Caroline Lucas Portrait

Caroline Lucas

Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion

Environmental Audit Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Co-Leader of the Green Party
2nd Sep 2016 - 15th Sep 2018
Environmental Audit Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Environmental Audit Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Leader of the Green Party
5th Sep 2008 - 5th Sep 2012


Oral Question
Tuesday 1st February 2022
11:30
HM Treasury
Oral Question No. 4
What assessment he has made of the compatibility of his policies on the taxation of fossil fuels with the Glasgow Climate Pact.
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Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 2nd February 2022
14:00
Scheduled Event
Friday 18th March 2022
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Decarbonisation and Economic Strategy Bill: Second Reading
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Scheduled Event
Friday 18th March 2022
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
Climate and Ecology Bill: Second Reading
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Division Votes
Wednesday 26th January 2022
Business without Debate
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 1 Green Party No votes vs 0 Green Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 176
Speeches
Wednesday 19th January 2022
Covid-19 Update
I was listening carefully to the Prime Minister’s statement. I do not think he mentioned long covid once, yet according …
Written Answers
Thursday 27th January 2022
Abortion: Telemedicine
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the ability of …
Early Day Motions
Monday 13th December 2021
Funding and support for local government from central government
That this House thanks local authorities for their leadership during the covid-19 pandemic and for the ongoing contribution of their …
Bills
Wednesday 20th October 2021
Decarbonisation and Economic Strategy Bill 2021-22
A Bill to place duties on the Secretary of State to decarbonise the United Kingdom economy and to reverse inequality; …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 23rd August 2021
8. Miscellaneous
Along with For the Citizens Ltd (known as The Citizens) and three other MPs, since 19 October 2020 I have …
EDM signed
Wednesday 26th January 2022
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2022
That this House notes the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' annual Big Garden Birdwatch 2022, taking place from …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 18th March 2020
Vagrancy (Repeal) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Caroline Lucas has voted in 323 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Caroline Lucas 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(39 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(31 debate interactions)
Steve Barclay (Conservative)
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(38 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(35 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(31 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Caroline Lucas's debates

Brighton, Pavilion Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Brighton, Pavilion signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

We ask Parliament to repeal the High Speed Rail Bills, 2016 and 2019, as MPs voted on misleading environmental, financial and timetable information provided by the Dept of Transport and HS2 Ltd. It fails to address the conditions of the Paris Accord and costs have risen from £56bn to over £100bn.

The right to peaceful assembly and protest are fundamental principles of any democracy and the proposed part of this bill that gives the police new powers to tackle disruptive peaceful protests should be removed from The Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.

The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare

Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.


Latest EDMs signed by Caroline Lucas

24th January 2022
Caroline Lucas signed this EDM on Wednesday 26th January 2022

Mandatory covid-19 vaccinations

Tabled by: Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) - York Central)
That this House condemns the Government for twice passing legislation to introduce mandatory covid-19 vaccination of health and care workers in 2021; notes that by Government’s own assessment this will result in up to 115,000 staff members being dismissed, putting severe pressure on NHS and social care, causing additional stress …
9 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 7
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
25th January 2022
Caroline Lucas signed this EDM on Wednesday 26th January 2022

A wealth tax as an alternative to National Insurance increases

Tabled by: Richard Burgon (Labour - Leeds East)
That this House calls on the Government to abandon its regressive plans for a 1.25 percentage point increase in National Insurance contributions; believes this will add to the cost of living crisis people are already experiencing as a result of big increases in energy bills, high inflation, real-term wage cuts …
27 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 21
Independent: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Caroline Lucas's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

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

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Caroline Lucas

Monday 25th October 2021

1 Adjournment Debate led by Caroline Lucas

Tuesday 9th February 2021

26 Bills introduced by Caroline Lucas


A Bill to require the Secretary of State to provide that Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) be a statutory requirement for all state-funded schools; for PSHE to include Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and education on ending violence against women and girls; to provide for initial and continuing teacher education and guidance on best practice for delivering and inspecting PSHE and SRE education; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 20th January 2017
(Read Debate)

To re-establish the Secretary of State’s legal duty as to the National Health Service in England and to make provision about the other duties of the Secretary of State in that regard; to make provision about the administration and accountability of the National Health Service in England; to repeal section 1 of the National Health Service (Private Finance) Act 1997 and sections 38 and 39 of the Immigration Act 2014; to make provision about the application of international law in relation to health services in the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 11th March 2016

A Bill to require the United Kingdom to achieve climate and nature targets; to give the Secretary of State a duty to implement a strategy to achieve those targets; to establish a Climate and Nature Assembly to advise the Secretary of State in creating that strategy; to give duties to the Committee on Climate Change and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee regarding the strategy and targets; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 21st June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 18th March 2022
Order Paper number: 35
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

A Bill to place duties on the Secretary of State to decarbonise the United Kingdom economy and to reverse inequality; to establish a ten-year economic and public investment strategy in accordance with those duties which promotes a community- and employee-led transition from high-carbon to low- and zero-carbon industry; to require the Government to report on its adherence to the strategy; to establish higher environmental standards for air, water and green spaces; to make provision to protect and restore natural habitats; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 20th October 2021
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 18th March 2022
Order Paper number: 18
(Unlikely to be Debated - would require unanimous consent to progress)

A Bill to make provision for requiring public bodies to act in pursuit of the United Kingdom’s environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing by meeting wellbeing objectives, publishing future generations impact assessments, accounting for preventative spending, and through public services contracts; to establish a Commissioner for Future Generations for the United Kingdom; to establish a Joint Parliamentary Committee on Future Generations; to require companies to consider the impact of their activities on the United Kingdom’s wellbeing; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 24th March 2020
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the Prime Minister to achieve climate and ecology objectives; to give the Secretary of State a duty to create and implement a strategy to achieve those objectives; to establish a Citizens’ Assembly to work with the Secretary of State in creating that strategy; to give duties to the Committee on Climate Change regarding the objectives and strategy; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 2nd September 2020

A Bill to place duties on the Secretary of State to decarbonise the United Kingdom economy and to reverse inequality; to establish a ten-year economic and public investment strategy in accordance with those duties which promotes a community- and employee-led transition from high-carbon to low- and zero-carbon industry; to require the Government to report on its adherence to the strategy; to establish higher environmental standards for air, water and green spaces; to make provision to protect and restore natural habitats; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 7th July 2020

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to place duties on the Secretary of State to decarbonise the United Kingdom economy and to eradicate inequality; to establish a ten-year economic and public investment strategy that prioritises decarbonisation, community and employee-led transition from high-carbon to low and zero-carbon industry, and the eradication of inequality; to require the Government to report on its adherence to the strategy; to establish higher environmental standards for air, water and green spaces; to make provision to protect and restore natural habitats; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 26th March 2019

A Bill to establish a Living Rent Commission to conduct research into, and provide proposals for, reducing rent levels in the private rented sector and improving terms and conditions for tenants; to require the Secretary of State to report the recommendations of the Commission to Parliament; to introduce measures to promote long-term tenancies; to establish a mandatory national register of ​landlords and lettings agents; to prohibit the charging of letting or management agent fees to tenants; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 4th July 2016

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to assume control of passenger rail franchises when they come up for renewal; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 4th July 2016

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to provide that Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) be a statutory requirement for all state-funded schools; for PSHE to include Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and education on ending violence against women and girls; to provide for initial and continuing teacher education and guidance on best practice for delivering and inspecting PSHE and SRE education; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 15th July 2015

A Bill to promote public ownership of public services; to introduce a presumption in favour of service provision by public sector and not-for-profit entities; and to put in place mechanisms to increase the accountability, transparency and public control of public services, including those operated by private companies.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 29th June 2015

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to assume control of passenger rail franchises when they come up for renewal; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 29th June 2015

A Bill to establish an independent commission of inquiry to examine ways of improving parliamentary and other public scrutiny of ministerial mandates and outcomes in relation to European Union institutions, policies and legislation; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 3rd May 2016
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to commission a programme of research into reducing rent levels in the private rented sector, improving terms and conditions for tenants, increasing housing supply, and providing a large-scale programme of sustainable council housing in England; to require the Secretary of State to report to Parliament within six months of completion of the research; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 7th July 2014

A Bill to re-establish the Secretary of State’s legal duty as to the National Health Service in England and to make provision about the other duties of the Secretary of State in that regard; to make provision about the administration and accountability of the National Health Service in England; to repeal section 1 of the National Health Service (Private Finance) Act 1997 and sections 38 and 39 of the Immigration Act 2014; to make provision about the application of international law in relation to health services in the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 11th March 2015

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to provide that Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) be a statutory requirement for all state funded schools; for PSHE to include Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and education on ending violence against women and girls; to provide for initial and continuing teacher education and guidance on best practice for delivering and inspecting PSHE and SRE education; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 7th July 2014

A Bill to promote public ownership of public services; to introduce a presumption in favour of service provision by public sector and not-for-profit entities; and to put in place mechanisms to increase the accountability, transparency and public control of public services, including those operated by private companies.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 7th July 2014

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to assume control of passenger rail franchises when they come up for renewal; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 7th July 2014

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to promote public ownership of public services; to introduce a presumption in favour of service provision by public sector and not-for-profit entities; and to put in place mechanisms to increase the accountability, transparency and public control of public services, including those operated by private companies.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 22nd January 2014

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Secretary of State to assume control of passenger rail franchises when they come up for renewal; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 26th June 2013

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A bill to require the Secretary of State to commission a programme of research into the merits of replacing the Council Tax and Non-domestic rates in England with an annual levy on the unimproved value of all land, including transitional arrangements; to report to Parliament within 12 months of completion of the research; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 25th June 2012

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A bill to require local authorities to operate landlord accreditation schemes; to set those schemes according to minimum standards; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 25th June 2012

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A bill to require the Secretary of State to make provision to limit energy contract roll-over for micro businesses to 30 days; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 25th June 2012

