Lord Storey Portrait

Lord Storey

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Became Member: 2nd February 2011

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)

(since June 2015)

Children and Families Act 2014 Committee
19th Jan 2022 - 21st Nov 2022
Youth Unemployment Committee
28th Jan 2021 - 16th Nov 2021
Communications and Digital Committee
1st Jul 2019 - 28th Jan 2021
Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Committee
29th May 2012 - 28th Feb 2013


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
Friday 1st March 2024
Schools (Mental Health Professionals) Bill [HL]
My Lords, I obviously start with a big thank you to my noble friend Lady Tyler for this Private Member’s …
Written Answers
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Children and Young People Cancer Taskforce
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to including educational attainment and outcomes within the scope of …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 14th June 2022
Water Safety (Curriculum) Bill [HL] 2022-23
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to include water safety and training in prevention of drowning as a …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Storey has voted in 432 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

8 Dec 2021 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Storey 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
View All Lord Storey 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 Barran (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(97 debate interactions)
Baroness Berridge (Conservative)
(58 debate interactions)
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(136 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(53 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Schools Bill [HL] 2022-23
(11,586 words contributed)
Skills and Post-16 Education Act 2022
(7,757 words contributed)
Online Safety Act 2023
(1,430 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Storey's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Storey, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


3 Bills introduced by Lord Storey


A Bill to require the Secretary of State to include water safety and training in prevention of drowning as a compulsory part of the curriculum for all schools in England

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 19th May 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make it an offence to provide or advertise cheating services for Higher Education assessments

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 25th June 2021
(Read Debate)

A bill to make it an offence to provide or advertise cheating services for Higher Education assessments.

Lords - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Thursday 30th January 2020

Lord Storey has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


402 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
4 Other Department Questions
14th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings by Sport England that 80 per cent of black children do not swim.

The Government recognises the importance of swimming to everyone. That is why, as part of the National Curriculum, all primary schools must provide swimming and water safety lessons in either Key Stage 1 or 2. This includes being able to swim competently, confidently, and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres. Currently 75% of 11 year-olds leave primary school able to swim 25 metres.

Sport England’s Active Lives Survey sets out that 14.2% of Black children and young people had swum in the last week across the 2021/22 academic year, compared to 23.6% of children and young people overall. Sport England is working with the Black Swimming Association to gather more insight, data, and research on the barriers and motivations for participation in swimming by people of African, Caribbean and Asian descent. Sport England is also working with the Black Swimming Association to deliver water safety programmes.

As part of the legacy of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Sport England has provided £500,000 to Swim England’s Inspire 2022 project which will use innovative and accessible means to help people from all kinds of backgrounds in the West Midlands take part in swimming. This will include teaching children the key water safety messages which could save their life in an emergency.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what assessment they have made of the (1) safety, and (2) wellbeing, of (a) members, and (b) members of staff, particularly women, leaving the House of Lords late to travel home on occasions when it sits later than 10pm.

Parliament benefits from a significant layered security and policing presence, and is within the Government Secure Zone which also has a substantial policing footprint strengthened by additional protective and deterrent measures. Personal security advice is available for all Members and staff, and the Director of Security for Parliament is content to meet with any Members who wish to discuss specific concerns. In respect of staff of the Administration, their safety and wellbeing is important and a late night transport policy provides taxis home for those who are required to work beyond 10.40pm. The House Administration keeps issues of staff safety under constant review, engaging with work place equality networks and others to ensure staff concerns are heard.

13th Sep 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker why House of Commons staff are able to bring guests into House of Lords facilities while Members of the House of Lords are currently not allowed to do so.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf. Currently access for non-passholders is limited to one guest per member or full staff passholder and those guests must have a business need. This is the same in both the House of Commons and House of Lords. Committees can bring in non-passholders as required. Catering venues in the Lords are applying usual access arrangements within the limits of these restrictions.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans there are to provide electric vehicle charging points on the Parliamentary Estate.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf. There are currently no plans to provide electric vehicle charging points on the Parliamentary Estate. The Services Committee will be considering a paper on the provision of electric vehicle charging points at a future meeting, before the end of the year.

6th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer from Lord Stewart of Dirleton on 1 December 2021 (HL4164), what assessment they have made of the effect waiting that over three years for a determination from the Crown Prosecution Service will have on the mental health of those accused of crimes.

Ensuring the timely delivery of justice and minimising delay is a key priority for the criminal justice system.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is committed to ensuring that the rights of the suspect and defendant are balanced with the rights of victims of crime, the seriousness of the offending, and the need to safeguard the public when considering each case on its own merits, as set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

The CPS continue to work closely with criminal justice partners to ensure early engagement, proactive case management, robust case progression and effective and timely decision making.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
1st Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they give to the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to the maximum time after an individual has been arrested on suspicion of an offence that they may be charged with that offence.

There are a number of different legal provisions that provide a maximum period for the charging of a suspect in England and Wales, but those periods do not usually run from arrest and they only apply in certain cases. In other cases, there is no set time limit from arrest to charge but the courts do have the power to stop a case as an abuse of process if there has been such delay as to make it unfair that the proceedings should continue.

The decision to charge is made by the police in some cases and by the CPS in other cases. The CPS make the decision to charge in serious cases but over the last five years the police have made the charging decision in 61% to 63% of the cases that are prosecuted by the CPS.

The most significant time limit for the charging of criminal offences is contained in section 127 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980. That provides that summary-only offences must be charged within six months of the offence (not arrest) unless there is any special provision made for that offence. Those special provisions are limited; some provide for longer periods for certain offences and some provide for periods that only start once evidence of an offence comes to light.

There are also time limits contained within the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) that limit the time a suspect can be kept in custody after arrest. That can provide a time limit for the charging of cases when the police seek to charge and keep a suspect in custody for a court appearance. As a consequence of the time limits contained in PACE, decisions as to charge in those cases have to be made swiftly (the usual time limit is 24 hours, but more time can be available in some cases). For that reason, the CPS has prosecutors working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to make charging decisions in those cases.

In other cases, in which suspects are released with or without bail (also known as released under investigation) there is no general cross government guidance on a maximum period between arrest and charge.

Timescales for charging decisions made by the police are a matter for policing. In cases in which the CPS make the charging decision, the CPS and the police have agreements in place that set a timetable that can change depending on the circumstances of each case. There will be cases in which the CPS cannot make a charging decision on the information provided and the case has to be referred back to the police for further investigation and a submission back to the CPS at a later date. The Code for Crown Prosecutors provides that decisions to prosecute should normally be made only when all outstanding reasonable lines of inquiry have been pursued or if the prosecutor is satisfied that any further evidence or material is unlikely to affect the decision to prosecute.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
17th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people arrested in (1) 2019, (2) 2020, (3) 2021, are awaiting a determination from the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the dates of arrest for suspects in cases submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision. This information could only be obtained by an examination of CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
1st Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to installing motion sensitive lights in (1) government, and (2) public, buildings to reduce energy costs.

As set out in the Net Zero Strategy, the Government aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037. To support this, £2.5 billion is being invested through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme over the financial years 2020/21 to 2024/25 to provide grants for public sector bodies in England to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures.

The Office for Government Property has published the Net Zero Estate Playbook providing guidance to support government property organisations to decarbonise their estate. This includes recommendations of how to reduce operational energy use, including through fabric improvements, which may include motion sensitive lights.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) has a Net Zero Programme which is looking to retrofit LED lighting across the government office portfolio with motion controls. To date over 20,000 lights have been upgraded to more efficient LEDs.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many people have died from drowning in each of the last five years.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Hon. Member's Parliamentary Question of 29 November is attached.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

The Lord Storey CBE

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

07 December 2022

Dear Lord Storey,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people have died from drowning in each of the last 5 years (HL3861).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales. Mortality statistics are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration. Causes mentioned on the death certificate are converted to International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codes, with the underlying cause of death defined as the disease or injury that initiated the events that directly lead to the death. At the ONS, we use the term “due to” to refer to the underlying cause of a death.

The ICD-10 codes of accidental drowning related deaths are W65 to W74, which come under the accidental drowning and submersion sub chapter. This consists of:

• W65 – Drowning and submersion while in bath-tub

• W66 – Drowning and submersion following fall into bath-tub

• W67 – Drowning and submersion while in swimming-pool

• W68 – Drowning and submersion following fall into swimming-pool

• W69 – Drowning and submersion while in natural water

• W70 – Drowning and submersion following fall into natural water

• W73 – Other specified drowning and submersion

• W74 – Unspecified drowning and submersion

Table 1 shows the numbers of deaths involving accidental drowning and submersion by year in England and Wales for the period 2017 to 2021, taken from Deaths registered in England and Wales – 21st century mortality[1] . Accidental drowning and submersion is considered an external cause of morbidity and mortality, because of this it is usually referred to a coroner for the death to be certified, which may lead to registration delays[2] . Data for 2022 will be available from mid2023 in the yearly publication on Deaths registered in England and Wales[3] .

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Numbers[4] of deaths[5] by accidental drowning[6] and submersion by year, 2017 to 2021, England and Wales[7]

Year Total per year

2017 193

2018 211

2019 175

2020 193

2021 215

Source: Office for National Statistics – Deaths registered in England and Wales – 21st Century Mortality

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/the 21stcenturymortalityfilesdeathsdataset

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/impa ctofregistrationdelaysonmortalitystatisticsinenglandandwales/latest

[3] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deat hsregistrationsummarytables/latest

[4] Number of deaths by ICD-10 code are available through our explorable dataset NOMIS from 2013 onwards, this can be accessed here: https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/query/construct/summary.asp?reset=yes&mode=construct&dataset=161&v ersion=0&anal=1&initsel=

[5] Death figures are based on deaths registered rather than deaths occurring in a calendar year; for more information see our Impact of registrations delays release.

[6] International Classification of Diseases 10th edition (ICD-10) codes are as follows: W65, Drowning and submersion while in bath-tub; W66, Drowning and submersion following fall into bath-tub; W67, Drowning and submersion while in swimming-pool; W68, Drowning and submersion following fall into swimming-pool; W69, Drowning and submersion while in natural water; W70, Drowning and submersion following fall into natural water; W73, Other specified drowning and submersion; W74, Unspecified drowning and submersion.

[7] Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the outgoing Prime Minister, Liz Truss, will receive the Public Duty Cost Allowance.

Former Prime Ministers are entitled to claim the Public Duty Costs Allowance, which provides reimbursement of incurred expenses for necessary office and secretarial costs arising from the fulfilment of public duties. The annual amount received by each claimant is published each year in the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts.

Information about the Public Duty Costs Allowance is available on GOV.UK, at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-duty-cost-allowance/public-duty-costs-allowance-guidance.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government who currently receives the Public Duty Cost Allowance; and how much they receive.

The Public Duty Cost Allowance (PDCA) is a payment for reimbursement of incurred expenses for necessary office and secretarial costs arising from fulfilling public duties, to a maximum of £115,000 per annum.

All former Prime Ministers’ are eligible to draw on the PDCA. They cannot claim the allowance if they are serving as Leader of the Opposition.

The annual amount received by each PDCA claimant is published each year in the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts available online at: Cabinet Office annual reports and accounts - GOV.UK

Further information about the PDCA is available online at: Public Duty Costs Allowance guidance - GOV.UK

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the value of the Public Duty Cost Allowance; and whether they stipulate how it is spent.

The Public Duty Cost Allowance (PDCA) is a payment for reimbursement of incurred expenses for necessary office and secretarial costs arising from fulfilling public duties, to a maximum of £115,000 per annum.

All former Prime Ministers’ are eligible to draw on the PDCA. They cannot claim the allowance if they are serving as Leader of the Opposition.

The annual amount received by each PDCA claimant is published each year in the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts available online at: Cabinet Office annual reports and accounts - GOV.UK

Further information about the PDCA is available online at: Public Duty Costs Allowance guidance - GOV.UK

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the consequences of not storing information centrally on Non-Disclosure Agreements agreed across Government; and what plans they have, if any, to make such information centrally available.

Full information on the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements is held by individual departments. However, in line with the requirements set out in the Cabinet Office guidance on the use of confidentiality clauses in the Civil Service, departments are required to seek Cabinet Office Ministerial approval before using certain confidentiality clauses in a settlement agreement and to report certain information centrally on an annual basis. This is to ensure that such clauses are not used to prevent staff from raising or discussing allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination, which the Government has made clear is unacceptable.

There are no plans to publish the data collected centrally as much of this information is sensitive and publishing it would not satisfy UK GDPR requirements.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
24th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many cases of (1) bullying, (2) harassment, and (3) discrimination, in Government departments were reported in each of the last three years; and how many of these cases warranted action being taken.

The Cabinet Office does not centrally hold information on cases of bullying, harassment and discrimination across government.

The Civil Service has a zero tolerance approach to bullying, harassment and discrimination. It is important that all employees feel respected and treated fairly within the workplace. Those found to be bullying, and/or harassing and/or discriminating against employees or customers can face disciplinary procedures including charges of gross misconduct leading to dismissal.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
23rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Non-Disclosure Agreements the Cabinet Office has agreed for each of the last three years.

Under the Cabinet Office issued guidance on the use of confidentiality clauses in the Civil Service, there are certain circumstances where departments are obliged to seek Cabinet Office Ministerial approval before using such clauses in a settlement agreement. This includes where the case meets any of the following criteria:

  • involves a member of the Senior Civil Service;

  • is high visibility or is likely to be contentious;

  • has a proposed payment of £100,00 or more;

  • has a confidentiality clause that deviates from the recommended Cabinet Office wording or;

  • involves allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

Since April 2019, under the aforementioned Cabinet Office control, approval has been given for two uses of a confidentiality clause.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many non-disclosure agreements were agreed in government departments in each of the last five years.

Departments are responsible for the management of their staff, in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Management Code. As such, the requested information is held by individual departments.

The Cabinet Office publishes guidance on the use of confidentiality clauses in the Civil Service. This is publicly available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/817156/Cabinet-Office-guidance-on-settlement-agreements-special-severance-payments-on-termination-of-employment-and-confidentiality-clauses.pdf.

It makes clear that such clauses should not be used to prevent staff from raising or discussing allegations of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
19th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the criteria for a town being considered for City status.

City status is a rare distinction conferred by The Queen acting on the advice of Ministers. Every application for city status is judged on its merits. Guidance for local authorities on the Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Competition, which closes on 8 December, is published on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/platinum-jubilee-civic-honours-competition.

On Monday 18 October, the Prime Minister announced that Southend-on-Sea would be accorded city status in honour of Sir David Amess. This was made in exceptional circumstances and outside of the ongoing competition.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) delaying local, mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections taking place in May, or (2) making these elections entirely postal.

Primary legislation states that the elections will go ahead in May 2021.

We continue to work closely with the electoral community and public health bodies to resolve challenges and ensure everyone will be able to cast their vote safely and securely - and in a way of their choosing.

Measures are planned to support absent voting at short notice. Guidance will be published in good time ahead of the polls and this matter will be kept under review.

Any elector is able to register to vote by post on demand, if they wish. As confirmed in a letter from the Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution, the UK Government is of the view that it would not be appropriate to impose an all-postal vote for the elections in May 2021, as this increases fraud risks and removes choice from voters who wish to cast their vote in person.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of holding elections in 2021 entirely through postal voting.

The UK Government is of the view that it would not be appropriate to impose an all-postal vote for the local and mayoral elections in England, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales, in May 2021. All-postal voting increases fraud risks, and removes choice from voters who wish to cast their vote in person.

Postal voting on demand already allows any registered elector to apply for a vote by post.

The Government is working with the electoral administrators and Public Health England to identify and resolve challenges involved in delivering the May 2021 elections, including ensuring polling stations are safe and COVID-secure places to vote. People will be able participate in the polls safely, and in a way of their choice, whether by post, proxy or in-person.

This work is outlined in the recent letter of the Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution to Electoral Returning Officers, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-from-chloe-smith-mp-to-returning-officers.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether people under the age of 18 have been allowed to submit questions to the daily Downing Street Covid-19 briefings; and if not, why not.

I refer the Noble Lord to the answer I gave to HL5693 on 29 June.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) which Ministers are working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) whether they have taken a reduction in their salary as a result.

The business of government continues, and Ministers continue to work full time; their associated officeholder status accordingly is unchanged. In line with prevailing Government guidance, Ministers are working from home where they are able to do so.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
12th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for preparing for the postponement of the local, mayoral, metro mayors and police and crime commissioners elections; and whether they have contingency plans for postal ballots.

Further to the Written Ministerial Statement HLWS169 which I laid on 19 March 2020, the Government has confirmed that the scheduled local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections that were due to take place on 7 May this year will be postponed until the next ordinary day of election on 6 May 2021.

Other polls that had already been set for dates from 16 March 2020 and which arise over coming weeks and months will also be addressed in legislation being brought forward as part of the Coronavirus Bill.

The decision was taken following advice from the Government’s medical experts in relation to the response to the Covid-19 virus and the advice of those delivering elections.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many members of staff working in Government departments provided fraudulent qualifications between 2014 and 2019.

The information requested is not collected centrally. Individual departments have responsibility for investigating cases of qualification fraud.

The Government Recruitment Service checks qualifications when a qualification is a mandatory requirement of the vacancy - for example, a suitable degree for a graduate programme. When instances of qualification fraud are discovered, they will be managed by the internal disciplinary procedure of that department.

Earl Howe
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Nationally Determined Contribution updated in September 2022 (CP744), why the Climate Change Committee advised that emissions from international aviation and shipping should not be included; and in particular, whether this was because of the difficulty in attributing emissions to specific countries.

The Climate Change Committee is an independent advisory authority. In 2020, it advised that the UK’s 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution should commit to reduce emissions by at least 68% from 1990 to 2030, excluding emissions from international aviation and shipping (IAS), in line with UN convention.

IAS emissions are included in the UK’s domestic sixth carbon budget. The Government has set out ambitious strategies to reduce emissions from aviation and shipping through the Jet Zero Strategy and Clean Maritime Plan.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
12th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 21 September (HL2514) regarding anti-loitering devices known as Mosquito devices, what requirements must be met before they are installed.

The safety of acoustic anti-loitering devices, commonly known as Mosquito devices, is regulated by the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and other product specific laws, such as the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations. These provide a baseline of safety for applicable products, requiring that only safe products, in their normal or reasonably foreseeable usage, can be placed on the market.

The laws place obligations on producers, manufacturers, importers and distributors to ensure consumers are provided with safety information including instructions for assembly, installation and maintenance.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use of Mosquito devices that emit high level sounds to deter loitering in public places, particularly those where young people gather.

Acoustic anti-loitering devices commonly known as Mosquito devices are widely available for purchase and use in commercial, domestic and public settings as a means of preventing potential anti-social behaviour.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to reduce the noise of fireworks sold to the general public from 120 decibels to 90 decibels.

There is a comprehensive regulatory framework already in place for fireworks that aims to reduce the risks and disturbances to people and animals.

Current legislation restricts retailers to only selling consumer fireworks during the traditional firework periods of November 5th, Diwali, New Year’s Eve and the Chinese New Year. Retailers may only supply fireworks outside these traditional periods if they obtain a license from their local licensing authority. Existing legislation also controls the sale, availability and use of fireworks, as well as setting a curfew and noise limit. Current legislation limits noise from fireworks available to consumers to a maximum of 120 decibels.

The Government remains committed to promoting the safe and considerate use of fireworks through an effective legislative framework and through non-legislative measures.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to change the regulations for the licensing of premises that sell fireworks.

There is a comprehensive regulatory framework already in place for fireworks that aims to reduce the risks and disturbances to people and animals.

Current legislation restricts retailers to only selling consumer fireworks during the traditional firework periods of November 5th, Diwali, New Year’s Eve and the Chinese New Year. Retailers may only supply fireworks outside these traditional periods if they obtain a license from their local licensing authority. Existing legislation also controls the sale, availability and use of fireworks, as well as setting a curfew and noise limit. Current legislation limits noise from fireworks available to consumers to a maximum of 120 decibels.

The Government remains committed to promoting the safe and considerate use of fireworks through an effective legislative framework and through non-legislative measures.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what additional support they have provided to (1) local authority, and (2) private sector, swimming pools to help them manage energy bills.

The Government recognises the importance of ensuring public access to swimming pools. It is the responsibility of local authorities to manage provision of swimming pools in their areas, taking into account the facilities which may be provided by private operators.

We understand that the rise in utility costs is having an impact on organisations of all sizes, including swimming pools. In September, the Government announced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, under which businesses and other non-domestic energy users are offered support. The scheme is currently under review to ensure support can be provided to the most vulnerable sectors.

The Government provided £100 million to the National Leisure Recovery Fund, which supported the reopening of local authority leisure centres and facilities throughout the country after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to prevent closures of swimming pools, given that 60 that have closed over the past three years.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools and that swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy. The responsibility of providing this access lies at Local Authority level, and the government continues to encourage Local Authorities to support swimming facilities.

We recognise the impact rising energy prices will have on organisations of all sizes, including on providers of indoor leisure facilities. In September the government announced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, under which businesses and other non-domestic energy users (including leisure centres and swimming pools) will be offered support.

After an initial 6 months of the scheme, the government will provide ongoing focused support for vulnerable industries. There will be a review in 3 months' time to consider where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support.

Sport England has invested £9,619,264 in swimming and diving projects since April 2019, which includes £6,260,502 to Swim England. This is in addition to the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund, which supported the reopening of local authority swimming pools throughout the country after the pandemic.

11th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of the energy crisis on public swimming facilities.

We recognise the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools and that swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy. The responsibility of providing this access lies at Local Authority level, and the government continues to encourage Local Authorities to support swimming facilities.

We recognise the impact rising energy prices will have on organisations of all sizes, including on providers of indoor leisure facilities. In September the government announced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, under which businesses and other non-domestic energy users (including leisure centres and swimming pools) will be offered support.

After an initial 6 months of the scheme, the government will provide ongoing focused support for vulnerable industries. There will be a review in 3 months' time to consider where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support.

Sport England has invested £9,619,264 in swimming and diving projects since April 2019, which includes £6,260,502 to Swim England. This is in addition to the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund, which supported the reopening of local authority swimming pools throughout the country after the pandemic.

6th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have carried out an impact assessment of the sale of Channel 4.

Her Majesty’s Government consulted extensively on a change of ownership of Channel 4, and the views and evidence gathered from a wide range of interested parties – including from Channel 4 itself – has informed the Government’s assessment and wider policy-making.

Following this consultation, the Secretary of State has come to a decision that, although Channel 4 as a business is currently performing well, public ownership is holding it back in the face of a rapidly-changing and competitive media landscape. The Secretary of State is now consulting with Cabinet colleagues on that decision.

Her Majesty’s Government will set out its plan for Channel 4 in a White Paper shortly. The Government will also publish a rationale for its decision regarding Channel 4’s ownership model.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the effect of rising inflation on the funding settlement for the BBC.

The licence fee settlement will provide the BBC with £3.7 billion in annual public funding, allowing it to deliver its mission and public purposes and to continue doing what it does best.

Every organisation around the world is facing the challenge of inflation, and these pressures were considered as part of the Government’s discussions with the BBC.

We believe this is a fair settlement that strikes the right balance between protecting household budgets and allowing the BBC and S4C to deliver their vital public responsibilities, while encouraging them to make further savings and efficiencies.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many schools achieved an Artsmark in each of the last five years.

Artsmark is a national award scheme managed by Arts Council England which celebrates schools' commitment to the arts. It provides a benchmark for arts provision in schools and encourages them to assess the opportunities and experiences available to children and young people in dance, drama, music, art, and design.

The number of schools that have achieved an Artsmark in each of the last five years is set out in the table below. These figures include the Artsmark levels Silver, Gold, Platinum and RSC Platinum. A further 46 awards have been made since the beginning of this calendar year (2022).

The reduction in the number of schools that achieved an Artsmark award in 2020 and 2021 can be attributed to the impact of Covid-19 and the scheme was revised accordingly.

2017

358

2018

585

2019

683

2020

321

2021

232

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the cost to the BBC of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service is independently run by the BBC and funded through the licence fee. This information is therefore held by the BBC and not by the Department.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Liverpool losing its UNESCO World Heritage Status; and the reasons of UNESCO's decision.

The removal of Liverpool from the UNESCO World Heritage List is a matter of regret to Her Majesty’s Government. My predecessor worked closely with the Mayor of Liverpool and the City Council to defend its status. However, it was clear that, following the development within the site since it was placed on the UNESCO danger list in 2012, some members of the Committee were persuaded that the Outstanding Universal Value of the site had been diminished to the extent that they voted in favour of its removal from the list. The full stated reasons given for the decision of the World Heritage Committee are set out in the record of the meeting on UNESCO’s website.

Despite the loss of Liverpool's World Heritage status, it remains a UNESCO City of Music, a beacon to the world for its culture and heritage, and a tourism destination for visitors from around the world.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the value to the economy of the creative arts industry.

The creative industries contributed approximately £116 billion to the economy in 2019, accounting for 5.9% of the UK’s GVA. They also employed 2.1 million people across the UK which accounts for 6.3% of the UK’s workforce. The music, performing and visual arts sub-sector of the creative industries contributed almost £11 billion in GVA and 315,000 jobs in 2019.

The creative sector’s value was recognised in the Government’s Plan for Growth, which highlighted the creative industries as key to the economic recovery and powering future growth, levelling up and exports. The Government has again recognised the importance of the creative industries to the economy at the Spending Review, with a further investment of £42 million to support growth across the country.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the announcement of £60 million funding to support 20 museums of which 16 are based in London, what assessment they have made of the need to protect national heritage outside of London.

Regional sites will benefit considerably from this £60 million investment in our national cultural infrastructure, irrespective of where their headquarters happen to be located. Of the 100 projects this Fund will support, over a third are based wholly outside London and the South East. For historic reasons there is a cluster of older, more expansive estates in London that require particular care and attention, but this is not at the expense of other regions, with projects funded across the North West, South West, North East, Yorkshire, and others. In fact, every single one of the multi-site organisations has received funding for one or more of its regional sites.

Regional organisations have been further boosted by our Museums Estates and Development Fund (MEND) worth over £18 million, available exclusively to non-national accredited museums for maintenance projects. Throughout the pandemic, this Government has supported locally-accessible culture and heritage across the entire nation, with 70 per cent of awards from our £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund to date going to save thousands of organisations outside of London.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will list all of the organisations in England that will benefit from the £60 million national heritage investment announced on 3 July; and how much funding each organisation will receive.

The DCMS Press Release published on 3 July lists the twenty organisations set to benefit from this latest investment, as well as the sums awarded, and can be found online: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/60-million-to-protect-our-national-heritage

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to UNESCO to ensure that Liverpool does not lose its UNESCO World Heritage status.

The UK is a world leader in cultural heritage protection and Liverpool's World Heritage Status reflects the important role the city has played in our nation's history. DCMS continues to work closely with UNESCO, Liverpool City Council and Historic England to ensure that Liverpool does not lose its UNESCO World Heritage status. Most recently, the Minister for Digital and Culture met senior UNESCO representatives on 10th June.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage status following the decision by the Secretary of State not to call in the planning application for the Everton Stadium.

The UK is a world leader in cultural heritage protection and Liverpool's World Heritage Status reflects the important role the city has played in our nation's history. We are working closely with UNESCO, Liverpool City Council and Historic England to ensure that Liverpool retains its World Heritage status.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the economic benefits of Liverpool’s World Heritage status.

We know from the excellent report prepared by the UK National Commission for UNESCO that UNESCO designations such as World Heritage status are worth over £150 million a year to communities across the UK and in its Overseas Territories, as well as contributing to sustainable development and other policy goals. We do not have a precise figure which can be attributed to the world heritage site of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, but we know that many international tourists are keen to visit the UK’s 32 world heritage sites, with concomitant economic benefits across the tourism and hospitality sector.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Historic England’s view that (1) the Liverpool Docks are the largest and most complete system of docks anywhere in the world, and (2) the infill of the West Waterloo Docks would harm Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage status.

The Government recognises the importance of protecting Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage status, and the outstanding universal value for which the Liverpool Docks and the rest of the site were inscribed in 2004. We continue to value the advice of Historic England on all aspects of the United Kingdom’s implementation of the World Heritage Convention. We note Historic England’s opposition to the proposed development at West Waterloo Docks and will continue to work with all parties to protect the heritage of Liverpool.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk of the Liverpool waterfront losing its UNESCO World Heritage status due to Everton Football Club's waterfront stadium development.

The construction of a new football stadium at Bramley Moore Dock is likely to increase perceptions that the “outstanding universal value” on which Liverpool’s UNESCO world heritage status is predicated will be placed at risk. The Government continues to work with UNESCO, Liverpool City Council, Historic England and others to reconcile the needs of heritage conservation and economic development in and around the world heritage site.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the work of the Black Swimming Association; and what steps they intend to take in response to the finding by Sport England’s Active Lives Survey, published in October 2020, that (1) 95 per cent of Black adults, (2) 80 percent of Black children, (3) 95 percent of Asian adults, and (4) 78 per cent of Asian Children, in England do not swim.

The Government supports the efforts of groups helping to promote diversity and inclusion in sport, including the Black Swimming Association who are working to address inequalities in swimming participation levels. We are committed to these efforts, and our sport and physical activity strategy ‘Sporting Future’ has diversity and inclusion at its heart.

In addition, Sport England have recently launched a new ten year strategy, “Uniting the Movement”, reinforcing their commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion in grassroots sport and physical activity, including swimming. They have invested £12.62 million in Swim England to support and promote participation in swimming, including support for people from ethnically diverse backgrounds. We welcome the recent partnership announcement between Swim England and the Black Swimming Association, to further increase numbers of participation in aquatic activity.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards establishing the £500 million Youth Investment Fund.

The Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for levelling up across England over the course of the parliament. In the recent announced Spending Review £30m of this was committed as capital investment for 2021-22. This will provide investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support from youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation and how the funding will be distributed will be announced in due course.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and on the youth services that support them. A £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund has been announced which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of allowing amateur musical groups the same outdoor and indoor rehearsal opportunities as professional musical groups.

The Government continues to advise that non-professional groups should not sing and play wind and brass instruments at this stage and should only do other activities in line with government guidance on social mixing. Singing and playing wind and brass instruments are considered higher risk activities because of the potential for aerosol production.

We understand that people are eager to play brass/wind instruments and sing together, which is why we have commissioned a study specifically looking at C-19 transmission risks associated with singing and playing wind instruments. The PERFORM study involves leading scientists and is working with musicians and representatives from the Royal Opera House and the BBC. Results of further research conducted will lead to updates of the performing arts guidance for both professionals and non-professionals.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why there are no representatives of the music industry on the Cultural Renewal Taskforce.

The Cultural Renewal Taskforce has been established to support the renewal of DCMS sectors and to help the development of new COVID-19 secure guidelines for the reopening of places and businesses in these sectors, where and when it is safe to do so. The Taskforce is made up of individuals and organisations from across DCMS sectors, representing a broad range of views and backgrounds. The organisations vary not only by size and scale, but are also representative of organisations with sector interests across the country.

To support the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and the development of guidelines, DCMS has also set up eight sectoral Working Groups, which are ministerially led. Each Working Group has broad membership covering a range of relevant organisations and representative bodies for sectors.

The Entertainment and Events Working Group has numerous members from the music industry, including Association of British Orchestras, Association of Independent Festivals, Music Venue Trust and The Musicians Union. In addition, the membership of the Broadcasting, Film and Production working group also includes representation for the music industry from the Association of Independent Music, British Phonographic Industry, Music Producers Guild, and The Musicians Union.

As well as establishing these Working Groups, we continue to work with the music industry to understand the difficulties they face and help them access support through these challenging times and through recovery.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the current requirements for commercial radio stations to be awarded a radio broadcast licence.

There are two separate regimes for the licensing of commercial radio stations. National and local analogue stations, carried on FM or AM, are licensed by Ofcom under the Broadcasting Act 1990. Digital radio stations, carried on digital multiplexes, are licensed by Ofcom under the Broadcasting Act 1996. Analogue licences are issued for a fixed period; however, an analogue licence holder who also provides a digital radio service may apply for an automatic renewal.

Ofcom does from time to time advertise analogue licences to prospective bidders where an existing commercial frequency is vacated or where a commercial station chooses not to renew. However, since 2007, Ofcom has prioritised new services for the development of community radio when advertising these frequencies. There are around 300 community services currently operating across the UK and the sector is likely to expand further with the start of small-scale DAB multiplex licensing by Ofcom later this year.

New services seeking to obtain an analogue sound programme licence or digital sound programme licence from Ofcom must be based in the UK and must satisfy Ofcom that the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold such a licence. Local analogue sound programme licence holders’ services must also meet the character of service set out in the station’s licence application, and satisfy the requirements for local news and production as set out in guidance published by Ofcom under s314 of the Communications Act. There are no equivalent requirements on digital radio services, which have always been subject to a lighter touch regime.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision by Bauer Media to fold local radio stations into a national radio network.

The local programming and content requirements for holders of local analogue commercial radio licenses are set by Ofcom under the relevant legislative framework – primarily the Broadcasting Act 1990 and the Communications Act 2003.

In particular, Ofcom is required under section 314 of the Communications Act 2003 to publish and keep under review guidance for commercial radio licensees setting out the detailed local programming requirements that they consider it to be appropriate for local stations to carry.

