There have been 15 exchanges between Andrew Bridgen and Department for Education
|Mon 2nd March 2020||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (48 words)|
|Mon 3rd February 2020||Education (Ministerial Corrections)||2 interactions (34 words)|
|Mon 20th January 2020||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (34 words)|
|Mon 29th April 2019||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (32 words)|
|Mon 11th March 2019||Oral Answers to Questions||5 interactions (71 words)|
|Mon 4th February 2019||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (31 words)|
|Mon 17th December 2018||Oral Answers to Questions||5 interactions (88 words)|
|Mon 12th November 2018||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (70 words)|
|Mon 10th September 2018||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (34 words)|
|Mon 25th June 2018||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (33 words)|
|Mon 14th May 2018||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (34 words)|
|Mon 19th March 2018||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (37 words)|
|Mon 29th January 2018||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (30 words)|
|Mon 6th November 2017||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (49 words)|
|Mon 11th September 2017||Oral Answers to Questions||3 interactions (39 words)|
I am sure that the hon. Member can appreciate that the details are currently being negotiated. We will update the House as soon as possible.
My hon. Friend is quite right. The number of children in the care sector is a worry both to me and the Government. That is why we have a number of initiatives to support families to stay together. We have spent £70 million on supporting families and £84 million on strengthening families for this very reason.
[Official Report, 20 January 2020, Vol. 670, c. 3-4.]
Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Education, the hon. Member for Chippenham (Michelle Donelan):
An error has been identified in the response I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for North West Leicestershire (Andrew Bridgen).
The correct response should have been:
I believe the hon. Member is referring to a case where a number of out-of-area placements were made in Scotland. We have recently put £40 million extra into capital funding for secure homes, but the whole point is that this is a very complex issue that needs a comprehensive care review—that was part of our manifesto—and I have already begun to work on that.
My hon. Friend is quite right. The number of children in the care sector is a worry both to me and the Government. That is why we have a number of initiatives to support families to stay together. We have spent £70 million on supporting families and £84 million on strengthening families for this very reason[Official Report, 3 February 2020, Vol. 671, c. 2MC.].
No teacher or school leader would disagree about the lust for learning and making learning fun, but testing is the building block that allows us to make the investment and have the focus necessary to produce the extraordinary results that we are producing for children and families up and down the country.
I had hoped that the hon. Lady would commend today’s announcement and confirm that she takes a different view from her Front Bench on abolishing free schools. If we abolished these very good free special schools, we would actually put more children with SEND at risk. We are undertaking a root-and-branch review of restraint with the Department of Health and Social Care, and we will be reporting back.
In 2018, we introduced the national funding formula, which distributes funding based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics, not accidents of location or history. Since 2017, we have given every local authority more money for every pupil in every school, while allocating the biggest increases to the most underfunded schools.
I will certainly meet my hon. Friend and his colleagues from Leicestershire. The national funding formula is delivering rapid gains for the most underfunded schools while also ensuring stability for all schools. By 2019-20, schools in Leicestershire will receive 5.5% more funding per pupil compared to 2017-18, or is £31.5 million more in total. In 2019-20, 92% of schools in Leicestershire will already be attracting their full gains under the national funding formula.
The Raise the Rate and Love Our Colleges campaigns have been very successful and, to a large extent, led to the number of hon. Members who attended that debate to raise the issue. I will continue to raise this with the Treasury. It has to be said—I have to continue to point this out to hon. Members—that there is over £2 billion available in apprenticeship funding from 2020. It is there now. Currently, colleges are not doing that much of that apprenticeship training. I look forward to seeing them getting more involved in those opportunities.[Official Report, 12 February 2019, Vol. 654, c. 6MC.]
We have a pilot project running in five areas across the country specifically to target young people in disadvantaged areas who might be less willing to take up an apprenticeship, particularly in sectors they would not traditionally look at. We have £500 million of disadvantaged funding in the sector and £127 million of discretionary bursary funding, and there are other projects focusing particularly on apprenticeships to encourage young people who might not have thought of them as an option.
This is new money—£250 million plus £100 million for capital spending—from the underspend in the Department. The additional funding will help local authorities and schools with the increasing costs of provision for some of our most vulnerable children and young people. I think it is a shame that the Opposition are scaremongering in this way with the most vulnerable families in our society.
The dedication of teachers along with our reforms has seen the proportion of good or outstanding secondary schools increase from 64% to 75%, in terms of the pupils in them, between 2010 and 2018.
These decisions are best made at a local level in the light of the local circumstances, but to support schools that decide to change their age range, we publish online guidance for maintained schools and academies on the process involved. I am pleased that my hon. Friend is in touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister for School Standards.