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make it illegal in the United Kingdom for a person or company to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase timber or timber products illegally taken, harvested, possessed, transported, sold or exported from their country of origin; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 16th September 2010

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A bill to require the Secretary of State to take steps to require banks, corporations and trusts to provide information on their status, income arising and tax payments made in each jurisdiction in which they operate; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 17th March 2011

27 Bills co-sponsored by Caroline Lucas

Vagrancy (Repeal) Bill 2019-21 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Layla Moran (LDEM)

Trade Agreements (Exclusion of National Health Services) Bill 2019-21 - Private Members' Bill (Ballot Bill)
Sponsor - Peter Grant (SNP)

School Toilets (Access During Lessons) Bill 2019-21 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Layla Moran (LDEM)

Local Electricity Bill 2019-21 - Private Members' Bill (under the Ten Minute Rule)
Sponsor - Peter Aldous (CON)

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Ballot Bill)
Sponsor - Afzal Khan (LAB)

European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Hilary Benn (LAB)

Climate Change (Emissions Targets) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Rachel Reeves (LAB)

Fracking (Measurement and Regulation of Impacts) (Air, Water and Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Geraint Davies (LAB)

Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Act 2019 - Private Members' Bill (Ballot Bill)
Sponsor - Tim Loughton (CON)

Plastic Pollution Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Alistair Carmichael (LDEM)

Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) and Conversion Therapy Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Karen Lee (LAB)

Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019 - Private Members' Bill (Ballot Bill)
Sponsor - Geoffrey Robinson (LAB)

Terms of Withdrawal from the EU (Referendum) (No. 2) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Geraint Davies (LAB)

Parental Leave and Pay Arrangements (Publication) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Jo Swinson (LDEM)

European Union Withdrawal (Evaluation of Effects on Health and Social Care Sectors) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Brendan O'Hara (SNP)

Terms of Withdrawal from EU (Referendum) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Geraint Davies (LAB)

Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (under the Ten Minute Rule)
Sponsor - Peter Aldous (CON)

Homelessness (End of Life Care) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (under the Ten Minute Rule)
Sponsor - Ed Davey (LDEM)

Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018 - Private Members' Bill (Ballot Bill)
Sponsor - Steve Reed (LAB)

Local Electricity Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Jeremy Lefroy (CON)

Representation of the People (Young People's Enfranchisement and Education) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Ballot Bill)
Sponsor - Jim McMahon (LAB)

Vagrancy (Repeal) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Layla Moran (LDEM)

Live Animal Exports (Prohibition) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Theresa Villiers (CON)

Registration of Marriage (No. 2) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Caroline Spelman (CON)

Voyeurism (Offences) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Presentation Bill)
Sponsor - Wera Hobhouse (LDEM)

Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Ballot Bill)
Sponsor - Stewart Malcolm McDonald (SNP)

Refugees (Family Reunion) (No. 2) Bill 2017-19 - Private Members' Bill (Ballot Bill)
Sponsor - Angus Brendan MacNeil (SNP)


1306 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
36 Other Department Questions
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he will publish his response to the technical consultation on changes to permitted development rights for electronic communications infrastructure, which closed on 14 June 2021.

In April 2021, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) (formally Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a joint technical consultation which sought views on the detail of proposals to amend permitted development rights to support increased mobile coverage and 5G deployment.

The technical consultation closed on 14 June 2021. The government is considering the responses and will issue its response in due course. Subject to the outcome of this consultation, we will bring forward secondary legislation to implement the proposals.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, what assessment he has made of whether all covid-19 guidance was followed in No. 10 Downing Street from 23 March 2020 to date; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Terms of Reference for the Cabinet Office investigation, which have been deposited in the Library of the House. It would not be appropriate to pre-empt that process.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
14th Jan 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, on what date he first learned about the parties in Downing Street that took place on the eve of the funeral of Prince Philip.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Terms of Reference for the Cabinet Office investigation, which have been deposited in the Library of the House. It would not be appropriate to pre-empt that process.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that wholesalers can access the forthcoming Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund; if he will make reference to the eligibility of wholesalers in the forthcoming Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund guidance; what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on ensuring the wholesale sector’s access to that relief; and if he will make a statement.

The £1.5 billion COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund will be allocated to local authorities based on the stock of properties in the area whose sectors have been affected by COVID-19 and are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.

My Department will publish guidance to help local authorities set up their local schemes once the legislation relating to COVID-19 Material Change of Circumstances provisions has passed. This will include the eligibility criteria for the scheme and individual local authority allocations.

Decisions on the award of relief will ultimately be for local authorities, having regard to the guidance.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will issue guidance to local authorities to accommodate all homeless people this winter due to the continued risks from covid-19, including those not owed a homelessness duty, and match this with necessary resources; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is clear that no one should be without a roof over their head. We have made considerable progress in the last few years to reduce rough sleeping. Much of this work provided the capacity to deliver the pandemic response both locally and nationally.

We are supporting local authorities under the greatest pressure from rough sleepers under the £10 million Winter Pressures Fund which will bring rough sleepers across the country into safe and supported accommodation across winter. Brighton and Hove are eligible for this fund. We have made a further £3.8 million available to voluntary and community organisations to provide COVID-19 secure accommodation for those sleeping rough. This work bolsters our year-round investment through the £203 million Rough Sleeping Initiative. We continue to support local authorities to exhaust all options for rough sleepers, including those who are non-UK nationals.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) potential merits of a national landlord register and (b) impact such a register has had on protecting the rights of private renters in (i) Scotland, (ii) Wales and (iii) Northern Ireland; what plans his Department has to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a similar database for England; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has committed to exploring the merits of introducing a national landlord register in England as part of a commitment to drive up standards in privately rented accommodation.

We are engaging with a range of stakeholders and potential users of a register such as private landlords, local authority enforcement officers, letting agents and private tenants to inform this work.

We are also engaging with officials in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and will seek to learn from the different approaches applied. We will publish a White Paper that will set out our proposals for private rented sector reform.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate his Department has made of the (a) number of households in England that have rent arrears as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and (b) proportion of those households that will be supported through the £65 million funding his Department announced on 23 October 2021.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 73864 on 22 November 2021.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the potential effect of the Local Housing Allowance rate freeze on the number of people who are homeless; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and we are spending more than £800 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping this year alone. We work closely with colleagues across government on these issues, including DWP.

In April 2020 we increased the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to the 30th percentile of market rents. This investment of nearly £1 billion provided 1.5 million claimants of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit with around £600 more housing support in 2020/21 than they would otherwise have received. For 2021/22, Local Housing Allowance rates have been maintained at the same cash level, and will remain at those levels for 2022/23, meaning claimants renting in the private rented sector continue to benefit from the significant increase in the rates applied in April 2020.

For those who require additional support, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are available. Since 2011 we have provided over £1 billion in DHPs to local authorities to support households with their housing costs.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when his Department plans to publish a strategy on ending rough sleeping by 2024.

We have made excellent progress on our manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping. Rough sleeping levels reduced 37% between 2019 and 2020, the third consecutive yearly decrease.

The Government will be spending over £2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years, demonstrating our commitment to build on recent progress. Multi-year funding will enable local partners to plan services more effectively and efficiently.

The Secretary of State is understandably taking the time to consider carefully his strategic priorities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when his Department plans to publish a white paper for the Renters' Reform Bill as announced in the Queen's Speech in May 2021.

The Government remains committed to building back fairer and having a better deal for renters. We will publish a White Paper in 2022 that will set out Government's plans to introduce once-in-a-generation reforms to create a fairer private rented sector that works for both landlords and tenants. This will allow the requisite time for robust and structured stakeholder engagement with the sector.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that the number of social homes being sold and demolished does not exceed the number of social homes being built.

Since 2010, we've delivered over 395,300 affordable homes for rent, of which over 153,400 homes are for social rent.

Our new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) will deliver more than double the social rent than the current programme, with around 32,000 social rented dwellings due to be delivered.

Following a consultation on the use of Right to Buy receipts, the Government introduced a package of reforms this year to help local authorities build more homes. This set of reforms, combined with the abolition of the borrowing cap in 2018, gives councils substantially increased flexibilities to build the homes England needs.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the average household income is of owners of homes purchased through the Affordable Homes Programme.

We do not currently collect this information centrally.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans to respond to the 2018 consultation Business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation; and if he will make a statement.

In March, the Government announced that it will legislate to require that self-catering accommodation meets an actual lettings threshold before being assessed for business rates. Since then, my Department has been working with Treasury and the Valuation Office Agency to finalise the details of how and when this will be implemented. We will set out further details shortly in the Government’s consultation response.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many of the energy performance certificates issued to householders in the last (a) 12 and (b) 24 months have specifically recommended the installation of (i) an air source heap pump and (ii) a ground source heat pump.

No Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) issued during the 24 months to October 2021 contained a recommendation to install an air or ground source heat pump.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, with reference to the Answer of 18 October 2021 to Question 53867, on UN Climate Conference 2021, for what reason there was only one meeting in respect of COP26 in the latest transparency publication of his meetings from January to March 2021.

The quarterly lists of Ministerial meetings with external organisations do not include engagement with representatives of foreign governments. It is in the national interest that some diplomacy takes place privately, to allow open and candid discussions with other nations.

Notwithstanding this fact, Downing Street regularly publishes on GOV.UK summaries of diplomatic meetings and telephone calls, including those discussing climate change and COP26.

More broadly, I refer the Hon. Member to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s oral statement today on the COP26 Summit.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
29th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, with reference to the Answer of 18 October 2021 to Question 53867, on UN Climate Conference 2021, if he will publish the details of all meetings the Prime Minister has had with (a) heads of states, (b) ambassadors, (c) business leaders and (d) representatives of civil society where COP26 was the leading topic of discussion since the most recent transparency publication of meetings from January to March 2021.

The quarterly lists of Ministerial meetings with external organisations do not include engagement with representatives of foreign governments. It is in the national interest that some diplomacy takes place privately, to allow open and candid discussions with other nations.