The relevant guidelines were updated by Ofcom in 2018 to give local FM licensees greater flexibility in how and where local stations produce their programmes, while ensuring that listeners’ expectations for high quality local news and other content continue to be met. These guidelines are published on Ofcom's website, and it will be for Bauer to make decisions about how to organise their services while still meeting their regulatory requirements.

The Government has long-term plans to legislate to reduce other burdens on commercial radio while maintaining protections for the provision on local news and extending these requirements to digital radio, where there are currently no such protections in place. We consulted on changes in 2017, and will bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time is available.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on (1) local people, and (2) the level of local content, of Bauer Media's decision (a) to fold local radio stations into a national radio network, and (b) to replace locally produced content with syndicated programme content made in London.

We have made no such assessment. The local programming and content requirements for holders of local analogue commercial radio licenses are set by Ofcom under the relevant legislative framework – primarily the Broadcasting Act 1990 and the Communications Act 2003. These are matters for Ofcom.

In particular, Ofcom is required under section 314 of the Communications Act 2003 to publish and keep under review guidance for commercial radio licensees setting out the detailed local programming requirements that they consider it to be appropriate for local stations to carry.

The relevant guidelines were updated by Ofcom in 2018 to give local FM licensees greater flexibility in how and where local stations produce their programmes, while ensuring that listeners’ expectations for high quality local news and other content continue to be met. In drawing up the current guidance, Ofcom took account of the changing patterns of radio and audio listening and the views of radio listeners. The revised guidelines are published on Ofcom's website, and it will be for Bauer to make decisions about how to organise their services while still meeting their regulatory requirements in particular the requirements to produce local news and news programming.

The Government has long-term plans to legislate to reduce other burdens on commercial radio while maintaining protections for the provision on local news and extending these requirements to digital radio, where there are currently no such protections in place. We consulted on changes in 2017, and will bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time is available.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures will need to be put in place before swimming pool operators can provide a safe environment to reopen.

Swimming plays a crucial role in supporting people to be active and the Government is committed to reopening facilities, including swimming pools, as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are holding regular discussions with representatives from the leisure sector to develop guidance for swimming pool operators, as well as other facility operators, to support them to open their facilities in a timely and safe manner once lockdown measures are eased.

As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, we will be guided by the science to ensure that as restrictions are eased people can return to activity safely.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide a funding grant to the Royal Life Saving Society for that society to support the leisure industry in quickly re-qualifying its safety staff.

Sport England, has announced £210 million of funding to help sport and physical activity organisations deal with the short and long term effects of the pandemic. Further information about how sports organisations can access this support is available on the Sport England website.

In addition, HM Government is distributing £200m via the National Lottery Community Fund to support voluntary organisations most impacted by Covid-19 as part of the wider £750m Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise funding package announced by the Chancellor.

DCMS will continue to work closely with organisations across the sport sector to understand the economic impact on them and how the Government can continue to support them. It is up to RLSS to apply for funding as they see fit.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what powers and responsibilities Historic England have towards UNESCO World Heritage sites located in England.

Historic England provides advice to local authorities and Government regarding the historic environment in England. They also act as advisers to the UK government for World Heritage across the UK and Overseas Territories and advise site managers and others on the implementation of the Convention.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they protect the integrity of UNESCO World Heritage sites located in the UK.

UNESCO World Heritage sites in the UK are protected through heritage legislation and the respective planning regimes in each of the devolved administrations. Additionally, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and others provide grant funding to sites for projects which help to protect their integrity for the benefit of present and future generations.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of UNESCO World Heritage sites located in the UK.

Each of the 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK and its Overseas Territories must undertake reporting to the World Heritage Committee on a periodic basis. Additionally, each site must have and regularly update a management plan. This process is overseen by DCMS, acting on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, as State Party to the World Heritage Convention.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration has been given to making it compulsory to have EpiPens in all schools.

In 2014, the government introduced a new duty on schools to support pupils with all medical conditions and published the ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’ statutory guidance for schools and others. This guidance does not specify which medical conditions should be supported in schools. Instead, the guidance focuses on how to meet the needs of each individual child and how their medical condition impacts on school life.

Schools also have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to their practices, procedures and policies to ensure that they are not putting those with certain long-term health problems at a substantial disadvantage.

Under the Medical and Healthcare Regulatory Agency Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2017, all schools are able to buy adrenaline auto-injector (AAI) devices without a prescription, for emergency use in children who are at risk of anaphylaxis, but their own device is not available or not working. The Department for Health and Social care published guidance on using an emergency AAI in schools which can be found in the attached document.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that schools that are affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete are not subject to an Ofsted inspection.

The department is continuing to support schools and colleges with confirmed RAAC to put in place mitigations and minimise any disruption to education.

A school that has confirmed RAAC in some of their buildings will still be eligible for Ofsted inspection. However, in the spring term, for schools with confirmed RAAC, this will be sufficient grounds to defer the inspection, should the school wish to. For schools that do not have confirmed RAAC, but that may still be impacted by RAAC, Ofsted will carefully consider any requests for a deferral of an inspection. Ofsted retains the right to inspect any setting, including one affected by RAAC, if it has concerns. This matter will be kept under review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
31st Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they are giving to pupils whose schools are affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete and whose summer examinations may be impacted.

​​The safety of staff and pupils is paramount, and the department has been working at pace with schools to identify RAAC and support them to minimise disruption to pupils’ education.

The department is working closely with affected schools to ensure the best possible education for pupils and taking every step possible to remove any obstacles to learning through mitigations including temporary accommodation where this is needed and in some instances use of specialist facilities in off-site accommodation.

​Departmental officials have also been working hard to ensure that any school or college that is struggling to deliver particular assessments due to RAAC receives the support they need for their specific circumstances. The department has asked awarding organisations to be as flexible as possible within the confines of their processes and regulations, for example by agreeing longer extensions to coursework and non-examined assessment deadlines with affected schools and colleges.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many schools are using pop-up swimming pools.

Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People Survey 2022/23 reports that 70.5% of pupils in year 7 say they can swim 25 metres unaided. Information is not published for demographic data for individual school years, but data for years 7-11 show that 52% of black children and 57.3% of Asian children report being able to swim 25 metres unaided. This is compared with 82.8% of white British children in years 7-11.

The department does not collect data on schools’ access to and use of swimming pools. The government recognises challenges to pool operators and is providing over £60 million to local authorities in England through the Swimming Pool Support Fund. The fund will keep swimming pools and leisure centres open, as well as investing in renovations to boost energy efficiency, reduce future operating costs and improve sustainability. The department is supporting schools to operate their swimming pools effectively through the Opening School Sport Facilities programme, worth up to £57 million over three years. Over 200 school pools have already benefited from this funding.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many schools do not have access to a swimming pool.

Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People Survey 2022/23 reports that 70.5% of pupils in year 7 say they can swim 25 metres unaided. Information is not published for demographic data for individual school years, but data for years 7-11 show that 52% of black children and 57.3% of Asian children report being able to swim 25 metres unaided. This is compared with 82.8% of white British children in years 7-11.

The department does not collect data on schools’ access to and use of swimming pools. The government recognises challenges to pool operators and is providing over £60 million to local authorities in England through the Swimming Pool Support Fund. The fund will keep swimming pools and leisure centres open, as well as investing in renovations to boost energy efficiency, reduce future operating costs and improve sustainability. The department is supporting schools to operate their swimming pools effectively through the Opening School Sport Facilities programme, worth up to £57 million over three years. Over 200 school pools have already benefited from this funding.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many alternative education schools are (1) registered, and (2) unregistered.

During the 2022/23 academic year there were 335 state funded alternative provision schools registered in England. Data on the number of state funded alternative provision schools is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics. Independent schools can also cater for children requiring alternative provision. There is no specific designation for such schools.

The department does not collect data on the number of alternative provision settings, typically called unregistered alternative provision, that do not meet the criteria to register as a school.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what factors Ofsted take into consideration when inspecting alternative education schools.

This is a matter for His Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Martyn Oliver. I have asked him to write to the noble Lord directly and a copy of his reply will be placed in the libraries of both Houses.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for issuing children suffering from cancer an education, health and care plan.

The department shares the ambition that children with cancer get the support they need to remain in school if they are well enough, both to maintain their education and for the benefits of being with their friends. The department understands this may not always be possible, either on a short or long-term basis. That is why there are existing statutory duties to ensure children with cancer should be able to get the support they need without an Education Health and Care plan.

Under the Equality Act 2010, cancer is classified as a disability. This means schools must make reasonable adjustments to their practices, procedures and policies to ensure that such a child is not substantially disadvantaged in their education. Under section 100 of the Children and Families Act, schools also have duties to support children with medical conditions, including by providing an Individual Health Plan. The department has issued guidance to support schools in this.

Local authorities also have legal duties under Section 19 of the Education Act 1996 to provide all children with a full-time education. If a child is unable to attend school, for example due to risk of infection after cancer treatment, then the local authority, working with medical professionals, the child and their family, must make alternative arrangements for them, such as home tutoring.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the importance of the National Tutoring Programme; and what plans they have for that programme after August 2024.

There is extensive evidence that tutoring is one of the most effective ways to accelerate academic progress. The department has evaluated the delivery and impact of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) through a series of independent evaluations, which are available online.

The year 2 impact evaluation identified small improvements in key stage 2 and key stage 4 mathematics, which can be equated to one month’s worth of additional progress, for the School Led Tutoring route.

The year 3 implementation and process evaluation also found there was a positive perceived impact on pupils’ attainment, progress, and confidence, and that the NTP was perceived to help narrow the attainment gap for disadvantaged pupils.

The department is committed to the objective that tutoring should be embedded across schools from 2024 with schools using their core budgets, including pupil premium, to provide targeted support to students who will benefit.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the total number of children suffering from cancer and on an Education, Health and Care Plan in each of the last three years.

Information on the number of children with cancer and with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is not held. The department collects data on EHC plans in England, and the nature of special educational needs. However, this is not to the granularity of specific medical conditions such as cancer.

The department publishes annual national statistics relating to EHC plans on the Explore Education Statistics platform, which is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what provision and educational support is given to children and young people who are out of school long term with cancer.

Local authorities have a duty, under Section 19 of the Education Act 1996, to arrange a suitable education for children of compulsory school age unable to receive their education in school because of any illness, including cancer.

Children who are unable to attend school because of a health need should be able to access suitable and flexible education appropriate to their needs. The nature of the provision must be responsive to the demands of what may be a changing health status.

Provision for children who are not attending school due to their health needs should offer good quality education equivalent to that provided in mainstream schools, as far as the child’s health needs allow.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the judicial review of the establishment of the Oak National Academy being granted permission to proceed.

As an integral part of the process to establish Oak National Academy (Oak) as an arm’s length body, the department produced a business case that included an assessment of potential market impact following engagement with stakeholders, including the education publishing and technology sector. This was published in November 2022, and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oak-national-academy-business-case.

During the set up of Oak, Parliament was sighted on progress through two written ministerial statements, laid in both Houses. On 5 July 2022 a statement was laid giving notice of a contingent liability for the issuing of an indemnity in respect of forming Oak as an arm’s length body (HLWS174, HCWS179). On 5 September 2022 a further statement was laid notifying Parliament of a Contingencies Fund advance to enable Oak to commence activity from 1 September (HLWS271, HCWS277).

As part of the wider Public Bodies Review programme, a review of Oak will take place in 2024. This review will act as a checkpoint to ensure that the organisation is acting effectively and will include consideration of the effect on the commercial curriculum resources market.

In establishing Oak as an arm’s length body, the department is taking action to tackle teacher workload, improve curriculum expertise, and ultimately improve education. It is right that the government takes steps to achieve this, whilst being careful to strike an appropriate balance with the interests of the thriving commercial curriculum and publishing markets. It is therefore disappointing to see commercial organisations, and those who represent them, trying to block this support to teachers. The department will be defending the legal challenge. The department is unable to comment on ongoing legal proceedings and cannot speculate about the outcome of the claim.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what information they have provided to Parliament to allow effective scrutiny of the decision to establish the Oak National Academy.

As an integral part of the process to establish Oak National Academy (Oak) as an arm’s length body, the department produced a business case that included an assessment of potential market impact following engagement with stakeholders, including the education publishing and technology sector. This was published in November 2022, and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oak-national-academy-business-case.

During the set up of Oak, Parliament was sighted on progress through two written ministerial statements, laid in both Houses. On 5 July 2022 a statement was laid giving notice of a contingent liability for the issuing of an indemnity in respect of forming Oak as an arm’s length body (HLWS174, HCWS179). On 5 September 2022 a further statement was laid notifying Parliament of a Contingencies Fund advance to enable Oak to commence activity from 1 September (HLWS271, HCWS277).

As part of the wider Public Bodies Review programme, a review of Oak will take place in 2024. This review will act as a checkpoint to ensure that the organisation is acting effectively and will include consideration of the effect on the commercial curriculum resources market.

In establishing Oak as an arm’s length body, the department is taking action to tackle teacher workload, improve curriculum expertise, and ultimately improve education. It is right that the government takes steps to achieve this, whilst being careful to strike an appropriate balance with the interests of the thriving commercial curriculum and publishing markets. It is therefore disappointing to see commercial organisations, and those who represent them, trying to block this support to teachers. The department will be defending the legal challenge. The department is unable to comment on ongoing legal proceedings and cannot speculate about the outcome of the claim.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure schools, local authorities and multi-academy trusts that commission unregistered alternative provision take suitable and consistent checks on the quality and safety of that provision.

Data on the number of pupils receiving school arranged alternative provision is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/e34e06f9-b3f1-4d63-8c02-08dbe514ee42. This shows that 12,084 pupils were receiving school arranged alternative provision in an education setting without a unique record number (URN) assigned by the department. This data was recorded across 2,558 schools which had arranged alternative provision and includes schools in multi-academy trusts.

Data on the number of children and young people receiving local authority arranged alternative provision is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/c1229d41-8321-4c05-8c04-08dbe514ee42. This shows that 8,311 placements were made in education settings without a URN. 140 local authorities recorded placements in education settings without a URN.

The alternative provision statutory guidance is clear that alternative provision, including unregistered alternative provision arranged by a local authority, should be good quality, registered where appropriate, and delivered by high quality staff with suitable training, experience and safeguarding checks. Responsibility for the alternative provision used rests with the commissioner. The statutory guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alternative-provision.

The Keeping children safe in education statutory guidance states that, where a school places a pupil in alternative provision, the school continues to be responsible for the safeguarding of that pupil and should be satisfied that the provider meets the needs of the pupil. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2. Schools should obtain written confirmation from the alternative provision that appropriate safeguarding checks have been carried out on individuals working at the establishment.

The department launched a call for evidence on the use of unregistered alternative provision last year. The responses to the call for evidence have been analysed and the analysis will be published later this year. The department will set out further proposals to strengthen protections for children and young people in unregistered alternative provision as they develop.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to regulate unregistered alternative provision for schooling.

Data on the number of pupils receiving school arranged alternative provision is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/e34e06f9-b3f1-4d63-8c02-08dbe514ee42. This shows that 12,084 pupils were receiving school arranged alternative provision in an education setting without a unique record number (URN) assigned by the department. This data was recorded across 2,558 schools which had arranged alternative provision and includes schools in multi-academy trusts.

Data on the number of children and young people receiving local authority arranged alternative provision is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/c1229d41-8321-4c05-8c04-08dbe514ee42. This shows that 8,311 placements were made in education settings without a URN. 140 local authorities recorded placements in education settings without a URN.

The alternative provision statutory guidance is clear that alternative provision, including unregistered alternative provision arranged by a local authority, should be good quality, registered where appropriate, and delivered by high quality staff with suitable training, experience and safeguarding checks. Responsibility for the alternative provision used rests with the commissioner. The statutory guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alternative-provision.

The Keeping children safe in education statutory guidance states that, where a school places a pupil in alternative provision, the school continues to be responsible for the safeguarding of that pupil and should be satisfied that the provider meets the needs of the pupil. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2. Schools should obtain written confirmation from the alternative provision that appropriate safeguarding checks have been carried out on individuals working at the establishment.

The department launched a call for evidence on the use of unregistered alternative provision last year. The responses to the call for evidence have been analysed and the analysis will be published later this year. The department will set out further proposals to strengthen protections for children and young people in unregistered alternative provision as they develop.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the numbers of (1) schools, local authorities and multi-academy trusts commissioning alternative provision from unregistered settings, and (2) pupils receiving such provision, in the latest year for which figures are available.

Data on the number of pupils receiving school arranged alternative provision is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/e34e06f9-b3f1-4d63-8c02-08dbe514ee42. This shows that 12,084 pupils were receiving school arranged alternative provision in an education setting without a unique record number (URN) assigned by the department. This data was recorded across 2,558 schools which had arranged alternative provision and includes schools in multi-academy trusts.

Data on the number of children and young people receiving local authority arranged alternative provision is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/c1229d41-8321-4c05-8c04-08dbe514ee42. This shows that 8,311 placements were made in education settings without a URN. 140 local authorities recorded placements in education settings without a URN.

The alternative provision statutory guidance is clear that alternative provision, including unregistered alternative provision arranged by a local authority, should be good quality, registered where appropriate, and delivered by high quality staff with suitable training, experience and safeguarding checks. Responsibility for the alternative provision used rests with the commissioner. The statutory guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alternative-provision.

The Keeping children safe in education statutory guidance states that, where a school places a pupil in alternative provision, the school continues to be responsible for the safeguarding of that pupil and should be satisfied that the provider meets the needs of the pupil. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2. Schools should obtain written confirmation from the alternative provision that appropriate safeguarding checks have been carried out on individuals working at the establishment.

The department launched a call for evidence on the use of unregistered alternative provision last year. The responses to the call for evidence have been analysed and the analysis will be published later this year. The department will set out further proposals to strengthen protections for children and young people in unregistered alternative provision as they develop.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of tutoring providers for children in England not being required to be registered.

The Government does not collect or hold data on the number of tutoring providers in England. Many tutoring providers are eligible to register with Ofsted on the General Childcare Register and are subject to scrutiny as a result. The Department would encourage all settings that may register with Ofsted to do so

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total number of tutoring providers in England.

The Government does not collect or hold data on the number of tutoring providers in England. Many tutoring providers are eligible to register with Ofsted on the General Childcare Register and are subject to scrutiny as a result. The Department would encourage all settings that may register with Ofsted to do so

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many children in each of the last three years had an Education, Health and Care Plan and were permanently excluded from school.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many local authorities no longer have fostering placements in their area.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government who approved the vetting of the social media profiles of speakers due to speak at events run by the Department for Education; and what was the purpose of such vetting.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the costs to date of the (1) resources, and (2) staff, spent on education experts' social media accounts vetting at the Department for Education.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the total amount of apprenticeship levy unspent and returned to the Treasury in each of the past five years.

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of the government’s reforms to create a high-quality, employer-led apprenticeships system, and it supports employers of all sizes to invest in high-quality apprenticeship training.

The government, via HM Revenue and Customs, collects the apprenticeship levy of 0.5% on total payroll from businesses across the UK with a payroll of more than £3 million. From this, HM Treasury (HMT) sets an English apprenticeships budget for the department. The apprenticeships levy is UK wide, and income from the levy also supports the devolved administrations to invest in their skills programmes.

The department’s apprenticeships budget is used to fund training and assessment for new apprenticeship starts in all employers, levy and non-levy paying employers alike, across England, and to cover the ongoing costs of apprentices already in training and any additional payments made to employers and providers. This means that levy payers’ unspent funds are used to support additional costs and apprenticeships in smaller employers

The table below shows the department’s ring-fenced apprenticeships budget and spend together with budget underspends for the last five financial years (FY).

(£ million)

FY 18/19

FY 19/20

FY 20/21

FY 21/22

FY 22/23

DfE Ring-fence Apprenticeships Budget

£2,321m

£2,469m

£2,467m

£2,466m

£2,554m

Total Ring-fence Apprenticeship Spend

£1,738m

£1,919m

£1,863

£2,455

£2,458m

Underspends against Ring-fenced Apprenticeships Budget

£493m

£550m

£604m

£11m

£96m

In the last two financial years, on average, 98% of the English apprenticeships budget was spent.

Any underspends in overall departmental budgets by the end of the FY are first returned to HMT, as per the Consolidated Budgeting Guidance. As employers choose which apprenticeships they offer and when, annual spend of the apprenticeship budget is subject to employer demand.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the total number of pupils (1) excluded, and (2) permanently excluded, from (a) primary, and (b) secondary, schools in each of the past three years.

Information on permanent exclusions and suspensions is published in the annual Permanent Exclusions and Suspensions in England national statistics, with the latest available data being from summer term 2021/22: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/permanent-and-fixed-period-exclusions-in-england.

Suspensions and permanent exclusions in state-funded primary and state-funded secondary schools in England 2018/19 to 2021/22

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

State-funded primary

Permanent exclusions

1,067

739

392

758

Permanent exclusions (rate)

0.02

0.02

0.01

0.02

Suspensions

66,463

47,261

46,203

66,203

Suspension (rate)

1.41

1.00

0.99

1.42

Pupil enrolments with one or more suspension

29,771

23,726

24,418

31,437

Pupil enrolments with one or more suspension (rate)

0.63

0.50

0.52

0.68

State-funded secondary

Permanent exclusions

6,753

4,269

3,492

5,658

Permanent exclusions (rate)

0.20

0.13

0.10

0.16

Suspensions

357,715

253,307

296,224

498,120

Suspension (rate)

10.75

7.43

8.48

13.96

Pupil enrolments with one or more suspension

164,214

125,816

153,006

214,650

Pupil enrolments with one or more suspension (rate)

4.93

3.69

4.38

6.02

(1) For 2019/20 and 2020/21, while suspensions and permanent exclusions were possible throughout the academic year, pandemic restrictions will have had an impact on the numbers presented and caution should be taken when comparing across years. 2018/19 has been included to give the pre-pandemic year figures.

Source: School Census. https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/27c1ed1a-73aa-4909-acfd-08dbb395de42

(2) Exclusion rates are the number of permanent exclusions/suspensions/pupil enrolments with one or more suspensions as a percentage of the number of sole and dual main registered pupils on roll on January school census day.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of graduates have not reached the salary level to start repaying their student loan.

The exact information is not readily available or held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The department can provide the following information, which was published on 15 June 2023, in the Student Loans in England (for financial year 2022/23) publication available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/student-loans-in-england-2022-to-2023/student-loans-in-england-financial-year-2022-23.

The figures below classify borrowers with income contingent loans by their known status as of 30 April 2023. Until their loan balance is fully repaid or cancelled, borrowers can move into and out of any of the statuses.

As of 30 April 2023, of those who reached their repayment date between financial years 2000/01 to and including 2021/22, with at least one tax year processed, 18.8% are UK residents in live employment and not required to pay and 1.2% are residents outside of the UK and have not reached the repayment threshold for that country.

From those remaining, 25.3% have fully paid off their loans and 41.9% are repaying. A further 0.8% and 2.1% are currently in the UK tax system and marked as currently having no live employment at HMRC for fewer than 90 days or 90 days or longer, respectively, and 0.4% are awaiting first year tax return to determine if they earn above the threshold. A further 7% are known to be in the UK but not in the UK tax system and their status does not require repayment at this point. A further 1.5% reside outside of the UK and either have no details of income or are not currently repaying and their repayment status is being sought. Finally, 1% are not resident in the UK and have defaulted in arrears. This information is available via the attachment.

The figures included can be found in Table 3A(i)(ii) of the release is available via the attachment.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jul 2023
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of children with special needs completed the education healthcare plan within 20 weeks in each of the last three years.

The department collects data on the timeliness of new Education, Health and Care plans. This is published in the ‘Education, health and care plans’ statistics release, which is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans.

Data covering the last three years is available in the attached document.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the strikes relating to marking of university exams and essays on students awaiting end of year grades.

The department understands that the vast majority of students will remain unaffected by the industrial action and, in most cases, will receive their full results on time and progress and/or graduate as normal. The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has published research findings which surveyed 49% of higher education (HE) institutions in the New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff. These institutions provided updated feedback on the impact of the marking and assessment boycott on students at their institutions:

  • Over 70% of HE institutions said that ‘less than 2% of students’ will be unable to graduate this summer due to the boycott.
  • A further 20% were ‘unsure’ of the number.
  • 4% of HE institutions said ‘between 2% and 9% of students’ would be impacted.

A link to these research findings can be found here: https://www.ucea.ac.uk/news-releases/23june23/.

On 22 June 2023, my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, met with Universities UK (UUK), the Russell Group and UCEA to better understand the impact that this boycott will have on students and the mitigating actions their members are taking to protect students’ interests.

The Minister also wrote to the Russell Group and UUK, encouraging them to continue to do everything within their powers to protect the interests of students during this phase of industrial action. On 27 June 2023, the Minister met with a number of HE representative groups to discuss the marking and assessment boycott, including the mitigating actions HE institutions are taking to protect their students’ interests.

HE institutions are working on minimising the disruption to their students in a variety of ways, including reallocating marking to other staff members and hiring external markers. Moreover, many HE institutions can award degrees when they have enough evidence of a student’s prior attainment to do so. Others will be able to assign provisional grades to students to allow them to progress and, once all papers have been marked, degree classifications will either remain as provisionally assigned or be uplifted to reflect the student’s achievements.

The government believes students should be at the heart of the HE system. This is why the Office for Students (OfS) has been set up, to regulate the HE sector in England, protect student rights and ensure the sector is delivering real value for money. The OfS has published guidance to students on their rights during industrial action, available at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/for-students/student-rights-and-welfare/student-guide-to-industrial-action/.

On 12 June 2023, the OfS wrote to institutions affected by the boycott to reiterate its expectations in relation to its conditions of registration. The OfS will continue to monitor this ongoing situation through their normal regulatory mechanisms.

Students who have complaints about their HE experience should contact their provider in the first instance. Students in England and Wales may also raise a complaint with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, which was set up to provide an alternative to the courts and is free of charge to students. Further information is available at: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/.

The department will continue to engage with the HE sector over the coming weeks to help better understand the boycott’s impact on students and the mitigating actions HE institutions are taking to protect their students’ interests.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of staff working in the Department for Education have a teaching qualification.

The information requested is not held centrally for staff at the department.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which countries international students studying in the UK have come from in each of the last three years.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes statistics on higher education (HE) at UK HE providers. Latest statistics refer to the 2021/22 academic year, and can be found at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-11.

Table 11 of the HESA’s Student Data includes the number of Non-UK HE enrolments broken down by country of domicile between academic years 2014/15 to 2021/22. Domicile refers to the permanent home address of the student prior to entry of the course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total number of schools that do not have access to a swimming pool to provide swimming and water safety lessons.

The department does not collect data on pupils’ swimming ability on leaving primary or secondary school or on schools’ access to swimming pools. By 31 July 2023, all schools in receipt of the primary PE and Sport premium are required to publish the percentage of their pupils in year 6 who met each of the three swimming and water safety national curriculum expectations.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the total number of children for the 2021/22 academic year who could not swim upon leaving (1) primary, and (2) secondary, school.

The department does not collect data on pupils’ swimming ability on leaving primary or secondary school or on schools’ access to swimming pools. By 31 July 2023, all schools in receipt of the primary PE and Sport premium are required to publish the percentage of their pupils in year 6 who met each of the three swimming and water safety national curriculum expectations.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Barran on 8 March (HL5809), what are the percentages of each of the apprenticeship levels studied in each of the age groups.

The following table shows the proportion of participating apprentices in each age group studying at each apprenticeship level for the 2019/20 to 2021/22 academic years.

Age group

Level

Percentage Learner Participation for each age group

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Total

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Intermediate Apprenticeship

31.3%

26.0%

23.7%

Advanced Apprenticeship

47.1%

45.8%

44.6%

Higher Apprenticeship

23.0%

29.2%

32.3%

Under 19

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Intermediate Apprenticeship

55.7%

51.7%

47.9%

Advanced Apprenticeship

43.3%

46.0%

48.1%

Higher Apprenticeship

3.9%

4.1%

5.1%

19-24

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Intermediate Apprenticeship

28.7%

24.7%

22.4%

Advanced Apprenticeship

53.1%

52.4%

51.4%

Higher Apprenticeship

20.1%

24.2%

27.0%

25+

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Intermediate Apprenticeship

23.4%

18.1%

16.1%

Advanced Apprenticeship

44.1%

40.9%

38.6%

Higher Apprenticeship

33.0%

41.3%

45.6%

Note:
(1) Percentages derived from volumes published here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/bc41867b-b0ad-4967-7403-08db2469d98f.

(2) As learners can study at more than one apprenticeship level in an academic year, the proportions at Intermediate level, Advanced level and Higher level may sum to be more than 100%.

Further apprenticeship statistics can be found in the Apprenticeships and traineeships statistics publication, which can be accessed here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships-and-traineeships.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of young people aged 16 to 18 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) in each of the core cities in England.

Anybody who is not in education or training and not in employment is considered to be NEET. Consequently, a person identified as NEET will always be either unemployed or economically inactive. The number of young people aged 16 to 18 NEET is therefore hard to measure, due to needing multiple data sources spanning education and the labour market.

The department’s most robust estimate of those aged 16 to 18 NEET in England combines departmental administrative data and the labour force survey, and is published in the national statistics release ‘Participation in education, training and employment age 16 to 18’. Latest data to the end of 2021 can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/participation-in-education-and-training-and-employment/2021. The next update of this release which includes estimates of those NEET to the end of 2022 will be published by July 2023.

The table below shows NEET numbers and rates; rates should also be considered due to the changes in overall population numbers:

Participation release estimates age 16-18

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Population

1,874,681

1,838,361

1,836,771

1,861,438

1,913,867

Number NEET

120,864

120,512

122,997

124,702

123,016

% NEET

6.4%

6.6%

6.7%

6.7%

6.4%

In addition to these national statistics, the department has also published more timely NEET estimates from the labour force survey (LFS), with data to the end of 2022 being published on 2 March 2023. As this is survey data, associated confidence intervals (CIs)[1] should be used alongside the estimates, and these statistics should be used to see the latest trends in NEET rates. Caution should be used if considering in-year changes. The following table gives these estimates:

LFS estimates age 16-18

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Population

1,787,830

1,780,877

1,781,276

1,797,325

1,820,422

1,857,517

Number NEET

111,418

124,410

133,297

108,232

85,470

151,851

CI number NEET

+/-17,640

+/-18,745

+/-20,196

+/-19,537

+/-16,988

+/-26,480

% NEET

6.2%

7.0%

7.5%

6.0%

4.7%

8.2%

CI % NEET

+/-1.0%

+/-1.1%

+/-1.1%

+/-1.1%

+/-0.9%

+/-1.4%

Neither of the above sources provide robust estimates of NEET at city level, due to the methodologies or restrictions in sample sizes. However, as part of the raising participation age legislation, local authorities are tracking young people’s participation in education and training up to age 17. This information[2] is published annually at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/participation-in-education-training-and-neet-age-16-to-17-by-local-authority/2021-22. Below is a summary table which shows, to the end of 2022, the number of 16 to 17 year olds in each of the local authorities aligning with the core cities in England, and the number of those known to be NEET or who’s activity is not known.

Local authority

Cohort number (age 16-17)

Number NEET/activity not known (age 16-17)

Proportion NEET/activity not known (age 16-17)

Newcastle upon Tyne

5,767

390

6.8%

Liverpool

9,923

752

7.6%

Manchester

12,553

705

5.6%

Leeds

17,424

1,356

7.8%

Sheffield

12,172

834

6.8%

Nottingham

6,595

309

4.7%

Birmingham

31,660

2,085

6.6%

Bristol, City of

8,934

537

6.0%

For further information on the sources above and methodological differences between them, please see the ‘Other NEET sources’ section at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/neet-statistics-annual-brief.

[1] Surveys, such as the LFS, provide estimates of population characteristics rather than exact measures. In principle, many random samples could be drawn, and each would give different results, since each sample would be made up of different people, who would give different answers to the questions asked. The spread of these results is the sampling variability, which generally reduces with increasing sample size. For example, with a 95% confidence interval, it is expected that in 95% of the survey samples, the resulting confidence interval will contain the true value that would be obtained by surveying the whole population.

[2] Some caution should be taken if using these figures due to the estimates being based on management information and there being considerable variation at local authority level in how well 16 and 17 year olds are tracked and hence not known proportions can impact on the estimates of the proportion NEET.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many young people aged 16 to 18 were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in each of the last five years.

Anybody who is not in education or training and not in employment is considered to be NEET. Consequently, a person identified as NEET will always be either unemployed or economically inactive. The number of young people aged 16 to 18 NEET is therefore hard to measure, due to needing multiple data sources spanning education and the labour market.

The department’s most robust estimate of those aged 16 to 18 NEET in England combines departmental administrative data and the labour force survey, and is published in the national statistics release ‘Participation in education, training and employment age 16 to 18’. Latest data to the end of 2021 can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/participation-in-education-and-training-and-employment/2021. The next update of this release which includes estimates of those NEET to the end of 2022 will be published by July 2023.

