number census 2022 to 2023; and in particular, the finding that the recruitment target for physics has been missed by more than 80 per cent.

23,224 postgraduate trainees have been recruited for 2022/23, which is a 20% decrease from 30,093 in 2021/22. This is 71% of the Postgraduate Initial Teacher Training (PGITT) target, down from 97% in 2021/22.

Teacher recruitment has been challenging for several years, driven by increasing demand for teachers in particular phases and subjects, and a competitive graduate labour market.

As expected, the unprecedented increase in new entrants to ITT because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020/21 has declined over the past 2 years. The graduate and general labour markets became more competitive and pay has risen in competing sectors, especially in priority Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Some STEM subjects face more recruitment challenges than others and this is reflected in their performance against the PGITT targets. For example, physics achieved 17% of the PGITT target in 2022/23. Mathematics and biology achieved 85% and 111% respectively in 2022/23.

The department launched a pilot initial teacher training course in spring 2022 called ‘Engineers Teach Physics’. Following the first year pilot for ‘Engineers Teach Physics’, it has been expanded to a second year with a national rollout. The department is continuing to work closely with sector experts, representative bodies and academic institutions to ensure that the course reflects best practice and includes the most up-to-date industry knowledge. This expansion will ensure that this programme will be available to more trainees across the country, further ameliorating the shortfall in physics teachers.

The department has also announced funding for physics for those training in 2023/24. A £27,000 tax-free bursary or £29,000 tax-free scholarship in chemistry, computing, mathematics, and physics reflects the priority the department places on training teachers to teach STEM subjects.

Additionally, 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 work in disadvantaged schools, including in Education Investment Areas. This will support the recruitment and retention of specialist teachers in these subjects and in the schools and areas that need them most. The department is also extending eligibility of the physics bursary to all non-UK trainees.

The manifesto commitment to raise the starting salary for teachers to £30,000 remains as important as ever.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure childcare is (1) accessible, and (2) affordable.

The department is committed to improving the availability and affordability of childcare which is why we have spent over £3.5 billion in each of the past three years on our early education entitlements to support families with the cost of childcare. This means that thousands of parents are benefitting from government childcare support.

In the 2021 Spending Review, we announced additional funding of £160 million in 2022/23, £180 million in 2023/24 and £170 million in 2024/25, compared to the 2021/22 financial year. This is for local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers, reflecting cost pressures and changes in the number of eligible children anticipated at the time of the Spending Review.

For 2023/24, we will invest an additional £20 million into early years funding, on top of the additional £180 million for 2023/24. Taken together, this will help support providers at a national level with the additional National Living Wage costs associated with delivering the free childcare entitlements next year.

In July, we announced measures to reduce the costs and bureaucracy facing providers and ensure families can access government support to save them money on their childcare bills. This included the launch of a new £1.2 million communications campaign via the childcare choices website to ensure every parent knows about the government funded support they are eligible for: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.

The department continues to work across government, looking at ways to make childcare more affordable and accessible to ensure that families benefit from the government-funded support they are entitled to.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of nursery closures this year on childcare (1) fees, (2) quality, and (3) availability.

The childcare and early years provider survey contains information on average fees charged by childcare providers. This showed that between 2021/2022, average fees for children under 2 years of age increased by 2.7%; average fees for children aged 2 increased by 3.4%; and average fees for pre-school children aged 3 and 4 increased by 3.8%. All of these increases were below the rate of inflation, which in May 2022 was 9.1%. Fees charged by providers will reflect a variety of factors.

The quality of childcare remains high which is testament to the great work of childcare providers. As of 31 August 2022, 96% of childcare providers have been judged good or outstanding at their most recent inspection. More detail is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-providers-and-inspections-as-at-31-august-2022/main-findings-childcare-providers-and-inspections-as-at-31-august-2022.

The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children. Ofsted data shows that the number of places offered by providers on the Early Years Register has remained broadly stable at 1.3 million places since August 2015.

Under Section 6 of the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities are responsible for ensuring that the provision of childcare is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in their area. The Department has regular contact with each local authority in England, and if a local authority raises concerns about sufficiency issues we will support it with any specific requirements.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent assessment they have made of the impact of inflation on (1) school budgets, (2) the cost of uniforms, (3) classroom staff, (4) extra-curricular activities, (5) schools' energy bills, (6) school meals, and (7) the costs for parents associated with their child’s education.

Schools will receive an additional £2 billion in each of 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic years as a result of the 2022 Autumn Statement. The core schools budget, which covers schools’ day-to-day running costs, including schools’ energy bills and the costs of providing income-related free school meals, has risen from £49.8 billion in 2021/22 to £53.8 billion in 2022/23 and will continue to rise to £57.3 billion in 2023/24 and £58.8 billion in 2024/25. By 2024/25, funding per pupil will have risen to its highest ever level in real terms. These increases provide support to schools to deal with the impact of inflation on their budgets.

From October 2022 to 31 March 2023, schools will benefit from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. This provides a price reduction to protect schools from excessively high energy bills over the winter period.