Notwithstanding this fact, Downing Street regularly publishes on GOV.UK summaries of diplomatic meetings and telephone calls, including those discussing climate change and COP26.

More broadly, I refer the Hon. Member to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s oral statement today on the COP26 Summit.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether data is being collected from applications to the Building Safety Fund to identify the names of developers responsible for developments where build defects have been identified during the External Wall System EWS process; what mechanism he will use to take action against developers where repeated defects are found in their development blocks during the EWS process and the developer is delaying remedial work by not accepting liability; and if he will make a statement.

Applicants to the Building Safety Fund are asked to provide information about the developer of the building. We are committed to making sure that applicants carry out remedial work without delay, and that developers make a fair contribution towards costs. Applicants to the Fund are required, as part of any funding agreement, to demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to recover the costs of replacing the unsafe cladding from those responsible through insurance claims, warranties or legal action.

We are securing a significant contribution from developers towards remediation costs by introducing a new Residential Property Developer Tax to raise at least £2 billion over 10 years, and implementing a levy on developers at ‘gateway two’ of the new building safety regime. And we do not rule out further action to protect leaseholders and taxpayers and make sure that industry pays its fair share.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to his Department's Building Safety Fund registration statistics, how many and what proportion of properties within the Brighton and Hove local authority area that have registered with that Fund are in the Brighton Pavilion constituency; and of those registrations, how many have been (a) processed, (b) approved, and (c) paid.

As at 21 October 2021, 18 registrations to the Building Safety Fund have been received covering a total of 20 buildings in Brighton and Hove, of which three buildings are in the Brighton Pavilion constituency. Of the 20 buildings registered in Brighton and Hove, seven have been either been withdrawn or assessed as ineligible, 10 are having their eligibility assessed, and three buildings have been assessed as eligible and their applications for funding are progressing. All three of the eligible buildings are in the Brighton Pavilion constituency, two of which have received funding.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what arrangements have been made to provide (a) financial and (b) practical support to COP26 delegates from countries in the global South very recently removed from the covid-19 red list, who were in the group eligible for funding for required managed quarantine stays and who now have no accommodation in Glasgow for between five and 10 days, depending on their vaccination status, because their accommodation arrangements were made prior to their countries removal from the covid-19 red list, and who will otherwise find it difficult to attend COP26; and if he will make a statement.

When the red list changed on 7 October, there were 280 managed quarantine bookings made by COP26 participants through the bespoke COP26 booking system. We have engaged with all of the individuals that booked and gave a country of departure that is no longer on the red list.

The UNFCCC Trust Fund for Participants, to which the UK Government contributes, has paid for the costs of necessary flight changes for funded delegates.

We are continuing to fund managed quarantine stays for all COP26 participants, including party delegates, media and observers that would otherwise find it difficult to attend COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2021 to Question 13917, when he plans to announce further details of the long-term, low-interest loan scheme for leaseholders in buildings below 18 metres where dangerous cladding needs to be removed; when that loan scheme will be open for applications; whether he has assessed the reasons for the low take up of that loan scheme set up for similar purposes in Victoria, Australia; and if he will make a statement.

Building owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders and we are introducing new measures that will legally require building owners to prove they have tried all routes to cover costs. The Government has announced a globally unprecedented investment of over £5 billion in building safety and hundreds of thousands of leaseholders will be protected from the cost of remediating unsafe cladding from their homes. The Secretary of State is looking closely at this issue to make sure everything is being done to support leaseholders. Further detail on the support offer for leaseholders in residential buildings of 11-18 metres will be released when all options have been fully considered. Officials are in regular contact with their counterparts in Victoria and the Department is committed to working with our international colleagues on matters of building safety.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what mechanisms are in place to ensure that applications to the Building Safety Fund are not prevented from progressing as a result of absent freeholders living overseas and who are not responsive to requests to complete necessary paperwork and application forms; if he will take steps to compel all freeholders of UK properties to respond within a particular time-frame to requests to complete paperwork relating to the Building Safety Fund; and if he will make a statement.

The Department and its delivery partners work closely with applicants to make sure that they are prompt in completing their application and engage with the Department to resolve any issues they are having. Where owners are based overseas, we will work with their UK-based representatives. Where building owners are failing to make acceptable progress, those responsible should expect further action to be taken. Local Authority and Fire and Rescue Services have enforcement powers and the Government is supporting them to use those powers against high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will publish details of all meetings he has attended with (a) Heads of States, (b) Ambassadors, (c) business leaders and (d) civil society where COP26 was the leading topic of discussion in the last 12 months.

A successful COP26 is at the top of the Government’s agenda. I regularly raise climate change and COP26 in my bilateral meetings. Most recently, during my visit to the US and attendance at the UN General Assembly, I raised climate change with the heads of state or government from Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, Turkey, and the US. I co-hosted a climate roundtable with the UN Secretary General where we called on major economies to be more ambitious in cutting emissions and encouraged developed countries to increase mobilisation of climate finance to meet the $100 billion goal. Details of my meetings are published and can be found on Gov.uk.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will publish the details of all meetings he has held in the last 12 months with (a) Heads of States (b) Ambassadors (c) business leaders and (d) civil society, where COP26 was the leading topic of discussion.

A successful COP26 is at the top of the Government’s agenda. I regularly raise climate change and COP26 in my bilateral meetings. Most recently, during my visit to the US and attendance at the UN General Assembly, I raised climate change with the heads of state or government from Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, Turkey, and the US. I co-hosted a climate roundtable with the UN Secretary General where we called on major economies to be more ambitious in cutting emissions and encouraged developed countries to increase mobilisation of climate finance to meet the $100 billion goal. Details of my meetings are published and can be found on Gov.uk.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, with reference to Zero Hour’s report, Three COP Outcomes We Can’t Live Without, (a) if he will make an assessment of its recommendations for (i) a joint emergency strategy for climate and nature (ii) commitment from parties to the UNFCCC to the global carbon budget aligned with 1.5 degrees Celsius and (iii) a global goal to achieve net gains in biodiversity by 2030, against a baseline of 2020 and (b) if he will make it his policy to take forward these recommendations at COP26.

Ahead of COP26, we are calling for global action and ambition to reduce emissions from all sectors in order to meet net zero by 2050 – including in agriculture, forestry and other land use, which is collectively responsible for 23% of global emissions.

On i) we are pushing countries to make ambitious commitments to curb the dual crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change, which will be announced at COP26 in November. This will put us on a path to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and mitigate the climate crisis.

In addition, this year the UK has convened meetings between the COP26 and COP15 Presidencies and their respective Secretariats to increase synergies and jointly address the interlinked crises of climate, biodiversity and land through integrated approaches. Discussions have explored the importance of unified action at all levels to restore the land that sustains us, halt the loss of biodiversity, and mitigate and adapt to climate change.

On ii) the science is clear that in order to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change we must limit warming to 1.5c. This is why we are urging all parties to submit ambitious NDCs that keep this target within reach by COP26.

On iii) the UK is pursuing a hugely ambitious package of outcomes from COP15 that goes beyond agreement of new global biodiversity goals and targets, but also puts in place the core elements needed to drive real-world change. These are: 1) a set of ambitious targets to deliver on our overall goal of ‘bending the curve of biodiversity loss by 2030’; 2) significantly increased mobilisation of global resources from all sources and a shift towards nature positive decision-making across all sectors; 3) strengthened accountability to mitigate the risk that countries agree ambitious targets but fail to take meaningful steps to deliver change.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what consideration he has made of calls from civil society and other stakeholders for a high level political focus on Loss and Damage through a (a) Loss and Damage Champion or (b) Ministerial pairing to ensure that work is urgently undertaken in order to deliver (i) concrete progress on Loss and Damage at COP26 and (ii) a clear pathway through to COP27.

We have heard and agree with calls from civil society for the need for a high level political focus on loss and damage at COP26 and in the run up to COP27. The UK is currently consulting Parties on the idea of a high level envoy for loss and damage.

We agree that a clear pathway is needed and intend to respond to parties’ and observers’ calls (including at the July ministerial) to step up efforts to address loss and damage, through locally-owned plans, institutional capacity, technical expertise and accessible finance. We will have a dedicated session at Pre-COP with Ministers designated to lead discussions. We also expect this to play a significant part in the discussions at COP26, subject to the agreement Parties reach on the agenda of the conference in the coming weeks.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is is taking to help ensure that COP26 delivers substantial progress on loss and damage, including mandating work for financing options to increase the level of support to frontline communities, as called for by the Climate Vulnerable Forum and other stakeholders.

As incoming Presidency, the UK has been gathering Parties’ views on what more is needed in addition to the Santiago Network to deliver progress on Loss and Damage. An emerging point is the need for existing funds and action in the international and humanitarian system to be better coordinated and scaled up, and better oriented to local level needs.

We are working with the international community to increase support for locally led action, including through the Adaptation Action Coalition. In parallel the UK is asking other donors to follow our example in supporting the LDC’s Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE AR) which has the aim of assisting LDCs to put in place plans, finance and delivery mechanisms to respond to local needs. The UK endorsed the Principles for Locally Led Adaptation at the Climate Adaptation Summit in January 2021, and successfully persuaded other Foreign and Development ministers to do the same under the UK’s G7 Presidency. We are also working to address the barriers that restrict and prevent finance flowing to the local-level through the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance.

We welcome the input of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and have been engaging with them through their regional dialogues, as well as through bilateral engagement on their suggestions and plans for COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what discussions he has had with developed country (a) negotiators and (b) ministers on the need for new and additional finance for loss and damage in the last 12 months.

In my role as COP26 President, I have met with more than 100 Ministers from at least 65 countries. As part of these discussions, as well as in public fora, I have set out the importance of developed countries meeting and surpassing the commitment to jointly mobilise $100 billion of climate finance a year through to 2025, from a range of public and private sources.