The table below shows NEET numbers and rates; rates should also be considered due to the changes in overall population numbers:

Participation release estimates age 16-18

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Population

1,874,681

1,838,361

1,836,771

1,861,438

1,913,867

Number NEET

120,864

120,512

122,997

124,702

123,016

% NEET

6.4%

6.6%

6.7%

6.7%

6.4%

In addition to these national statistics, the department has also published more timely NEET estimates from the labour force survey (LFS), with data to the end of 2022 being published on 2 March 2023. As this is survey data, associated confidence intervals (CIs)[1] should be used alongside the estimates, and these statistics should be used to see the latest trends in NEET rates. Caution should be used if considering in-year changes. The following table gives these estimates:

LFS estimates age 16-18

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Population

1,787,830

1,780,877

1,781,276

1,797,325

1,820,422

1,857,517

Number NEET

111,418

124,410

133,297

108,232

85,470

151,851

CI number NEET

+/-17,640

+/-18,745

+/-20,196

+/-19,537

+/-16,988

+/-26,480

% NEET

6.2%

7.0%

7.5%

6.0%

4.7%

8.2%

CI % NEET

+/-1.0%

+/-1.1%

+/-1.1%

+/-1.1%

+/-0.9%

+/-1.4%

Neither of the above sources provide robust estimates of NEET at city level, due to the methodologies or restrictions in sample sizes. However, as part of the raising participation age legislation, local authorities are tracking young people’s participation in education and training up to age 17. This information[2] is published annually at the following link: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/participation-in-education-training-and-neet-age-16-to-17-by-local-authority/2021-22. Below is a summary table which shows, to the end of 2022, the number of 16 to 17 year olds in each of the local authorities aligning with the core cities in England, and the number of those known to be NEET or who’s activity is not known.

Local authority

Cohort number (age 16-17)

Number NEET/activity not known (age 16-17)

Proportion NEET/activity not known (age 16-17)

Newcastle upon Tyne

5,767

390

6.8%

Liverpool

9,923

752

7.6%

Manchester

12,553

705

5.6%

Leeds

17,424

1,356

7.8%

Sheffield

12,172

834

6.8%

Nottingham

6,595

309

4.7%

Birmingham

31,660

2,085

6.6%

Bristol, City of

8,934

537

6.0%

For further information on the sources above and methodological differences between them, please see the ‘Other NEET sources’ section at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/neet-statistics-annual-brief.

[1] Surveys, such as the LFS, provide estimates of population characteristics rather than exact measures. In principle, many random samples could be drawn, and each would give different results, since each sample would be made up of different people, who would give different answers to the questions asked. The spread of these results is the sampling variability, which generally reduces with increasing sample size. For example, with a 95% confidence interval, it is expected that in 95% of the survey samples, the resulting confidence interval will contain the true value that would be obtained by surveying the whole population.

[2] Some caution should be taken if using these figures due to the estimates being based on management information and there being considerable variation at local authority level in how well 16 and 17 year olds are tracked and hence not known proportions can impact on the estimates of the proportion NEET.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the survey by the Association of Directors of Children's Services Ltd (ADCS) Elective Home Education Survey 2021, published in November 2021, which found that 115,542 children were home educated during the 2020/21 academic year, representing a 34 per cent increase from the 2019/20 academic year.

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Elective Home Education survey in 2021 was a data collection independent of the government. However, the department did review it with interest, at the point of publication.

The ADCS estimated cumulative total of electively home educated children in the 2020/21 academic year increased by 34% from the previous year to 115,542. The survey also reported that the most common reasons given for a child becoming electively home educated were health concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, and other health or mental health reasons.

While the department knows most parents who choose home education for their children are committed and educate their children well, this survey did correspond with reports from local authorities at the time, about rising numbers of electively home educated children and that this increase was being driven by reasons other than a commitment to home education.

Similarly, the report noted local authorities’ concerns about being uncertain of the true size of the electively home educated cohort, due to the lack of a statutory register of electively home educated children.

The government remains committed to establishing statutory local authority registers of children not in school, and to progressing these measures at the next suitable legislative opportunity.

In the meantime, the department is continuing to work with local authorities to improve their non-statutory registers. In October 2022 and January 2023, the department also requested local authority aggregate data on Elective Home Education and Children Missing Education, to improve understanding of these cohorts.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will list the 39 schools in England that have been closed in the last three years due to safety concerns, including a breakdown of whether the closure is temporary or permanent; and for those closures that are temporary, (1) how long each closure is expected to last, and (2) where students are being educated while their school is closed.

It is not department practice to publicise the names of individual schools that have turned to the department for help in managing an operational issue.

On average, schools that were closed between December 2019 and January 2023 were closed for two days.

The Department works closely with responsible bodies and schools to minimise the impact of closures and ensure continuity of education for pupils. This includes working closely with the responsible body, school and local authority to find alternative accommodation if pupils cannot be taught on site.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of giving businesses greater control of the Apprenticeship Levy, in order to fund a wider range of courses which could be used to fill vacancies in sectors struggling with recruitment, such as hospitality and retail.

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of the government’s reforms to create a high-quality, employer-led apprenticeships system, and it supports employers of all sizes to invest in high-quality apprenticeship training. The government does not currently have any plans to review the apprenticeship levy.

The apprenticeships budget is used to fund training and assessment for new apprenticeship starts in levy and non-levy paying employers, and to cover the ongoing costs of apprentices already in training and any additional payments made to employers and providers. The table below shows the department’s ring-fenced apprenticeships budget against the apprenticeship expenditure for the last three financial years (FY).

(£ million)

FY 19/20

FY 20/21

FY 21/22

DfE Ring-fence Apprenticeships Budget

2,469

2,467

2,466

Total Ring-fence Apprenticeships Spend

1,919

1,863

2,455

Underspend against Ring-fenced Apprenticeships Budget

550

604

11

In the 2021/22 financial year, 99.6% of the apprenticeships budget was spent. It is therefore important that the apprenticeships budget remains ring-fenced to support the demand by employers for high-quality apprenticeship training.

The government is increasing apprenticeship funding to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year and is continuing to improve the apprenticeships system to support employers fill their vacancies and train their workforces to address industry skills gaps.

The department has worked with employers to develop over 660 high-quality apprenticeship standards, including in hospitality and retail occupations. We have also created flexible training models, like flexi-job and accelerated apprenticeships, and improved the levy transfer system so it is easier for levy paying employers to make full use of their levy funds.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much of the Apprenticeship Levy was returned to the Treasury in each of the last three years.

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of the government’s reforms to create a high-quality, employer-led apprenticeships system, and it supports employers of all sizes to invest in high-quality apprenticeship training. The government does not currently have any plans to review the apprenticeship levy.

The apprenticeships budget is used to fund training and assessment for new apprenticeship starts in levy and non-levy paying employers, and to cover the ongoing costs of apprentices already in training and any additional payments made to employers and providers. The table below shows the department’s ring-fenced apprenticeships budget against the apprenticeship expenditure for the last three financial years (FY).

(£ million)

FY 19/20

FY 20/21

FY 21/22

DfE Ring-fence Apprenticeships Budget

2,469

2,467

2,466

Total Ring-fence Apprenticeships Spend

1,919

1,863

2,455

Underspend against Ring-fenced Apprenticeships Budget

550

604

11

In the 2021/22 financial year, 99.6% of the apprenticeships budget was spent. It is therefore important that the apprenticeships budget remains ring-fenced to support the demand by employers for high-quality apprenticeship training.

The government is increasing apprenticeship funding to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year and is continuing to improve the apprenticeships system to support employers fill their vacancies and train their workforces to address industry skills gaps.

The department has worked with employers to develop over 660 high-quality apprenticeship standards, including in hospitality and retail occupations. We have also created flexible training models, like flexi-job and accelerated apprenticeships, and improved the levy transfer system so it is easier for levy paying employers to make full use of their levy funds.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the age profile of apprentices in each of the last three years.

The following table shows apprenticeship learner participation by age with percentage breakdowns.

Academic Year

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Learner Participation

Total

718,950

712,990

740,350

Under 19

135,670

118,590

126,420

19-24

250,870

248,870

255,260

25+

332,510

345,540

358,680

Percentage Learner Participation

Total

100%

100%

100%

Under 19

18.9%

16.6%

17.1%

19-24

34.9%

34.9%

34.5%

25+

46.2%

48.5%

48.4%

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Barran on 5 December (HL Deb cols 6–9), what were the criteria for the selection of those educational institutions that were registered to carry out teacher training; who carried out this process; and what was the rational for those institutions which previously received a good or outstanding Ofsted inspection having their accreditation for teacher training removed.

Teacher training providers who deliver initial teacher training (ITT) leading to qualified teacher status are accredited by the department, and must adhere to the ITT criteria on an ongoing basis as a condition of their accreditation. Following a consultation on the recommendations of the ITT Market Review, the department implemented a rigorous accreditation process in December 2021.

The accreditation process focused on key features of high-quality ITT, as set out in the Review, the trainee curriculum (questions 1a and 1b), mentoring (question 1c) and partnerships (question 2).

Ofsted assessed questions 1a and 1b, and trained officials at the department assessed questions 1c and 2.

The accreditation process tested proposals for delivering ITT against new quality requirements that will come into effect from September 2024, and go beyond the existing ITT criteria used for current Ofsted inspection judgements, such as increased requirements around mentoring. As such, there can be disparities with current Ofsted judgements as they do not necessarily reflect a provider’s ability to deliver against the new requirements. The accreditation process was based solely on the content of the submitted applications.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Barran on 5 December (HL Deb cols 6–9), what is the appeals mechanism for those institutions that were refused accreditation to carry out teacher training; how the appeals will be carried out and by whom; and whether the decisions of those appeals will be agreed with sufficient time to allow those institutions time to recruit students for the 2023/24 academic year.

Following the completion of the recent initial teacher training (ITT) accreditation rounds, the department allowed an appeals process for applicants who had been unsuccessful. The appeals process opened on 30 September 2022 and applicants had 15 working days to submit an appeal via an online form. The department assessed all submissions on a case-by-case basis, against published criteria. The published criteria allowed for appeals under two circumstances: if there had been an administrative error (the score or feedback did not match, or the score or feedback provided did not relate to the applicant’s material) or on process grounds (that the assessor had not properly taken all material into account).

Submissions were reviewed by trained officials who had not been involved with the original assessment of the application under review. All submissions underwent a comprehensive review, taking into account the submitted material, published criteria, original accreditation applications, and any other associated material. The appeals process has now concluded, with all applicants being notified of their outcomes on 8 December 2022.

The accreditation process is for delivery of ITT from the 2024/25 academic year. The outcomes of this process have no bearing on recruitment for delivery of ITT in the 2023/24 academic year.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the difference between a grammar school and a foundation or voluntary school, funded by the local authority, which also selects their pupils by academic ability.

Grammar schools are the only state-funded schools permitted to select all their children by high general academic ability. There are 163 grammar schools, all of which were maintained schools in 1998 and designated as grammar schools by the Education (Grammar School Designation) Order 1998 (as amended in 1999).

143 of these schools have subsequently become academy schools and are permitted to continue to select by academic ability through provisions within the Academies Act 2010 and their funding agreements.

Of the 20 maintained grammar schools, 7 are community schools, 6 are voluntary aided schools, 6 are foundation schools and 1 is a voluntary controlled school.

In addition, a number of state-funded schools were permitted to retain partial selection by academic ability or aptitude by provisions within the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. 40 of these schools remain partially selective.

32 of them are academies and are permitted to continue to select through the aforementioned legal and funding agreement mechanisms. 8 are maintained schools, and of these 4 are foundation schools, 3 are voluntary aided schools and 1 is a community school. 31 of these partially selective schools select a proportion of their intakes by general academic ability, 2 select by ability in music, 1 by ability in technology, and 1 by ability in maths. The remaining 5 select a proportion of their intakes by aptitude[1].

[1] Either a form of aptitude that would not otherwise be permitted or more than 10% by aptitude.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how the 11-plus tests at grammar schools are moderated; and whether this moderation is carried out independently.

The department does not collect data on which schools, permitted by law, select pupils by aptitude or ability via a written test.

Selection tests can lawfully form part of any selective school’s admission arrangements. The School Admissions Code requires tests to ‘be clear, objective, and [to] give an accurate reflection of the child’s ability or aptitude, irrespective of sex, race, or disability’, but it does not require them to be independently moderated. The School Admissions Code can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-admissions-code--2.

In many cases, tests will be purchased from commercial providers and will be marked by them, although that is not a legal requirement.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many non-grammar schools select pupils by a written test.

The department does not collect data on which schools, permitted by law, select pupils by aptitude or ability via a written test.

Selection tests can lawfully form part of any selective school’s admission arrangements. The School Admissions Code requires tests to ‘be clear, objective, and [to] give an accurate reflection of the child’s ability or aptitude, irrespective of sex, race, or disability’, but it does not require them to be independently moderated. The School Admissions Code can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-admissions-code--2.

In many cases, tests will be purchased from commercial providers and will be marked by them, although that is not a legal requirement.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of school children that have not returned to full-time schooling following the COVID-19 pandemic.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave on 6 December 2022 to Question HL3775.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what data they keep on the (1) educational, and (2) wellbeing, outcomes of children who are being home-educated at (a) national, and (b) local authority, level.

The department does not hold data on the amount of funding that local authorities allocate to support their existing duties in relation to elective home education. However, new burdens assessments have been undertaken with regards to the proposals for Children Not in School registers and the accompanying support duty for local authorities, which will be used to help determine the level of financial support needed to enable local authorities to comply with their proposed new statutory duties.

The department does not hold data on educational or wellbeing outcomes of children who are being home-educated. Parents have the right to home educate as they choose, provided the education is suitable to the age, ability, aptitude, and the special educational needs of the child. There are no requirements for these children to undertake formal assessments, at set points, which are typically used as part of measuring the outcomes of children attending school. Therefore, no data of this nature is collected.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of money spent on average by local authorities supporting children who are home educated.

The department does not hold data on the amount of funding that local authorities allocate to support their existing duties in relation to elective home education. However, new burdens assessments have been undertaken with regards to the proposals for Children Not in School registers and the accompanying support duty for local authorities, which will be used to help determine the level of financial support needed to enable local authorities to comply with their proposed new statutory duties.

The department does not hold data on educational or wellbeing outcomes of children who are being home-educated. Parents have the right to home educate as they choose, provided the education is suitable to the age, ability, aptitude, and the special educational needs of the child. There are no requirements for these children to undertake formal assessments, at set points, which are typically used as part of measuring the outcomes of children attending school. Therefore, no data of this nature is collected.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many children in England leave school not being able to swim.

The department does not collect data on schools’ access to swimming pools or on pupils’ swimming ability on leaving school.

All schools in receipt of the primary PE and sport premium are required to publish the percentage of their pupils in year 6 who meet each of the three swimming and water safety national curriculum expectations. This includes the ability to swim 25 metres unaided. Schools will publish this data by 31 July 2023.

Sport England collects data from schools in England for its Active Lives Children and Young People’s Survey. Data from the 2020/21 academic year shows 76% of year 7 children can swim 25 metres unaided.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many schools in England do not have access to a swimming pool for their swimming lessons.

The department does not collect data on schools’ access to swimming pools or on pupils’ swimming ability on leaving school.

All schools in receipt of the primary PE and sport premium are required to publish the percentage of their pupils in year 6 who meet each of the three swimming and water safety national curriculum expectations. This includes the ability to swim 25 metres unaided. Schools will publish this data by 31 July 2023.

Sport England collects data from schools in England for its Active Lives Children and Young People’s Survey. Data from the 2020/21 academic year shows 76% of year 7 children can swim 25 metres unaided.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total number of children who did not return to full time education following the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no statutory requirement for local authorities or the department to hold information on home educated children, children taught in unregistered provision, or children missing from school rolls, though such data may be held by local authorities.

Local authorities have a duty under Section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to identify children of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered at a school, and are not receiving suitable education otherwise.

Information held on children who did not return to full-time education following the COIVD-19 pandemic is not held by the department.

Between 6 October and 4 November 2022, the department requested local authorities aggregate data on elective home education and children missing education to improve understanding of these cohorts. This data is being analysed and will be published in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many children from deprived backgrounds are home educated.

There is no statutory requirement for local authorities or the department to hold information on home educated children, children taught in unregistered provision, or children missing from school rolls, though such data may be held by local authorities.

Local authorities have a duty under Section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to identify children of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered at a school, and are not receiving suitable education otherwise.

Information held on children who did not return to full-time education following the COIVD-19 pandemic is not held by the department.

Between 6 October and 4 November 2022, the department requested local authorities aggregate data on elective home education and children missing education to improve understanding of these cohorts. This data is being analysed and will be published in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how children are safeguarded when being home educated.

There is no statutory requirement for local authorities or the department to hold information on home educated children, children taught in unregistered provision, or children missing from school rolls, though such data may be held by local authorities.

Local authorities have a duty under Section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to identify children of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered at a school, and are not receiving suitable education otherwise.

Information held on children who did not return to full-time education following the COIVD-19 pandemic is not held by the department.

Between 6 October and 4 November 2022, the department requested local authorities aggregate data on elective home education and children missing education to improve understanding of these cohorts. This data is being analysed and will be published in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many children are currently (1) home educated, (2) being taught in an unregistered provision, and (3) missing from schools rolls and unaccounted for.

There is no statutory requirement for local authorities or the department to hold information on home educated children, children taught in unregistered provision, or children missing from school rolls, though such data may be held by local authorities.

Local authorities have a duty under Section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to identify children of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered at a school, and are not receiving suitable education otherwise.

Information held on children who did not return to full-time education following the COIVD-19 pandemic is not held by the department.

Between 6 October and 4 November 2022, the department requested local authorities aggregate data on elective home education and children missing education to improve understanding of these cohorts. This data is being analysed and will be published in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of 12 pages of the AQA Chemistry A-Level examination being leaked on the social media app Snapchat before that examination took place.

The department is aware of the reports around an alleged leak of material from a A-level Chemistry paper and we take all allegations of wrongdoing extremely seriously. While serious exam malpractice remains rare, it is vital that any breach is thoroughly investigated by the exam boards.

Exam boards have well established processes in place to manage such incidents. AQA have confirmed that their exams integrity team is investigating these reports and they will take any action necessary, including working with the police.

Exam boards have demonstrated previously that they are able to effectively gather evidence about the students who had unauthorised access to any questions before the exam was taken. In the event of a leak, Ofqual will work with the exam board to minimise the impact on students.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Barran on 25 May (HL235), how many Ukrainian university students have been given visas to study at a UK university, following Russia's invasion of that country.

The information requested is not held by the department. The Home Office is responsible for issuing visas, including student visas.

Following Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine we have seen an extremely positive response from the higher education sector in their offer of support to future cohorts of Ukrainian students. We are confident the sector will do their upmost to support Ukrainians wishing to access higher education in the next academic year.

In addition, UUKi are progressing wider efforts to establish a mechanism to match UK universities with Ukrainian institutions through a twinning arrangement. The intention of this programme is to help Ukrainian universities sustain their operations and wherever possible, continue to retain their staff and students, albeit in partnership or remotely.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the requirements of charitable status on independent schools; and who ensures that those requirements are fulfilled.

The department does not regulate the charitable status of independent schools. The Charity Commission is an independent, non-ministerial government department that has responsibility for registering eligible organisations as charities and for outlining the requirements placed on them when achieving charitable status.

The advancement of education is a charitable purpose and so independent schools are capable of being charities. Currently, approximately 50% of independent schools hold charitable status. Irrespective of charitable status or otherwise, all independent schools must always meet the same independent school standards.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Ukrainian students have been offered at a place at a UK university; and what are those universities.

Latest statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show there were 870 students from Ukraine studying at UK higher education (HE) providers in the academic year 2020/21. Further information on where they were studying can be found here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-59.

Following Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, we have seen an extremely positive response from the HE sector in their offer of support to future cohorts of Ukrainian students and I am confident the sector will do their upmost to support Ukrainians wishing to access HE.

To support those who are granted leave under the Home for Ukraine Scheme, the Ukraine Family Scheme or the Ukraine Extension scheme, introduced by the Home Office, we have extended access to HE student support, home fee status, tuition fee caps, Advanced learner loans and FE19+ funding. This ensures Ukrainians who have been affected by the war in Ukraine can access support on the same basis as those within other protection-based categories (such as refugees).

Further information regarding the admissions of Ukrainian students entering UK HE in 2022 will be available through UCAS acceptances data at the end of the year.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children with special educational needs and disabilities do not have a place in an educational setting.

The information requested is not held for all children with special educational needs and disabilities. However, the department holds data from local authorities on the number of children and young persons with education, health and care (EHC) plans “awaiting provision”, available in the publication ‘Education, health and care plans’ at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/education-health-and-care-plans/2022.

The “awaiting provision” category covers children and young people in a wide range of circumstances who are awaiting the provision specified on their EHC plan. This includes, for example, some who are in an education setting but are awaiting provision in another setting, including those currently attending a mainstream school who are to move to a special school, and some who have only recently moved into the area.

The last published figure in May 2022 for the number of children of compulsory school age who have an EHC plan and were not in education on the census date is 1,503, which represents 0.3% of all EHC plans. The equivalent figures for other age groups are also in the published data.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of schools being told to dispose of COVID-19 testing kits.

Regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in special educational needs and disabilities providers, alternative provision, and children’s social care. This may mean that some providers have surplus stock of COVID-19 test kits that are no longer needed.

The UK Health Security Agency will be issuing further communications to education providers in due course about how to manage any surplus stock. In the meantime, education providers have been advised to continue to store any remaining test kits and to no longer hand out test kits to staff or pupils or dispose of test kits, unless they have expired.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people under 25 have completed Skills Boot Camps since they have been available; and, of those people, what percentage have gone on to get jobs.

Skills Bootcamps are very popular and there is a high demand for places. The department has now published outcome data from wave 1 of Skills Bootcamps, which was delivered in six areas in England between September 2020 and 31 March 2021. This data shows that over 2,000 participants completed a Skills Bootcamp in this initial stage of the programme.

At least 54% of individuals who completed a Skills Bootcamp in wave 1 of the programme achieved a positive outcome as a result. A positive outcome is defined as a new full or part time job or apprenticeship, a new role or increased responsibilities with their current employer or, for the self-employed, access to new opportunities. Data collected as part of the evaluation of these Skills Bootcamps suggests that 22% of participants were aged 19-25.

Since the initial rollout of the programme, the department have been expanding Skills Bootcamps so that more adults can get the skills they need for good jobs. This includes an estimated 16,000 training places in the current wave 2 of the programme, backed by a £43 million investment in the 2021/2022 financial year. We are investing an additional £550 million across the 2022/2025 financial years, as announced in the Autumn Budget, including an investment of up to £150 million in this financial year for delivery of wave 3 of Skills Bootcamps.

The department has commissioned process and impact evaluations for waves 2 and 3 of Skills Bootcamps, which will provide further evidence and learning to inform future delivery. The reports generated as a result of these evaluations will be available in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking, if any, against Local Authorities that withhold part of the Schools Supplementary Grant to bring down their council's deficit.

Special schools and academies are funded from the high needs funding block of the dedicated schools grant (DSG). In December 2021, we increased local authorities’ DSG to allocate an additional £325 million for the 2022/23 financial year. This was the amount of supplementary high needs funding the department was able to add to local authorities’ allocations following the autumn 2021 Spending Review.

The department allocated this supplementary funding as closely as possible to what would have been allocated had we been able to distribute it through the national funding formula (NFF). Local authorities are, therefore, able to provide their schools with increases as part of the top-up funding paid from their high needs budgets.

The department received some feedback from schools that local authorities have not been passing on this increase in funding in full. We do not prescribe in detail how local authorities allocate their top-up funding and are not, therefore, taking action against local authorities solely on the grounds that they are using the supplementary high needs funding to bring down their DSG deficit. Nevertheless, the department expects all local authorities to ensure that they are fulfilling their statutory duties under the Children and Families Act 2014 to provide funding for schools, where that is needed to secure provision and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. We will keep the regulations and guidance governing how local authorities allocate their high needs budgets under review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of special schools accessing the School Supplementary Grant.

Special schools and academies are funded from the high needs funding block of the dedicated schools grant (DSG). In December 2021, we increased local authorities’ DSG to allocate an additional £325 million for the 2022/23 financial year. This was the amount of supplementary high needs funding the department was able to add to local authorities’ allocations following the autumn 2021 Spending Review.

The department allocated this supplementary funding as closely as possible to what would have been allocated had we been able to distribute it through the national funding formula (NFF). Local authorities are, therefore, able to provide their schools with increases as part of the top-up funding paid from their high needs budgets.

The department received some feedback from schools that local authorities have not been passing on this increase in funding in full. We do not prescribe in detail how local authorities allocate their top-up funding and are not, therefore, taking action against local authorities solely on the grounds that they are using the supplementary high needs funding to bring down their DSG deficit. Nevertheless, the department expects all local authorities to ensure that they are fulfilling their statutory duties under the Children and Families Act 2014 to provide funding for schools, where that is needed to secure provision and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. We will keep the regulations and guidance governing how local authorities allocate their high needs budgets under review.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment, if any, they have made of the advantages afforded to university applicants with at least one family member who has attended university; and whether university application forms should ask whether applicants are first-generation applicants.

Access to higher education (HE) should be based on a student’s attainment and their ability to succeed, rather than background. The Office for Students encourages Higher Education Providers (HEPs) to consider a range of characteristics that might prevent individuals from accessing or succeeding in HE within their access and participation plans. This may include ‘first in family’ status, which some research suggests is associated certain forms of socio-economic disadvantage, such as being from a low-income household and being eligible for free school meals.

It should be noted that HEPs are autonomous and independent from government and are therefore responsible for their own admissions decisions. It is important that the admissions system for HE is underpinned by a commitment to fairness, quality of learning and teaching, and places student interests at its core. We will continue to work with UCAS and sector bodies to tackle problems at their root, improving transparency, reducing the use of unconditional offers, and improving the personal statement to underpin fairness for applicants of all backgrounds.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of remuneration that chief executives of multi–academy trusts are being paid.

The responsibilities of school leaders have changed significantly in recent years, with many now running several academies in a multi-academy trust and taking on sponsor academies that require considerable improvement. It is therefore essential that we have the best people to lead our schools if we are to raise standards. We are clear, however, that academy trust salaries should be justifiable and reflect the local context. Consideration on pay should include factors such as: individual responsibility, retention and recruitment needs, the current and historic performance of the trust, the size of the trust, and the make-up of its academies, for example the mix of primary and secondary schools.

Our expectations on this are clearly set out in the Academy Trust Handbook and our Setting Executive Salaries guidance. These documents provide the key contextual factors that trusts should be considering when setting or reviewing pay, such as educational performance, financial performance, degree of challenge at the trust, and the cost of total remuneration package. Academy trusts are transparent on pay and we have further strengthened transparency on pay by introducing new requirements for trusts to publish the number of employees whose benefits (including salary, pension contributions, taxable benefits, and termination payments) exceeded £100,000 on their website, in £10,000 bandings. Where employees are also trustees, this information must be disclosed in £5,000 bandings.

The department continues to challenge high pay where it is neither proportionate nor directly linked to improving pupil outcomes. We have been reviewing our current approach to challenging high pay and will start engaging trusts on our findings and this year’s high pay activity soon. We have embedded high pay into the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s risk assessment processes for a holistic understanding of trusts we have concerns over or that are in intervention, coupled with our approach with Integrated Curriculum Financial Planning and Schools Resource Management Advisors.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for universities in England (1) providing accommodation, and (2) waiving fees, for Ukrainian students who have fled that country.

Alongside our allies, we are united in support for Ukraine. The department has been working closely with the education sector and across government more widely to ensure that Ukrainian students are supported during this difficult time.

The government is considering how best to support these students in continuing their education. This includes new visa concessions from the Home Office for Ukrainian nationals, including students, that will provide them with an opportunity to extend their leave, or switch to a Graduate route visa without having to leave the country.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme has now been launched. The scheme opened on Friday 18 March 2022 for visa applications from Ukrainians and immediate family members who already have named people willing to sponsor them.

We continue to encourage higher education (HE) providers to use hardship funding to support students from Ukraine where they are facing challenges, to ensure support is given where it is most needed.

To allow flexibility in dealing with the circumstances of individual applicants, HE providers have the discretion to waive or reduce fees where they consider it appropriate to do so.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to (1) children, and (2) young people, in full-time education who have myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

The department is committed to supporting pupils with medical conditions at school to ensure they have full access to education.

In 2014, the government introduced a new duty on schools to support all pupils with medical conditions. It published statutory guidance on this, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-pupils-at-school-with-medical-conditions--3.

The guidance does not specify which medical conditions should be supported in schools. Instead, it focuses on how to meet the needs of each individual child, and on how their medical condition impacts their school life.

Schools also have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments and to not discriminate against disabled children, including those with long-term health conditions, in relation to their education and associated services. Schools must make reasonable adjustments to their practices, procedures, and policies to ensure that they are not putting those with long-term health problems at a substantial disadvantage.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) due to having myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

The department does not hold data on the number of children who have an education, health, and care plan (EHCP) due to having myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

The department does publish information on the number of EHCPs held by school pupils by type of need, which is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/fast-track/ad01069e-f490-4855-9b2c-7f784a98758d. However, this does not include data on ME specifically.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what factors would trigger investigation by the Department for Education and other external agencies with regard to abnormal examination results in independent colleges.

This is a matter for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, which has responsibility for maintaining standards and confidence in regulated qualifications in England. I have asked its Chief Regulator, Dr Jo Saxton, to write to the noble Lord and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the increase in graduation rate at the UK College of Business and Computing from 8 per cent in 2016 to 78 per cent in 2017; and what measures of validation were taken by external bodies.

It has not been possible to establish the source of these figures on graduation rates for the higher education provider UK College of Business and Computing. Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) publish data on projected outcomes, available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/performance-indicators/non-continuation/table-t5, but projected outcomes for UK College of Business and Computing entrants do not appear for any of the years covered (2015/16 to 2018/19 or 2019/20).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the importance of summer camps for young people; and what support they currently give to summer camps, particularly those helping children and young people from deprived communities.

The department recognises the significant benefits that summer camps can have for children’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as their educational and social development, and the particular value that this has for children and young people from deprived communities.

As announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer as part of the Spending Review, on 27 October 2021, the government will be providing over £200 million a year for the continuation of the holiday activities and food programme. This offers valuable support to families on lower incomes by providing enriching activities and healthy meals for disadvantaged children during school holidays. Local authorities will be able to use the funding for this programme, which is delivered through grants, to arrange childcare provision through a range of settings, including summer camps.

In addition, £60 million of the £750 million package for the voluntary and charity sector, has been directed towards organisations supporting children and young people. More recently, a £16.5 million youth COVID-19 support fund has been announced, which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country. A press release about this support fund is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-165-million-youth-covid-19-support-fund. This is on top of the £200 million government investment in early intervention and prevention support initiatives to support children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the Youth Endowment Fund.

The department also supports a number of initiatives to expand access to high-quality, extra-curricular activities for all children and young people. Many of these activities operate over the summer and include:

  • Investing £3.4 million over 3 academic years to support the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to expand into more schools in the most deprived areas of England, enabling access to young people who may previously have faced barriers to taking part. The department’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expansion initiative aims to support up to 291 schools not currently delivering the Award.
  • Supporting children and young people’s wellbeing over the summer holidays, by making up to £200 million available for secondary schools to deliver face-to-face summer schools in summer 2021, giving secondary pupils access to enrichment activities (such as games, music, drama and sports) that they have missed out on during the COVID-19 outbreak, and updating the pupil premium guidance. This update allows schools to use their pupil premium grant to offer a flexible, broad range of extracurricular activities.

We are examining the research findings for the summer schools 2021 programme, which are due to be published in March. This is part of the department’s continued assessment of the impact of all education recovery programmes and we will continue to revise guidance on development and implementation of existing programmes, including where these programmes could provide support out of hours and term time.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the criteria for schools accessing the COVID-19 workforce fund; how many schools applied; and of those schools, what was the average amount of funding received.

To claim to the COVID-19 workforce fund, schools need to meet the pre-requisite, financial reserves and absence criteria set out in the guidance for schools, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-workforce-fund-for-schools.

We received claims to the 2020 COVID-19 workforce fund from 974 schools, and made payments to 902 schools. All eligible schools were paid, and school level data on payments made to schools is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-data-on-funding-claims-by-institutions-2020-to-2021. The average amount of funding received was £6,190. The claims window for the current round of the COVID-19 workforce fund, which covers absences from 22 November 2021 until 18 February 2022, will open in the spring.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what statistics they keep of the outcomes for pupils after they leave school; and who is responsible for maintaining these records.

The department publishes statistics on pupils’ sustained education, apprenticeship or employment destinations in the year after they have left either key stage 4 or 16-18 study in England. Pupils must have six months of activity in a destination to be recorded as a sustained destination. Pupils who have some activity but do not meet the criteria for a sustained destination are recorded as having not sustained their destination. If there is no data available on a pupil they are record as activity not captured.

Various national administrative sources are used such as datasets from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions and school census data to ascertain whether a pupil has sustained activity at a destination.

The latest publication and data can be found at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/key-stage-4-destination-measures and https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/16-18-destination-measures. This data relates to pupils who left school in 2018/19 and follows their activity in 2019/20. More information on the methodology used can be found at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/methodology/key-stage-4-destination-measures-methodology and https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/methodology/16-18-destination-measures-methodology.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, when admitted to mainstream schools, pupils receive a Unique Pupil Number; and if so, how this number is used to track the educational journey of a child.