The department is clear that school uniforms should be affordable. No school uniform should be so expensive that pupils or their families feel unable to apply to or attend a school of their choice. In November 2021, the department issued statutory guidance on the cost of school uniforms to ensure the cost of school uniforms is reasonable. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-school-uniforms/cost-of-school-uniforms. Governing boards should be compliant with much of the guidance by September 2022 and fully compliant by summer 2023.

Teachers’ pay is reviewed on an annual basis by the independent School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), which considers the current economic climate. Pay awards this year provide a careful balance between recognising the vital importance of teachers, whilst delivering value for the taxpayer, and being careful not to drive inflation. The department has implemented the STRB’s recommendation of an 8.9% pay uplift to teacher starting salaries outside London in 2022/23, bringing them up to £28,000. The department has also implemented the STRB’s recommendation of a 5% pay uplift for experienced teachers and leaders in 2022/23. This is the highest pay award for experienced teachers in 30 years. Teachers and other classroom staff will also benefit from wider government cost of living support announced for households.

The department supports a range of initiatives to increase access to high quality extra curricular activities. This includes investing £3.4 million between 2021 and 2024 to support the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to expand into more schools in the most disadvantaged areas of the country and investing over £200 million a year in the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme. HAF provides free holiday club places with activities and healthy food for children from low-income families during the summer, Easter, and Christmas school holidays. Additionally, both pupil premium and recovery premium can be used to fund extra-curricular activities.

The government spends over £1 billion annually delivering free school meals (FSM) to pupils. Around 1.9 million disadvantaged pupils are eligible for free school meals (FSM) as well as an additional 1.25 million infants who receive a free meal under the Universal Infant Free School Meal (UIFSM) policy. Core schools funding has increased, which includes the FSM factor in the National Funding Formula £470 per eligible pupil this year. Universal Infant Free School Meal funding has also been uplifted to £2.41 per meal per child in June 2022 and backdated to 1 April 2022 in recognition of the cost pressures faced by schools.

The government has announced further support, worth £26 billion, for next year. This is designed to target the most vulnerable households and families. This is on top of the £37 billion cost of living support provided by the government this year.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to investigate delays to vocational and technical exam and assessment results in 2022.

This is a matter for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. I have asked its Chief Regulator, Dr Jo Saxton, to write to the noble Lady and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of rising energy costs on college budgets.

The department knows that alongside pay and inflationary pressures, one of the biggest challenges facing some colleges is the rising cost of energy. We are keeping under review the potential impacts of the rising cost of energy on providers across the department’s remit.

Colleges are autonomous institutions responsible for their own financial sustainability and are taking actions to respond to inflationary pressures, for example through reducing energy consumption.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has outlined the range of support on energy cost increases that will be available for businesses, the public sector and households. As part of that, the Energy Bill Relief Scheme will provide a price reduction to ensure that all businesses and other non-domestic customers, including colleges, are protected from excessively high energy bills over this winter. Discounts will be applied to energy usage initially between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023.

Schools and colleges in England will also be allocated a share of £500 million in capital funding in the 2022/23 financial year (this comprises £447 million for schools and sixth form colleges and £53 million for further education colleges) to spend on energy efficiency upgrades.

This will not only help schools and colleges save money, but it will also make them more energy efficient during the cold period and increase winter resilience for future years. A further education college group will receive £290,000 on average from that additional funding. Allocations were published on 6 December 2022 to help colleges plan and payments are expected to be made in January 2023.

The department is investing £3.8 billion more in further education and skills over the Parliament as a whole to ensure people can access high-quality training and education that leads to good jobs, addresses skills gaps, boosts productivity and supports levelling up. This will support the sector to reform and deliver the technical, skilled education that employers want and our economy needs.

As set out in the department publication, ‘College oversight: support and intervention’, we assess and review colleges’ financial health on a regular basis and use this information to determine where support and intervention from the department, Education and Skills Funding Agency and Further Education Commissioner can help colleges to improve their position. The publication is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/college-oversight-support-and-intervention.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of maintenance loans rising by 2.3 per cent on (1) ethnic minority, and (2) disadvantaged, students.

Decisions on student support are taken on an annual basis. The department has continued to increase student living costs support each year with a 2.3% increase to maximum loans and grants for living and other costs for the 2022/23 academic year. Students who have been awarded a loan for living costs for the 2022/23 academic year that is lower than the maximum, and whose household income for the tax year 2022/23 has dropped by at least 15% compared to the income provided for their original assessment, can apply for their entitlement to be reassessed.

An Equality Impact Assessment was undertaken prior to a decision being taken on increases to maintenance loans and grants by 2.3%. The overall assessment was that the changes would have a marginally positive impact for those with and without protected characteristics. This can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-student-finance-2022-to-2023-equality-analysis.

The UCAS end of cycle report shows that in 2022 there were record numbers of 18-year-olds getting into university, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds. An English 18-year-old from a disadvantaged background today is 86% more likely to go to university than in 2010.

The department’s widening participation publication from 2022 shows that progression to higher education has increased across all students, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds. Black pupils have seen the greatest increase in the proportion entering HE by age 19, increasing from 44.1% in 2009/10 to 62.1% in 2020/21.