At both Ministerial and official level we continue to raise the need for finance and action on loss and damage, noting that relevant finance for averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage comes from sources under and outside the convention.

As COP26 incoming Presidency, the UK has convened six consultations (workshops and a Heads of Delegation meeting) which have devoted substantial time to the issue of operationalising the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, in addition to a dedicated session on loss and damage at the July Ministerial which I convened in London where the issue of finance was raised. I will also hold discussion on adaptation, loss and damage, and finance at pre-COP at the end of September, with a view to political leaders providing the strategic framing for negotiator-level discussions at COP26.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to consult widely with parties to the UNFCCC on the decisions needed at COP26 to operationalise the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage; what provision he has made in the COP26 agenda to discuss and agree loss and damage matters, including getting the COP decisions needed to operationalise the Santiago Network; and what assessment he has made of whether the Santiago Network will be fully operational by the end of COP26.

As COP26 incoming Presidency, the UK has convened six consultations (workshops and a Heads of Delegation meeting) which have devoted substantial time to the issue of developing the Santiago Network, in addition to a dedicated session at the July Ministerial which I convened in London. The agenda for COP/CMA will be decided on by the Parties. My officials are also discussing the agenda with Parties over the next few weeks. Whether the Santiago Network will be operational by the end of this year depends on the view that Parties take at the conference on the process they wish to follow, but the UK will use our convening power to maintain momentum and encourage a fair, inclusive and impactful outcome.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to help ensure that (a) contributions by developed countries to the $100 billion climate finance commitment are delivered as grants and (b) 50 per cent of climate finance is allocated to adaptation.

The OECD figures recently published showed that developed countries were still significantly short of the $100 billion goal in 2019, mobilising $79.6 billion. We have seen recent progress. President Biden’s recent announcement that the US is doubling their climate finance to $11.4 billion by 2024 is a major step towards the achievement of the $100 billion goal. However, we need all developed countries to step up with enhanced pledges, and the Presidency is continuing to encourage developed countries to increase their commitments, including to feed into the Germany-Canada led Delivery Plan.

The UK is ensuring a large majority of our international climate finance is grant-based. We are pressing other donor countries for similarly ambitious commitments. Under our G7 Presidency, the G7 committed to scaling up adaptation finance, and we have seen concrete new individual pledges from Canada, Japan, the US, and Denmark in recent months to this effect. The UK has committed to delivering a balance through our scaled up ICF and has joined the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, composed of donors committed to delivering a balance of adaptation in their climate finance in response to calls from developing countries.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment his Department has made of (a) how to meet the shortfall in the $100 billion climate finance commitment and (b) how that cost should be distributed across developed countries.

The OECD figures recently published showed that developed countries were still significantly short of the $100 billion goal in 2019, mobilising $79.6 billion. We have seen recent progress. President Biden’s recent announcement that the US is doubling their climate finance to $11.4 billion by 2024 is a major step towards the achievement of the $100 billion goal. However, we need all developed countries to step up with enhanced pledges, and the Presidency is continuing to encourage developed countries to increase their commitments, including to feed into the Germany-Canada led Delivery Plan.

The UK is ensuring a large majority of our international climate finance is grant-based. We are pressing other donor countries for similarly ambitious commitments. Under our G7 Presidency, the G7 committed to scaling up adaptation finance, and we have seen concrete new individual pledges from Canada, Japan, the US, and Denmark in recent months to this effect. The UK has committed to delivering a balance through our scaled up ICF and has joined the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, composed of donors committed to delivering a balance of adaptation in their climate finance in response to calls from developing countries.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, with reference to the Local Government Association motion on Local Government contributions towards national climate action in the year of COP26, published on 7 July 2021, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequate representation of local government at COP26 in order to highlight the progress being made on climate change at a local level.

In the run up to COP26, we are continuing to engage with local authorities and leaders across the UK through the UK Mayors and Regions Advisory Council. We also work closely with a number of non-state actor organisations such as the C40 Cities, ICLEI and UK100 to help further engage with local authorities.

BEIS has contributed towards a locally led campaign delivered through the local energy hubs, to highlight work on net zero by Local Authorities, communities and businesses across the UK. This will include running regional Electric Vehicle roadshow events in the run up to COP and hosting events in each region during the COP itself.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 136483 on Remote Divisions, what information the Commission holds on how many hon. Members were (a) unable to use the electronic method of voting and (b) used the back-up system provided for electronic voting during the two weeks that electronic voting was used in the House of Commons in 2020; what discussions the Commission has had with the Leader of the House on electronic voting in the House of Commons during the period of the national covid-19 lockdown that has been in place since January 2021 to help prevent the transmission of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

Electronic voting was used for 10 divisions between 12 May and 20 May inclusive. Members voted using MemberHub. The Public Bill Office operated a back-up system: if a Member could not register their vote using MemberHub, they contacted the Public Bill Office during the division and their vote was recorded. The table below shows how many Members registered their vote using the back-up method, and the total number of votes cast in each division.

Date

Division number

Total votes cast

Votes cast using back-up system

12 May 2020

41

611

2

13 May 2020

42

605

4

43

574

6

44

419

6

45

571

3

18 May 2020

46

603

1

20 May 2020

47

608

3

48

614

2

49

609

2

50

585

2


The Commission received an update on the House Service’s response to the pandemic at its meeting on 11 January, and agreed a number of measures to further improve the safety of people on the Parliamentary estate. Electronic voting was raised at the meeting, and there is a range of views among Commissioners on this issue. However, the means by which Divisions are conducted are ultimately a matter for the House to determine.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, how many times the LGBT Advisory Panel has met in the year from July 2019 to July 2020; whether she has fulfilled the requirement set out in the LGBT Advisory Panel’s terms of reference to meet the Chair of the Panel twice a year; and if she will publish the minutes of any Panel meetings that have taken place.

Between July 2019 and July 2020 the LGBT Advisory Panel has met three times: on 18 July 2019, 4 February 2020 and 1 June 2020. Former Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams, attended the meeting in February 2020. Minister for Women and Equalities Rt Hon Liz Truss and I attended the meeting in June 2020.

The minutes of the meeting held July 2019 are available on the GEO website and the minutes for the meeting held February 2020 will be published in due course. No minutes were taken for the meeting of June 2020 as this was an introductory meeting between the Panel and new Ministers.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the Answer of 19 June 2020 to Question 57942 whether he has undertaken (a) polling and (b) other evidence gathering of public opinion to underpin his statement that nobody in Number 10 has done anything to undermine the Government's covid-19 messaging.

I refer the Hon. Member to my Parliamentary statement of 23 June 2020, Official Report, Column 1167 onwards, which outlines how we are working with the public to combat the Covid-19 virus, and to trust in the common sense of the British people. That common sense and the public’s sacrifices have allowed us to get the virus under control and downgrade the Covid Alert Level.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to the Written Statement of 3 February 2020, HCWS86 on UK/ EU relations, for what reasons that statement did not refer to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The written ministerial statement sets out the Government’s proposed approach to the negotiations with the EU about our future relationship. Leaving the EU does not change our world-leading ambitions on the environment. We have a long history of environmental protection which predates membership of the EU, and we will safeguard and improve on this record.

The UK Government is committed to supporting implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. A comprehensive account of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals setting out how government, business, civil society and others are contributing to them both at home and around the world is available on gov.uk. It also sets out areas of further work and next steps.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uks-voluntary-national-review-of-the-sustainable-development-goals

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to (a) extend the 2017 gender pay reporting framework to include reporting on the (i) ethnicity, (b) disability and (c) LGBT pay gap, (b) extend pay gap reporting requirements to companies with more than 100 employees, (c) mandate horizontal pay reporting and (d) require companies with pay gaps to publish an evidence-based action plan to tackle (A) pay discrimination and (B) any failure to actively recruit under-represented groups to high value roles.

Pay gaps are caused by a range of factors. The Government ran a consultation from October 2018 to January 2019 on Ethnicity Pay Reporting, which received over 300 responses. The Government has met with businesses and representative organisations to understand the barriers towards reporting and what information could be published to allow for meaningful action to be taken. We have also run voluntary methodology testing with a broad range of businesses to better understand the complexities outlined in the consultation using real payroll data and will share next steps in due course.

Calculation and monitoring of disability and LGBT pay gaps raises significant issues of self-reporting and data accuracy and this data is not widely collected by employers. On disability, the Government is committed to reducing the disability employment gap and seeing a million more disabled people in work between 2017 and 2027. We support disabled people to enter employment and stay in work through a range of programmes such as the Work and Health Programme, Access to Work and the Intensive Personalised Employment Support Programme. In November 2018 we also published a voluntary reporting framework on public reporting of pay and progression of disabled people. This is aimed at employers (with over 250 employees) but can also be used to support smaller employers who are keen to drive greater transparency.

On LGBT, we are clear that LGBT people should be able to be themselves in the workplace. We are committed to taking action on LGBT sexual harassment in the workplace and are currently in conversation with ACAS about their harassment guidance. We are also taking steps to improve our monitoring data, including introducing questions to the 2021 Census in this area.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the investigation led by Sue Gray into allegations of breaches of covid-19 regulations by the Prime Minister will include interviewing former Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt hon. Member for Hertsmere, on whether he gained any knowledge of gatherings on 20 May 2020 at the Downing Street while visiting Downing Street on that date to deliver the covid-19 press conference.

The Terms of Reference for the Cabinet Office’s investigation have been published on GOV.UK and deposited in the libraries of both Houses. The work will be concluded by the Second Permanent Secretary.

The Government does not comment on the specifics of an ongoing process.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Prime Minister attended an indoor gathering at Downing Street on 13 November 2020.

I refer the Hon Member to the answers given by my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister's Questions on 8 December and those given by me in the House on 9 December. Copies of the terms of reference for the Cabinet Secretary’s investigations have been placed in the Libraries of the House and are also available on the GOV.UK website.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Prime Minister attended an indoor gathering at No.10 Downing Street on 27 November 2020.