Unique pupil numbers (UPNs) are allocated to pupils at the point of first entry into the state funded school sector. This is usually when a pupil joins a nursery or primary school, including joining nursery classes in a primary school. It can also be when a pupil enters the state funded school sector later in their school career.

UPNs are primarily used to facilitate the transfer of school-based education and attainment data through the state funded school system in England. The system enables accurate and timely data sharing between schools or academies, local authorities and central government and enable the operational and analytical longitudinal linking of education data throughout a pupil’s school career.

For example, UPNs allow us to link data provided by schools and local authorities via statutory data collections, such as the school census, to attainment data from awarding bodies. This provides the department, education providers, Parliament and the wider public with a clear picture of how the education and children’s services sectors are working. This helps these sectors to better target and evaluate policy interventions to help ensure all children are kept safe from harm and receive the best possible education.


Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many alternative education schools are registered.

The department has interpreted 'alternative education school' to mean a school established to provide alternative provision to students. Alternative provision refers to education arranged by local authorities for pupils who, because of exclusion, illness, or other reasons, would not otherwise receive suitable education, education arranged by schools for pupils on a fixed period exclusion, and pupils being directed by schools to off-site provision to improve their behaviour.

Figures from the Secretary of State’s register of educational institutions show that in England there are:

  • 348 state-maintained alternative provision schools, which includes Pupil Referral Units, alternative provision academies and free schools.
  • 2,411 open independent schools of all types.

These figures are available to view at: https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk.

As there is no requirement for registered independent schools, which primarily provide alternative provision, to be registered as such with the Secretary of State, it is not possible to identify the number of independent schools which would mean the definition of 'alternative education school'.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of pupils with Permanent Exclusions or Fixed Term Exclusions from School have Special Educational Needs in the most recent period for which figures are availble.

In the 2019/20 academic year, there were 5,057 permanent exclusions, of which 2,284 (45%) were for pupils with special educational needs (SEN). In the same year, there were 310,733 suspensions, of which 140,266 (45%) were issued to pupils with SEN.

The table of data can be found in the attached excel document.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total percentage absentee rate of (1) head teachers, (2) teachers, and (3) teaching assistants, since the beginning of the academic year.

The requested data is not yet available. The daily Education Setting survey asks schools and colleges to report data such as on-site attendance and COVID-19 absence.

The most recent published data for staff absences at national level from the daily education settings survey is as at 3 February 2022 and can be found in: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

The department estimates that 9.1% of teachers and school leaders, and 9.0% of teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools on 3 February 2022.

Data relating to teacher and teaching assistant absence over time is collected from state funded schools in England from the November school workforce census. Each census collects data for absence from the previous academic year. The November 2021 census, covering the 2020-21 academic year will be published in summer 2022 at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many students have registered complaints about their university with the Office for Students; and how many complaints were upheld in the 2021 academic year.

The Office for Students (OfS) does not get involved with individual student complaints. Such complaints are a matter for the relevant higher education provider and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA).

In 2021, the OIA received 2,763 complaints from students. Details of the outcomes of those complaints, including the number upheld, will be available in their annual report, which will be published in April 2022 on their website: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/resources-and-publications/annual-reports/.

Students can notify the OfS of issues that may be of regulatory interest to it. These are known as ‘notifications’ and the OfS uses this information as part of its regulatory monitoring activity. This helps to ensure that higher education providers comply with the ongoing conditions of their registration. Notifications can be submitted online via the OfS website at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/office-for-students-notifications/how-to-submit-a-notification/

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of school students being taught particular subjects wholly by supply teachers ahead of their summer examinations; and what measures they will introduce to take any negative effect into account.

Supply teachers perform a valuable role and make an important contribution to the smooth running of schools by filling posts on a temporary basis and covering teacher absences. A key principle behind the government’s education reforms is to give headteachers the freedom to use their professional judgement to decide the structure of their school's workforce. In deploying staff, school leaders should be satisfied that the person has the appropriate skills, expertise and experience to carry out the work.

The department recognises that pupils taking exams this year will have experienced disruption to their education caused by COVID-19. Together with Ofqual, we consulted on and have confirmed a range of adaptations to GCSE and A/AS level exams, which take this disruption into account.

GCSE, AS and A level pupils have been provided with advance information, published by exam boards on 7 February, on the focus of their exams in most subjects to support revision. Pupils will also benefit from other changes to exams, including choices of topic or content and exam aids during the exam for some subjects at GCSE. Additionally, Ofqual has confirmed that 2022 will be a transition year for grading. Grades will be based around a mid-point between 2021 and pre-pandemic grades for GCSEs, A/S and A levels.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to require parents to register if they are home educating children.

The government is committed to a form of local authority register for children not in school, which would require parents to register with local authorities should they want to home educate. Further details on this is in the Children Not In School consultation response, which was published on 3 February 2022, and is avaliable in the attached document. We hope to legislate on this measure at the next suitable opportunity.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be the percentage reduction of school improvement funding to schools in the financial year 2022–23, compared to the financial year 2021–22.

Mainstream school budgets will see an average 5.8% year-on-year per pupil cash increase in financial year 2022-23 in England. This is taking Dedicated Schools Grant allocations together with the schools supplementary grant announced in December 2021. Schools can fund school improvement from this budget.

In addition, in financial year 2021-22, we provided approximately a further £45.3 million to local authorities, through the local authority school improvement monitoring and brokering grant, for their core school improvement functions relating to maintained schools. This is due to taper next year to reflect the reduced numbers of maintained schools. In financial year January 2022, we announced that we are reducing the rate at which this grant is paid by 50% in 2022-23 as a means of transitioning to full removal of this grant. This will bring the maintained sector better into line with the academy sector, who fund this type of activity from school budgets. The exact value of this grant in 2022-23 will depend on the numbers of maintained schools in each local authority when the grant is paid in April and September 2022.

We also continue to make available substantial support to both academy and maintained schools at low or no cost, including our network of curriculum and behaviour hubs, our world-class teacher development system, and our offer of free support from a National Leader of Education or strong multi-academy trust for schools that Ofsted judge require improvement.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are giving to the Children's Commissioner's inquiry to track down the thousands of children who have gone missing from school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department is very supportive of this work. Regular attendance at school is vital for children’s education, wellbeing and long-term development.

The Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, pledged to do this work at the inaugural meeting of the attendance action alliance, which was hosted by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, on 9 December 2021. The Office of the Children’s Commissioner is updating the department on its progress, which will be reported back to the alliance. Where necessary, the department will respond to any recommendations.

To support the execution of their responsibilities, the Children’s Commissioner has access to a range of department data sets. The department is also exploring how to improve the availability of attendance data with some urgency.

We welcome the Children’s Commissioner’s focus on children missing from school. The department is committed to a form of local authority register for children not in school. This would help local authorities undertake their existing duties to ensure children receive a suitable education and help safeguard all children who are in scope. We will set out further details on this in the government response to the ‘Children not in school’ consultation, which we will publish in the coming weeks.

The department continues to make clear that schools and local authorities should be identifying children who are persistently absent, or at risk of persistent absence, and is developing further plans to support them to return to regular education.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the effects of reducing the school week from five days to four; whether they are aware of any schools in England Wales seeking to introduce a four day week; and if so, whether they are empowered to do so.

Education is a devolved matter, and the response will outline the information for England only.

A review into the current use of time in schools and 16 to 19 providers in England has been undertaken, and the results were published on 4 November 2021 here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-time-in-school-and-16-to-19-settings. The review found that more time can improve pupil and student outcomes, but the extent of any benefit is dependent on how well the time is used. We need to ensure that all children are spending quality time in school, where they can access the full breadth of the curriculum and extra-curricular activities to maximise their overall experience and give them the best chance to succeed, regardless of age, background or ability.

The review did not assess the effects of reducing the school week from 5 days to 4. We are not aware of any schools in England that are seeking to introduce a 4 day week.

Schools should organise the school day and school week in the best interest of their pupil cohort, to provide them with a full time education suitable to their age, aptitude, and ability. The structure of the school week should not be the cause of inconvenience to parents and it is unacceptable for schools to shorten their school week unless it is a direct action to support and enhance pupils’ education.

The Education (School Day and School Year) (England) Regulations 1999 require all maintained schools to be open to educate their pupils for at least 380 sessions (190 days) in each school year. Academy trusts (of academies and free schools) are not bound by these regulations.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of schools that charge for swimming lessons which are part of the curriculum.

The department does not collect data from schools on swimming lesson provision to pupils. All schools in receipt of the primary PE and sport premium are required to publish information on the percentage of their pupils in year 6 who met each of the three swimming and water safety national curriculum expectations.

The department has published guidance to schools and local authorities on charging for school activities. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charging-for-school-activities. The guidance makes clear that schools cannot charge for education provided in school hours or education provided outside of school hours where it is part of the national curriculum. The department has not made an assessment of schools that charge for swimming lessons.

Schools receive general funding for all curriculum provision including PE (and by extension swimming and water safety lessons). This funding is not ringfenced or split by subject and schools have the flexibility to allocate their funding to deliver a diverse curriculum which best suits the needs of all the students.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of schools in England do not offer swimming lessons to their pupils.

The department does not collect data from schools on swimming lesson provision to pupils. All schools in receipt of the primary PE and sport premium are required to publish information on the percentage of their pupils in year 6 who met each of the three swimming and water safety national curriculum expectations.

The department has published guidance to schools and local authorities on charging for school activities. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charging-for-school-activities. The guidance makes clear that schools cannot charge for education provided in school hours or education provided outside of school hours where it is part of the national curriculum. The department has not made an assessment of schools that charge for swimming lessons.

Schools receive general funding for all curriculum provision including PE (and by extension swimming and water safety lessons). This funding is not ringfenced or split by subject and schools have the flexibility to allocate their funding to deliver a diverse curriculum which best suits the needs of all the students.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons why unregistered and illegal schools continue to operate in England.

It is a criminal offence under section 96 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 to conduct an independent educational institution unless it is registered. Section 97 of that Act permits no-notice inspections of settings believed to be operating in breach of this registration requirement.

Between 1 January 2016 and 31 August 2021, 114 settings inspected under section 97 were identified as operating as an unregistered independent school. Joint work between the Department for Education and Ofsted has led to 101 of these settings changing their provision, meaning they no longer operate unlawfully, in breach of the 2008 Act. In that time, groups responsible for operating illegal settings have been successfully prosecuted five times.

The department and Ofsted continue to investigate and, if needs be, prosecute those conducting any settings where intelligence or evidence suggests the operation of an unregistered school.

The department consulted in 2020 on extending the registration requirement to settings that operate full time but only offer a very narrow curriculum, which are currently allowed to operate without registration. The department will respond to this consultation soon, setting out next steps. The department has also committed to taking forward measures to make it easier to investigate and prosecute such settings, including in the 2019 Integrated Communities Action Plan. The department intends to take forward such measures when a suitable legislative opportunity arises.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) metrics, and (2) other measures, are used by (a) the Office for Students, and (b) the Quality Assurance Agency, to assess the performance of individual further education colleges for quality assurance purposes.

The higher education (HE) provision of further education colleges, which are registered with the Office for Students (OfS), is subject to the same quality assurance arrangements as that of all other registered HE providers.

The OfS monitors and regulates quality outcomes as described in its regulatory framework and in its conditions of registration. The metrics used by the OfS to assess the quality of HE provision relates to student continuation and completion rates, degree, and other outcomes. This includes differential outcomes for students with different characteristics and progression to professional and managerial jobs and postgraduate study.

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), as the designated quality body under section 27 and Schedule 4 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, undertakes quality and standards reviews to enable the OfS to assess compliance with registration conditions. In particular, the QAA assesses whether providers are delivering well designed courses that provide a high-quality academic experience and whether students are supported, from admission through to completion, to succeed in, and benefit from, HE.

The OfS is currently carrying out a three-stage consultation on its overall regulatory approach to quality and standards which aims to introduce a more rigorous quality regime.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any potential child protection issues as a result of primary school age children being put in unregistered schools.

The Department for Education regulates independent schools in England. Independent schools must be registered with the department, are required to meet the independent school standards (ISS), are subject to regular inspection to check that they are meeting the ISS and can be subject to regulatory and enforcement action where they fail to meet the ISS. The ISS require independent schools to have effective safeguarding and child protection arrangements.

Unregistered independent schools are unregulated and the department has no assurance that they are meeting the independent school standards. They therefore represent a significant safeguarding risk.

Conducting an unregistered independent school is a criminal offence under section 96 of the Education and Skills Act 2008. The Department for Education, Ofsted and the Crown Prosecution Service work together to investigate suspected unregistered independent schools and, where appropriate, prosecute those found operating them in line with department’s policy statement. The policy statement, 'Prosecuting unregistered independent schools', is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulating-independent-schools.

Where a suspected unregistered independent school is investigated and Ofsted find safeguarding, child protection or health and safety risks, other statutory authorities are informed to ensure they can also take appropriate action.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) primary, and (2) secondary, school students have been permanently excluded from school for each of the last five years.

The requested information is shown in the below table.

Number of permanent exclusions in state-funded primary and state-funded secondary in England between 2015/16 and 2019/20:

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

State-funded primary

1,147

1,253

1,210

1,067

739

State-funded secondary

5,446

6,384

6,612

6,753

4,269

Source: School Census.

This data is also available in the national statistics publication, 'Permanent exclusions and suspensions in England', which is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/permanent-and-fixed-period-exclusions-in-england. The permanent exclusions section contains a chart and table giving the number of permanent exclusions in state-funded primary and state-funded secondary schools for the academic years 2015/16 to 2019/20.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children and young people are currently in (1) registered alternative schools, and (2) unregistered alternative schools.

Local authority-maintained establishments providing alternative provision are often referred to as pupil referral units. There are also an increasing number of alternative provision academies and free schools. In January 2021, there were 12,800 pupils with their sole or main registration in these settings in England. A further 9,200 pupils have a dual subsidiary registration in these settings, meaning that they also have their main registration at another school.

The department also collects data on placements in local authority funded alternative provision. There were 32,700 placements in local authority funded alternative provision. This includes 26,400 placements with a registered provider, 700 in non-maintained further education, 2,300 in one-to-one tuition, 200 in work based placement and 3,100 with an ‘other unregistered provider’. Placements with a registered provider are all settings with a unique reference number or UK Provider Reference Number, i.e. registered on Get Information About Schools (https://get-information-schools.service.gov.uk.) or the UK Register of Learning Providers (https://www.ukrlp.co.uk.) and include 19,200 placements in independent and non-maintained special schools.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the percentage change in the number of students sitting A Levels in (1) Art and Design, (2) Music, (3) Design and Technology, (4) Drama, (5), Media, (6) Film and Television Studies, and (7) Performing and Expressive Arts, for each of the last five years.

The number of A level entries is provided in the table attached (table A) for the last five academic years for which data is available (2016/17 – 2020/21).

Subjects shown are the reporting categories from the ‘A level and other 16 to 18 results’ statistical release which best correspond to the subjects requested.

Note, Media, and Film and Television Studies are historically classified and reported together as ‘Media/Film/Television Studies’. Subjects reported as ‘Other communication studies’ comprise ‘Film Studies’ when taught as a discrete subject, also ‘Creative Writing’, ‘Communication Studies’, and ‘Expressive Arts & Performance Studies’. In the 2021 release, published on 4 November 2021, more fine-grained subject level data shows that A level entries historically reported as ‘Other communication studies’ for the last 3 years are almost exclusively now made up of entries in ‘Film Studies’.

The percentage change in subject entries year-on-year is shown in the table attached (table B), including the overall percentage change between 2016/17 and 2020/21.

The table attached (table C) shows subject entries as a proportion of all entries within an academic year.

Source: ‘A level and other 16 to 18 results’ (drawn from statistical releases over several years).

Notes

  1. A level entries in schools and colleges in England; all figures are revised data, except 2019/20 and 2020/21 which are provisional.
  2. Covers students aged 16, 17 or 18 at the start of the relevant academic year, i.e. 31 August 2020 for 2020/21.
Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many young people have completed the Skills Bootcamps; and what has been the drop-out rate.

Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving adults aged 19 and over the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

The first Skills Bootcamps (wave 1) launched in Autumn 2020 with £8 million funding in six areas of England: West Midlands, Greater Manchester with Lancashire, Liverpool City Region, Leeds City Region, Heart of the Southwest Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area, and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire LEP area. The department is now expanding the Skills Bootcamps across the country during the 2021-22 financial year, with £43 million from the National Skills Fund.

Thousands of adults have already accessed Skills Bootcamps, and case studies of some Skills Bootcamps participants can be accessed through the link available on the Free Courses for Jobs page on gov.uk. We expect that there will be approximately 16,000 Skills Bootcamps places available across the country in this financial year.

Robust data collection on outcomes for wave 1 Skills Bootcamps has been ongoing from March to September 2021. This data is currently being validated and will be published shortly. It will provide more insight into the outcomes for learners that took part in wave 1 of Skills Bootcamps.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evaluation criteria they are using to assess the effectiveness of the Education Recovery programme.

The department is evaluating the impact of current recovery work and developing metrics and an evaluation plan to monitor the overall education recovery package as well as specific interventions, including for specific groups of learners.

The department has commissioned Renaissance Learning and their subcontractor, the Education Policy Institute, to provide a baseline assessment of the learning loss and catch-up needs for pupils in schools in England, and to monitor progress over the course of the 2020-21 academic year. We are currently seeking commercial agreements for further academic years.

The department has a contract with Ipsos MORI, in consortium with Sheffield Hallam University and the Centre for Education and Youth, to undertake a mixed-methods study design (including surveys, interviews, and case studies) to examine how schools are tackling the issue of lost learning. Results from the study will be used to understand how the catch-up premium funds have been spent and how best to support schools to tackle learning loss.

The department has commissioned evaluations of specific interventions, such as the National Tutoring Programme, to understand the effectiveness of individual interventions and will use management information to track progress against delivery.

We will collate all of this evidence to assess the performance of the overall programme.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the drop-out rate in each of the last five years of teachers trained through (1) Teach First, (2) SCITT, (3) PGCE, and (4) Schools Direct.

Information on the retention rates of newly qualified teachers is published in the ‘School Workforce in England’ statistical publication at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

85% of teachers who qualified in 2019 were still teaching one year after qualification. This retention rate has gradually declined since 2011. In contrast, retention of teachers who qualified two or more years ago has increased this year, a change to gradual declines seen in recent years.

Three in five teachers who qualified ten years ago are still teaching.

The department does not compile data on retention rate of teachers by training route.

The table below shows the retention rates of newly qualified teachers (based on headcounts) in each of the 5 years following qualification year, 2015 to 2019.

Percentage of teachers still in service:

1 year after qualifying

2 years after qualifying

3 years after qualifying

4 years after qualifying

5 years after qualifying

2015

86.0

78.5

73.7

69.9

68.6

2016

85.1

77.8

73.2

71.3

:

2017

85.1

78.3

75.5

:

:

2018

85.4

80.5

:

:

:

2019

84.5

:

:

:

:

Source: School Workforce Census. Table taken from School workforce in England National Statistic.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) affordability, and (2) availability, of childcare.

The government is committed to supporting families with the cost of childcare, which is why the government has made an unprecedented investment in childcare over the past decade.

We have spent over £3.5 billion in each of the past three years on our early education entitlements and the government continues to support families with their childcare costs. The universal 15 hours entitlement, available for every three and four year old, can save parents up to £2,500 per year, and eligible working parents can apply for an additional 15 hours free childcare which can save them up to £5,000 if they use the full 30 hours. 30 hours free childcare was introduced in England in September 2017 and is an entitlement for working parents of three and four year olds, benefitting nearly 330,000 in January 2021.

In addition to the free early education entitlements, the government offers Tax-Free Childcare for children from 0-11 years old, or up to 16 if disabled. This scheme means that for every £8 parents pay their provider via an online account, the government will pay £2 – up to a maximum contribution of £2,000 per child each year, or £4,000 if disabled. 308,000 families used Tax-Free Childcare for 364,000 children in June 2021.

Parents may also benefit from Universal Credit. Working parents on a low income can get up to 85% of their childcare costs for children under 16 reimbursed through Universal Credit Childcare. This is subject to a monthly limit of £646 for one child or £1,108 for two or more children, payable in arrears.

Last November, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a £44 million investment for 2021 to 2022, for local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers for the government’s free childcare entitlement offers.

With regard to the availability of childcare, national data published by Ofsted shows that there were 72,000 childcare providers registered with them on 31 March 2021, a dip of 4%, or 3,300, since 31 August 2020. The data also shows that of that number, 2,800 were childminders or home child carers and not nurseries. Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-providers-and-inspections-as-at-31-march-2021.

That data also shows that numbers of ‘childcare settings on non-domestic premises’, which is the Ofsted description of nurseries which are not based in schools, have remained fairly stable over time, with a drop of just 1% since 31 August 2015 and a decrease of 2%, or 400, between 31 August 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Ofsted data currently shows that the number of places available to parents seeking childcare has remained broadly stable since August 2015. Additionally, the majority of eligible children aged two, three and four, have continued to access free childcare, despite the challenges faced throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. In a recent survey by Ipsos MORI in July 2021, only 6% of parents whose child was not receiving formal childcare said they would like to use formal childcare but have not been able to find a suitable provider. This is only approximately 2% of all parents.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to complete their review of special educational needs.

The special educational needs and disability (SEND) review was set up to improve the outcomes for children and young people with SEND, with a focus on targeting and distributing resources in a way that best ensures children’s needs are met quickly and effectively.

The department is working with a range of partners including children and young people with SEND, the Children’s Commissioner, parents and carers, system leaders, SEND sector organisations, representatives from educational establishments and many others.

Proposals are being developed and we will consult publicly on them. We are not yet in a position to provide a firm date for publication of proposals but are looking to do so as soon as possible.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children are in unregistered residential accommodation.

Any setting that is providing care and accommodation must register with Ofsted as a children’s home. If a setting is providing care and accommodation but is operating without Ofsted registration, they are operating illegally as an ‘unregistered’ children’s home. We do not collect national data on how many children in England are in unregistered settings offering care and accommodation.

Ofsted investigates notifications about potential unregistered children’s homes and in 2019/20 they undertook 250 investigations[1]. Of these, around a quarter should have been registered with Ofsted. Local authorities have a duty to ensure sufficient appropriate provision for the children they look after and that every looked-after child is placed in an appropriate care setting that meets their needs.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ofsted-annual-report-201920-education-childrens-services-and-skills/the-annual-report-of-her-majestys-chief-inspector-of-education-childrens-services-and-skills-201920.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that Black history is a mandatory part of the curriculum in all schools, including those which are not required to teach the National Curriculum.

The department is committed to an inclusive education system which recognises and embraces diversity. We support all pupils and students in tackling racism and to have the knowledge and tools to do so.

The government believes that all children and young people should acquire a firm grasp of history, including how different events and periods relate to each other. That is why it is compulsory for maintained schools from key stages 1 to 3, and why academies are expected to teach a curriculum which is as broad and ambitious as the national curriculum. This expectation is set out in the Ofsted school inspection handbook, as part of their education inspection framework introduced in September 2019.

The national curriculum is a framework setting out the content of what the department expects schools to cover in each subject. The curriculum does not set out how curriculum subjects, or topics within the subjects, should be taught. The department believes teachers should be able to use their own knowledge and expertise to determine how they teach their pupils, and to make choices about what they teach.

As part of a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils should be taught about different societies, and how different groups have contributed to the development of Britain, and this can include the voices and experience of Black people. The flexibility within the history curriculum means that there is the opportunity for teachers to teach about Black history across the spectrum of themes and eras set out in the curriculum. For example, at key stage 1, schools can teach about the lives of key Black historical figures such as Mary Seacole, Rosa Parks, or others. At key stage 3, schools can cover the development and end of the British Empire and Britain’s transatlantic slave trade, its effects and eventual abolition. The teaching of Black history need not be limited to these examples. There is scope to include Black history and experience in other national curriculum subjects such as English and citizenship, and in the non-statutory subject personal, social, health and economics (PSHE) education.

It is positive that teachers and schools are responding directly to the renewed attention on history teaching to ensure knowledge-based subject teaching. More history teachers reflected commitments in the most recent survey of history teachers by the Historical Association to develop more content in their teaching on Black and diverse histories. This change will provide pupils with more breadth and depth in their understanding of history.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether consideration of summer term born children was a factor used in the GCSE and A Level teacher-assessed examinations.

This year, pupils and students were awarded grades determined by their teachers. Teacher assessed grades allowed results to be based on the knowledge students acquired as a result of what they had been taught, recognising the variability in teaching that some young people experienced.

As is the case in years in which exams have gone ahead, students’ grades this year were not adjusted to take account of their birthday.

Awarding organisations provided assessment materials, guidance, and training to support centres to make fair, consistent, and evidence-based decisions which are without bias. Ofqual also published information for centres about making objective judgements this year, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/information-for-centres-about-making-objective-judgements. Centres set out how they would ensure objectivity in their centre policies, which were then reviewed by exam boards. Schools, colleges, and exam boards also undertook internal and external checks to help maximise fairness for students, no matter their background.

Where students required reasonable adjustments and access arrangements, these should also have been in place when evidence was generated. Where they were not, centres should have taken that into account when coming to their judgement.

Teachers, schools and colleges did an excellent job in using their collective experience to assess students in 2021. These grades reflect students’ hard work in a hugely challenging year.

Whatever month of the year a child is born, schools are dedicated to providing for the needs of each child to help prepare them for a successful education. Teachers understand that children have different starting points when beginning school and are trained to adapt their teaching to suit an individual child’s strengths and needs and provide extra support where necessary. Despite this, no child is required to start school until they reach compulsory school age, which for a summer born child is a full academic year after they could first have been admitted to school.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many students have been paid to defer their university course for 12 months; and what the total amount of money spent is.

Throughout this year’s admissions cycle, we have encouraged providers to do everything they can to enable students who wish to enter higher education this year to do so. In a small number of cases, providers have seen more students meet the terms of their offers than they have capacity to accommodate, and these providers have agreed alternatives with these students, which may include a place on another course or an incentivised deferral. We do not record the number of students who have accepted incentivised deferrals at providers: this is a private arrangement between the provider and the individual student. In any year, some students choose to defer for a number of reasons.

The latest data for the admissions cycle (as at 28 days after A level results day) show that the total number of English students accepted has increased compared with 2020 and 2019, with both deferrals and non-deferrals increasing. The proportion of successful English applicants deferring this year is 0.7 percentage points greater than in 2019.

No funding has been provided by the government for incentivised deferrals. Rather, we have provided funding to increase capacity so that more students can take up their places this year, making available up to £10 million in additional grant funding to higher education providers through the Office for Students to help them to increase capacity in medical, dental, nursing, science, technology, engineering, maths, and other high-cost subjects. The government has also provided funding to provide incentives to students to switch from oversubscribed providers to providers with capacity in medicine and dentistry.

Alongside this, we have worked with universities, Health Education England, the Medical Schools Council and the General Medical Council to assess and agree how many additional places on medical and dentistry courses could be provided. Students who held a firm or insurance offer at an oversubscribed medical or dental school were contacted by their current university about a £10,000 incentive to change schools under the 2021 Medical School Student Incentivised Transfer Scheme. Students were given the opportunity to transfer to an alternative university which has space and to receive a financial incentive to do so. Participation in the scheme was entirely optional. This has supported more than 80 students to move from oversubscribed medical and dental schools to those which had additional capacity.

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 assessment they have made of the growth of essay mill companies during the COVID-19 pandemic; and whether this growth has caused an increase in students cheating.

The government has consistently made it clear that using essay mill services is unacceptable. We have worked with the higher education sector to clamp down on essay mills and to support students who might be targeted by these services. We have also committed to supporting a legislative solution to criminalise essay mill companies.

Essay mills are online entities operating across the globe and it is difficult to determine exactly how many are currently in operation – the Office for Students (OfS) recently estimated this figure could be close to 1,000[1]. The COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to online learning and assessment appears to have led to a recent increase in the number of websites targeting their services at students in the UK.

We have challenged companies from the technology sector to identify how anti-cheating software can tackle the growth of essay mills, and we have worked alongside the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), Universities UK and the National Union of Students to produce guidance for providers on how to combat the threat of ‘contract cheating’ and guidance for students to make them better aware of the consequences of contract cheating, sending a clear message that these services are not legitimate.

The OfS has published information and guidance for providers and students, and the QAA has also published a series of guides to support providers to secure academic standards, and to support student achievement during the pandemic. This includes QAA guidance for providers on how to assess digital delivery with integrity.

We expect educational institutions to do everything in their power to prevent students being tempted by these companies and to detect and address cheating.

[1] https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/news-blog-and-events/blog/trouble-at-mill-protecting-students-from-contract-cheating/.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many cases local authorities have brought against parents whose child has been deemed not to be in receipt of a suitable full-time education through home-schooling in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not held centrally and cannot be derived from current data sources. The department also does not currently collect data on numbers of home educated children.

Parents are not required to register if they are home educating their children. Therefore, there is not a robust basis on which the department can reliably collect statistics on home education.

Local authorities are under a duty to take action if it appears to them that the home education provided to a child is unsuitable. The department issued revised and strengthened guidance to local authorities in April 2019, setting out how they can exercise their powers in this regard.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how many review groups are currently established in the Department for Education, and (2) what areas they cover.

The department has a number of current review groups including: the review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and call for evidence at level 2 and below; the independent review of children’s social care; the review of provisions for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities; and the initial teacher training market review. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has also recently asked Ofsted to undertake an immediate review into sexual abuse across state and independent schools.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) on what date they established the Review Group into Initial Teacher Training, (2) what is the membership of the Review Group panel, and (3) how the Review Group plan to (a) take evidence, and (b) consult on its findings.

The department is making England the best place in the world to become a great teacher through giving every teacher 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 is focusing 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. The review is led by Ian Bauckham, chief executive officer (CEO) of Tenax Schools Trust and Chair of Oak National Academy. The review was announced, along with the Chair and expert group, on 2 January 2021.

The expert group support the Chair with gathering evidence and shaping recommendations. The department has appointed the following individuals to provide a cross-section of knowledge and expertise:

  • Professor Samantha Twiselton, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education – Sheffield Hallam University
  • Richard Gill, Chair of the Teaching Schools Council, CEO of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership and Lead Ofsted inspector
  • Reuben Moore, Executive Director of Programme Development – Teach First
  • John Blake, Head of Public Affairs and Engagement – Ark

The expert group 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.

Initially, the review team are conducting early work to better understand the issues and shape the direction of the work. They have held discussions with ITT representatives including the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers and National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers at this initial stage, with broader engagement planned from late spring.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the safeguarding requirements for tutors working with children on the National Tutoring Programme.

The safeguarding of children and young people is paramount to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), and we have worked closely with our delivery partners to ensure that robust safeguarding processes are in place across both pillars of the NTP.

Safeguarding was fully assessed as part of the application process with detailed due diligence checks carried out for potential tuition partners ahead of agreements being entered, and ongoing monitoring throughout the lifetime of the grant. The assessment carried out as part of the application focused on five broad areas: Safeguarding Policy and Procedures; Safeguarding Training and Development; Organisational Structure and Governance; Safe Recruitment Policies and Procedures; and Specific Practices for Online Tuition. We take safeguarding seriously and we have robust processes in place before and during the delivery of the NTP. To date, no safeguarding incidents have been reported by schools in the programme.

Individual tuition partners are responsible for managing their own safeguarding policies and procedures, with oversight from the Education Endowment Foundation to ensure processes remain robust and required standards are met. However, all tutors are required to be enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service and Barred list checked (or equivalent for international tutors), and complete appropriate safeguarding training to work on this programme.

23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of regulations regarding home education.

The current legal system around elective home education is a system for identifying and dealing with children who, for any reason and in any circumstances, are not receiving an efficient suitable full-time education. A situation in which a child is not receiving a suitable full-time education requires action by a local authority under education law.

In the spring of 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for: a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school, a duty on parents to register their child with the local authority if not registered at specified types of schools; a duty on proprietors of certain education settings to respond to enquiries from local authorities; and a duty on local authorities to provide support to parents who educate children at home.

The consultation closed on 24 June 2019 with nearly 5000 responses. Responses to the consultation have been considered, and the government are committed to publishing the response in due course. Following the publication of the consultation, the department will make an assessment of regulations and the need for any legislative change.

23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to deal with the Private Finance Initiative school contracts that will end in the next five years.

The Department has recently established a Contract Expiry Unit. That unit is actively working alongside the relevant local authorities and academy trusts on seven pathfinder projects. Those pathfinder projects are the earliest Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects to expire in the education sector. The Department is also considering how best to assist local authorities and academy trusts on the later PFI contracts to expire.

18th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many alternative schools are registered; and what estimate they have made of the number of unregistered alternative providers.

The Alternative Provision (AP) sector serves approximately 26,000 pupils across 348 state-place funded AP settings (pupil referral units, AP academies and AP free schools).

As of 19 March 2021, there were 197 pupil referral units, 102 AP academies (74 converters and 28 sponsored) and 49 open AP free schools in England. Beyond this the sector is made up of other forms of AP, such as AP placements in independent schools (circa 29,500 pupils), post-16 providers offering pre-16 AP or charities.

Many of these providers are unregistered, as they do not meet the threshold to register as a school. These small providers are commissioned by local authorities, mainstream and AP schools and offer a limited number of hours of training – often vocational – per week, supplementing the curriculum offered by the child or young person’s school. It is an offence under the Education and Skills Act 2008 to conduct unregistered AP if the provision offered meets the statutory definition of a “school”.