The department recognises the additional cost of living pressures that have arisen this year which have affected students. Decisions on student finance will have to be taken alongside other spending priorities to ensure the system remains financially sustainable and the costs of higher education (HE) are shared fairly between students and taxpayers, not all of whom have benefited from going to university.

Many HE providers have hardship funds that students can apply to for assistance. There is £261 million of student premium funding available this academic year to support disadvantaged students who need additional help. The department works alongside the Office for Students to ensure that universities support students in hardship, using both hardship funds and drawing on the student premium.

In addition, all households will save on their energy bills through the Energy Price Guarantee and the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme discount. Students who buy their energy from a domestic supplier are eligible for the energy bills discount. The Energy Prices Act, passed on 25 October 2022, includes the provision to require landlords to pass benefits they receive from energy price support, as appropriate, onto end users. Further details of the requirements under this Act are set out in the legislation.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effects of increases in the cost of living on access to higher education for students from (1) ethnic minority, and (2) disadvantaged, backgrounds.

The department recognises the additional cost of living pressures that have arisen this year and that have impacted students. Many higher education (HE) providers have hardship funds that students can apply to for assistance. There is £261 million of student premium funding available this academic year to support disadvantaged students who need additional help. The department is working with with the Office for Students (OfS) to ensure universities support students in hardship using both hardship funds and drawing on the student premium.

All households will save on their energy bills through the Energy Price Guarantee and the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme discount. Students who buy their energy from a domestic supplier are eligible for the energy bills discount. The Energy Prices Act passed on 25th October includes the provision to require landlords to pass benefits they receive from energy price support, as appropriate, onto end users. Further details of the requirements under this act are set out in the legislation.

A HM Treasury-led review is being undertaken to consider how to support households and businesses with energy bills after April 2023.

Decisions on student support for HE courses are taken on an annual basis and changes for the current 2022/23 academic year were made through Regulations laid in December 2021.

The government is currently considering options for changes to loans and grants for living and other costs for the 2023/24 academic year starting in August 2023 and an announcement will follow in due course.

The UCAS end of cycle report shows that in 2022 there were record numbers of 18-year-olds getting into university, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds. An English 18-year-old from a disadvantaged background today is 86% more likely to go to university than in 2010.

The department’s widening participation publication from 2022 shows that progression to higher education has increased across all students, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds. Black pupils have seen the greatest increase in the proportion entering HE by age 19, increasing from 44.1% in 2009/10 to 62.1% in 2020/21.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support students with the cost of living.

The department recognises the additional cost of living pressures that have arisen this year and that have impacted students. Many higher education (HE) providers have hardship funds that students can apply to for assistance. There is £261 million of student premium funding available this academic year to support disadvantaged students who need additional help. The department is working with with the Office for Students (OfS) to ensure universities support students in hardship using both hardship funds and drawing on the student premium.

All households will save on their energy bills through the Energy Price Guarantee and the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme discount. Students who buy their energy from a domestic supplier are eligible for the energy bills discount. The Energy Prices Act passed on 25th October includes the provision to require landlords to pass benefits they receive from energy price support, as appropriate, onto end users. Further details of the requirements under this act are set out in the legislation.

A HM Treasury-led review is being undertaken to consider how to support households and businesses with energy bills after April 2023.

Decisions on student support for HE courses are taken on an annual basis and changes for the current 2022/23 academic year were made through Regulations laid in December 2021.

The government is currently considering options for changes to loans and grants for living and other costs for the 2023/24 academic year starting in August 2023 and an announcement will follow in due course.

The UCAS end of cycle report shows that in 2022 there were record numbers of 18-year-olds getting into university, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds. An English 18-year-old from a disadvantaged background today is 86% more likely to go to university than in 2010.

The department’s widening participation publication from 2022 shows that progression to higher education has increased across all students, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds. Black pupils have seen the greatest increase in the proportion entering HE by age 19, increasing from 44.1% in 2009/10 to 62.1% in 2020/21.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure childcare is (1) accessible, and (2) affordable, in particular for low-income families.

Improving parents’ access to affordable, flexible childcare is a government priority. In July, the department announced measures to increase take-up of childcare support and reduce the costs and bureaucracy facing providers. This included consulting on changing staff-to-child ratios for two-year-olds in group-based settings and clarifying flexibilities for childminders, to give providers more autonomy.

The department announced additional funding of £160 million in 2022/23, £180 million in 2023/24, and £170 million in 2024/25, compared to the 2021/22 financial year, for local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers.

The department also announced a £1.2 million marketing campaign underway via the Childcare Choices website to ensure that every parent knows about the government-funded support they are eligible for. The campaign has driven a significant increase in traffic to the Childcare Choices site, and an increase in referrals for Universal Credit, Tax-Free Childcare, and 30 hours entitlements.

The department extended eligibility for the disadvantaged two-year-old entitlement to families with no recourse to public funds, subject to income thresholds that are broadly equivalent to those for families who are able to access benefits.

We continue to work across government to look at ways to make childcare more affordable and to encourage families to use the government-funded support they are entitled to.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)