I refer the Hon Member to the answers given by my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister's Questions on 8 December and those given by me in the House on 9 December. Copies of the terms of reference for the Cabinet Secretary’s investigations have been placed in the Libraries of the House and are also available on the GOV.UK website.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons the Prime Minister wore a police uniform during televised media interviews on 6 December 2021; and whether the Prime Minister sought (a) permission from (i) the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police or (ii) other relevant police authorities to wear police uniform during media interviews and (b) advice from officials on potential implications for the separation of Ministerial and police roles of a Minister (A) wearing and (B) widely publicising the wearing of police uniform; and if he will make a statement.

On 6 December, the Prime Minister accompanied Merseyside Police to watch their County Lines enforcement work in action. His attendance and participation was agreed with Merseyside Police, who ensured that clothing and protective equipment, to reflect the operational conditions, was provided.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Prompt Payment Policy applies to payments due from Government departments to (a) sign-language interpreters and (b) other self-employed people providing services to Government departments; if he will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on delays to payments to sign-language interpreters providing services to Access to Work claimants on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions; and if he will make a statement.

As per the Public Contract Regulations 2015, public sector buyers must include 30-day payment terms in new public sector contracts. Public sector buyers must also make sure this payment term is passed down the supply chain.

Government departments are committed to paying all valid and undisputed invoices within 30 days. Government departments publish their payment performance against 5 and 30 days on a quarterly basis on GOV.UK. DWP's latest published report shows they paid 95.7% of valid and undisputed invoices within 5 days and 99.5% of valid and undisputed invoices in 30 days covering April - June of this year.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 26 August 2021 to Question 16063 on Disease Control, which Cabinet Ministers were actively involved in Exercise Nimbus.

In addition to the information provided in the response to PQ 16063, the following cross-government exercises have been conducted since 2010 in relation to pandemic preparedness and response:

  • April 2021: an official-level exercise to test contingency plans for the risk of an emergence of a significant variant of COVID-19.

  • May 2021: a Ministerial-level exercise to rehearse the response to the outbreak of a significant variant of COVID-19.

  • August 2021: a series of official-level wargames to test cross-government COVID-19 arrangements for the Autumn / Winter period.

As explained in the response to PQ 16063, the Government does not publicly comment in detail on pandemic preparedness exercises. This includes exercises that test plans for ongoing emergencies, including COVID-19. This is to allow Ministers, officials and emergency planners to develop policies and plans while ensuring that the full, candid and proper deliberation of lessons learned is not influenced or impacted by the possibility of public exposure.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 26 August 2021 to Question 16063 on Disease Control, if he will make it his policy to gather the details of all pandemic exercises held across Government departments from 2010 onwards; if he will set out the relevance of each exercise to the covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement.

In addition to the information provided in the response to PQ 16063, the following cross-government exercises have been conducted since 2010 in relation to pandemic preparedness and response:

  • April 2021: an official-level exercise to test contingency plans for the risk of an emergence of a significant variant of COVID-19.

  • May 2021: a Ministerial-level exercise to rehearse the response to the outbreak of a significant variant of COVID-19.

  • August 2021: a series of official-level wargames to test cross-government COVID-19 arrangements for the Autumn / Winter period.

As explained in the response to PQ 16063, the Government does not publicly comment in detail on pandemic preparedness exercises. This includes exercises that test plans for ongoing emergencies, including COVID-19. This is to allow Ministers, officials and emergency planners to develop policies and plans while ensuring that the full, candid and proper deliberation of lessons learned is not influenced or impacted by the possibility of public exposure.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will list the Ministers who have conducted Government business using private email accounts since the 2019 General Election.

I refer the hon. Member to my response on 28 June 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant the Answer of 29 March 2021 to Question 172053 on Gender Based Violence: Victim Support Schemes, and with reference to the Green Paper Transforming Public Procurement, if he will publish a White Paper containing criteria setting out when it is appropriate for grant funding to be used for specialist provision for Violence Against Women and Girls services and for procurement rules to not apply.

The government has no plans to legislate in this area and so will not publish a White Paper. The published Grants Functional Standard provides clear guidance, alongside Managing Public Money, on the use of grant funding, and is available to government departments and arm's length bodies. Decisions on the use of grants as a funding mechanism are carefully considered and informed by the purpose and expected outcomes of individual schemes.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the covid-19 risk from wedding ceremonies in (a) permitted places of worship and some public buildings from 12 April 2021 and (b) outdoor wedding ceremony venues.

In the COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021, the Government has set out the gradual and cautious approach to reopening different sectors in England, guided by science and the data.

We understand the unique significance that marriages and civil partnerships hold in people’s lives, but we have to take necessary steps to limit transmission of COVID-19. This includes restrictions on wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, as well as other forms of social contact. By their very nature, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are events that bring families and friends together, making them particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19.

Alternative wedding ceremonies are permitted in line with the regular wedding or civil partnership rules, in the same locations, at each step.

From 29 March, wedding and civil partnership ceremonies can take place indoors or outdoors in COVID-Secure venues that are not expressly closed by the Regulations, or where a broader exemption applies. Only six people are permitted to attend until Step 2, when limits will increase to 15. This approach allows couples to marry in legally binding licensed venues for wedding ceremonies (where outdoor options are limited) while remaining in line with the reopening of sectors and venues as set out in the roadmap. Wedding ceremonies should follow government guidance to reduce the risk of transmission.

Receptions (of up to 15 people) can resume from Step 2. The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors. That is why receptions are only permitted outdoors at this Step and should be in a COVID-Secure venue.

From Step 3, no earlier than 17 May 2021, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted for up to 30 people in COVID-Secure venues that are not required to close, or where a broader exemption applies. Receptions can also proceed with up to 30 people in a COVID-Secure indoor venue, or outdoors, which includes private gardens.

Guidance for wedding and civil partnership receptions and celebrations can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-wedding-and-civil-partnership-receptions-and-celebrations

At each step, the limits on the number of attendees includes children of all ages, but not workers.


For further information, please refer to the guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department is taking steps to remove specialist Violence Against Women and Girls services from procurement rules; and if he will make a statement.

The overarching principle in all public procurement is to secure the best value for money for the taxpayer. The Green Paper proposals rightly put value for money at the heart of the new approach for services that are put out to tender. However there is no requirement in the procurement rules for public services to be outsourced.

Where grants are appropriately used to fund these types of specialist provision, procurement rules do not apply: grants are subject to public law and internal government standards, to ensure that the provision is effective and value for money is achieved.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions has not lead a daily covid-19 briefing broadcast from Downing Street.

The daily coronavirus press conferences have been led by the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary, and other Cabinet Ministers as required, reflecting the salient topics.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what date and for what reasons the Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingency Committee was disbanded.

The body referred to in the Hon. Members' questions was one of a number of sub-Committees of the National Security Council. Since July 2019, the National Security Council itself now consider matters relating to national security, foreign policy, defence, international relations and development, resilience, energy and resource security. This includes oversight of the National Security Risk Assessment. This administrative measure simply reflected a wider consolidation of Cabinet Committee sub-Committees.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to Question 51836 and with reference to his decision to allow Dominic Cummings to remain in post following his trip to the North East from London during the covid-19 lockdown, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of that decision on public attitudes towards cooperating with social distancing and other guidelines to avoid transmission of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

As I said on Monday 25th May, I do not believe that anybody in Number 10 has done anything to undermine our messaging. I am satisfied that Mr Cummings’ actions were in line with the Government’s guidance, and Durham Police have also stated, ‘Durham Constabulary does not consider that by locating himself at his father’s premises, Mr Cummings committed an offence’.

We all have a duty to be clear in our advice to the public throughout this unprecedented pandemic. The Government’s guidance remains clear: we all must stay alert, in order to control the virus and save lives. That means continuing to observe social distancing, limiting contact with others, washing our hands regularly, and self-isolating if we have symptoms.

It is thanks to the common sense of the British public that we have got the R rate beneath 1, and it is only by pulling together in this national effort that we will defeat coronavirus.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much public health and NHS advertising has been placed with (a) members of the Independent Community News Network and (b) other news providers since 23 March 2020.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 46692 on 29 May 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to set up a full public inquiry into the Government's response to the covid-19 outbreak with a remit to include (a) who in Government was responsible for preparedness and (b) the quality of the Government's (i) responses and (ii) decisions; if he will undertake preparatory work on that public inquiry so that public hearings can start in 2020; and if he will make a statement.

As the Government has made clear, at some point in the future there will be an opportunity for us to look back, to reflect and to learn lessons. However, at the moment, the important thing is to focus on responding to the current situation. The Government has set out its strategic response to COVID-19 in “Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy”, which is available here.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the press statement by Michel Barnier following the second round of future relationship negotiations with the United Kingdom published on 24 April 2020, what recent (a) social, (b) economic, (c) labour and (d) environmental impact assessments the Government has undertaken of the effect of not reaching a deal with the EU by the end of the transition period.

The UK has struck a deal with the EU and that will form the basis of our relationship with the EU going forwards. There is no danger of the kind of legal rupture and uncertainty that would have occurred if we had left the EU without a deal. The outstanding question is how deep our trading relationship can be in future and what kind of pragmatic collaboration we are looking for in other areas.

It’s in our and the EU’s interests to have a future relationship which keeps goods flowing, services being provided, and business being done. Negotiations with the EU on the form that relationship will take are ongoing. We will continue to keep Parliament informed with appropriate analysis at appropriate times.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his Department's policy is on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK to vote in (a) local, (b) regional and (c) national elections after the UK’s departure from the European Union; and when his Department plans to publish that policy.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer which I gave to PQ 10755 on 10 February 2020, and to relevant legislation, including the Representation of the People Act 1983.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his Department's policy is on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, to stand for election in (a) local, (b) regional and (c) national elections after the UK’s exit from the European Union; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer which I gave to PQ 10755 on 10 February 2020, and to relevant legislation, including the Representation of the People Act 1983.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to (a) protect and (b) improve the rights of workers in the global information and communications technology sector through its (i) policies on and (ii) processes for procuring that technology throughout the government estate.