17th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) funding, and (2) operations, of music hubs.

The government believes that the arts are an essential part of a broad and balanced education and that high-quality arts education should not be the preserve of the elite, but the entitlement of every child.

Music Education Hubs have a vital role to play not only in core school music but also ensuring children have access to all the benefits of a wider musical education through instrumental lessons and ensembles. They have acted swiftly and innovatively to support schools through the COVID-19 outbreak, including the continuation of continuing professional development to classroom teachers.

On Friday 26 March, the department announced £79 million in the financial year 2021-22, to fund Music Education Hubs. This funding had already been confirmed earlier this month with Arts Council England, our music hubs delivery partner, and they confirmed funding with all the Music Education Hubs organisations. The government also announced our ambitious plan for all children to have access to high-quality music education, with the publication of the Model Music Curriculum, a new music curriculum for key stages 1, 2 and 3. The plans to refresh music lessons follow the full return to school for all pupils this month, and alongside wider plans to help pupil catch-up on lost education.

16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 10 March (HL13719), whether (1) universities, and (2) independent schools, are permitted to accept payment of course fees in cash.

Universities, as autonomous institutions, are responsible for ensuring their compliance with the law. They need to uphold applicable public interest governance principles in order to meet the regulatory requirements of the Office for Students, the independent regulator for the higher education sector in England.

To be registered with the Office for Students, a higher education provider must have in place adequate and effective management and governance arrangements to deliver them in practice.

Whilst universities can accept cash payments, the Department for Education has spoken to representatives of the sector and understands that very few universities do this.

Independent schools are private businesses and, like universities, their handling of cash payments is subject to the same regulation as for all businesses.

The government’s money-laundering regulations require firms to combat money-laundering and to ensure that key professionals identify their customers and understand the purpose behind transactions, including the source of funds. Universities and independent schools are not within the regulated sector, but those most at risk from money-laundering – including banks, money service businesses, lawyers, and accountants – are in scope.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how many Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans were agreed, (2) how many EHC appeals took place, and (3) of those appeals, how many were successful, in each year from 2016.

The number of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans agreed is contained in the table below.

2016

2017

2018

2019

Number of new EHC plans

36,094

42,162

48,907

53,899

These figures are from the Department for Education publication ‘Education, Health and Care plans’ and are for calendar years.

The Ministry of Justice has provided figures on appeals and outcomes from the publication Tribunal Statistics Quarterly and these are given in the attached Excel spreadsheet. The Ministry of Justice figures relate to academic years from 1 September to 31 August of each year and are, therefore, not directly comparable to the Department for Education figures. Please note as well that a claim is recorded as being in favour of the appellant if they succeed in any part of the appeal. This means that if a parent appeals on three separate grounds, and is successful in only one of the grounds, the appeal is recorded as being successful.

10th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the payment rate for tutors delivering the National Tutoring Programme.

High quality tuition remains one of the core principles of the programme, and the department have worked closely with delivery partners to ensure this is delivered across both pillars of the programme.

When selecting approved tuition partners, the department worked with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to ensure schools had a wide range of high quality tuition partners to choose from in order to best suit the needs of pupils.

As a result, the approved tuition partners include a range of profit, non-profit and educational institutions, all of which offer tuition through different models and varying in price. It is the responsibility and discretion of tuition partners to set their own pay and conditions for the tutors they employ in accordance with other costs associated to tutoring, such as training, preparation for sessions, delivering tutoring via online platforms, communication with schools and quality assurance processes.

The EEF have developed a guide to the cost, quality and value for money of tuition, which can be accessed here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/news/making-tutoring-count-cost-quality-and-value-for-money.

9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether tutors on the National Tutoring Programme will require enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks; and, if so, how they plan to ensure all these tutors have completed such checks.

High-quality tuition is one of the fundamental principles of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), and we have worked closely with our delivery partners to ensure that this can be delivered across both pillars of the NTP.

There is strong evidence which suggests that additional support (delivered by highly trained tutors that may or may not be qualified teachers) can have a positive impact, and can boost pupils’ progress by up to 5 months. The NTP has been designed to provide additional capacity to schools so that teachers and existing school staff can concentrate on high-quality teaching, which we recognise will make the most difference to pupils.

Whilst each Tuition Partner is responsible for setting their own criteria for tutor qualifications, there is an expectation that tutors will be at least highly qualified graduates. We recognise that the education and experience of tutors is important to the delivery of quality tuition. However, tutors will still require training to ensure that delivery is in line with the model offered by the Tuition Partner. That is why when selecting tutoring organisations, our delivery partner, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) took into consideration the training offer available for tutors, and funding was allocated to those organisations with robust training programmes in place for all tutors to undertake.

Individual Tuition Partners are responsible for managing their own safeguarding policies and procedures, with oversight from the EEF to ensure processes remain robust. However, all tutors are required to be enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service and Barred list checked (or best available equivalent for international tutors), and complete appropriate safeguarding training in order to work on this programme. Individual Tuition Partners are responsible for managing their own safeguarding policies and procedures, with oversight from the EEF to ensure processes remain robust and required standards are met.

9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what qualifications an individual must have to be a tutor on the National Tutoring programme.

High-quality tuition is one of the fundamental principles of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), and we have worked closely with our delivery partners to ensure that this can be delivered across both pillars of the NTP.

There is strong evidence which suggests that additional support (delivered by highly trained tutors that may or may not be qualified teachers) can have a positive impact, and can boost pupils’ progress by up to 5 months. The NTP has been designed to provide additional capacity to schools so that teachers and existing school staff can concentrate on high-quality teaching, which we recognise will make the most difference to pupils.

Whilst each Tuition Partner is responsible for setting their own criteria for tutor qualifications, there is an expectation that tutors will be at least highly qualified graduates. We recognise that the education and experience of tutors is important to the delivery of quality tuition. However, tutors will still require training to ensure that delivery is in line with the model offered by the Tuition Partner. That is why when selecting tutoring organisations, our delivery partner, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) took into consideration the training offer available for tutors, and funding was allocated to those organisations with robust training programmes in place for all tutors to undertake.

Individual Tuition Partners are responsible for managing their own safeguarding policies and procedures, with oversight from the EEF to ensure processes remain robust. However, all tutors are required to be enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service and Barred list checked (or best available equivalent for international tutors), and complete appropriate safeguarding training in order to work on this programme. Individual Tuition Partners are responsible for managing their own safeguarding policies and procedures, with oversight from the EEF to ensure processes remain robust and required standards are met.

8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements are in place for assessing A-Levels for private candidates.

There will be a clear and accessible route for private candidates to work with a centre to receive a grade this year, at the same time as other candidates, and without significantly increased cost to a normal year.

Private candidates should be assessed in a similar way to other students, by a recognised exam centre using a range of evidence, which could include taking the exam board provided assessment materials in a suitable form. Ofqual and the exam boards will issue guidance on the forms of evidence that can be used, taking into account private candidates’ different circumstances.

Private candidates should have the same opportunity as other students to be assessed on what they were taught, and exam boards should allow centres to conduct assessments remotely. We are working with the sector to ensure there are sufficient centres accepting private candidates and a list of available centres will be published shortly. Further guidance from exam boards on assessing all candidates will follow.

2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of unregistered schools which have closed down and reformed into home education hubs.

Some educational settings may have changed their operations to support home educating parents. Unregistered schools are illegal, however, under the Education and Skills Act 2008; accordingly, they do not advertise their presence to the Department for Education. We cannot, therefore, estimate the number of previously unregistered schools which have closed down and reformed into home education hubs.

All settings which provide full-time education to five or more pupils, one child with an education, health and care plan (EHCP), or one child who is ‘looked after’ by a local authority, must be registered as a school even if this provision is only a temporary measure to support home-educating parents while in-person attendance at schools was restricted. It is an offence to conduct any independent setting which offers full-time education to five or more pupils, one child with an EHCP, or one child who is ‘looked after’ by a local authority.

​The Department for Education and Ofsted continue to investigate any settings where intelligence or evidence suggest the operation of an unregistered school.

8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they have put in place to ensure that laptops are provided for apprentices who have to work from home.

We are committed to supporting apprentices and employers to safely continue with, and complete, their programmes during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following the announcement of a new national lockdown on 4 January 2021, employers and training providers must ensure that training and assessment takes place remotely wherever possible. Face-to-face training and assessment can continue for vulnerable young apprentices, which includes 16- to 18-year-olds who may have difficulty engaging with remote training and assessment at home due to a lack of IT equipment or connectivity, and in employers’ COVID-19 secure settings where it is essential for workers to attend their workplace, and where it is safe and practical to do so.

Employers are responsible for providing their employees, including apprentices, with the tools they need to work remotely and should support apprentices with the digital resources they need to also continue their apprenticeship training remotely.

To support businesses during this time, we have extended the incentive payments for employers of up to £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire until 31 March 2021. Employers can use this funding to help meet any of the costs associated with supporting a new apprentice in the workplace, including providing laptops and other resources for learning.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the Getters Talmud Torah school is continuing to operate as an unregistered school.

The Department for Education has not seen any recent evidence in relation to whether the Getters Talmud Torah setting is operating as an independent school. If the noble Lord is aware of such information I would be most grateful if he would share it with me or inform the appropriate inspectorate.

An independent school is a setting which provides a full-time education to 5 or more pupils of compulsory school age (or one or more pupil who is looked after or has an education, health and care plan). The current definition of full-time education does not capture settings which offer only a narrow curriculum, even if this teaching takes place throughout all, or most, of the school day. The department consulted on proposals last year to change the definition of independent schools in primary legislation to incorporate such settings. We are currently considering responses to this consultation and will confirm further steps in due course.

All settings, whether registered or unregistered, must also comply with relevant regulations relating to COVID-19. Failure to do so will be a breach of legislation and poses a risk to public health.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of unregistered schools that have continued to operate during the COVID-19 national lockdown which began on 5 January.

Any education setting which provides full-time provision to 5 or more pupils of compulsory school age (or one or more pupils of compulsory school age who is looked after or has an education, health, and care plan) is required to register with the Department for Education as a school. It is a criminal offence to conduct an independent school that is not registered. For this reason the Department for Education has not made an estimate of unregistered schools operating through the current lockdown.

The Department for Education and Ofsted are continuing to investigate any settings where intelligence or evidence suggest the operation of an unregistered school.

All settings, whether registered or unregistered, must also comply with relevant regulations relating to COVID-19. Failure to do so will be a breach of legislation and poses a risk to public health.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to close any legal loopholes which allow (1) home education, and (2) unregistered schools, to operate.

The government’s aim is to ensure all young people receive world-class education which allows them to reach their potential and live a more fulfilled life, regardless of background. That education should be provided in a safe environment, whether at school or at home.

Parents have a right to educate their children at home, and the government wants the many parents who do it well to be supported. Most parents who take up the weighty responsibility of home education do a very good job, and many children benefit from being educated at home.

However, others are deemed to be ‘home educated’ but, in reality, such education as they get is mainly or entirely through attendance at unsuitable settings such as unregistered independent schools or multiple part-time settings. There is also likely to be a number of children for whom the education being provided is unsuitable, because their parents cannot educate them effectively at home, or the children are simply not being educated.

In the spring of 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school. The consultation closed in June 2019. Responses to the consultation have been considered and a formal government response document setting out the next steps is expected later this year.

Any education setting which provides full-time provision to 5 or more pupils of compulsory school age (or one or more pupils of compulsory school age who is looked after or has an education, health, and care plan) is required to register with the Department for Education as a school. It is a criminal offence to conduct an independent school that is not registered.

The current definition of full-time education does not capture settings which offer only a narrow curriculum even if this teaching takes place throughout all, or most, of the school day. The department consulted on proposals last year to change the definition of independent schools in primary legislation to incorporate such settings. We are currently considering responses to this consultation and will confirm further steps in due course.

The Department for Education and Ofsted are continuing to investigate any settings where intelligence or evidence suggest the operation of an unregistered school.

26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they are giving to supply teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. Schools have autonomy over these budgets and their employment arrangements and decisions on staffing are made at the local level.

If supply staff employed via employment agencies are unable to work due to COVID-19, their employment agency can place them on furlough and use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to claim for 80% of their wages, including during school holiday periods, provided that the eligibility criteria are met. Information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. Information on eligibility criteria is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Employers can now flexibly furlough their employees for the hours the employee would usually have worked in that period, whilst also being able to work outside of the hours they are furloughed. Employees can work for any amount of time, and any work pattern but they cannot do any work for their employer during hours that employers record them as being on furlough. Information on this is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#flexible-furlough-agreements.

The decision to furlough an employee, fully or flexibly, is entirely at the employer's discretion as it is dependent on a range of factors that the employer is best placed to determine, for example, the amount of work available for employees.

The government has provided additional financial support for those who are unable to work because they have COVID-19, or are self-isolating, which is outlines here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-youre-employed-and-cannot-work?priority-taxon=5ebf285a-9165-476c-be90-66b9729f50da#if-someone-you-live-with-has-symptoms-of-coronaviru.

26th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to continue the BTEC for Performing Arts.

The department is reviewing post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below, to ensure that every qualification approved for public funding has a distinct purpose, is high quality and supports progression to positive outcomes. No decisions have been made about the future of particular subjects or qualifications.

Our second stage consultation of the review, which closed on 31 January, proposed a number of groups of qualifications for funding alongside A levels and T levels in the future. These include qualifications that have a strong practical focus and support progression to specialist higher education, where they deliver valuable skills not offered by A levels. This could include performing arts qualifications. We recognise concerns about the potential removal of well-established qualifications, which is why we have consulted extensively.

18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to provide for the education of children excluded from school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has made clear it will do whatever it takes to support children affected by COVID-19.

Good behaviour in schools is crucial if children are to learn and reach their full potential. As well as delivering excellent teaching, schools should be calm, orderly, and disciplined environments free from the low level disruption that prevents teachers from teaching, and pupils from learning.

The department supports head teachers using suspensions or expulsions where warranted. There is no right number of expulsions, but we are clear that expulsion should only be used as a last resort, and expulsion from school should not mean expulsion from a good quality education and support to reduce risk and vulnerability.

Children in alternative provision (AP) are some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged and we have prioritised supporting them while attendance at schools has been restricted. AP should remain open to vulnerable children and children of critical workers, recognising that the characteristics of the cohorts in alternative provision will mean these schools continue to offer face to face provision for all pupils, where appropriate. Our latest guidance for special schools specialist, post-16 providers and alternative provision during the national lockdown provided for expelled pupils: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/953215/Guidance_for_special_schools__specialist_post-16_providers_and_alternative_provision_during_the_national_lockdown.pdf.

Suitable full-time education must be arranged from the 6th school day of expulsion or suspension for pupils of compulsory school age. In the case of an expulsion, this is the duty of the local authority. Statutory guidance sets out that head teachers should take reasonable steps to ensure that work is set and marked for pupils during the first five school days of expulsion where the pupil will not be attending AP.

If a pupil is attending AP after being expelled, it is the duty of the local authority to arrange AP from the fifth day of the expulsion. Statutory guidance on the use of AP sets out that suitable education is that which appropriately meets the needs of pupils and gives them an education on par with mainstream schooling: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alternative-provision.

12th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they have provided to schools for the development of online learning.

The government has made a wide range of resources available to support schools and colleges to provide high quality remote education and to meet the expectations we have set: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak#res.

The Get Help with Remote Education page on gov.uk provides a one stop shop for teachers and leaders, signposting the support package available: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-remote-education. This includes helping schools and colleges to access technology that supports remote education, as well as peer to peer training and guidance on how to use technology effectively. It also includes practical tools, a good practice guide and school-led webinars to support effective delivery of the curriculum. Information is available on issues such as safeguarding, statutory duties and expectations, supporting pupils and students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and recovery and catch up to stop pupils and students falling behind.

The government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This includes over 870,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities by 25 January.

Support is also available for schools to get set up on Google or Microsoft platforms. These platforms bring together the school community, pool resources and give pupils the opportunity to work with their peers remotely. Since April, 2.4 million accounts have been set up.

The department has partnered with the UK’s leading mobile network operators, such as EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone, to provide free data to disadvantaged families, which will support access to education resources, including Oak National Academy, and other websites. Families will benefit from this additional data until July 2021. Schools will be able to request free mobile data uplifts via the Get Help with Technology service.

We have also already provided over 54,000 4G wireless routers, with free data for the academic year, and continue to provide 4G wireless routers where children need to access remote education.

In addition, we have invested £1.5 million of additional funding to expand the EdTech Demonstrator programme, which supports schools and colleges to use technology to strengthen remote education arrangements and secure a longer-term strategy. The expansion will ensure that up to 4,000 schools and colleges will receive bespoke advice and training by the end of March.

Finally, the department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to Year 11. Specialist content for pupils with SEND is also available.

12th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of vaccinating teachers and support staff in schools that remain open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the government on which vaccine/s the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems, and as the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19.

In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other government departments. The department is working with the DHSC and Public Health England to ensure that the education and childcare workforce is considered for prioritisation in the roll out of the vaccine.

12th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many complaints Ofsted have received about the quality of online learning provided by individual schools.

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

12th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to private nurseries that are facing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The early years sector has benefitted from the continuation of early years entitlement funding during the during the Summer and Autumn terms in 2020, and providers have been able to furlough their staff via the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme. As long as the staff meet the other criteria for the scheme, schools and early years providers are able to furlough their staff if they have experienced a drop in either their income from parents or government. Eligible nurseries can also benefit from a business rates holiday and can access the business loans as set out by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

On 17 December 2020, the Government announced a return to funding early years settings for the spring term on the basis of attendance, as measured by the January 2021 census. The Early Years census count is still going ahead as expected and the census guidance is unchanged. To support local authorities, we have issued some technical advice on how that guidance can be applied this year.

In summary, children who are ill or self-isolating can be counted, as can those whose parents have temporarily withdrawn their children from open nurseries and childminders out of caution, and so long as the parent/guardian has not altered their parental declaration relating to expected hours with the provider.

Children should not be counted in the census where a setting has closed or restricted attendance, unless as a result of situations as set out in the supporting technical advice eg. staff sickness, COVID-19 isolation, staff shielding.

We continue to work with the early years sector to understand how they can best be supported to ensure that sufficient safe, appropriate and affordable childcare is available to those who need it now, and for all families who need it in the longer term.

6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children and young people have been provided with free WiFi to enable virtual working from home.

We are partnering with the UK’s leading mobile network operators to provide free data to disadvantaged families which will support access to education resources, including Oak National Academy, and other websites.

We are grateful to Three, EE, Tesco Mobile, Smarty, Sky Mobile, Virgin Mobile, O2 and Vodafone. We continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

The country’s major telecommunications providers are also working to make it easier for families to access selected educational resources by temporarily exempting them from data charges.

We have also provided over 54,000 4G wireless routers, with free data for the academic year so that children continue to have access to remote education.

15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking further to the findings in the report by the Information Commissioner's Office Department for Education: Data protection audit report, published on 7 October, that the Data Protection Officer of the Department for Education is not meeting the requirements of Articles 37 to 39 of the General Data Protection Regulation.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave on 24 November 2020 to Question HL10194.

The department mandates the “Responsible for Information” course provided by Civil Service Learning. We are reviewing the current training requirements. The department has been working closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) since the audit was undertaken in February 2020 to address all the recommendations. We will be publishing a formal response in January 2021, which will include an update on the training offering for the department.

Ofsted have been present at briefings on the audit the department has given to the data protection Arm’s Length Body Network. The formal response to the ICO audit will also be available to Ofsted.

15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the findings in the report by the Information Commissioner's Office Department for Education: Data protection audit report, published on 7 October, what training staff at the Department for Education are receiving about (1) information governance, (2) data protection, (3) records management, (4) risk assessment, (5) data sharing, and (6) information, internal security and individual rights.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave on 24 November 2020 to Question HL10194.

The department mandates the “Responsible for Information” course provided by Civil Service Learning. We are reviewing the current training requirements. The department has been working closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) since the audit was undertaken in February 2020 to address all the recommendations. We will be publishing a formal response in January 2021, which will include an update on the training offering for the department.

Ofsted have been present at briefings on the audit the department has given to the data protection Arm’s Length Body Network. The formal response to the ICO audit will also be available to Ofsted.

15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made Ofsted aware of the Information Commissioner's Office's Department for Education: Data protection audit report, published on 7 October.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave on 24 November 2020 to Question HL10194.

The department mandates the “Responsible for Information” course provided by Civil Service Learning. We are reviewing the current training requirements. The department has been working closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) since the audit was undertaken in February 2020 to address all the recommendations. We will be publishing a formal response in January 2021, which will include an update on the training offering for the department.

Ofsted have been present at briefings on the audit the department has given to the data protection Arm’s Length Body Network. The formal response to the ICO audit will also be available to Ofsted.

8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use of (1) essay mills, and (2) contract cheating, by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), and academics around the globe, agree that it is impossible to quantify exactly how widespread the use of essay mills is, as the bespoke nature of these “paid for” assignments can make it difficult for providers to detect that it is not the student’s own work. Students who engage in contract cheating are also less likely to volunteer to participate in surveys about cheating. This is a difficult time for students, and those who are feeling particularly worried about their studies could be more vulnerable to essay mills marketing right now. We are also aware of increasing anecdotal accounts of some students being blackmailed by essay mill services. It is abhorrent for these companies to take advantage of students in this situation and profit from anxiety during a global outbreak.

It is, therefore, vitally important that higher education providers, the Office for Students (OfS), and the QAA take robust action to deter, detect and address contract cheating. The OfS has published information and guidance for providers and students, and the QAA has also published a series of guides to support providers to secure academic standards and support student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes QAA guidance for providers on how to assess digital delivery with integrity.

We have set a clear expectation that the OfS should take a visible lead in challenging the sector to eliminate the use of essay mills. Ministers have called on universities, sector bodies, ed-tech companies, and online platforms to do everything in their power to help stamp out academic cheating of any kind from our world-class higher education sector. We are also exploring, with the QAA, emerging evidence on the effectiveness of legislation on essay mills elsewhere.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that home-schooled children and young people do not become radicalised.

Educating children at home can be a positive choice when carried out with proper regard for the needs of the child. Local authorities are responsible for taking action when it appears that the Elective Home Education provision is unsuitable. This will include assessing if the provision conflicts with ‘Fundamental British Values’ as defined in Government guidance. This includes, for example, seeking to promote terrorism, or advocating violence towards people on the basis of race, religion or sex.

The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk. However, it is important to bear in mind that a failure to provide suitable home education can constitute a safeguarding risk, because unsuitable or inadequate education can also impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development.

The Government’s guidance to local authorities, issued in April 2019, explains how a local authority’s safeguarding duties may be engaged in these circumstances, and what steps they can take.

The Department works closely with the Home Office and Counter-Terrorism Policing to support local authorities at the highest risk of radicalisation, to fulfil their duty and prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This includes jointly funding Prevent Education Officers, who provide expertise and support to the education sector and relevant local authority services. The Department and partners also provide a range of advice and support for parents to help them protect children and young people from extremism and radicalisation, including through both the Educate Against Hate and the Counter-Terrorism Policing ‘Act Early’ websites.

To support home education, we know that children may also attend a range of out-of-school settings. The Department has invested £3 million in a pilot scheme aimed at enhancing the safeguarding of children in out-of-school settings to protect children from all forms of harm, including radicalisation.

24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how home-schooled children are safeguarded.

In the spring of 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school. The consultation closed in June 2019. Responses to the consultation have been considered, and a formal Government response document setting out next steps is expected later this year.

The current legal system around Elective Home Education is a system for identifying and dealing with children who, for any reason and in any circumstances, are not receiving an efficient suitable full-time education. A situation in which a child is not receiving a suitable full-time education requires action by a local authority under education law.

Local authorities’ duties in respect of safeguarding children (set out in the Children Act 1989) apply to all the children in their area, no matter how they are educated. The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk. However, it is important to remember that a failure to provide suitable home education can constitute a safeguarding risk, because unsuitable or inadequate education can also impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development. The Government’s guidance to local authorities, issued in April 2019, explains how a local authority’s safeguarding duties may be engaged in these circumstances, and what steps they can take. This guidance is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791527/Elective_home_education_gudiance_for_LAv2.0.pdf.

24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they estimate that they will publish their response to the consultation held by the Department for Education about establishing a local authority registration system for children who do not attend state-funded or registered independent schools Children not in school, which closed on 24 June 2019.

In the spring of 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school. The consultation closed in June 2019. Responses to the consultation have been considered, and a formal Government response document setting out next steps is expected later this year.

The current legal system around Elective Home Education is a system for identifying and dealing with children who, for any reason and in any circumstances, are not receiving an efficient suitable full-time education. A situation in which a child is not receiving a suitable full-time education requires action by a local authority under education law.

Local authorities’ duties in respect of safeguarding children (set out in the Children Act 1989) apply to all the children in their area, no matter how they are educated. The provision of home education itself does not constitute a safeguarding risk. However, it is important to remember that a failure to provide suitable home education can constitute a safeguarding risk, because unsuitable or inadequate education can also impair a child’s intellectual, emotional, social, or behavioural development. The Government’s guidance to local authorities, issued in April 2019, explains how a local authority’s safeguarding duties may be engaged in these circumstances, and what steps they can take. This guidance is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791527/Elective_home_education_gudiance_for_LAv2.0.pdf.

10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the Information Commissioners’ Office’s audit of the Department for Education, published on 7 October.

The Department has been working closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office since the audit was undertaken in February 2020 to address all the recommendations. We will be publishing a formal response in January 2021.

28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide free school meals during school holidays for vulnerable children who attend school in local authority areas where such meals are not provided.

Free school meal provision has supported children to access a healthy, nutritious meal to learn, concentrate and achieve while they are at school, for more than a century. It is ingrained in the fabric of everyday school life. Now that our schools are fully open, this support has returned as intended.

We recognise the current challenges that families face and, building on the significant support given to the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have announced a new £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme, which will be run by councils in England.

The funding will be ring-fenced, with at least 80% earmarked to support with food and bills, and it will cover the period to the end of March 2021. Local authorities will receive the funding at the beginning of December 2020.

It will allow councils to directly help the hardest-hit families and individuals, as well as provide food for children who need it over the holidays. Local councils understand which groups need support, and are best placed to ensure appropriate holiday support is provided, which is why they will distribute the funds, rather than schools, who will continue providing meals for disadvantaged children during term-time.

In addition to this scheme, we will also be expanding the Holiday Activities and Food programme across England next year, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children since 2018. It will cover Easter, summer and Christmas in 2021, and will cost up to £220 million. It will be available to children in every local authority in England and will build on previous programmes, including this summer’s programme, which supported around 50,000 children across 17 local authorities.

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) 16, and (2) 17, year olds are not in education, employment or training.

At the end of 2019 (latest figures available), the number of 16 and 17 year olds not in education, employment or training in England was (1) 23,500, at age 16 (representing 3.8% of all 16 year olds) and (2) 28,000, at age 17 (representing 4.7% of all 17 year olds).

6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to ensure that vouchers granted through any future programme providing meals for schoolchildren during school holidays are only used to purchase food.

The free school meal national voucher scheme has now closed.

As schools and their kitchens are now open, they should provide healthy, nutritious meal options for all children who are in school, and meals should be available free of charge to all infant pupils and pupils who meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria.

Schools should work with their existing suppliers to provide meals or food parcels to pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals where they are self-isolating.

Guidance on food parcels has been produced by the Lead Association for Catering in Education, Public Health England and the department. It sets out some general principles for putting together a food parcel which will allow parents/carers to prepare simple and healthy lunches for their children at home. This can be found here: https://laca.co.uk/laca-view/free-school-meals-guidance-producing-food-parcels.

Our latest guidance for schools is set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the statistics for appeals of Education, Health and Care plans are not kept centrally.

Statistics for appeals relating to education, health and care plans are collected and published by the Ministry of Justice, and are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics.

1st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to introduce a register of all parents who are teaching children at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the spring of 2019 a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children who are not on the role of state or registered independent schools, to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to those children. The consultation closed in June of 2019. Responses to the consultation have been considered and a formal government response document setting out next steps is expected later this year.

As for children who are registered at state or independent schools, all such schools maintain an admissions and attendance register. Information on attendance at such schools is published here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

The latest figures show that 99.8% of state-funded schools were open on 24 September, down from 99.9% on 17 September. Of the small proportion (0.2%) of schools that were closed, this was mostly due to COVID-19 related reasons. Approximately 88% of all children on roll in all state-funded schools were in attendance on 24 September. This figure has remained broadly stable for 3 weeks.

Schools should keep a record of, and monitor engagement with remote education, but this does not need to be recorded in the attendance register.

24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the summer food payment scheme, and (2) the ability of recipients to use e-gift cards for non-school items.

The government has taken unprecedented and substantial action to ensure that children do not go hungry as we take measures to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, including in relation to free school meals.

In the first instance, we asked schools to support eligible pupils by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. For circumstances where this was not possible, we established a national voucher scheme and the COVID-19 Summer Food Fund to support schools and families during this difficult time while schools were restricted from opening to all pupils.

Our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, reported that over £380 million worth of voucher codes had been redeemed into supermarket e-gift cards by families through the scheme as of 19 August. Over 20,350 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of 28 July. Now schools and their kitchens are open, normal free school meal provision has resumed, enabling children to have a nutritious healthy meal at school. Our guidance stated that the vouchers must be used for food and must not be redeemed for any age-restricted items, such as alcohol, cigarettes or lottery tickets. Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-summer-food-fund.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a register for all home educated children.

In the spring of 2019 a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children who are not on the role of state or registered independent schools, to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to those children. The consultation closed in June of 2019. Responses to the consultation have been considered and a formal government response document setting out next steps is expected later this year.

As for children who are registered at state or independent schools, all such schools maintain an admissions and attendance register. Information on attendance at such schools is published here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

The latest figures show that 99.8% of state-funded schools were open on 24 September, down from 99.9% on 17 September. Of the small proportion (0.2%) of schools that were closed, this was mostly due to COVID-19 related reasons. Approximately 88% of all children on roll in all state-funded schools were in attendance on 24 September. This figure has remained broadly stable for 3 weeks.

Schools should keep a record of, and monitor engagement with remote education, but this does not need to be recorded in the attendance register.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) children had Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, and (2) new EHC plans were agreed, in (a) the 2015–16, (b) the 2016–17, (c) the 2017–18, (d) 2018–19, and (e) 2019–20, academic year; how many decisions not to provide an EHC plan were appealed; and of any such appeals, how many were upheld.

The number of children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan is collected as of January each year is in the attached Table A.

The number of new EHC plans collected on a calendar year basis is in the attached Table B.

Further information, from the SEN2 Survey, is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/education-health-and-care-plans.

Information on how many decisions not to provide an EHC plan were appealed, and of any such appeals, how many were upheld, is not held centrally by the department.

9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they have made available for supply teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State funded schools continued to receive their budgets last year, as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. This ensured that they were able to continue to pay their staff and meet their other regular financial commitments.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the guidance made clear that schools should continue to pay any directly hired staff, including supply staff, as normal.

Schools were also advised to support financially at-risk employment agencies, with whom they had existing agreements, to ensure these agencies could continue to pay their workers where assignments had been curtailed. Supply teachers employed by private agencies who were not on a live assignment, or who were unable to source new assignments, were able to access financial support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As?schools?begin to?fully reopen?for?all pupils, from the beginning of the autumn term, we?anticipate the demand for supply teachers?to?return to normal.

Details of a broad range of specific COVID-19 financial support for all educational settings including early years, schools, further education colleges and universities is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government who will inform a school of a positive COVID-19 test of a student at that school.

Guidance on the full opening of schools was published on 2 July and has been regularly updated. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools. This includes advice on how schools should respond to any infections and is clear that schools should ask parents to inform them immediately of the results of a pupil’s test. Local health protection teams will also contact schools directly if they become aware that an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 has attended the school as identified by the NHS Test and Trace system. The guidance outlines how schools should respond to any infection, including engagement with NHS Test and Trace and local health protection teams.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children received free school meals during the 2020 summer holidays.

The number of children who received a free school meal (FSM) during the 2020 summer holidays is held at school level, we do not hold this information.

The number and proportion of students who qualify for FSM is published in the ‘Schools, pupils and their characteristics’ publication and its underlying data files. As of the January 2020 school census, there are around 1.4 million children eligible for and claiming FSM. Statistics for the 2020 school census are available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2020.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they have made available to local authorities about pupils who were not a registered pupil at any school at the beginning of the lockdown put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents can apply for a place at any school, at any time. The statutory School Admissions Code, which is binding on all admissions authorities, including academies, sets out the process for admission into school. Applying for a school place outside of the normal points of entry to school (such as reception or year 7), is known as an in-year admission. Parents can apply directly to the admissions authority of their preferred school as an in-year admission where local authorities do not co-ordinate in-year admissions. Local authorities, however, must provide parents with information about available school places in their area.

The department launched a consultation to revise the School Admissions Code on 26 June. Improving the in-year admissions process is the main focus of the proposed changes. The consultation will run until 16 October and is available to view here: https://consult.education.gov.uk/home-to-school-transport-and-admissions-team/changes-to-the-school-admissions-code/.

