Modern Foreign Languages: Teachers

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Berridge
Wednesday 10th March 2021

(3 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge (Con)
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My Lords, as I outlined in the figures, we are seeing increasing numbers of those applying to teach in our schools. That is important for the supply chain and to make sure that there is good-quality teaching, as it is a requirement of the EBacc to take a modern foreign language. In addition to initial teacher training, there is now the early career framework —professional development support—for two years, so that this is seen as comparable to professions such as law and accountancy in those terms.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB) [V]
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The Erasmus programme has been a major driver in sustaining the recruitment of MFL trainee teachers. Will the Turing scheme match Erasmus by facilitating incoming students from the EU, as well as funding outward mobility?

Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge (Con)
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My Lords, the Turing scheme is backed by £110 million and we hope to reach 35,000 students. The funding is for those at UK institutions to travel abroad and we expect other countries to fund their students to do the same.

Free School Meals

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Berridge
Tuesday 27th October 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge (Con)
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My Lords, yes, indeed. Many schools in 17 local authorities are open during the holidays, and the Government have provided £9 million to fund holiday clubs that include food as well. At the moment, however, given how hard all staff in our schools have worked, I do not think that anyone is suggesting that we want the school kitchens open in that traditional manner during the school holidays.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB) [V]
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I recognise that the Government have given significant sums to strengthen the welfare of children but would the Minister not agree that the most focused and efficient way of supporting the most vulnerable members of our society—the children—is by paying for school meals during the holidays, as has been recognised by the Scottish and Welsh Governments? That would be the most focused and efficient way of doing it.

Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge (Con)
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My Lords, the method used by the Scottish and Welsh Governments is, in fact, a similar methodology to the local authority welfare assistance fund, as it is through local councils and does not expect schools to deliver it. This is a time, during the pandemic, when all of us—government, communities, faith communities, families and charities—need to come together to support everyone.

Covid-19 Summer Food Fund

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Berridge
Wednesday 17th June 2020

(4 years ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge [V]
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My Lords, it is correct that the Government have temporarily extended free school meal eligibility to some groups of children where there is no recourse to public funds, particularly the children of Zambrano carers, where the parent may not be a British citizen but the child is. As I understand it, we have issued guidance on what documentation may be used to establish membership of these groups. I will get back to the noble Baroness with any further detail on that, but there has been a welcome easing of those restrictions, bearing in mind the current crisis.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB) [V]
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I very much welcome the Government’s U-turn on this issue but, as the Minister will recognise, producing seven meals a week on £15 is extremely difficult. I am pretty certain that I could not do it. Is there anything that the Government might do to encourage a competition among families in receipt of vouchers to produce menus that are nourishing, attractive and not too difficult? Perhaps she might also encourage the media to set up a Marcus Rashford prize for the best set of seven menus.

Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge [V]
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My Lords, as I have outlined, because families cannot buy at the scale that schools can to provide free school meals, the vouchers are at £15 to provide lunches rather than the £11.50 normally allocated to schools. There is an NHS “Eat Well” guide, which we encourage parents to look at; there are also, of course, the school food standards and the Change4Life healthy eating recipes. There are resources out there for parents to look at for a healthy diet. In addition, in 2016 we began the child obesity strategy to ensure that children are eating a healthier diet.