This Government is committed to ethical and responsible procurement in all sectors, including the technology sector. This includes working with suppliers to identify and avoid the risk of modern slavery in Government Department’s supply chains, as part of wider Government action to tackle compliance with the Modern Slavery Act.

The Government is taking forward initiatives to tackle modern slavery in supply chains. In September 2019 we published new guidance to help Government departments identify and avoid the risk of modern slavery in their supply chains during procurement processes. It also sets out how existing contracts can be risk assessed and suggests measures to manage the risks identified. The Guidance contains several tools to support this work, including:

  • An online training course on ethical procurement following a partnership between the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), Government Commercial Function and the Home Office.

  • A Modern Slavery Assessment Tool to support public bodies assess their own supply base for modern slavery risks.

In 2019, we also published the updated 'Supplier Code of Conduct v2', which sets the standards and behaviours expected from suppliers (and separately grant recipients), and reiterates the government's approach to working with suppliers.

Crown Commercial Service’s Standard Contract includes a Schedule which sets out the behaviours expected of all government suppliers, including those in the ICT industry. The schedule covers several areas of worker's rights, including equality and accessibility, security of income, working hours and modern slavery.

Additionally, the Crown Commercial Service has partnered with Electronics Watch, a multi-stakeholder initiative, to improve conditions for workers at factory level in government ICT hardware supply chains. Electronics Watch’s work has led to workers in government supply chains being reimbursed for recruitment fees they paid. Government is also piloting a programme to improve responsible recruitment in parts of our health sector supply chains in South East Asia.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Minister for Energy’s statement that coal has no part to play in future power generation in the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 69602, what discussions he has had with Welsh Ministers regarding plans to extend the Aberpergwm drift coalmine site; and if he will place a copy of that correspondence in the Library.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State met with the Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change in November 2021 and subsequently officials from the Department and the Welsh Government have met to discuss the licence for coal extraction held by Energybuild Limited in relation to Aberpergwm; an operational coal mine in Wales that produces high grade anthracite for industrial use.

I am happy to place in the Libraries of the House a copy of my letter of 7 January 2022 to the Welsh Government Minister setting out the UK Government’s position.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answers of 9 November 2021 to Questions 67118, 67119 and 67120, if he will publish the evidence base for the Government’s conclusion that all previously licensed fields can be developed as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

The OGA’s published production projections can be found on the OGA website at the following weblink: www.ogauthority.co.uk/data-centre/data-downloads-and-publications/production-projections/.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answers of 10 November 2021 to Questions 68176 to 68187, if he will publish the evidence base for the Government’s conclusion that all previously licenced fields can be developed, as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

The OGA’s published production projections can be found on the OGA website at the following weblink: www.ogauthority.co.uk/data-centre/data-downloads-and-publications/production-projections/.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Answers of 10 November to Questions 69042 to 69061, if he will publish the evidence base for the Government’s conclusion that all previously licenced fields can be developed, as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

The OGA’s published production projections can be found on the OGA website at the following weblink: www.ogauthority.co.uk/data-centre/data-downloads-and-publications/production-projections/.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answers of 1 November 2021 to Questions 67118 to 67120, whether his Department's assessment of all previously licensed fields included scope 3 emissions.

Downstream scope 3 emissions of oil and gas production (the emissions released from the end-use combustion of the oil or gas product) are accounted for within the UK’s carbon budget under the sectors that consume oil and gas.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answers of 3 November to Questions 69042 to 69061, whether his Department's assessment of all previously licensed fields included scope 3 emissions.

Downstream scope 3 emissions of oil and gas production (the emissions released from the end-use combustion of the oil or gas product) are accounted for within the UK’s carbon budget under the sectors that consume oil and gas.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the new Advanced Research and Invention Agency will provide dedicated funding for research that uses and seeks to further develop (a) the use of advanced cultures of human cells and tissues, (b) artificial intelligence, (c) organ-on-a-chip technology human tissue models and (d) other techniques that do not use animals relevant to disease modelling and drug testing for humans; whether he plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of having as a focus for that Agency the acceleration of the replacement of animal experiments with such techniques; and if he will make a statement.

The CEO and leadership of the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA), not Government, will be responsible for the strategic direction of their programme portfolio. While there are many UK funding programmes for which Ministers do set the strategic direction, ARIA is specifically being set up without those constraints.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government’s plans to invest £20 billion in Research and Development by 2024-25, what proportion of that funding will be allocated to research that uses and seeks to further develop (a) the use of advanced cultures of human cells and tissues, (b) artificial intelligence, (c) organ-on-a-chip technology human tissue models and (d) other techniques that do not use animals relevant to disease modelling and drug testing for humans; and if he will make a statement.

Following the Spending Review, BEIS will set R&D budgets through to 2024/25. Further details of how this funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

The Government actively supports and funds the development and dissemination of techniques that replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research (the 3Rs). This is achieved primarily through funding for the National Centre for the 3Rs. Since the NC3Rs was launched it has committed £100 million through its research, innovation, and early career awards to provide new 3Rs approaches for scientists in academia and industry to use.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the Lough Neagh fossil fuel development proposed by EHA Exploration on the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

The licensing and regulation of onshore oil and gas development is fully devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his department has made of the potential effect of the Fermanagh fossil fuel development proposed by Tamboran Resources UK on the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

The licensing and regulation of onshore oil and gas development is fully devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the Woodhouse Colliery fossil fuel development proposed by West Cumbria Mining on the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

Our Net Zero Strategy makes it clear that coal has no part to play in our future power generation which is why we’re phasing it out of our electricity generation by 2024 – a year earlier than planned. Coal’s share of our electricity supply has already declined significantly in recent years – from almost 40% in 2012 to less than 2% in 2020.

The public inquiry into the proposed Woodhouse Colliery fossil fuel development began on 7th September 2021. The formal part of the inquiry has now concluded. It is an independent process conducted by the Planning Inspectorate, so it would not be appropriate to comment further on this particular case. However, I am aware they heard evidence on a range of issues including around net zero ambitions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the Glan Lash fossil fuel development proposed by Bryn Back Coal on the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

Our Net Zero Strategy makes it clear that coal has no part to play in our future power generation which is why we’re phasing it out of our electricity generation by 2024 – a year earlier than planned. Coal’s share of our electricity supply has already declined significantly in recent years – from almost 40% in 2012 to less than 2% in 2020.

Coal mining in the UK has been in long term decline reflecting falling domestic demand and there are only a handful of operational mines remaining in the UK. We expect further closures in the next couple of years as these mines naturally complete coaling.

Potential Coal Mining projects in Wales would require the explicit approval of Welsh Ministers before progressing.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the Lochinvar fossil fuel development proposed by New Age Exploration on the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

Our Net Zero Strategy makes it clear that coal has no part to play in our future power generation which is why we’re phasing it out of our electricity generation by 2024 – a year earlier than planned. Coal’s share of our electricity supply has already declined significantly in recent years – from almost 40% in 2012 to less than 2% in 2020.

Coal mining in the UK has been in long term decline reflecting falling domestic demand and there are only a handful of operational mines remaining in the UK. We expect further closures in the next couple of years as these mines naturally complete coaling.

The potential fossil fuel development at Lochinvar would require planning permission and other relevant permissions from all the relevant territories before it could progress.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Balcombe fossil fuel development proposed by Angus Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Dunsfold fossil fuel development proposed by Oil and Gas UK with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the West Newton fossil fuel development proposed by Rathlin Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Puddletown fossil fuel development proposed by South West Energy Ltd with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Biscathorpe fossil fuel development proposed by Egdon with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Eagle fossil fuel development proposed by Hibiscus Petroleum with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Alwyn East fossil fuel development proposed by Total Energies with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Belinda fossil fuel development proposed by Tailwind Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Rosebank fossil fuel development proposed by Equinor with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Clair South fossil fuel development proposed by BP with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Bentley fossil fuel development proposed by Enquest with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Glengorm fossil fuel development proposed by CNOOC with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Cambo fossil fuel development proposed by Siccar Point Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Bressay fossil fuel development proposed by Enquest with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Isabella fossil fuel development proposed by Total Energies with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Pilot fossil fuel development proposed by Orcadian Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Cheviot (& Peel) fossil fuel development proposed by Alpha Petroleum with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Glendronach fossil fuel development proposed by Total Energies with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Perth fossil fuel development proposed by the Parkmead Group with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Marigold & Sunflower fossil fuel development proposed by Hibiscus Petroleum with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Tornado fossil fuel development proposed by Siccar Point Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Capercaillie fossil fuel development proposed by BP with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Leverett fossil fuel development proposed by NEO Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Solar fossil fuel development proposed by Shell with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Verbier fossil fuel development proposed by Jersey Oil & Gas with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Tolmount East fossil fuel development proposed by Harbour Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Victory fossil fuel development proposed by Corrallian Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Avalon fossil fuel development proposed by Ping Petroleum with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Goddard fossil fuel development proposed by Independent Oil and Gas with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Platypus fossil fuel development with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Talbot fossil fuel development proposed by Harbour Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Tain fossil fuel development proposed by Repsol Sinopec Resources UK with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Suilven fossil fuel development proposed by Siccar Point Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Pegasus West fossil fuel development proposed by Spirit Energy with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compatibility of the Abigail fossil fuel development proposed by Ithaca Energy, with the UK’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.

All previously licensed fields are accounted for in terms of projected production and estimated emissions and the Government is confident that they can be developed, even as the UK seeks to achieve its commitment to net zero by 2050.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the document, Net Zero: principles for successful behaviour change initiatives, produced by the behavioural insights team and published alongside his Department's Net Zero Strategy was removed from the Government website.