Local authorities have a duty to make arrangements to establish, as far as it is possible, the identities of children of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. The ‘children missing education’ guidance sets out the key principles to enable local authorities implement their duty, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-missing-education.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children are currently in care; and what percentage of those were provided with laptops for home schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In terms of the numbers of children in care, the latest published figures show that 78,150 children were looked after, as of 31 March 2019. This information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

The 2020, children looked after, collection closed last month and so we expect to publish the figures for March 2020 later this year.

As of 27 August, the department has delivered, or dispatched, over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers to children who would not otherwise have access, as part of over £100 million invested to support remote education and access to online social care. Over 140,000 of these devices were allocated to local authorities to support vulnerable children, young people with a social worker and care leavers. Further information is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

The devices were an injection of support to help local authorities and academy trusts to provide access to education and social care during the COVID-19 outbreak. Local authorities and trusts are responsible for distributing the devices and are best placed to know which children and young people need access to a device.

Devices are owned by the local authority, trust or school who can loan unused devices to children and young people who need them most, and who may face disruption to face-to-face education in the event of future local COVID-19 restrictions.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to introducing standardised testing in the autumn to assist schools in identifying any learning and skills gaps among pupils.

The department undertakes a rigorous process to develop standardised statutory assessment. Such assessments allow parents and schools to understand pupils’ achievements in relation to the age-related attainment expectations outlined in the National Curriculum.

The department recognises that pupils will have missed a critical period of education due to partial school closures in the 2019/20 academic year and have therefore confirmed our intention to return to a normal standard assessment timeframe in primary schools. The continuation of assessments on this timeframe will help us to understand the remaining impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on this cohort of pupils, allowing us to target ongoing support to those that need it most.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the announcement on 7 June of grants worth more than £750,000 to help schools and colleges respond to the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and wellbeing, how many schools have received funding; and how much of that funding each such school has received.

Access to mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have been working closely with partners to provide resources and update guidance to support and promote children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

As part of a package of support for schools on 7 June, we announced more than £750,000 funding would be available to three anti-bullying organisations. These include the Diana Award, the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the Anne Frank Trust. This is to help hundreds of schools and colleges build relationships between pupils, boost their resilience, and continue to tackle bullying both in person and online. More details are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers.

We have since made progress on the other support to schools. The department in collaboration with Public Health England and NHS England, delivered two webinars in July to provide further mental health support. The first webinar was for schools and colleges to support teachers in promoting and supporting the mental wellbeing of children and young people during the COVID-19 outbreak. The second event was for stakeholders across the local system to support strengthening of local partnerships to further support children and young people’s mental health as they return to school. We had around 10,000 sign up to the first webinar and around 1,300 to the second, and they are now available online for wider use.

There have been over 19,000 unique downloads of the relationships, sex and health education training module on teaching about mental wellbeing since it was published on 8 June. The guidance for schools is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-and-colleges-to-reopen-in-full-in-september.

To support the return to school, the government has also announced an additional £650 million ‘catch-up’ premium, as part of our wider £1 billion COVID catch-up package, to be shared across all state-funded schools over the 2020-21 academic year. The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which includes further information about interventions to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing. Details can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the announcement on 7 June of a pilot project with the Education Support Partnership to provide online peer support and telephone supervision to school leaders, how many people have accessed support through that scheme.

Following the government’s announcement in June of a pilot project with the Education Support Partnership to provide online peer support and telephone supervision to 250 school leaders managing the pressures caused by COVID-19, a total of 132 school leaders are accessing support through the programme so far. As of 28 July, 39 school leaders are accessing peer support and 93 have been registered to receive one to one telephone supervision.

21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they have given to deaf children and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the department published guidance on online education resources for home learning, including support for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

To support the hard work of schools in delivering remote education, in April, the Oak National Academy was launched. 40 teachers from leading schools across England formed this brand-new enterprise which provides 180 video lessons each week, across a broad range of subjects from maths to art to languages, for every year group from Reception through to year 10. Oak also launched a specialist curriculum for children and young people with SEND on 4 May, available here:
https://classroom.thenational.academy/specialist#subjects.

The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up on missed schooling. This is made up of £650 million to be shared across all state-funded mainstream schools, special schools, and alternative provision over the 2020-21 academic year, and a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million to provide additional, targeted support for disadvantaged children and young people.

The universal £650 million catch-up premium funding recognises that all pupils, irrespective of their background or location, have lost time in education. Whilst school leaders will decide how it is used, the intention is that this money will be spent on the most effective interventions.

On Monday 20 July, we announced more details about how the funding will be distributed to schools. This confirmed that a primary school of 200 pupils will receive £16,000 while a secondary school of 1,000 pupils will receive £80,000. Special schools, alternative provision and hospital schools will be funded at 3 times the rate of mainstream schools for the 2020-21 academic year.

All schools should use their catch-up premium funding as a single total from which to prioritise support for all pupils, including children with SEND or children who have education, health and care plans, according to their need.

This year, we are also providing £780 million of additional high needs funding across England for children with the most complex SEND. We are providing a further £730 million in 2021-22, which will bring the total high needs budget to over £8 billion. This is in addition to the catch-up premium funding.

21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans are in place to ensure that deaf children and young people can catch-up on missed schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the department published guidance on online education resources for home learning, including support for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

To support the hard work of schools in delivering remote education, in April, the Oak National Academy was launched. 40 teachers from leading schools across England formed this brand-new enterprise which provides 180 video lessons each week, across a broad range of subjects from maths to art to languages, for every year group from Reception through to year 10. Oak also launched a specialist curriculum for children and young people with SEND on 4 May, available here:
https://classroom.thenational.academy/specialist#subjects.

The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up on missed schooling. This is made up of £650 million to be shared across all state-funded mainstream schools, special schools, and alternative provision over the 2020-21 academic year, and a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million to provide additional, targeted support for disadvantaged children and young people.

The universal £650 million catch-up premium funding recognises that all pupils, irrespective of their background or location, have lost time in education. Whilst school leaders will decide how it is used, the intention is that this money will be spent on the most effective interventions.

On Monday 20 July, we announced more details about how the funding will be distributed to schools. This confirmed that a primary school of 200 pupils will receive £16,000 while a secondary school of 1,000 pupils will receive £80,000. Special schools, alternative provision and hospital schools will be funded at 3 times the rate of mainstream schools for the 2020-21 academic year.

All schools should use their catch-up premium funding as a single total from which to prioritise support for all pupils, including children with SEND or children who have education, health and care plans, according to their need.

This year, we are also providing £780 million of additional high needs funding across England for children with the most complex SEND. We are providing a further £730 million in 2021-22, which will bring the total high needs budget to over £8 billion. This is in addition to the catch-up premium funding.

14th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many drug-related offences occurred on educational premises in (1) 2015–16, (2) 2016–17, (3) 2017–18, and (4) 2019–20.

The department does not gather data on drug related offences on educational premises. Individual police forces are responsible for recording crime data at a local level.

The department worked with the National Police Chiefs Council on developing guidance for schools and colleges. It sets out when a school or college should consider calling the police with regard to drugs and what to expect if they do.

The guidance on what steps to take can be found here:

https://www.npcc.police.uk/documents/Children%20and%20Young%20people/When%20to%20call%20the%20police%20guidance%20for%20schools%20and%20colleges.pdf.

13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the call by Ofsted’s Chief Inspectors to introduce legislation to deal with illegal unregistered schools.

The department is considering a number of steps to strengthen Ofsted's ability to tackle unregistered schools. This includes the proposals outlined in the consultation on regulating independent educational institutions, which was published on 14 February 2020 and suspended on the 7 May due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We intend to restart this consultation in the autumn, when appropriate. Once the consultation is completed we will consider our next steps on the proposals, which include changes to the registration requirement.

In the February 2019 'Integrated Communities Action Plan', the department committed to legislate to strengthen Ofsted’s powers in relation to unregistered schools. We are therefore working with Ofsted to identify areas where additional powers would enable it to better investigate unregistered schools and support prosecutions. We will announce proposals to do this in due course.

8th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many apprentices have had their places cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The information requested is not published by the department. The latest published apprenticeships and levy statistics can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/apprenticeships-and-traineeships-june-2020.

We want apprentices and employers to continue with their apprenticeships and have introduced a range of flexibilities to make this easier, while maintaining quality. Flexibilities include encouraging providers and assessment organisations to deliver training and assessments remotely. We have also made it possible for furloughed apprentices to continue their apprenticeships and complete their programmes.

Employers can continue to recruit and train apprentices. However, we recognise that employers, at the moment, face increased challenges with hiring new apprentices. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced on 8 July that we will introduce a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021.

Where redundancies are made, we will endeavour to provide comprehensive and practical support to ensure that apprenticeships can continue. We have launched a new hub for apprentices that offers guidance and information to support apprentices that may be, or are being, made redundant. Our ambition is for any apprentice that is made redundant to be supported to find alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks.

7th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the issue of children missing from school rolls.

Nothing is more important than keeping children safe and in suitable education.

Local authorities have a duty to make arrangements to establish, as far as it is possible, the identities of children of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. Local authorities should trace those children and ensure that they receive full-time education.

A pupil’s name can only be deleted from a school’s admission register where one of the grounds prescribed in Regulation 8 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended has been met. All schools must notify the local authority when a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register under any of the grounds prescribed in Regulation 8, as soon as the ground for removal is met and no later than the time at which the pupil’s name is removed from the register. They must provide information about the pupil to the local authority when they do so.

The department has made clear the practice of off-rolling, whereby children are removed from school rolls without formal exclusion in ways that are in the interests of the school rather than the pupil, is unacceptable.

To support schools to welcome back all pupils from the beginning of the autumn term, the government has published extensive guidance. We are asking schools to work with families to secure regular attendance from the start of term as this will be essential to help pupils catch up on missed education, make progress and promote their wellbeing and wider development.

7th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of schools cutting subjects from the curriculum on the need to protect arts subjects.

The guidance for full opening of schools published on the 2 July makes clear that all state-funded schools are expected to re-establish a broad and ambitious curriculum and teach all subjects in their curriculum from the start of the autumn term, but can make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content.

This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

All state-funded schools in England have a duty to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. This includes English, mathematics, science, religious education and – from next academic year – relationships, sex and health education. Only maintained schools are required to teach the full National Curriculum, including art and design, and music. Academies are, however, expected to teach a curriculum that is comparable in breadth and ambition, and many choose to teach the full National Curriculum to achieve this.

6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the skills shortage in the UK for the infrastructure projects announced by the Prime Minister on 30 June.

The Employer Skills Survey 2019 gathered labour market intelligence on employer skills needs and training activity among employers across all sectors in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. It is the fifth in the biennial series of Employer Skills Surveys dating back to 2011. Previous findings are published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employer-skills-survey-2017-uk-report.

Findings from the 2019 survey will be published alongside these on GOV.UK in due course.

The survey collects information from employers relating to difficulties they have had filling vacancies as a result of skills shortages in applicants, along with information on relevant skills lacking in existing staff. This allows a targeted examination of more detailed skills requirements for specific sectors.

In addition, to assess skills gaps in the future we are setting up The Skills and Productivity Board, which will bring together leading experts to offer independent analysis and identify new and emerging skills needs.

The Construction Industry Training Board are delivering a skills stability plan to ensure that the construction sector continues to focus on training and skills following the COVID-19 outbreak.

6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to support any UK university which faces financial failure.

The government understands that the COVID-19 outbreak poses significant financial challenges to the sector. In May 2020, the government announced a package of measures combining different ways to give further support to higher education providers at this time of financial pressure.

We have stabilised admissions and are pulling forward an estimated £2.6 billion worth of forecast tuition fee payments to ease cashflow pressure this autumn. We are also bringing forward £100 million of quality-related research funding for higher education providers in England in the current academic year.

This is on top of the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced, to help pay wages, keep staff employed and support businesses whose viability is threatened by the outbreak. We recently confirmed universities’ eligibility for these schemes, which the Office for Students estimates could be worth at least £700 million, depending upon eligibility and take-up.

In June, the government announced further UK- wide support in the form of the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy’s research stabilisation package. More details are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-university-research-and-innovation-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

In July, the government announced the higher education restructuring regime, under which support for restructuring can be given, as a last resort, when other steps to preserve a provider’s viability and sustainability have not proved sufficient. More details are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-restructuring-regime.

To prevent exploitative admissions processes, the Office for Students introduced a temporary registration condition designed to address specific circumstances relating to the impact of COVID-19. To ensure a fair, structured distribution of students across providers, temporary student number controls have been put in place for full-time, undergraduate domestic and EU students for academic year 2020-21 (with certain specific exemptions).

We are reminding providers, as part of existing programmes and using established procedures, that the department will consider purchasing land and buildings where they can be used for new or expanding schools and colleges in England. In this financial year, we have budgeted up to £100 million to acquire sites for planned projects in England.

The government has been clear that our world-leading universities will always be open to international students. Our review of the International Education Strategy this autumn will respond to the new context and the challenges posed by COVID-19 across all education settings to ensure we can continue to welcome international students in the future.

The government has worked with the Office for Students to help clarify that providers can draw upon existing funding to provide hardship funds and support disadvantaged students affected by COVID-19. Providers are able to use the funding – worth around £23 million per month for July, August and September – towards student hardship funds.

The Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have set up a University Research and Knowledge Exchange Sustainability Taskforce to consider how best to respond to the challenges universities face on research as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they will ensure that all children receive careers guidance during school closures.

The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) continues to support schools and colleges to provide young people and their parents with high-quality careers education and guidance, working with the network of local partners and providers across the country to do so. This includes supporting Careers Leaders and employers to deliver virtual careers activities, including work experience and mock interviews. The CEC worked in partnership with Oak National Academy and Learn Live to create ‘My Week of Work’, which ran from 8-12 June. There were 35,066 users on the Oak platform during the week, while 84,933 students and 758 schools registered for the Learn Live employer Q&As. The week inspired and prepared young people for the world of work by allowing them to hear from over 30 leading employers, including Burberry, BAE Systems, Morgan Sindall, Microsoft and NHS Trusts. Students heard from employees, learned about the businesses, and completed virtual work tasks.

The National Careers Service continues to provide high-quality, impartial careers information, advice, and guidance for young people via its helpline, website and web chat facility throughout this difficult time. In addition, the National Careers Service will operate an exam results helpline to ensure that young people receiving their GCSE and A Level results this summer can get advice from qualified advisers. We anticipate over 2700 young people will call the helpline this year.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the national curriculum framework includes (1) black history, and (2) content on the UK’s colonial and imperial past.

The department is committed to an inclusive education system which recognises and embraces diversity and supports all pupils and students to tackle racism and have the knowledge and tools to do so.

The national curriculum is a framework setting out the content of what the department expects schools to cover in each subject. The curriculum does not set out how curriculum subjects, or topics within the subjects, should be taught. The department believes teachers should be able to use their own knowledge and expertise to determine how they teach their pupils, and to make choices about what they teach.

As part of a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils should be taught about different societies, and how different groups have contributed to the development of Britain, and this can include the voices and experience of Black people. The flexibility within the history curriculum means that there is the opportunity for teachers to teach about Black history across the spectrum of themes and eras set out in the curriculum. For example, at key stage 1, schools can teach about the lives of key Black historical figures such as Mary Seacole and Rosa Parks or others; and at key stage 3, cover the development and end of the British Empire and Britain’s transatlantic slave trade, its effects and its eventual abolition. The teaching of Black history need not be limited to these examples

It is important that pupils are taught how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. A balanced history curriculum equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, to think critically, to weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Fundamentally, it supports pupils to understand how Britain became the country it is today.

There is also scope to include Black and minority ethnic history and experience in other curriculums, such as in:

Citizenship: At key stage 4, students should be taught about the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding.

PSHE: Schools have flexibility to teach topics such as Black history as part of their Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) programme and through the introduction of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education students will be taught the importance of respectful relationships in particular how stereotypes, based on sex, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability, can cause damage.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Berridge on 30 June (HL5626), how they ensure that the UK has an inclusive education system which recognises and embraces diversity when schools make their own choices about what is taught.

All state-funded schools in England have a duty to teach a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Under the Equality Act 2010, schools must also not discriminate against a pupil in a number of respects because of a characteristic protected by the Act.

The Department for Education has published guidance to help schools fulfil their duties under the Act. This includes advice on the Public Sector Equality Duty which requires public bodies, including state-funded schools, to have due regard to the need to: foster good relations across all protected characteristics; advance equality of opportunity for people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and eliminate discrimination and other conduct prohibited by the Act. Additionally, the Independent Schools Standards requires independent schools to encourage respect for others, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Act.

Schools and further education colleges are also required to actively promote fundamental British values, including individual liberty, and mutual respect of those of different faiths and beliefs. The Department for Education has published advice for schools on promoting these values, and has made resources available through the ‘Educate Against Hate’ website. This website provides teachers, school leaders and parents with the information, guidance and support they need to challenge radical and discriminatory views.

The school’s curriculum, including how well it meets these duties and expectations, is at the centre of Ofsted’s school inspections. Ofsted will expect a good curriculum to equip pupils for life in modern Britain. Inspectors will look at how well schools are developing pupils’ understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. They will take account of pupils’ understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures at the school and further afield; pupils’ ability to recognise and value the things we share in common across cultural, religious, social and socio-economic communities; and pupils’ interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept and respect diversity. Ofsted’s school inspection handbook also sets the expectation that in a school with ‘good’ personal development, the school promotes equality of opportunity and diversity effectively. As part of assessing the school’s leadership and management, inspectors also consider the school’s adherence to its duties under the Equality Act 2010.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ‘no detriment’ policies adopted by some universities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notwithstanding the disruption of the COVID-19 outbreak to the higher education sector, students deserve appropriate support and recognition for their hard work and dedication. Many universities and colleges have moved adeptly to develop new ways of delivering courses through online teaching and alternatives to their usual end-of-course exams.

As higher education providers are autonomous institutions, they are responsible for determining the way their courses are taught, supervised, and assessed. The government expects providers to make all reasonable efforts for student achievement to be reliably assessed and for qualifications to be awarded appropriately. The Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator in England, has issued guidance to the sector that sets out expectations about providers’ approaches to teaching and assessment during this time.

Some universities have put in place policies stating that students should not be awarded a degree classification below their level of academic performance prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is intended by providers as a safety net for students to ensure that they are not unfairly affected by these challenging circumstances.

The guidance from the OfS is clear that standards must be maintained but that changes to assessments may be required in some circumstances. If changes are needed, students’ achievements must be ‘reliably assessed’. If a provider is absolutely confident that they already have enough evidence to make a reliable assessment of a student’s achievements, it will sometimes be appropriate to use that evidence to award and classify a degree award.

More often, however, we expect that providers will need to continue with assessment and follow the OfS’s guidance on the practical next steps. It may not be appropriate to operate a ‘no detriment’ approach for all courses if, for example, essential pieces of assessment cannot be completed.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education has also published a series of guides and information to support providers to maintain academic standards and to support student achievement during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes a paper published in April, attached, which provides an overview of what 'no detriment' policies aim to achieve. The paper also provides an overview of some of the measures that providers can put in place to ensure that the academic standards of awards remain robust while also recognising the challenging circumstances for students.

We expect providers to develop solutions appropriate to each course, considering the needs of individual students. We also expect them to ensure that continuing and prospective students receive the clear, accurate, and timely information they need to make informed decisions. If students have concerns, there is a process in place. They should first raise their concerns with their university; if their concerns remain unresolved, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for providing childcare for the children of key workers during the school summer holiday.

When state schools in a local area have closed for the summer term, children of all ages may attend holiday clubs and other out-of-school provision in that area, including the children of critical workers. This follows confirmation from my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, that from Saturday 4 July, these providers can operate over the summer holiday, with safety measures in place.

The department has published guidance for providers who run holiday clubs and other out-of-school provision for children over the age of 5, setting out the safety measures that must be in place to ensure they can operate over the summer holiday, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Providers caring for children under the age of 5 should refer to the guidance for early years and childcare providers during the COVID-19 outbreak, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures#who-this-guidance-is-for.

30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to deal with the shortfall of people coming forward to be foster parents.

It is vital that local authorities can find the right carers to meet the needs of vulnerable children. To help unlock fostering capacity during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made amendments to the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 and the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011. These changes aim to make it easier to identify potential placements, particularly in emergency situations, and so that new foster carers can be assessed and approved without unnecessary delay.

An independent review of foster care in England in 2017 highlighted that England does not have a shortage of foster carers overall but there are geographical gaps in provision, particularly for specific needs.

The department commissioned behavioural insights research which commenced in November 2019, to explore the barriers and motivations of prospective carers and seek recommendations for more targeted approaches in local recruitment. We will share these findings with fostering services and recruitment managers.

The department also recently funded 7 feasibility studies in commissioning and sufficiency planning, bringing together local authorities with their partners to explore innovative practices, including collaborative approaches to foster care recruitment. We are also exploring whether digital approaches could help us in supporting local authorities to improve matching of children to carers.

We have committed £125,000 from June to October to fund a new FosterlinePlus service, through which prospective foster families will be able to access the support and information they need to offer caring homes for some of our most vulnerable children.

We supported the Fostering Network’s Foster Care Fortnight in May through social media channels. We also recently launched updated fostering pages to make information more accessible to potential carers, and they are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/becoming-foster-parent.

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Leader of the House what advice has been given to Ministers in receipt of a salary about participating virtually in Chamber proceedings from their London offices.

All of the front bench, including those in receipt of a salary, have been advised to work in a way which is safe for them based on PHE guidance. This has not meant any reduction in their government and parliamentary duties.

11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the National Curriculum to ensure that it (1) better reflects black history, and (2) gives a more balanced view of the UK’s colonial and imperial past.

The department is committed to an inclusive education system which recognises and embraces diversity and supports all pupils and students to tackle racism and have the knowledge and tools to do so.

The national curriculum is a framework setting out the content of what the department expects schools to cover in each subject. The curriculum does not set out how curriculum subjects, or topics within the subjects, should be taught. The department believes teachers should be able to use their own knowledge and expertise to determine how they teach their pupils, and to make choices about what they teach.

As part of a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils should be taught about different societies, and how different groups have contributed to the development of Britain, and this can include the voices and experience of Black people. The flexibility within the history curriculum means that there is the opportunity for teachers to teach about Black history across the spectrum of themes and eras set out in the curriculum. For example, at key stage 1, schools can teach about the lives of key Black historical figures such as Mary Seacole and Rosa Parks or others; and at key stage 3, cover the development and end of the British Empire and Britain’s transatlantic slave trade, its effects and its eventual abolition. The teaching of Black history need not be limited to these examples.

10th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their provision of laptops for disadvantaged children includes the provision of a laptop for each child in care.

The government is providing over 200,000 laptops and tablets to vulnerable and disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access. This includes devices for disadvantaged children receiving support from a social worker, including pre-school children, and care leavers.

The department has allocated devices to local authorities and academy trusts based on its estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and prioritise children and young people who need devices.

The department has prioritised orders for the most vulnerable children who need access to social services (children with a social worker and care leavers).

9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Liverpool City Council's decision for Year 6 pupils not to return to school on 1 June; and whether this means that local authorities can make their own decisions about when school pupils can return to school.

We want to get all children and young people back into education as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers.

Thanks to the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the scientific advice indicates the transmission rate of COVID-19 has decreased and, based on all the evidence, we have been able to begin our cautious and phased approach to the wider opening of schools. This includes asking primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6 from 1 June, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers).

However, we recognise that some primary schools will not have been able to open to additional children from 1 June for a number of practical reasons. We are working with local authorities and Regional Schools Commissioners across the country to identify and understand any local issues. If schools are facing particular challenges then we stand ready to support them to ensure they can open more widely as soon as possible.

In most cases the preparation for wider opening will be undertaken by the headteacher and senior colleagues of individual schools. However, relevant bodies (such as local authorities, academy trusts or governing bodies, depending on the school type) retain responsibility for key decisions and plans should be confirmed with them, particularly risk assessments of the school opening more widely, before pupils and staff return.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when legal safeguards for vulnerable children removed during the COVID-19 outbreak will be reinstated.

In regard to children’s social care, the department has not removed any primary legislative responsibility that local authorities have towards safeguarding children. The Children and Adoption (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 will expire on 25 September unless there is a clear need to extend them related to the COVID-19 outbreak, which will be informed by feedback from across the sector including children’s charities.

In regard to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), we have temporarily changed some aspects of the law on education, health and care (EHC) needs assessments and plans. Detailed guidance on these changes is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-law-on-education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-due-to-coronavirus/education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-guidance-on-temporary-legislative-changes-relating-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

We are committed to ending the temporary changes to the law on EHC needs assessment and plan processes at the earliest opportunity. We are keeping these measures under constant review, working with a range of stakeholders to monitor the situation on the ground.

The Regulations will expire on 25 September unless there is a clear need to extend them and we are committed to continuously reviewing them. They will be considered on a case by case basis and decisions will the informed by feedback across the sector, including children’s charities. Changes will also be subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

4th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on academic performance in those countries who have banned contract cheating services; and what plans they have, if any, to adopt similar policies.

The government is aware that legislation has been introduced in several countries to ban contract cheating services, including in New Zealand, several states in the USA and, most recently, Ireland. It should also be noted that a bill was introduced in Australia in December which, if passed, would make it an offence to provide or advertise academic ‘contract cheating’ services in higher education.

We would be willing to consider supporting any legislation, including a Private Members’ Bill, that is workable and that contains measures that would eliminate essay mills in ways that cannot be delivered through other means, provided that the Parliamentary time permitted.

Ministers have called on universities, sector bodies, educational technology companies and online platforms to do everything in their power to help eradicate academic cheating of any kind from our world-class higher education sector. We have set a clear expectation that the Office for Students (OfS) should take a visible lead in challenging the sector to eliminate the use of essay mills. We expect the OfS to work with the members of the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment to ensure that the sector has the support it needs and that it is taking firm and robust action to ensure that this threat to the integrity of the higher education system is being tackled.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the call by the Children's Commissioner for England to set up summer classes in July and August to help children from disadvantaged circumstances catch up with their schoolwork.

The government shares the concern about the impact of prolonged school closures on all pupils, particularly those who are disadvantaged. We are working at pace with partners to explore how best to support pupils to make up for time spent out of school.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have in relation to (1)SATs, (2) GCSEs and (3) A level examinations for the 2020/21 school year and, in particular, whether they expect teacher assessments to be used to determine grades.

We acknowledge the COVID-19 outbreak has caused stress and uncertainty for pupils and students due to take exams or assessments next year. In relation to SATs, the intention is that primary assessments will take place in 2020/21. With regard to GCSEs and A levels, we are working with Ofqual and the exam boards to develop our approach to next year’s exams, in light of the disruption experienced by students who are studying these courses. We do not anticipate that teacher assessments will be used to determine grades.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government to what extent they are working with supply teacher agencies to see that supply teachers are being supported.

The department’s latest school workforce guidance on COVID-19, including financial support available to supply teachers, is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

Further guidance on financial support for all education institutions is set out below: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of young people losing apprenticeship opportunities due to the current crisis; and what plans they have to provide access to high-quality and independent advice and guidance for such young people.

We have introduced flexibilities to make it easier for apprentices of all ages to continue to benefit from the high-quality training that an apprenticeship provides. We are encouraging providers and assessment organisations to deliver training and assessments remotely and are keen that providers remain open for business to support learners.

Furloughed apprentices can continue to train and undertake end point assessments ensuring they can continue to progress in their careers. Where it is not possible to continue training, employers and providers can now initiate a break in learning so that the apprenticeship can resume when possible. We are pleased that 81% of apprentices have been able to continue with their studies.

We are also supporting employers and training providers during this challenging time so that people can continue to access high-quality apprenticeship opportunities. Employers can still recruit and start apprentices and eligible furloughed employees can also start apprenticeships.

Our new Apprenticeship Hub contains a full list of our guidance for apprentices affected by COVID-19 on GOV.UK, https://help.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/hc/en-gb/sections/360003798540-Apprentice

People of all ages can also use Find an Apprenticeship to search for new apprenticeship opportunities: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship.

The National Careers Service will continue to provide high-quality, impartial careers information, advice, and guidance to young people at this difficult time via its helpline, website and web chat facility. The Careers & Enterprise Company will also continue to support schools and colleges, where possible, to provide young people with quality careers education and guidance.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support permanently excluded school pupils receive, and from whom, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Our latest guidance on the alternative provision provided for permanently excluded pupils is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that school re-openings are phased and conducted in an orderly manner so that social distancing and pupil and staff safety is in place.

Schools will remain closed until further notice, except for children of critical workers and vulnerable children who are encouraged to attend where it is appropriate for them to do so. We will only re-open schools when the scientific advice indicates it is safe to do so, and will consult closely with the sector on our approach to reopening.

We will give schools as much notice as possible about when they will be asked to reopen and provide guidance and advice to help schools implement any new arrangements. We have already published guidance on implementing social distancing in education settings where schools remain open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children have not attended school for two or more years.

The information requested is not held centrally as the Department only collects data on pupils on roll at an educational establishment.

5th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the problem of contract cheating and essay mills.

Contract cheating and the use of essay mills are global problems. A 2018 study by Swansea University of students internationally, found the number of students outside the UK who admitted to paying for assignments since 2014 equates to one in seven.

It is almost impossible to quantify how widespread the use of essay mills is, as the bespoke nature of these “paid for” assignments can make it difficult for providers to detect it is not the student’s own work. Students who engage in contract cheating are also less likely to volunteer to participate in surveys about cheating. In 2016, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education found there are approximately 17,000 instances of academic offences per year in the UK, although it should be noted that this figure includes all types of academic offences, not exclusively contract cheating.

In launching the Education Technology Strategy in April 2019, the government made a commitment to “Identify how anti-cheating software can be developed and improved to help tackle the problem of essay mills”. A new generation of plagiarism detection software, focused on authorship investigation, is being introduced in the UK, which will provide universities with data-backed insight into whether students are doing their own work.

5th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of essay mills and contract cheating on academic integrity in UK universities.

The use of fake qualifications or plagiarised assignments is unacceptable. It not only threatens to undermine the reputation of our world-class higher education sector, but also devalues the hard work of those who succeed on their own merit.

It is vitally important that providers themselves take action to tackle essay mills, as it is their own reputations and that of the wider higher education sector that are on the line.

There are a number of initiatives currently underway or planned that aim to get to grips with this issue. This includes the Quality Assurance Agency updating guidance to support higher education providers in combatting contract cheating via education, prevention and detection. Guidance published by the National Union of Students also seeks to make students better aware of the consequences of contract cheating, sending a clear message that these services are not legitimate.

We have set a clear expectation that the Office for Student (OfS) should take a visible lead in challenging the sector to eliminate the use of essay mills. We expect the OfS to work with the members of the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment to ensure that the sector has the support it needs, and that it is taking firm and robust action to ensure that this threat to the integrity of our higher education system is being tackled.

4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the provision of universal free school meals for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

?A key success measure for Universal Infant Free School Meals is take-up of the meal, which has been consistently strong. We monitor this through the schools census. 1.4 million infants receive a free meal through this programme which is a take-up rate of 87%.

29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what involvement UK Ministers and officials have had in the development of the proposed Erasmus Regulation for 2021–27.

Since it was first published by the European Commission in May 2018, the government has been involved in discussions on the draft regulation for the next programme. Discussions in the EU institutions are ongoing and the regulation has yet to be finalised. Future participation in EU programmes will be a subject of our negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.

15th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they inspect the overseas campuses of UK universities.

UK higher education providers with degree-awarding powers are responsible for the academic standards of their awards and for the quality of provision, irrespective of where or how courses are delivered or who delivers them.

The external review of Transnational Education (TNE) has been carried out by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) on behalf of funders, regulators and UK providers since it was established in 1997.

As higher education is a devolved matter, each nation of the UK will deliver quality assurance of TNE according to the process adopted for higher education institutions within its jurisdiction.

Historically, QAA has carried out TNE reviews, which have included a range of activities including overseas campus inspection, scrutiny of partnerships from the UK end including video conferences with providers, and the analysis of data on TNE provision.

The process for carrying out TNE review activity for UK higher education institutions has been the subject of a recent consultation which ended in January 2020, carried out by Universities UK International, Guild HE and QAA.

The consultation responses are currently being considered and the future model of TNE review, including overseas campus inspection, will be decided through this process and the consulting organisations will jointly analyse the responses and develop an action plan.

15th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which organisation, if any, is tasked with ensuring the quality of teaching of overseas campuses of UK universities.

UK higher education providers with degree-awarding powers are responsible for the academic standards of their awards and for the quality of provision, irrespective of where or how courses are delivered or who delivers them.

The external review of Transnational Education (TNE) has been carried out by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) on behalf of funders, regulators and UK providers since it was established in 1997.

As higher education is a devolved matter, each nation of the UK will deliver quality assurance of TNE according to the process adopted for higher education institutions within its jurisdiction.

Historically, QAA has carried out TNE reviews, which have included a range of activities including overseas campus inspection, scrutiny of partnerships from the UK end including video conferences with providers, and the analysis of data on TNE provision.

The process for carrying out TNE review activity for UK higher education institutions has been the subject of a recent consultation which ended in January 2020, carried out by Universities UK International, Guild HE and QAA.

The consultation responses are currently being considered and the future model of TNE review, including overseas campus inspection, will be decided through this process and the consulting organisations will jointly analyse the responses and develop an action plan.