The hon. Gentleman is asking me to comment on leaks, and it will be no surprise to him that I will not comment on any leaks about an independent review. However, I will say that ensuring there is opportunity for everyone and creating opportunities that satisfy the skills our country needs is at the heart of the review. It is in the terms of reference, and that is what I will be looking for in the recommendations.
I take slight issue with the point my hon. Friend makes in the sense that there are degrees that do not lead to higher earnings but are of incredible value—for example, for people who go into social work or nursing—but we need to ensure that every degree is of the right quality and gives students the best opportunity. That is why the new regulator, the Office for Students, which has the interests of students at its heart, is looking at value for money for students, and it is why we have introduced the teaching and excellence framework to focus on the quality of teaching. We are also backing the launch of new information to empower students to make the right choices.
I have always recognised—and said as much—that we can of course find excellent education provision in a number of different models, as well as academies. Overall, the academies programme has been a great force for good. Something like half a million pupils are now studying in sponsored academies that are rated good or outstanding, and those academies typically replaced underperforming schools.
I very much agree with my hon. Friend on that; of course, he has a new and particular interest in and concern about the future of the next generation, and I congratulate him on that. It is very important that we are creating a million new school places this decade—that is the biggest expansion in school capacity for at least two generations. It is vital that we do that in good and outstanding schools, where possible.
We continue to spend on a range of programmes in the north, and some of the results are reflected in the figures I have just given. Bradford is of course one of the opportunity areas to which I referred, and £1.5 million has been provided to fund school improvements there. We are seeking to support the work of Bradford for Teaching, and Academy Ambassadors is working to further strengthen multi-academy trusts across the north. Altogether, more than £767 million of additional pupil premium funding was allocated to schools in the north, which over-indexed on pupil premium funding in comparison with the rest of the country.
I am happy to confirm that we remain committed to all areas of the country. In English education there is nothing as simple as a north-south divide. There are areas of educational under-achievement in the north, the south and the middle. We need to seek them out wherever they are, and provide the support and accountability that are needed to ensure that those children too can thrive.
My right hon. Friend is right to identify the challenge that we have in STEM—science, technology, engineering and maths. That goes for apprenticeships and for other parts of the education and training system, as well as employment. It is partly about encouraging girls through programmes such as “Girls Get Coding”. We are taking part in the Year of Engineering, and we continue to support improvements in gender representation through our diversity champions network.
I could not agree more with my hon. Friend. In reforming apprenticeships, we looked around the world to see what the standards were in leading nations such as Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Having a lengthy apprenticeship with a significant off-the-job training element is very important.
The hon. Lady has heard from the Secretary of State regarding school finance, and all I would add is that the Department is working with the Home Office, and of course other stakeholders—the police, Ofsted, and the Health and Safety Executive—on updating our school security guidance to make clear the risks of carrying knives and to provide advice on dealing with this important issue. It is unacceptable to carry a knife in school.
I confess that I have not yet read this morning’s report, but I look forward to consuming it when I have the time to do so with proper attention. My right hon. Friend mentions something on which he has consistently campaigned throughout his time in Parliament, and it is so important that we do not have some sort of wall between the academic and the technical and vocational. Things such as degree apprenticeships are a great opportunity for more people to benefit from certain types of education and to make sure that we widen participation as much as possible.
My hon. Friend is correct that the United Kingdom remains an exceptionally attractive destination for international students. As he says, the number of non-EU international students is at a record high, and of course we want that to continue.
Youth unemployment rose by nearly 50% under the last Labour Government, and one of the best ways to make sure young people have opportunities is to have a thriving economy, but as the hon. Gentleman reiterates, a strong education system, including a strong technical education system, is critical, which is why we are introducing our reforms on T-levels.
I pay tribute to those schools; they are clearly doing an excellent job making sure that children are not only attaining academically but getting the skills they need to be successful in the workplace. That is not the case in the rest of the UK. In Wales, where Labour is in charge, standards are now falling.
We recognise the value of international students in our system, which is why we have recently asked the Migration Advisory Committee to review in full the contribution that they make to our university system. I remind the hon. Gentleman that there are no limits to the number of international students who can come at present. We are second in the world in our market share of international students, and we want that to continue.
It is a welcoming place, as attested to by the fact that this year, for the sixth year in a row, we have 170,000 international students coming into our system, which is a record number. We want that to continue. The work of the British Council contributes to that, as does the work of the GREAT campaign. I will be in India in November drumming up business for our universities, and I expect that other Ministers will do so too.