This paper was uploaded in error.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses the Government has received from all manufacturing sites (a) in the UK and (b) across the world by location, to date.

We are not able to disclose details of vaccine deliveries because of the commercially confidential nature of the contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers.

The bulk of the UK's supply of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured in the UK, and some of the vaccines are made outside the UK.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine manufactured at the Serum Institute of India the Government has received to date; and on what dates those doses were received.

We are not able to disclose details of vaccine deliveries because of the commercially confidential nature of the contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers.

The bulk of the UK's supply of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured in the UK, and some of the vaccines are made outside the UK.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information he holds on the number of vaccines discarded by G7 countries as a result of those vaccines having passed their expiry date; what steps he is taking to prevent waste of covid-19 vaccines in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

UK vaccine supply continues to be an efficient distribution process, where vaccine is procured, supplied and deployed to meet UK requirements to offer all those eligible the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible and as efficiently as possible. We have put in place robust mitigations throughout the vaccination programme to reduce wastage, manage expiry dates, and avoid vaccine destruction, including, where there is data to support it, looking at the extension of expiry dates. We have been assured by NHS England that unused stock which remains ‘in date’ should not be destroyed locally and that efforts should be made to vaccinate eligible patients.

We are not able to disclose details of vaccine deliveries to the UK, due to the commercially confidential nature of the contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers and for national security reasons.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with vaccine manufacturers in the UK on a policy of prioritising orders for countries with low vaccine rates; and if he will make a statement.

UK vaccine supply continues to be an efficient distribution process, where vaccine is procured, supplied and deployed to meet UK requirements to offer all those eligible the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible and as efficiently as possible. We have put in place robust mitigations throughout the vaccination programme to reduce wastage, manage expiry dates, and avoid vaccine destruction, including, where there is data to support it, looking at the extension of expiry dates. We have been assured by NHS England that unused stock which remains ‘in date’ should not be destroyed locally and that efforts should be made to vaccinate eligible patients.

We are not able to disclose details of vaccine deliveries to the UK, due to the commercially confidential nature of the contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers and for national security reasons.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish weekly data on how many covid-19 vaccine doses are delivered to (a) the UK, (b) countries with low vaccination rates requiring help from the international community via (i) Covax and (ii) other routes; and if he will make a statement.

UK vaccine supply continues to be an efficient distribution process, where vaccine is procured, supplied and deployed to meet UK requirements to offer all those eligible the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible and as efficiently as possible. We have put in place robust mitigations throughout the vaccination programme to reduce wastage, manage expiry dates, and avoid vaccine destruction, including, where there is data to support it, looking at the extension of expiry dates. We have been assured by NHS England that unused stock which remains ‘in date’ should not be destroyed locally and that efforts should be made to vaccinate eligible patients.

We are not able to disclose details of vaccine deliveries to the UK, due to the commercially confidential nature of the contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers and for national security reasons.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the need to finance local climate solutions; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of setting up a national just transition commission tasked with coordinating regional bodies with devolved powers for identifying local needs for the just transition.

The Government is committed to supporting local areas to deliver net zero.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the need to reskill workers in the (a) construction, (b) transport and (c) manufacturing sectors as part of the transition to a net zero economy; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing UK businesses with Government funding to deliver such retraining programmes at the earliest opportunity.

The Government convened the independent Green Jobs Taskforce and its analysis was published here in July 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/green-jobs-taskforce-report

  • The ideas generated by the Taskforce contributed to the Government Net Zero Strategy, published 19 October, which sets out the measures being taken to support skills and retraining for the green economy.
Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 September 2021 to Question 41806 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, what the (a) minimum, (b) maximum and (c) average number of days is before the expiry dates of UK donated doses of covid-19 vaccinations; how many doses of covid-19 vaccine the UK has disposed of as a result of them not having been used before they passed their expiry date; and if he will make a statement.

UK vaccine supply continues to be an efficient distribution process, where vaccine is procured, supplied and deployed to meet UK requirements to offer all those eligible the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible and as efficiently as possible. We have put in place robust mitigations throughout the vaccination programme to reduce wastage, manage expiry dates, and avoid vaccine destruction, including, where there is data to support it, looking at the extension of expiry dates. We have been assured by NHS England that unused stock which remains ‘in date’ should not be destroyed locally and that efforts should be made to vaccinate eligible patients.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 29 September 2021 to Question 52466 and the Answer of 13 September 2021 to Question 41806 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, for what reason he has not specified the date earlier this year that the approximately 0.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine the UK procured through COVAX were delivered; and if he will make a statement.

Approximately 0.5 million Pfizer doses procured through COVAX were delivered on 30 June 2021. These doses helped the NHS deliver our vaccination programme as quickly as possible.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the findings of Global Justice Now, published 18 September 2021, that globally, fossil fuel companies are suing governments for more than £13 billion over climate change policies which risk impacting their profits, what assessment her Department has made of the compatibility of the UK’s membership of the Energy Charter Treaty with (a) the Paris Agreement objective to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees and (b) the COP26 goal to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

The Energy Charter Treaty already calls on Member States to minimise the environmental impacts of energy operations.

Member States of the Energy Charter Treaty are currently engaged in a process to modernise the Treaty and ensure it is aligned with our climate objectives.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Sep 2021
If he will make it his policy to withhold consent for the development of the Cambo oil field for production.

The development proposal for Cambo is being scrutinised in line with robust regulatory procedures and no decision has yet been taken.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 September 2021 to Question 41806 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, on what date the approximately 0.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine the UK procured through COVAX were delivered.

Approximately 0.5 million Pfizer doses procured through COVAX were delivered earlier this year. These doses helped the NHS deliver our vaccination programme as quickly as possible.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the German Government’s recent financial support for the demonstration and commercialisation of hydrogen steelmaking.

The UK is monitoring international progress on low carbon steel making trials, using hydrogen and other technologies, and the funding and policies that support them.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the targets for domestic green hydrogen production outlined in the Hydrogen Strategy will be allocated to the decarbonisation of heavy industry.

The Government has published the first ever UK Hydrogen Strategy that builds on our ambition, working with industry, for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

The Government has not set specific hydrogen demand targets for different sectors of the economy because the precise mix of decarbonisation solutions will depend on how technologies and markets develop over the coming decades.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to support the decarbonisation of the UK steel industry between now and 2023 ahead of the Clean Steel Fund’s allocation.

The Department announced the Clean Steel Fund (CSF) in 2019 and it is currently being designed and developed.

Other schemes are available to support the steel sector which are live now, including the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF). Through grant funding, the IETF can support energy efficiency upgrades and decarbonisation engineering studies, which are needed to prepare the sector for more ambitious decarbonisation schemes in the future.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to engage with civil society on the allocation of the Clean Steel Fund.

The Department announced the Clean Steel Fund (CSF) in 2019 and it is currently in development. In 2019 we carried out a Call for Evidence seeking views and supporting evidence to help us develop the detailed design of the Fund, including on barriers to realising clean steel ambitions, and the opportunities to be gained in overcoming these. This Call for Evidence was open to all and we received responses from civil society, including trade associations and academics. These responses are being considered as the policy is designed.

The Government will continue to engage with a range of interested parties on the steel sector in the future.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether at the UN General Assembly the Government discussed the open letter to participating nations from scientists and academics calling on governments to negotiate a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty for the managed global phase out of coal, oil and gas published on 13 September; and if he she make a statement.

On 31 March 2021, the UK Government implemented its new, world leading policy to no longer provide new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas. At the G7 Leader’s Summit in June, leaders agreed to phase out new direct government support for international carbon-intensive fossil fuel energy as soon as possible, and to end new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021.

The UK, as COP26 President, welcomes President Xi’s announcement at the UN General Assembly that China will stop building coal fired power projects abroad and increase support for renewable energy in developing countries, and the Republic of Korea’s April commitment to end its international public finance for coal power plants.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many doses of covid-19 vaccine the UK has received from Covax for each month since Covax has been in operation; for what reasons the UK has received doses through Covax; and if he will make a statement.

The UK committed approximately £71 million to the self-financing facility of COVAX, which enables high and upper-middle income countries to pool investments in potential vaccine candidates, and supported its establishment last year. This gives us the option to buy vaccines for up to 20% of the UK population - approximately 27 million doses. The Government has separately committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which will distribute 1.2 billion doses of vaccines to developing countries this year.

In addition, I am proud that as part of our commitment to the G7 to donate 100m doses over the course of the next year, the UK has so far donated over 10 million doses to those countries most in need, of which over 6 million have gone to COVAX. Throughout the COVID-19 vaccination programme, vaccine supply and deliveries have been carefully managed by the Vaccine Taskforce to meet the requirements of the domestic vaccination programme as well as support other countries’ domestic campaigns. The recent sharing of 4 million doses with Australia is a good example of this.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 3rd March 2021 to Question 157070: the UK procured approximately 0.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine through COVAX, which were delivered earlier this year. These doses helped the NHS deliver our vaccination programme as quickly as possible. No further doses have been received by the UK from COVAX.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Climate Change Committee’s 2021 Progress Report to Parliament, if he will make it his policy ahead of COP26 to commit to phasing out unabated gas generation by 2035.

Following the Climate Change Committee’s advised budget level does not mean that government is agreeing to their specific policy recommendations. We will bring forward our own policies to meet carbon budgets, and the Net Zero Strategy (to be published before COP26) will set out our own vision for transitioning to a net zero economy.

As we transition to net zero emissions by 2050, our record levels of investment in renewables will meet a large part of the increasing electricity demand, alongside technologies such as storage, demand side response, interconnection, CCUS-enabled generation and low carbon hydrogen. However, unabated natural gas generation will continue to provide a critical source of firm and dispatchable electricity, ensuring security of supply whilst we develop and deploy low carbon alternatives that can replicate its role in the electricity system.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the merits of Regionally and Locally Determined Contributions in order to (a) complement and (b) support the delivery of the UK’s Nationally Determined Contributions to reduce at least 68 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Under the Paris Agreement, parties should communicate nationally determined contributions that represent their highest possible ambition. In line with best practice approach for developed countries, the UK communicated a single economy wide absolute emission reduction commitment which covers all UK regions and local authorities. This is then reflected in our national Carbon Budgets.