14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in introducing a register for children not in school.

In the spring of 2019, a consultation was held on proposals for a mandatory register of children not attending state or registered independent schools to help local authorities carry out their responsibilities in relation to children not in school. The consultation closed in June 2019. Responses to the consultation have been considered and a formal government response document setting out next steps will be issued in due course.

8th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of schools in England identified by Ofsted as "stuck", having underperformed for the last 13 years.

We are committed to tackling entrenched underperformance in schools wherever it exists.

In addition to the biggest funding boost for schools in a decade: an additional £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion by 2021-22 and £7.1 billion by 2022-23 compared to 2019-20 funding; and £1.5 billion per year to fund additional pension costs for teachers, the department announced last September that we will provide more support to “stuck” schools from high-performing, experienced school leaders. This is now in place.

The department also confirmed that we would work with Ofsted so that it can provide more detailed analysis on areas for improvement for these schools and will be confirming details in due course. This announcement can be found at the following link and is attached: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-drive-to-continue-boosting-standards-in-schools.

On 10 January, the department also launched a public consultation on removing the exemption from routine inspection for schools previously rated outstanding by Ofsted. The aim is to lift the exemption from September 2020, subject to the consultation outcome and parliamentary approval. Ending the exemption will mean all parents have up to date information about every school and can be confident that their children’s schools are continuing to deliver the best education. The department will provide additional funding for these inspections for 2020-21, and funding for subsequent years will be determined through the forthcoming Spending Review.

27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many new trees have been planted as part of the Northern Forest project in each of the last three years.

The Northern Forest is an ambitious landscape scale partnership that aims to establish at least 50 million new trees by 2043 in and around the cities of Liverpool, Chester, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull. The government supports the Northern Forest as a contributor to levelling up by supporting new and existing jobs, rural economies, fighting climate change, facilitating nature recovery, and encouraging greater private investment in trees and woodlands. So far, the core partnership of the Woodland Trust, Mersey Forest, Manchester City of Trees, White Rose Forest and Humber Forest have established over 5 million new trees since 2018.

The Forestry Commission publishes information on new tree planting annually, including in the Northern Forest. These figures can be obtained from its Headline Key Performance Indicators reports, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/forestry-commission-corporate-plan-performance-indicators. The most recent published provisional statistics are shown below (and is attached):

Year

Hectares Planted

Equivalent in number of trees

21/22

150

168,000

20/21

69

159,000

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the environmental impact of the fundraising practice of delivering plastic charity bags to millions of households.

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste and we are making great strides to tackle plastic pollution. In December 2018 we published the Resources and Waste Strategy, which sets out how we want to achieve this and move towards a circular economy.

The single-use carrier bag charge has led to a 95% reduction in the consumption of these bags in the main supermarkets. To build on the success of the charge so far, in May this year we increased the charge to 10p and extended it to all retailers. We will be consulting later this year on banning a range of single-use plastic items, including single-use plastic plates, cutlery, and polystyrene cups.

We have not assessed the environmental impact of the fundraising practice of delivering plastic charity bags, and we have no immediate plans to investigate this practice. However, we are continuing to review the latest evidence on problematic products, and in particular single use items, and will carefully weigh up the different factors at play in considering any policy interventions where appropriate.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount of money being spent on graffiti removal; and what assessment they have made of its impact in residential areas.

The Government has commissioned environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to conduct research on the costs, impacts and public perceptions of graffiti, including the role of street art, and how data sources can be leveraged to improve local environmental quality. The research is expected to be published early next year.

In the recently published Build Back Better High Streets Strategy, we committed to produce new guidance for local authorities and business owners on best practice for managing graffiti, supported by a new £2 million fund. The guidance will give examples of good practice, draw on the latest research (including that mentioned above) and professional expertise in this area and highlight the importance of keeping high-street infrastructure clean and clear of graffiti.

6th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the recycling rates of (1) London, and (2) the core cities of England; and what steps they are taking to improve the rates of the poorest performing cities.

The most recent annual publication of waste statistics shows the ‘household waste’ recycling rate for the 2019/20 financial year:

  • London Region - 33.5%
  • Birmingham City Council - 23.6%
  • Manchester City Council MBC - 40.4%
  • Leeds City Council MBC - 38.2%
  • Bristol City Council – 47.1%
  • Liverpool City Council – 23.6%
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Council MBC – 40.2%
  • Nottingham City Council – 26.2%
  • Sheffield City Council – 31.7%

Recycling rates for 2020/21 for local authorities in England are not yet available. Recycling rates for 2019/20 were published on 3 March 2021. An ad hoc set of provisional results covering April 2020 to June 2020 was published on 12 May 2021.

The Government is committed to increasing both the quality and quantity of materials collected for recycling and making recycling easier for everyone. The Environment Bill, which is currently progressing through Parliament, introduces legislation that will require all collectors of waste to collect a core set of materials from households, businesses, and other organisations such as schools. The core set will be plastic, glass, metal, paper and card, food and garden waste (for household only). By collecting the same core set of materials there will be less confusion among householders and businesses about what they can put in their recycling bins. As a result, the amount of materials that local authorities collect for recycling will increase.

We want to work closely with local authorities to help them improve their recycling performance. We plan to provide guidance and examples of good practice.

9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for creating new national parks.

National Parks play a crucial role in conserving and enhancing the country’s most beautiful and iconic landscapes and also make a significant contribution to nature recovery, sustainable land management, health and well-being and green recovery.

The Government commissioned the independent Landscapes Review, led by Julian Glover, as part of the 25 Year Environment Plan, in recognition of the continuing importance of our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the nation. We are now carefully considering its recommendations and will respond in due course.

11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many (1) pedestrians, and (2) drivers, have been (a) injured, or (b) killed, by electric scooters in each of the past three years.

DfT reports on the number of personal injury road traffic collisions involving e-scooters, in Great Britain, using the STATS19 reporting system.

STATS19 data does not allow the precise cause of collisions to be determined so it is not possible to provide figures for injuries or deaths caused by a particular road user type.

The table shows the number of reported road casualties for pedestrians and drivers of motorised vehicles (including cars, motorcycles, buses, coaches, and good vehicles) in collisions involving e-scooters by severity in Great Britain, 2020 to 2022 (the latest year for which data is available).

Year

Road user type

Killed

Serious injury (adjusted)

Slight injury (adjusted)

Total casualties

2020

Pedestrians

0

13

44

57

2021

Pedestrians

0

66

163

229

2022

Pedestrians

1

60

172

233

2020

Motorised vehicle drivers

0

2

13

15

2021

Motorised vehicle drivers

0

3

27

30

2022

Motorised vehicle drivers

0

3

35

38

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to improve railway connectivity between Liverpool and Manchester.

Network North confirmed the Government’s commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail and to improving connectivity between Liverpool and Manchester. Funding has been made available to allow the Liverpool to Manchester section of Northern Powerhouse Rail to be delivered as previously set out in the Integrated Rail Plan. Government committed to working with local leaders and that engagement with local leaders is underway.

Lord Davies of Gower
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the total cost spent on the (1) planning, (2) acquisition of land, and (3) work, on those sections of the HS2 which are now cancelled.

Regular updates on HS2, including spend to date are provided in the HS2 six-monthly report to Parliament. The last report was published in June 2023 and the next one will be published in due course.

The Department is working with HS2 Ltd and its supply chain to assess the cost implications as a result of the cancellation of HS2 Phases 2a and 2b (both Western and Eastern Legs, including HS2 East).

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what will happen to any land that was compulsorily purchased for HS2.

Any land and property that is no longer required for HS2 will be sold, and a programme is being developed to do this. We will set out further detail on these next steps, and will engage in full with those communities who are affected as we do.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many (1) children, and (2) adults, have undertaken the Bikeability cycle training course for each of the past three years.

Over the past three years, the Department for Transport has provided funding for Bikeability cycle training to a total of 1,042,079 children: 140,390 in 20/21, 439,802 in 21/22 and 461,887 in 22/23. The Department does not hold figures for adult cycle training as it is not formally part of the Bikeability programme and is not funded centrally.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what role they have, if any, in the procurement of the new ferry boat for the River Mersey.

My department has no role in the procurement of the new ferry boat for the River Mersey. This is a matter for the Liverpool City Region.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 22 February (HL6199), how many of the 141 pedal cyclist fatalities in 2020 were children and young people.

There were 9 pedal cyclist fatalities aged under 16 in reported road collisions in Great Britain in 2020.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many bicycle (1) accidents, and (2) deaths, were recorded for each of the last five years.

The number of 1) accidents involving pedal cycles and 2) pedal cyclist fatalities in reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain for the last five years for which data is available are shown in the table.

Year

Accidents involving at least one pedal cycle

Pedal cyclist fatalities

2016

18,743

102

2017

18,651

101

2018

17,820

99

2019

17,148

100

2020

16,455

141

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recent finding that only one per cent of HGV drivers are female; and what plans they have to address this situation.

The Government is aware of the demographic imbalances in the HGV driver workforce including the lack of women drivers, under 25s and drivers from ethnic minorities. Addressing these issues and creating a workforce that will better reflect society will be key to permanently solving the driver shortage.

This will be for the industry to lead but the Government will continue to support where it can, such as improving the accessibility of facilities for women drivers and increasing the provision of overnight lorry parking.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of the e-scooters trials on (1) pedestrian safety, and (2) the capacity of the police to enforce road safety laws.

The Department is putting in place a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation programme. Surveys and interviews with e-scooter users and members of the public living in e-scooter trial areas will be conducted across a range of trial areas to track and understand instances of pavement riding and pavement parking. This will be carried out by our contractors Arup and NatCen Social Research.

Enforcement of offences relating to unlawful use of powered transporters is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers of police in conjunction with local policing plans. In trial areas, e-scooter operators and local authorities are working with the police to enforce operational rules and monitor rider behaviour.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money has been (1) budgeted, and (2) spent, on HS2 (a) in the London area within the M25, and (b) outside the London area.

Specific information on funds spent and budgeted on HS2 inside and outside the London area is not available. However, investment in HS2 will bring greater connectivity to the Midlands and the North and generate transformational economic benefits, helping to achieve our plans to level up the country and play a key role in reaching our 2050 carbon net zero objectives.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the speed limit on the M6 motorway northbound from junction 21A to 26 is 60mph while the same stretch southbound is 50mph.

There are currently no speed restrictions in place on the M6 motorway from junction 21A to 26 other than the 70mph national speed limit.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what progress has been made towards making the House of Lords terrace smoke free.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf. At its meeting on 11 July 2019 the Services Committee considered a paper on changes to the smoking area on the Terrace. At the meeting the Committee agreed to move the Members’ smoking table into the designated smoking area and increase the coverage of the smoking area to reduce the dispersal of smoke across other Terrace users. The Committee was advised that these changes would take place once the scaffolding on the Terrace had been removed.

The Committee further considered the issue at its meeting on 16 January 2020, when, following advice about the issues involved in extending any coverage for a smoking area on the Terrace, the Committee was invited to provide advice on a suitable way forward. Following discussion, the Committee requested that consideration be given to alternative locations for the smoking area; a paper is expected at its March meeting.

14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the financial impact of not proceeding with HS2.

The Secretary of State commissioned the Oakervee Review to provide advice on how and whether to proceed with HS2, including examining the direct cost of cancelling the project. The government has committed to publishing the Oakervee Review report and will set out next steps on HS2 in due course.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to make an assessment of the Oakervee Report on HS2.

The Transport Secretary has met with Doug Oakervee to discuss the Review. The Government has been clear that it will publish the final report of the Oakervee Review and will set out next steps on HS2 in due course.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 7 December (HL3726), how much time is each work coach assigned to a young person.

The Department for Work and Pensions’ Youth Offer is providing individually tailored work coach support to young people aged 16-24 who are in the Universal Credit Intensive Work Search regime. This includes intensive support during the first 13 weeks of a claim through the Youth Employment Programme, and access to Youth Employability Coaches (YECs) who are helping young people overcome complex barriers to employment, as well as offering 6 weeks of in-work support once they move into work. YECs also work closely alongside Disability Employment Advisors to support those with disabilities and health conditions, and partner organisations who can provide specialist advice.

The aim of the 13-week Youth Employment Programme is to help claimants access opportunities to move them closer, and into work, including work experience placements, Sector-based Work Academy Programmes, traineeships, apprenticeships, and equivalent opportunities in Scotland and Wales. Participants will see a Work Coach on a weekly basis for the duration of the Programme with additional time at week 2 for a Skills Review and a Progress Review at week 11.

At the end of the 13 weeks claimants will continue to receive support through the core Jobcentre offer with the frequency and length of interventions determined by the individual circumstances of the claimant, the duration of their claim, and the level of support required at that particular time.

The Youth Offer also provides a network of Youth Hubs in locations across Great Britain. The Hubs are co-located and co-delivered in partnership with local providers and provide place-based support to the help young people in the community move into work.

7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 7 December (HL3726), how often is the provision of work coaching refreshed.

Work Coaches undertake job specific learning when they are new to role, as well as consolidation of their learning once training is completed. They are supported by Team Leaders who are responsible for assuring the quality of services through a combination of observation of interviews, feedback, coaching and appraisal.

Work Coaches continue to receive ongoing learning to ensure they are confident in providing claimants with the support they need. They also have access to guidance which is refreshed at regular intervals.

7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 7 December (HL3726), who provides this training to work coaches; and what qualifications do they have.

Work Coach Learning is delivered by DWP Learning Delivery Officers. Learning Delivery Officers receive a bespoke Training for Trainer event which is facilitated by experienced DWP Learning Delivery Officers. This is followed by an intensive consolidation period, peer support and a robust quality assurance process conducted by Line Managers throughout their onward delivery.

7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 7 December (HL3726), what components of this "comprehensive learning journey" do all work coaches undertake; and what are the "tools, skills and behaviours" required of those coaches.

Work Coach Learning equips staff with tools, knowledge, skills and behaviours through a rich mix of topics, to enable them to support each claimant as an individual.

This includes building a coaching skill set, focus on vulnerable customers and those with complex needs as well as those with health conditions, the impacts of their condition and what support is available to assist individuals moving closer to the working environment. DWP ensures that staff access the most up to date advice and expertise on a particular health condition/ complex need to support all individual customers requirements through signposted guidance support and websites to effectively use resources from both internal and external sites.

Work Coaches also receive on-going learning for their roles and access to guidance which is refreshed at regular intervals. Please see attached list of learning which Work Coaches undertake as part of their comprehensive learning journey.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the letter from Baroness Stedman-Scott to all members of the House of Lords on 22 November, what additional measures they are putting in place to help young people find employment during the "economic challenges we are facing".

The Department for Work and Pensions’ Youth Offer is providing individually tailored work coach support to young people aged 16-24 who are in the Universal Credit Intensive Work Search group.

This includes intensive support during the first 13 weeks of a claim through the Youth Employment Programme and a network of Youth Hubs across Great Britain that provide place-based support in partnerships with local providers to help young people into work. The Youth Offer also provides Youth Employability Coaches who support young people facing additional barriers (such as homelessness, addiction, and other complex needs) as well as offering 6 weeks of in-work support once the young person secures a job or an apprenticeship. Youth Employability Coaches also work closely with Disability Employment Advisors to support those with disabilities and health conditions, and partner organisations who can provide specialist advice.

Departments are aligning their support across Government to help young people access high quality training and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as preparing them to take advantage of new jobs created in existing and growing sectors.

For example, DWP and DfE officials continue to work together on the key areas of improving local skills provision and maximising awareness of skills opportunities in England. This includes taking steps to enhance the quality and joining up of services through Work Coaches and National Careers Service Advisors.

To help young people who are already in work and on low incomes to progress, we are extending the support Jobcentres provide to help them increase their earnings and move into better paid, quality jobs. As mentioned in the letter, the nationwide roll-out of the In-Work Progression offer will focus on removing barriers to progression, such as addressing skills gaps.

12th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of data from (1) the Royal Life Saving Society, and (2) the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, that there were at least 50 water-related deaths between June and 16 August this year; and what steps they will take to enhance prevention measures for water-related deaths in the future.

No formal assessment has been made from the data. However, the Cabinet Office are leading on a cross-government exercise on inland water safety.

8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many young people aged 16 to 19 who are receiving Universal Credit have successfully completed a post-16 qualification.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many young people aged 16 to 19 who are on Universal Credit sre studying for a post-16 qualification.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many young people aged 16 to 19 are receiving Universal Credit.

From the latest provisional statistics published on Stat-Xplore, on 13 January 2022, 148,000 people on Universal Credit are aged 16 to 19.

27th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the education of disabled children will be tracked in the National Disability Strategy.

The government is committed to transforming the everyday lives of disabled people. We published the National Disability Strategy in July 2021 which sets out a wide ranging set of practical actions to improve the lives of disabled people, including in relation to education.

In the strategy, the Department for Education committed to consulting on improvements to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) system through the SEND Review. DfE recognises that the SEND system needs to improve, which is why the Review was established in September 2019, and the department will be bringing forward proposals for public consultation in the first quarter of 2022.

DfE announced that high needs funding will increase by £780 million, or 9.6%, in 2022-23 compared to 2021-22. This is on top of the increase of more than £1.5 billion over the previous two years and will bring the total high needs budget to £8.9 billion, an increase of over a third since 2019-20.

DfE is investing a further £300 million to create places for children with SEND, improve existing provision in schools and make accessibility adaptations in the financial year 2021 to 2022, while also providing over £42 million in 2021-22 to continue funding projects to support children with SEND. This investment will ensure that specialist organisations around the country can continue to help strengthen local area performance, support families and provide practical support to schools and colleges.

At the request of the Prime Minister, a set of Ministerial Disability Champions were appointed in summer 2020, to drive the development and delivery of the National Disability Strategy. Now the strategy is published, the Minister for Disabled People chairs quarterly meetings of this group to sustain momentum and track progress against the over 100 commitments.

The full list is set out on .GOV.UK, which includes Will Quince MP, the Department of Education Ministerial Disability Champion.

The strategy committed to publishing an annual report in summer 2022, which will detail the progress made against all commitments, including those that relate to education.

13th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average level of housing benefit paid to people renting (1) one bedroom, (2) two bedroom, (3) three bedroom, and (4) four bedroom, accommodation in the (a) private, (b) housing association, and (c) council, sector.

For the information requested on the average level of Housing Benefit in Great Britain paid by bedroom number and tenure, the following averages have been produced using departmental administrative data, the latest of which is from May 2021.

Sector

Number of Bedrooms

1

2

3

4

Private Rented

£526

£549

£606

£788

Social Rented Sector Housing Association

£552

£407

£414

£500

Local Authority

£372

£353

£367

£419

Notes:

1) Does not include those in Private Rented Shared Accommodation.

2) Does not include those on housing element of Universal Credit.

3) Figures for 2+ bedrooms allow for Reduction in Spare Room Subsidy where appropriate.

13th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was paid in housing benefit to (1) tenants of private landlords, (2) tenants of housing associations, (3) councils, in each of the last three financial years.

For the information requested on Housing Benefit expenditure this is available in the benefit expenditure and caseload tables produced by the department, the latest of which was published on gov.uk in March 2021.

For the tenure types requested, we advise that Local Authority Tenants (Rent Rebate) figures are suitable for (3) councils, Registered Social Landlord Tenants are suitable for (2) housing associations, and Private Rented Sector tenants are suitable for (1) private landlords.

Housing benefits expenditure £ million, nominal terms

By Tenure

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

of which Local Authority Tenants (Rent Rebate)

5,485

5,178

4,788

of which Registered Social Landlord Tenants

9,107

8,681

7,967

of which Private Rented Sector tenants

7,709

6,871

5,609

Notes:

(1) Does not include expenditure on the housing element of Universal Credit.

13th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many deaths caused by mesothelioma were recorded for (1) teachers, and (2) teaching support staff, in England in each year between 2017 and 2020.

The number of mesothelioma deaths occurring in England in each of the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 (the latest year for which figures are available) where the last occupation of the deceased was recorded as a teacher or member of teaching support staff is shown in the table below.

The figures include only deaths occurring at ages below 75 years, those ages for which occupation is reliably recorded on death certificates in England. These deaths will be largely due to past asbestos exposures which occurred before the tightening of controls.

2017

2018

2019

Teachers

24

18

13

Teaching Support Staff

4

2

0

Note: “Teachers” includes all deaths where the last occupation was given as Standard Occupational Classification 2010 minor group code 231: Teaching and Educational Professionals; “Teaching support staff” includes those with unit group codes 6125: Teaching assistants, and 6126: Educational support assistants.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many young people who have completed the Kick Start programme (1) are unemployed, and (2) have gone into employment, education or further training.

The Department will be monitoring and evaluating the Kickstart Scheme throughout and after its implementation, and will continue to evaluate the longer term outcomes for Kickstart participants after they have completed their six-month job placements.

We will publish the findings of the evaluation once complete.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many employers are involved in the Kick Start scheme.

As of 16th June 2021, The Department has approved Kickstart applications for over 6,000 employers. This includes employers who applied directly to the Kickstart Scheme and employers who applied via a gateway.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many young people (1) have been, and (2) are currently, on the Kick Start scheme, broken down by age.

An initial assessment of a sample of the first 20,000 claimants who started a Kickstart job placement from the commencement of the scheme up to 6th May 2021 found the age range noted in the table below. The Department will be monitoring and evaluating the Kickstart scheme throughout its implementation, and will continue to evaluate the longer term outcomes for Kickstart participants after they have completed their six month job placements. This will include an examination of the demographic make-up of participants, including age.

Age at Kickstart job placement start

% share of all starters

Under 18

less than 1%

18

7%

19

12%

20

11%

21

14%

22

19%

23

19%

24

16%

25

less than 1%

The above table shows a small number of claimants were over 25 when they began their Kickstart job. This is as a result of some participants applying when aged 24 but turning 25 by the time their role began.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many businesses are involved in the Kickstart Scheme; and how many 16-year olds have been offered placements through that scheme.

As of 25/02/2021, there have been around 800 employers and over 900 Gateways approved on the Kickstart scheme. We are unable to provide information on placements offered by age as this data is not currently held centrally.

8th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) employers, and (2) unemployed young people, have joined the Kickstart Scheme.

The Kickstart scheme has approved over 560 individual employers applying directly, this does not include the many more employers who have applied and had their jobs approved for Kickstart funding via more than 800 gateway organisations. Over 2000 young people have started a Kickstart job. We are pleased that so many young people are able to access the Kickstart Scheme under current public health restrictions.

10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many young people classified as not in education, employment or training they estimate are not in receipt of Universal Credit.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not publish statistics on the number of young people classified as not in education, employment or training in receipt of Universal Credit.

In their most recent figures The Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimated that there were 765,000 young people (aged 16 to 24 years) in the UK who were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in April to June 2020. These figures are publicly available on the ONS website.

In June 2020 there were 887,242 people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit, of which 628,272 were not in employment and 258,973 were in employment. These figures are publicly available on DWP’s Stat Xplore website.

10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to extend the eligibility criteria for applications to the Kickstart Scheme.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Guidance on eligibility has been published on the gov.uk/kickstart website. As of the 11th November 2020 we have received 4,359 applications and 19,672 Kickstart placements have been approved; we will keep the eligibility for the scheme under review, but have no current plans to extend it.

10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of 16 and 17 year olds who will have their job placements funded by the Kickstart Scheme; and what eligibility restrictions apply, if any, to 16 and 17 year olds who have job placements funded by the scheme.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Kickstart Scheme is making £2 billion available to eligible employers and gateway organisations. As of September 2020 the number of 16-17 year olds on UC was 10,394 and we plan to support those who will benefit into Kickstart job placements.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Guidance on eligibility has been published on the gov.uk/kickstart website.

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) 16, and (2) 17, year olds are unemployed and claiming Universal Credit.

The latest available information, showing the number of 16 and 17 year olds who are claiming Universal Credit and are not in employment, is given in the table below.

Number of 16 and 17 year olds claiming Universal Credit by Employment indicator, Great Britain, August 2020:

Age

Not in employment

In employment

Total

16

1,499

64

1,560

17

7,909

891

8,799

Source: People on Universal Credit, Stat-Xplore, Department for Work and Pensions

Notes:

  1. Statistical disclosure control has been applied to this table to avoid the release of confidential data. Totals may not sum due to the disclosure control applied.
  2. A count date of the second Thursday of the month is used when calculating the statistics for the people on Universal Credit.
  3. The employment indicator is available from November 2013 onwards. To allow sufficient time for earnings information to be gathered on all claimants, figures for the latest month in the series will not be available until the next release.
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) 16, and (2) 17, year olds are participating in the Kickstart Scheme.

As of September 2020, there were 10,394 16-17 year olds claiming Universal Credit. DWP Work Coaches are starting to refer suitable young people to employers who are offering Kickstart job placements – this will include young people aged 16 and 17 at risk of long term unemployment.

6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential for 16 and 17 year olds to be disqualified from the Kickstart Scheme because they are unlikely to receive Universal Credit.

We have considered the role that the Kickstart Scheme can play in supporting the employability of 16 and 17 year olds. The Kickstart Scheme is part of a wider range of employability support already on offer for 16 and 17 year olds – for example Mentoring Circles, which support young people aged 16-24, giving them an opportunity to build on their employability skills through facilitating an interaction with employers. Mentoring circles help to provide young job seekers with potential access to and interaction with role models in the workplace. Youth Hubs are also rolling out nationally, where young people can access wider support.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they intend to offer to students from vulnerable families who are unable to begin a degree course in September.

If a person has deferred commencement of the first year of a degree course, they are not treated as a student and may be able to receive Universal Credit if they satisfy all of the other conditions of entitlement.

If a person has already started their degree course and is deferring a follow on year, they are treated as a student and financial support for students comes from the system of student loans and grants designed for their needs. Exceptions are made where students have additional needs that are not met through the student support system.

13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to including educational attainment and outcomes within the scope of the Children and Young People Cancer Taskforce.

The scope of the Children and Young People Taskforce will be determined once the work of the taskforce begins, in spring 2024. Supporting children with cancer is an absolute priority for the Government and we will continue to work across organisations to ensure children with cancer get the care and support they need, to deal with the challenges cancer brings.

The Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education share the ambition that children with cancer get the support they need to remain in school if they are well enough, both to maintain their education and for the benefits of being with their friends. We understand this may not always be possible, either on a short or long-term basis. That is why there are existing statutory duties to ensure children with cancer should be able to get the support they need, without an education, health, and care plan.

In addition to support from schools and local authorities, it is important to recognise the support built into National Health Service specifications for children’s cancer. These specifications require children’s cancer services to take a multi-agency approach to support, and address the wider social, educational, psychological, and emotional needs of the child and family. This includes providing ready access to a wide range of services and professionals, including educational support which includes teachers, health play specialists, speech and language, and rehabilitative support. These services are vital in ensuring that children and families have the support to face the difficult challenges cancer brings.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the closure of over 1,000 pharmacies since 2015; and what assessment they have made of the impact of pharmacy closures in deprived areas.

There were 10,613 pharmacies on 31 January 2024 providing National Health Services in England. The Department monitors changes to the market closely to understand patient access to NHS pharmaceutical services. Access remains good, with 80% of the population living within 20 minutes walking distance of a pharmacy and twice as many pharmacies in the most deprived areas of the country. We have seen more closures in the more deprived areas, but that is largely what we would expect as there are more pharmacies in those areas.

The law requires that every three years, local authority Health and Wellbeing Boards undertake pharmaceutical needs assessments to understand if provision is sufficient to meet local population needs. Contractors can apply to open a pharmacy where there is a gap or a need for improved access to services, or if they can make a case for providing other benefits to the local communities.

When their usual local pharmacy closes, patients can choose to access any of the remaining pharmacies nearby. Patients can also choose to access NHS pharmaceutical services remotely through any of the approximately 400 internet pharmacies in England, which are contractually required to deliver medicines to patients’ homes free of charge.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to banning the sale of flavoured vapes which may be attractive to children and young people.

The Government assessment is that youth vaping has increased. Over the past decade, the use of vapes by children has been consistently low. However, data collected in NHS Digital’s Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England survey showed that in 2021 9% of 11 to 15 year old children currently used e-cigarettes, up from 6% in 2018.

It is illegal to sell nicotine vapes to children and we are concerned about the recent rises in youth vaping, particularly because of the unknown long-term harms. To address this the government announced in April a call for evidence on youth vaping and £3 million of additional funding through the creation of an illicit vapes enforcement squad to tackle underage sales.

At the end of May the Prime Minister made a further announcement to close a loophole that allows industry from giving out free samples, increase education and to support the dedicated school police liaison officers to keep illegal vapes out of schools, and review both on the spot fines and underage sales for non-nicotine vapes.

Our youth vaping call for evidence closed on the 6 June. This call explored a range of issues and asked questions related to the appeal of vapes to children. We are analysing responses and the evidence to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children accessing and using vape products. This will include an assessment of the appeal of flavours. We will publish the response early this autumn to outline our next steps.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the increasing number of children and young people vaping.

The Government assessment is that youth vaping has increased. Over the past decade, the use of vapes by children has been consistently low. However, data collected in NHS Digital’s Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England survey showed that in 2021 9% of 11 to 15 year old children currently used e-cigarettes, up from 6% in 2018.

It is illegal to sell nicotine vapes to children and we are concerned about the recent rises in youth vaping, particularly because of the unknown long-term harms. To address this the government announced in April a call for evidence on youth vaping and £3 million of additional funding through the creation of an illicit vapes enforcement squad to tackle underage sales.

At the end of May the Prime Minister made a further announcement to close a loophole that allows industry from giving out free samples, increase education and to support the dedicated school police liaison officers to keep illegal vapes out of schools, and review both on the spot fines and underage sales for non-nicotine vapes.

Our youth vaping call for evidence closed on the 6 June. This call explored a range of issues and asked questions related to the appeal of vapes to children. We are analysing responses and the evidence to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children accessing and using vape products. This will include an assessment of the appeal of flavours. We will publish the response early this autumn to outline our next steps.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the reasons for the delay in the publication of the Public Health Grant Allocation for 2023/24; and what assessment they have made of the impact of this delay on councils and their ability to plan effectively for the new financial year.

Local Authority Public Health Grant allocations are not required to be published by a specific date. The Public Health Grant allocations for 2023/24 were published on 14 March 2023. Publication dates for allocations in the three previous years were 17 March 2020, 16 March 2021, and 7 February 2022.

In recognition of the need to offer local authorities as much certainty as possible, we have also published the indicative allocations for 2024/25 and aim to confirm these by the end of the calendar year.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of children smoking e-cigarettes; and what plans they have to put an age limit on sales.

There has been an increase in vaping and e-cigarette use amongst children aged 11 to 15 years old, as shown in the latest National Health Service Smoking Drinking and Drug Use survey data, which is available in an online-only format. This found that in 2021, 9% of pupils aged 11 to 15 years old were current vapers, compared to 6% in 2018, and 4% were regular users, compared to 2% in 2018. We already have an age limit on sales of vapes, with the Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015 making it an offence to sell vapes to persons aged under 18 and for an adult to purchase them on behalf of a person aged under 18.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many of the companies that produce and sell e-cigarettes (1) have, and (2) have not, signed up to a voluntary code to seek a licence so that the products meet standards of safety and quality.

The Department does not collect this information. Producers wishing to supply vapes and e-cigarettes on the United Kingdom market must comply with the product standards and safety requirements set out in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. This includes notifying their products to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency before they are placed on the UK market.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to discourage children and young people from vaping.

While the Government  supports adult smokers switching to vaping in order to quit smoking,  we continue to discourage use in children and non-smokers. We have introduced a regulatory framework to deter the appeal of vaping to children through restricting product advertising, limits on nicotine strength, labelling and safety requirements and it is illegal to sell vapes to those aged under 18 years old. The Department continues to work with the relevant agencies to ensure these regulations are enforced in England.

We have updated online information and advice on the  Better Health and Talk to Frank platform. The Department of Health and Social Care continues to work with the Department of Education to communicate with schools policies to prevent children from vaping.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer from Baroness Barran on 25 April (HL7840), what advice the UK Health Security Agency has given to education providers on managing the disposal of surplus COVID-19 test kits.

In April 2022, advice was issued to education providers that test kits which have expired should be disposed of in line with the requirements of the waste duty of care regulations. If more than one carton of lateral flow device test kits requires disposal, a waste contractor must be informed.

Kits within three months’ expiry and less than four cartons in pristine condition should be retained. We are currently undertaking a pilot exercise with 51 schools to collect excess stock, with the hope of deploying a wider returns exercise.

5th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of GP surgeries asking patients to email a photograph of their skin conditions.

No specific assessment has been made. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement work with NHS Digital to ensure that the digital tools used within primary care enable patients to access care from general practitioner (GP) practices which meet their clinical needs and support accessibility, inclusivity and take account of the patient’s preference.

The functionality of digital products is assessed nationally via procurement frameworks, which consider information governance, clinical safety and cyber security before products are approved. Images sent to practices from patients must be stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation and in line with the storage and management policy for all patient data. NHS England and NHS Improvement strongly encourage practices and commissioners to use an approved and assured digital product to communicate with patients and to facilitate sending pictures.

The request, receipt and use of images must be guided by the principle of the interests of the patient and assessed on a case by case basis. The practice should determine whether to request an image from a patient and whether this would be clinically appropriate to support providing care, reaching a diagnosis or deciding what further care should be provided, depending on the needs of the patient. Practices should also consider the patient’s non-medical circumstances and preferences when making this decision.

21st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the £3m additional NHS funding to support access to healthcare has been spent on psychological support for Afghan citizens who arrived under the resettlement scheme; and what steps they have taken to ensure that such support is (1) culturally sensitive, and (2) appropriate for people who may have suffered trauma.

The information is not held in the format requested. Local areas have provided trauma-informed psychological and emotional support responses for Afghan refugees. These are led by clinicians with expertise in working with refugee populations and local community groups and organisations to ensure it is culturally appropriate and accessible.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are engaging with areas which have received Afghan refugees to share best practice with other areas of the country.

9th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of (1) children, and (2) young people, who have been diagnosed as having myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

No specific assessment has been made. However, recent data from the UK Biobank estimates that there are over 240,000 adults aged between 40 and 69 years old in England with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). The number of children and young people diagnosed with ME is unknown.

24th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Kamall on 23 February (HL6197), why they do not centrally hold information on the number of dental practices providing National Health Service dentistry.

Data is collated in the form of contracts for National Health Services. Whilst this is approximately equivalent to the number of practices providing NHS services, there will be individual practices or businesses which may hold more than one contract for different or additional services.

10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of (1) NHS dentists, and (2) NHS dental practices, for each of the last five years.

The information requested on the number of practices providing National Health Service dentistry is not held centrally. However, the following table shows the number of dentists undertaking activity on behalf of the NHS and the number of dental contracts in each year since 2017/18.

Year NHS dentists NHS contracts

2017/18 24,308 8,526

2018/19 24,545 8,479

2019/20 24,684 8,408

2020/21 23,733 8,305

2021/22 N/A 8,341

Information on the number of dentists providing NHS care in 2021/22 is expected to be published in the third quarter of 2022/23.

20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how often children have dental checks in school; and what percentage of schoolchildren in England and Wales had these checks in the last academic year.

There is no national programme of routine dental checks in schools in England. The provision of dental checks in schools in Wales is a devolved matter.

8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the largest clinical negligence claim that has been paid in England.

NHS Resolution has advised that the largest clinical negligence claim that has been settled in England was for a capitalised sum of £37 million in November 2019. This was awarded to a young child left brain damaged at birth. It was settled on the basis of payment of a lump sum plus annual periodic payments for the rest of the claimant’s life.

8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the costs of clinical negligence.

In 2017, the National Audit Office identified three areas of rising clinical negligence costs over the previous decade: claim volume, compensation awards and claimant legal costs. However, since then claim volume and claimant legal costs have levelled out, but overall costs have continued to increase due to payments for compensation.

The Department is therefore working with the Ministry of Justice, other Government departments and NHS Resolution to address these issues. This is a complex area and the work is ongoing. In the 2020 Spending Review, the Government committed to publishing a consultation.

17th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when booster vaccinations for COVID-19 will be recorded on the NHS app.

The NHS COVID Pass can now be used to demonstrate proof of a booster or third dose for outbound international travel and this is available through the NHS App and NHS.UK. Booster vaccinations are not required for domestic certification in England.

20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the safety of care home (1) residents, and (2) staff, given recent reports that only 28.8 per cent of residents and 14.1 per cent of staff have had a COVID-19 booster vaccination.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has advised that a vaccination uptake rate of 90% in residents and 80% in staff in each individual care home setting would be needed to provide a minimum level of protection against outbreaks of COVID-19. As of 7 November, 94.9% of residents and 90.2% of staff in homes for older people have received their second dose based on responses from 99.2% of providers. As of 22 October, 88% of care homes had either been visited by the booster programme or appointments have been booked.

19th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the medical reasons for the ban of the smoking substitute snus.

Evidence shows that the consumption of any tobacco product is harmful and it is the Government’s policy to support people to quit all forms of tobacco use. Oral tobacco, or snus, is banned in the United Kingdom under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.

The Impact assessment on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products stated that oral tobacco products contain carcinogenic substances which are associated with a number of adverse health effects. Snus can also contain carcinogenic tobacco specific nitrosamines and other carcinogenic substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which also have been associated with several adverse health effects. A copy of the impact assessment is attached.

19th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what scientific and medical assessments informed their decision to make the wearing of face masks in public faces voluntary.

Before moving to Step 4 of the Roadmap on 19 July, which changed the requirement to wear face coverings in certain settings from mandatory to voluntary, the Government assessed the evidence of progress against four tests:

- The deployment of the vaccine programme;

- The effectiveness of vaccines in reducing hospitalisations and deaths among those vaccinated;

- The level of infection rates in relation to the pressure on the National Health Service; and

- The risks presented by new variants of concern.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre assessed the data and evidence from a variety of sources against these four tests. COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan, which is available in an online only format, set out a ‘plan B’ for England, which includes the reintroduction of the legally mandated wearing of face coverings in certain settings.

6th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19 before restrictions would need to be implemented again.

Our approach has always been focused on data, not dates, in determining whether it is safe to proceed. In order to pass the tests and proceed with Step 4, we will need to be confident that easing will not lead to a surge in infections that could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

However, we have seen time and time again that the virus is unpredictable, and circumstances can change. We know there are risks ahead, not only from new variants, but also seasonal changes in transmission. We will continue to monitor the data closely and take action if needed to keep the public safe and prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the study undertaken by Imperial College London and Water Babies, reported on 12 April, which found that swimming pool water can inactivate the COVID-19 virus in 30 seconds in the right conditions.

Public Health England has not made an assessment.

8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their consultation on restricting online advertising for products high in fat, sugar and salt, published on 10 November 2020, what assessment they have made of restricting advertisements for such products on social media.

The consultation on how to introduce a total restriction of online advertising for products high in fat, salt and sugar included proposals for how to restrict advertising on social media. The responses will be considered and captured in the final policy decision. We will publish the response to the consultation shortly.

8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 6 August 2020 (HL7091), in how many of the 2,712 litigated clinical claims in 2019/20 for which damages were paid was (1) liability, or (2) causation, at issue.

The information NHS Resolution holds on individual clinical negligence claims does not identify or distinguish between liability and causation. Reasons for litigation are varied and include some cases where only liability is in issue, cases where only quantum, or the level of damages, is in issue and a cohort of cases where both are in issue.

In some cases, litigation is needed to reach resolution but neither liability or quantum are in dispute. Most notably, court approval is required for settlements where the injured individual lacks capacity or is a minor. Litigation may also be needed to reach a determination on a point of law or to pursue a contribution towards compensation from another party.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of clinical negligence cases that appeared in court in the 2019/20 financial year resulted in the NHS paying damages.

In many of the small proportion of cases that go to court, the relevant National Health Service body will have already admitted liability, but are contesting claims for excessive fees or damages. In 2019/20, less than 1% of claims proceeded to trial and in 75% of those cases, NHS Resolution achieved a judgement in favour of the NHS.

8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce conditional fee arrangements for defence lawyers in clinical negligence cases; and what assessment they have made of the impact such action would have in terms of (1) cost savings, and (2) parity between parties.

NHS Resolution has no plans to introduce conditional fee arrangements for defence lawyers in clinical negligence cases.

NHS Resolution negotiates large-scale contracts for defendant legal services, using its position as a bulk purchaser to obtain the best expertise, including support for NHS Resolution’s work to learn from claims to improve safety, at value for money for the National Health Service. The contracts include fixed and capped fee arrangements and competitive hourly rates. NHS Resolution monitors and measures its lawyers’ performance through Key Performance Indicators and management information.

8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost to the NHS in (1) legal fees, and (2) negligence costs, in each of the last two years for which figures are available.

The following table shows total payments for the financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20 for all of NHS Resolution’s clinical and non-clinical negligence schemes.

2019/20

2018/19

Clinical spend

£ million

£ million

Damages paid to claimants

1,683.2

1,778.0

Claimant legal costs

497.5

442.3

NHS legal costs

143.5

139.6

Total

2,324.3

2,359.9

Non-clinical spend

£ million

£ million

Damages paid to claimants

30.0

37.4

Claimant legal costs

18.1

17.8

NHS legal costs

7.4

6.6

Total Non-Clinical

55.5

61.8

Total of all spend

2,379.7

2,421.7

20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 17 July (HL6182), what is their expected timeframe for introducing the necessary legislation to extend the mandatory display of ratings to England.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is operated by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with local authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We will consider whether mandatory display of ratings should be introduced in England in due course.

13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children in England were admitted to hospital with malnutrition in the first six months of 2020.

The information is not available in the format requested.

25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of takeaway businesses and restaurants with low food hygiene ratings which do not display those ratings.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is operated by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Food businesses covered by the scheme, including takeaways and restaurants as well as other places people eat or buy food, are provided with stickers showing their rating. Those in Wales and Northern Ireland are required by law to display the stickers at their premises, while those in England are encouraged to do so.

The FSA monitors the display of ratings through an annual survey. The latest survey, conducted in late 2019, found that for businesses with poor ratings (0, 1 or 2) 26% in England, 83% in Wales and 100% in Northern Ireland displayed the sticker at their premises.

The FSA considers that mandatory display of ratings should extend to England and has put together an evidence-based case for the necessary legislation. This is currently being considered.

25th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the need to make the display of food hygiene ratings compulsory.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is operated by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Food businesses covered by the scheme, including takeaways and restaurants as well as other places people eat or buy food, are provided with stickers showing their rating. Those in Wales and Northern Ireland are required by law to display the stickers at their premises, while those in England are encouraged to do so.

The FSA monitors the display of ratings through an annual survey. The latest survey, conducted in late 2019, found that for businesses with poor ratings (0, 1 or 2) 26% in England, 83% in Wales and 100% in Northern Ireland displayed the sticker at their premises.

The FSA considers that mandatory display of ratings should extend to England and has put together an evidence-based case for the necessary legislation. This is currently being considered.

4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many members of NHS staff provided fraudulent qualifications between 2017 and 2019.

Data on the number of cases of staff providing fraudulent qualifications detected in the National Health Service over the last three years is collected by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority. The information requested is shown in the following table.

Financial year

Number of cases

2017-18

12

2018-19

9

2019-20

4

6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the speech by the Foreign Secretary on 29 June, what assessment they have made of the impact of the proposed addition of a permanent member of the UN Security Council from an African nation.

The UK has a clear and longstanding position on UN Security Council (UNSC) reform, including support for permanent African representation on the Council, as referenced in the Foreign Secretary's speech on multilateralism on 29 June.

The UK believes that UNSC reform is needed to make the Council more representative of the world. Coupled with a renewed commitment to the UN Charter, a reformed Council would be well placed to respond decisively to threats to international peace and security.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the speech by the Foreign Secretary on 29 June, what assessment they have made of the UK’s future relations with growing regional powers in (1) the Indo-Pacific region, and (2) Latin America.

As the Foreign Secretary has set out, the UK is committed to making a long term and sustained effort to revive old friendships and build new ones, reaching far beyond our long-established alliances. This includes increasing the UK's engagement with countries in the Indo-Pacific region and Latin America, strengthening our relationship in areas of mutual interest such as defence, security and trade partnerships, and upholding and promoting the international rules-based system.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding they provide directly to support the BBC World Service.

We strongly value the work of the BBC World Service and its independent and impartial broadcasting. In 2021-22, the FCDO is providing a total of £94.4 million to the World Service. The FCDO is committed to providing funding for the BBC World Service through to 2025, with final allocations to be confirmed after the conclusion of the FCDO business planning process.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what assessment has been made of any potential risks of the physical Chamber sitting of the House of Lords to those peers present and the compliance of such presence with Public Health England’s advice on social distancing and restriction on movement.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf. Risk assessments of all regular activities in the Chamber have been undertaken and resulting mitigating actions implemented. These actions include:

  • Additional signage highlighting social distancing;
  • Floor markings in and around the Chamber to denote 2m distance;
  • Signage on the benches to indicate sufficient social distancing for those using them;
  • Removal of one of the Crossbenches to ensure an appropriate distance is maintained for wheelchair users;
  • Division lobbies set up in Royal Gallery to enable divisions to take place in line with social distancing requirements; and
  • Clerks and Doorkeepers issued with guidance on working practices to maintain social distancing.

Public Health England has visited the Estate to review the social distancing measures in place and is content. Virtual proceedings are in place for almost all House business and members are encouraged to work from home.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans the House of Lords Commission has to enable eligibility for members who are working from home to receive their daily allowance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House of Lords Commission has agreed to temporarily suspend the usual system of financial support for members and replace it with one which allows members to claim the allowance at the half-rate of £162 for participation in; a sitting of this House or a Committee of the House; a virtual proceeding of this House or a virtual meeting of a Committee of this House; participation in such other Parliamentary business as may be determined by the House of Lords Commission.

The Commission has also agreed that this new, temporary arrangement should be applied retrospectively from 21 April. It is expected that a resolution to this effect will be put to the House for agreement this week.

11th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of VAT on defibrillators for those groups which do not qualify for an exemption; and whether they will consider removing VAT charges from sales of these devices.

Automated External Defibrillators (AED) save lives, which is why the Government has taken action to boost their provision. The Government provides support to aid the purchase of AEDs through VAT refunds on purchases made by local authorities and VAT reliefs for purchases made through voluntary contributions, where the AED is donated to eligible charities or the NHS. Otherwise, they attract the standard rate of VAT.

The Department of Health and Social Care are examining whether there are ways to further expand public access to defibrillators.

Introducing any new VAT reliefs would come at a cost to the Exchequer and any changes should be seen in the context of over £50 billion worth of requests for relief from VAT received since the EU referendum. Given this, there are no plans to change the current VAT treatment on defibrillators. However, the Government keeps all taxes under constant review.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proposed new alcohol duty system, which is currently under consultation, on the diversity, choice and quality of wines available to consumers.

As part of the alcohol duty review, the Government has announced several reforms which aim to modernise the taxation system for wine.

By moving to a duty system where all wines are taxed in reference to their alcohol content, the Government intends to incentivise innovation of lower strength wines, providing greater choice to wine consumers. In addition, the Government has announced it will equalise still and sparkling wine rates, helping to spur innovation among British sparkling wine producers.

The Government is continuing to engage with interested stakeholders on these reforms. A consultation ran from 27 October 2021 to 30 January 2022, and the Government is now in the process of analysing responses. A tax information and impact note will be published following the consultation when the policy is final, or near final, in the usual way.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to a Freedom of Information request by Schools Week (FOI2021/11434), when they expect the Infrastructure Projects Authority to publish the full data collection of Private Finance Initiative Projects for (1) 2019, and (2) 2020.

The 2019 data will be published this Autumn. A data collection was not undertaken in 2020. The 2021 data collection will commence shortly and be published in early 2022.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether supply teachers who are registered to work with a number of different supply agencies can receive payments through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and if so, how.

Where a supply teacher is supplied via an agency and paid through PAYE, they would be eligible to be furloughed and receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provided that the remaining eligibility criteria are met.

Furlough should be agreed between the agency, as the deemed employer, and the worker. It is advised that the need to furlough should be discussed with the end client involved.

Supply teachers are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme in the same way as other employees. If they hold multiple employment contracts, they are able to receive support from the scheme from multiple employers.

Supply teachers can be furloughed by one employer and continue to work for another. If they are furloughed by more than one employer, they will receive separate payments from each employer. Each employer can claim up to 80% grant for the hours not worked by an employee, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

The decision to furlough an employee, fully or flexibly, is entirely at the employer’s discretion.

During this period of restricted pupil attendance, schools have remained open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, and remote education has been in place for other pupils. Schools have continued to engage supply staff where they have been needed to support either face to face or remote education.

18th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the annual cost of Police and Deputy Police Commissioners for each of the past five years.

The Home Office does not hold information on the annual cost of Police and Crime Commissioners which includes pay, employer pension and national insurance contributions and expenses. However, the total basic pay cost of PCCs annually is approximately £3m. PCCs are under a duty to publish information relating to their salary, allowances, the composition of their office and the salaries of their senior staff on an annual basis.

The Home Office does not hold information on the annual cost of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioners. The appointment, pay and other arrangements for Deputy Police and Crime Commissioners is a matter for each Police and Crime Commissioner. As the locally elected representative for policing, they are ultimately responsible for balancing their budget and making decisions about the size and composition of their offices.

Police and Crime Commissioners are required to seek the views of their local Police and Crime Panel before appointing a Deputy, and other senior staff, as set out in Schedule 1 to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the requirements regarding (1) appointment procedures, and (2) financial remuneration, for Deputy Police Commissioners.

The Home Office does not hold information on the annual cost of Police and Crime Commissioners which includes pay, employer pension and national insurance contributions and expenses. However, the total basic pay cost of PCCs annually is approximately £3m. PCCs are under a duty to publish information relating to their salary, allowances, the composition of their office and the salaries of their senior staff on an annual basis.

The Home Office does not hold information on the annual cost of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioners. The appointment, pay and other arrangements for Deputy Police and Crime Commissioners is a matter for each Police and Crime Commissioner. As the locally elected representative for policing, they are ultimately responsible for balancing their budget and making decisions about the size and composition of their offices.

Police and Crime Commissioners are required to seek the views of their local Police and Crime Panel before appointing a Deputy, and other senior staff, as set out in Schedule 1 to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government by what date someone fleeing the war in Ukraine who is seeking a Seasonal Worker visa to come to the UK must have had their application submitted for (1) poultry work, (2) pork butchery work, and (3) driving Heavy Goods Vehicles.

The Seasonal Worker route is not open to any nationality wishing to take employment as a poultry worker, driving heavy goods vehicles, or as a pork butcher. These occupations were included within this route as a temporary concession – unrelated to the current events in Ukraine – that closed to new applications on 15 November 2021, 1 December 2021, and 31 December 2021 respectively.

However, any Ukrainians in the UK under the Seasonal Worker route, are able to have their visa extended until 31 December 2022. More information on flexibility for Ukrainian nationals can be found on gov.uk.

The Seasonal Worker route remains open to all nationalities, including Ukrainian nationals, wishing to take up work in the horticulture sector.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many adults and children have arrived in the UK seeking asylum from Afghanistan since August 2021; and of these, (1) how many are still waiting to be housed, and (2) how many children are still waiting to be enrolled at a school.

The UK Government undertook the biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan. Due to the scale and pace of the evacuation we were not able to source appropriate accommodation in the normal way, so we have had to use hotels as a temporary measure. There are currently over 12,000 individuals from Afghanistan in bridging hotels. This cohort is made up of British and Afghan Nationals who may be eligible for Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) or Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS). Over 4000 Afghans have already moved, or are in the process of being moved, into their permanent accommodation and we are working at pace with our Local Authority partners to secure permanent accommodation for those still in temporary accommodation.

We are providing £12 million to help councils across the country to provide education services for children arriving from Afghanistan living in temporary accommodation.

Working with local councils and other networks, all of the school age children who arrived as part of Operation Pitting have been offered a school place. However, this remains a moving picture as some new bridging hotels have been opened in new areas, both as a result of hotel moves and to accommodate more recent Afghan arrivals via Pakistan.

The Department for Education (DfE) continues to monitor the position in these local authorities, all are progressing well with the process of placing children in schools and none report problems with doing so, however they are at different stages in the process depending on the date of new arrivals.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will respond to the Right Reverend James Jones's report on learning from those bereaved through the Hillsborough Disaster The Patronising Disposition of Unaccountable Power, published on 1 November 2017.

The points of learning made by Bishop James Jones in his report on the experiences of the Hillsborough families span a number of departments and organisations. The Home Office is coordinating the Government’s response to the report and is working closely with its partners in the relevant government departments and organisations to carefully consider the points of learning. It was important to await the conclusion of the criminal proceedings before progressing with certain elements of this work, to avoid any risk of prejudice to those proceedings. The last trial concluded in May 2021, and the Government is now working to fulfil its commitment to engage with the Hillsborough families, before publishing the Government’s overarching response to the Bishop’s report in due course.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Insulate Britain protesters have been arrested; and of those, how many (1) have been charged, and (2) have broken court injunctions.

Insulate Britain began targeting the M25 and other major roads on 13 September. As of 25 October, there have been over 650 arrests made by several police forces in connection to the protests.

The charging of those arrested is an operational matter for the relevant forces and the Crown Prosecution Service. The number of court injunctions broken by protesters is a matter for National Highways and Transport for London who were granted the injunctions.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many local authorities have taken on Afghan refugee families; and how many of these families are still in (1) hotels, or (2) guest houses; and how many children in these families have not yet been found school places.

We continue to work with local authorities to source appropriate accommodation as quickly as possible for Afghan families who were evacuated to the UK.

There are more than 11,000 individuals accommodated temporarily in bridging hotels across the UK, who were evacuated as part of Operation Pitting. Children who have recently arrived from Afghanistan are entitled to a full time education and one of our priorities is to ensure they receive it. The duty to provide sufficient education for all school-age children rests with local authorities and the government is working closely with local authorities in whose areas Afghan families are resident to ensure they can access education as soon as possible.

In addition, we are urgently making available additional funds to support local authorities to provide educational support and help Afghan children and young people settle into their local schools and communities.

The Minister of State for Prisons and Afghan Resettlement provided an update to the House of Commons in a Dear Colleague letter last week, and she will continue to update the House at regular intervals.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
25th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that some universities and independent schools are allowing overseas students to pay their fees in cash.

The Government is clear that criminals should not be allowed to profit through the use of cash payments. We are cracking down hard on dirty money via our world-leading legislation and strong law enforcement response.

Money Laundering Regulations require firms to combat money laundering, check the identity of their customers and the purpose of their transactions, including the source of funds. These rules apply to businesses which might be used by criminals to facilitate the transfer of illicit funds including banks, money service businesses, lawyers and accountants.

Anyone employed in the education sector who has suspicions around the source of a student’s funds should inform law enforcement through filing a Suspicious Activity Report – if they fail to do so they could risk being struck off by their professional bodies.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what assessment they have made of reports that police in England and Wales deal with 23 missing children incidents per day.

Annual missing persons statistics, including how many children are reported missing, are published by the National Crime Agency’s Missing Person’s Unit:

http://missingpersons.police.uk/en-gb/resources/downloads/missing-persons-statistical-bulletins

The most recent data published by the NCA covers the period 2016-17. The NCA will publish missing persons data for 2017-18 and 2018-19 on Monday 20 July.

According to the 2016/17 data there were 179,953 missing children incidents recorded by the police in England and Wales.

Although the majority of missing children incidents are resolved within 48 hours (87% in the 2016/17 data) and no harm is reported in the majority of incidents (96% in the 2016/17 data), the Government recognises that children who go missing, even for a short period of time, are at significantly increased risk of harm, including from criminal and sexual exploitation.

We are determined that missing children and their families should receive the best possible protection and support. This includes driving a multi-agency, risk-based response to missing children incidents, with co-ordination across the police, local authorities, health sector and voluntary sector partners.

The Government is also working with the national policing lead for Missing Persons and the NCA’s UK Missing Persons Unit through the Home Office National Law Enforcement Data Programme (NLEDP) to deliver a National Register for Missing Persons (NRMP). The NRMP will allow all forces in England and Wales to manually record missing and associated found incidents, and to access data about missing people from other force areas. This will significantly improve our understanding of the scale of missing persons incidents across the UK.

Through our extensive programme of work to address criminal exploitation, county lines and child sexual exploitation and abuse, we are also tackling some of the key underlying reasons why children and young people go missing.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether the House of Lords Administration has replaced the employment of housekeepers with the use of contract cleaners; and if so, how much they estimate will be saved as a result of such a policy; and what will be (1) the hours, (2) the holiday entitlement, and (3) the sickness benefits, of those staff employed as contract cleaners.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf. The current policy is to retain the Housekeeping Team for the foreseeable future and to continue to provide Housekeeping services within the Palace, with a focus on the high profile areas such as the Chamber, Robing Room, Prince’s Chamber, Royal Gallery and offices on the Principal and First floor.

A contractor, AtaliaServest, currently cleans all out-buildings as well as selected Member and staff offices in the Palace of Westminster. AtaliaServest has been the incumbent cleaning contractor for over five years. Additional areas, including those with limited accessibility and lone working requirements, have been handed over to AtaliaServest. This decision was taken to maximise operational efficiency, making best use of the AtaliaServest team and allowing the House of Lords Housekeepers to focus on high profile areas and specialist cleaning, rather than for any financial benefit. The terms and conditions of AtaliaServest staff are set by AtaliaServest, all staff and contractors working on the Parliamentary Estate are paid at least the London Living Wage.

29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 28 January (HL424) and the absence of such a stipulation in the Immigration Rules, how they ensure that these assessments are not open to abuse.

Higher Education Providers with a track record of compliance are the only sponsor type who can make an assessment of the English language ability of students studying at degree level and above, and must have demonstrated compliance for a minimum of 4 years before gaining this privilege.

Compliance is demonstrated to UKVI by annual assessments and sponsors must also gain independent educational oversight from the Office for Students. UKVI can audit sponsor records in the course of their assessment. If sponsors fail to adhere to their sponsorship duties and fail to demonstrate a sufficient level of compliance, action will be taken by the Home Office which can include revoking their Tier 4 licence.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what International English Language Testing System level the Home Office requires overseas students attain in order for them to be granted student visas.

To be eligible to enter the UK under Tier 4, an applicant must be able to demonstrate that they have a sufficient level of English to complete the proposed course of study.

All Tier 4 (General) Students must prove they satisfy the minimum English language requirements against the Common European Framework for Reference for Languages (CEFR) in all four components (speaking, reading, writing and listening). Unless they meet the requirements to be exempt, a student must show they meet the minimum level of English at CEFR B2 to be eligible to study in the UK at degree level or above and at CEFR B1 to be eligible to study a course below degree level in the UK.

Students can prove their English Language ability in different ways including taking a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved test provider or their Tier 4 sponsor may conduct an assessment themselves, if eligible to do so.

Tier 4 Higher Education Providers with a track record of compliance, are able to make their own assessment on the proficiency of an applicant in the English language, if a student is accessing a course of study at degree level or above. They must be satisfied an applicant is proficient in the English language to a minimum of CEFR B2 level in all four disciplines assessed by the International English Language Test. The provider is able to undertake its own assessment of the ability of an applicant to satisfy these criteria. There is no stipulation in the Immigration Rules relating to how this assessment must be made.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK universities are permitted to use alternatives to the International English Language Testing System as means to assess the English language proficiency of potential overseas students.

To be eligible to enter the UK under Tier 4, an applicant must be able to demonstrate that they have a sufficient level of English to complete the proposed course of study.

All Tier 4 (General) Students must prove they satisfy the minimum English language requirements against the Common European Framework for Reference for Languages (CEFR) in all four components (speaking, reading, writing and listening). Unless they meet the requirements to be exempt, a student must show they meet the minimum level of English at CEFR B2 to be eligible to study in the UK at degree level or above and at CEFR B1 to be eligible to study a course below degree level in the UK.

Students can prove their English Language ability in different ways including taking a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved test provider or their Tier 4 sponsor may conduct an assessment themselves, if eligible to do so.

Tier 4 Higher Education Providers with a track record of compliance, are able to make their own assessment on the proficiency of an applicant in the English language, if a student is accessing a course of study at degree level or above. They must be satisfied an applicant is proficient in the English language to a minimum of CEFR B2 level in all four disciplines assessed by the International English Language Test. The provider is able to undertake its own assessment of the ability of an applicant to satisfy these criteria. There is no stipulation in the Immigration Rules relating to how this assessment must be made.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
14th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision by the University of Portsmouth to waive the requirement for students to have taken the International English Language Test.

To be eligible to enter the UK under Tier 4, an applicant must be able to demonstrate they have an adequate level of English to access the proposed course of study. All Tier 4 General Students must prove they satisfy the minimum English language requirements against the Common European Framework for Reference for Languages (CEFR). A student must show that they meet the minimum level of English at CEFR B2 to be eligible to study in the UK at degree level or above. Students can prove their English Language ability in different ways.

Tier 4 Higher Education Providers with a track record of compliance including the University of Portsmouth, are able to make their own assessment of the proficiency of an applicant in English Language, if a student is accessing a course of study at degree level or above. Tier 4 providers must be satisfied that an applicant is proficient in English Language to a minimum of CEFR B2 level in all four disciplines assessed by the International English Language Test. The provider is able to undertake its own assessment of the ability of an applicant to satisfy these criteria. There is no stipulation in the Immigration Rules relating to how this assessment must be made.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
5th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their new Shipbuilding Strategy, published on 10 March, will ensure that new naval vessels will be built in British shipyards.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh reiterates the Ministry of Defence (MOD) shipbuilding procurement policy set out in the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS). This states that the procurement approach for each class of ship will be determined on a case-by-case basis. As well as considering the specific capability requirements, the MOD will consider the long-term UK industrial impact of different options, including delivering value for money for the overall programme and maintaining the key UK industrial capabilities required for operational independence.

The MOD is clear that for national security reasons, the UK needs to maintain a shipbuilding enterprise.

Across all parts of the Government's 30 Year Cross-Government Shipbuilding Pipeline, the National Shipbuilding Office will seek to maximise the opportunity for UK industry, within our international and legal obligations. This is not limited to naval vessels; the pipeline includes vessels of all types, sizes and complexity, creating a baseline of volume to encourage industry investment in facilities, infrastructure, innovation and skills.

27th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) cadet forces, and (2) combined cadet forces, are available in schools; what is the breakdown of the types of schools that operate such forces; and what is the (a) number of girls involved, and the (b) total number of young people involved.

The Ministry of Defence sponsors 504 cadet units in schools across the UK. The vast majority of these are Combined Cadet Force (CCF) contingents which contain one or more sections from the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, or Royal Air Force CCFs. Instead of CCF contingents, a small number of schools have Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) or Army Cadet Force (ACF) units or, in Scotland only, Linked Detachment units.

Of these 504 cadet units, 474 are CCF contingents, 20 are SCC units, four are ACF units, and six are Linked Detachment units (five ACF units and one Air Training Corps unit). 303 (60%) are in state sector schools and 201 (40%) are in schools in the independent sector.

There are 46,070 cadets in the CCF, of whom 16,380 (36%) are female. In community cadet units, there are a total of 74,040 cadets of whom 24,780 (33%) are female (all figures are as at 1 April 2021).

29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total amount of hectares of contaminated brownfield sites.

The figures requested are not held centrally. Brownfield Land Registers (BLRs) are currently the best resource for the amount of brownfield sites in a local authority area that are suitable for housing, irrespective of their planning status.

National planning policy expects local planning authorities to give substantial weight to the value of using suitable brownfield land within settlements; including by supporting appropriate opportunities to remediate despoiled, degraded, derelict, contaminated or unstable land.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total amount of hectares of uncontaminated brownfield sites in England suitable for house building.

The figures requested are not held centrally. Brownfield Land Registers (BLRs) are currently the best resource for the amount of brownfield sites in a local authority area that are suitable for housing, irrespective of their planning status.

National planning policy expects local planning authorities to give substantial weight to the value of using suitable brownfield land within settlements; including by supporting appropriate opportunities to remediate despoiled, degraded, derelict, contaminated or unstable land.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the total number of empty houses for each of the past three years.

As set out in publicly available information, statistics on vacant dwellings in England (as reported for the purposes of council tax) for each of the past three years are shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1. All vacant dwellings1 and Long-Term vacant dwellings2 England, 2021 to 2023.

Date

All-Vacants

Long-Term Vacants

4 Oct 2021

653,025

237,340

3 Oct 2022

676,304

248,149

2 Oct 2023

699,126

261,189

Source: Council Tax Base (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/council-taxbase-statistics) and also published in Live Table 615 (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-dwelling-stock-including-vacants)

1 These are defined as empty properties as classified for council tax purposes and include empty properties liable for 100% council tax and empty properties that receive a council tax exemption, discount or premium.

2 These are defined as properties liable for council tax that have been empty for more than six months and that are not subject to Empty Homes Discount class D or empty due to specific flooding events.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 14 April (HL7026), what is the total financial cost to date of the Commissioners sent to Liverpool.

Further to the answer provided by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 14 April 2023, the Secretary of State is mindful of the need for Commissioner remuneration to represent value for money for local taxpayers.

The Liverpool Commissioners' pay arrangements were set out in paragraph 45 of the updated Explanatory Memorandum to the Directions made under section 15(5) and (6) of the Local Government Act 1999. In recognition of the nature and scale of the intervention at Liverpool, he has determined fees of £1200 a day for the Lead Commissioner and £1100 a day for the other Commissioners.

A full breakdown of the Commissioners' invoiced fees and expenses are published periodically on Liverpool City Council's website, available here .

Lord Evans of Rainow
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
18th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the collection of data for the Electoral Commission by polling staff at this year's local elections will be publicly available; and if so, whether it will include (1) not only the number of electors who had no approved ID, but also those who arrived to vote with ID which is not approved, and (2) those who did not have ID or the correct ID, but returned later with the correct ID to vote.

With regards to the query on data recorded at polling station, I refer to the response given on 14th March to PQ 162192 .

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total financial cost to date of the Commissioners sent to Liverpool.

On 8 November 2022, my Rt. Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities updated the House on the additional appointment of a finance Commissioner and the expansion of the intervention in Liverpool City Council to cover finance, governance, and recruitment, along with updated Directions of the intervention. Following on from the answer of Lord Greenhalgh, on 5 April 2022, the Commissioners' pay arrangements were set out in paragraph 45 of the