The Government recognises that local and regional government can, and do, play an essential role in meeting national net zero ambitions and are delivering significant programmes to support national ambition.

Through our local Energy programme, we support Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local Authorities, and communities to play a leading role in decarbonisation and clean growth. Further details of how we intend to work with local government to reach net zero will be set out in the Net Zero Strategy.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 187192 on Aviation and Shipping: Carbon Budgets, whether his Department has plans to bring forward proposals to include aviation and shipping in the UK's sixth carbon budget before COP26.

The UK’s sixth carbon budget puts into law a world-leading target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels – another decisive step towards net zero by 2050 as we build back greener.

CB6 includes emissions from International Aviation and Shipping (IAS) for the first time. We will aim to legislate to include IAS as soon as practicably possible and within one year.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of doses of covid-19 vaccines the UK will take receipt of in (a) 2021 and (b) 2022; and of those does, what estimate he has made of the number that will be needed for domestic use in each of those years.

Vaccines are a precious resource and are in very high demand across the world; therefore, for security reasons it is not possible to provide detail about the size of our supplies or give exact detail about future deliveries.

The UK Government has secured early access to 397 million vaccine doses through supply agreements with six separate vaccine developers, of which four have received regulatory approval and three are currently in deployment. This includes agreements with:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech for 100 million doses
  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses
  • Moderna for 17 million doses
  • Novavax for 60 million doses
  • Janssen for 20 million doses
  • Valneva for 100 million doses

In addition, the Government has a reservation agreement with GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses and a non-binding agreement with CureVac for 50 million doses.

We do not yet know how long vaccines will provide protection against Covid-19. For this reason, the Government is developing a plan for a vaccine booster campaign to protect against a resurgence of the virus in winter 2021/22. The final decision on what a booster programme will look like – and the cohorts included - will depend on the data from ongoing clinical trials, such as the COV-Boost trial, and advice from the independent medical experts at the JCVI. For this reason, we are currently unable to specify final dose numbers that may be required for 2021 and 2022.

However, as announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister ahead of the G7 Summit, the UK has committed to donating 5 million vaccine doses, primarily through COVAX by the end of September 2021, for use in the world’s poorest countries. The Prime Minister has also committed to making a total of 100 million doses available within the next year, including a total of 30 million by the end of 2021.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the total cost of covid-19 vaccines the UK is planning to receive in (a) 2021 and (b)2022 broken down by manufacturer.

We are not able to disclose details of commercially sensitive contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers.

At the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020, the Government announced that more than £6 billion has been made available to develop, manufacture, and procure COVID-19 vaccines.

We have secured early access to 397 million vaccine doses through supply agreements with six separate vaccine developers, of which four have received regulatory approval and three are currently in deployment. This includes agreements with:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech for 100 million doses
  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses
  • Moderna for 17 million doses
  • Novavax for 60 million doses
  • Janssen for 20 million doses
  • Valneva for 100 million doses

In addition, the Government has a reservation agreement with GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses and a non-binding agreement with CureVac for 50 million doses.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to amend the definition of greenhouse gases in the Climate Change Act 2009 to include Nitrogen Trifluoride.

The Government does intend to amend the definition of greenhouse gases in the Climate Change Act 2008 to include nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and will seek to bring forward legislation to do so within the next year.

In accordance with UNFCCC international guidelines, NF3 has been reported in the UK greenhouse gas inventory since 2013. NF3 has also been in scope of UK international emission reduction targets since 2013, including the second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol (2013-2020) and the UK Nationally Determined Contribution (2030).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his timeframe is for the completion of the fourth phase of his Department's investigation of deflagration as a method of unexploded ordnance clearance; what assessment he has made of the potential harm caused by explosions of unexploded ordnance to the marine environment; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognise the potential for significant impact of underwater noise from unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance on vulnerable marine species and is taking active steps to manage and reduce the risk. Two phases of a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) funded project to characterise and contrast the acoustic fields generated by UXO clearance using high order detonation and using low-order deflagration have been completed and reported on. A third phase is now almost complete, further improving the information base and assessment of the clearance options.

Further research is now required to determine if the low-order deflagration and similar techniques are transferable to the offshore marine setting where partially-buried and decades-old explosives and variable environmental conditions can pose greater challenges for successful low-order clearance operations. The fourth phase of BEIS funded research is currently planned around several proposed UXO clearance campaigns. The trials at sea aim to characterise the resulting noise and chemical contaminant releases in the marine environment and to determine whether the technologies are safe and effective. This work is scheduled to take place over the summer and autumn of 2021 and is expected to report in Q1/2 2022.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 27 April 2021 to Question 183114, when he plans to publish the details of his Department’s plans for a replacement of the Green Homes Grant Scheme in order to decarbonise homes in line with the Climate Change Committee’s advice on the Sixth Carbon Budget; and if he will take into account the findings of IPSOS Mori’s evaluation of the Green Homes Grant in developing that scheme.

Since the Green Homes Grant Vouchers scheme closed to new applications on 31 March 2021, we have refocussed efforts and funding on alternative approaches to maximise the delivery of home retrofits for those most in need.

This is through expanding the funding commitment for both the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the Local Authority Delivery element of the Green Homes Grant scheme with £300 million of new funding in financial year 21/22.

We plan to publish the Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course, which will set out our approach for reducing emissions from buildings, both in terms of action over the coming decade and our longer-term strategic approach to 2050.

Any decisions about future funding are a matter for the spending review. We will, of course reflect on lessons learned from the closure of Green Homes Grant Vouchers.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) membership, (b) terms of reference and (c) future dates of meetings of the Net Zero Expert Group.

The Net Zero Expert Group is an informal group of experts helping advise government on driving forward net zero, particularly on taking a whole systems approach to net zero and delivery of my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister's 10 point plan. It includes a wide range of leading experts in climate, economic sectors, science, systems thinking, and links to industries that can help in the transition to net zero. Attendance for the roundtable held on the 26th May will be published through the usual quarterly ministerial transparency reporting. Future meeting dates have yet to be set.

Achieving net zero is a top priority for the government. Government has met and continues to talk to a wide range of individuals and organisations to get the best advice possible.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on (a) new exploration licenses for UK oil and gas (b) existing oil and gas reserves of the International Energy Agency (IEA)'s energy scenario aligned with the 1.5C goal of the Paris climate agreement published on 18 May 2021.

The International Energy Agency (IEA)’s recent report sets out a global pathway for achieving net zero. While the report acknowledges that continued investment in existing sources of oil and gas will be required to meet the world’s energy demands, it also states that no new oil or gas fields are necessary.

The UK Continental Shelf is a mature oil and gas basin that is declining. We expect this rate of decline to be broadly in line with our domestic demand, and even with continued licensing for oil and gas in the UK, we expect the UK to remain a net importer of both oil and gas. This means that any reduction in the UK’s own production would simply result in the UK importing more oil and gas from other countries.

In March, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced that a new climate compatibility checkpoint will be introduced into the oil and gas licensing regime. This checkpoint will help ensure that any future licenses are only awarded on the basis that they are aligned with the Government’s broad climate change ambitions, including the UK’s target of reaching net zero by 2050. This checkpoint will be designed by the end of 2021.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the extent to which materials being bought and sold in the UK are via labour from people held in the camps of Xinjiang, China; and if he will make a statement

Businesses can have complex, multi-tiered global supply chains which create significant challenges in having visibility over working conditions throughout the supply chain. This means that companies need to be constantly vigilant in assessing and addressing their risk exposure.

In January, the Foreign Secretary announced a comprehensive package of measures to help ensure no UK organisations are complicit in the serious human rights violations being perpetrated against the Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.

Revised, detailed Overseas Business Risk guidance was published on 12 January and, based on this new guidance, the Government has embarked on a comprehensive programme of engagement with businesses and UK trade bodies. Businesses should take heed of the updated guidance on Xinjiang to understand the human rights risks associated with sourcing from that region and take appropriate remedial action based on their circumstances.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support the UK solar industry's trade associations to verify the complex supply chains for solar panel to establish whether materials come via labour from people held in the camps in Xinjiang, China; what estimate he has made of the proportion of the solar panel market in the UK that sources basic materials from Xinjiang; and if he will make a statement.

We are thoroughly investigating reports of forced labour in the global solar panel supply chain. In January, we announced a comprehensive package of measures to help ensure no UK organisations are complicit in the serious human rights violations being perpetrated against the Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.

We have provided detailed and specific guidance to UK businesses, and we will continue to engage businesses, including on these latest allegations.

We are working with the UK solar sector as a matter of urgency to ensure companies are aware of the relevant legislation and international frameworks on human rights. Solar Energy UK has issued an industry statement committing to support the development of a supply chain traceability protocol.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 185847 on increasing support for community energy, whether the Government has undertaken a cost-benefit analysis to inform the Net Zero Strategy of the potential merits of increasing support to community energy groups in (a) urban and (b) rural areas to (i) develop renewable energy projects, (ii) provide economic and social benefits and (iii) act as catalysts for raising awareness and promoting behaviour change.

We continue to monitor the cost effectiveness of local and community energy solutions in the context of developing policy options for the Net Zero Strategy. The Government will be considering a wide range of proposals to support climate change action at the local and community level in that Strategy.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to publicly consult on an extension to UK Seabed Resources’ exploration licences for deep sea mining beyond their initial 10 years.

We do not have plans to publicly consult on an extension. The two licences issued to UK Seabed Resources in 2012 and 2013 are for exploration, and not exploitation (mining) activity. The licences are granted subject to periodic review, and so would not be extended beyond 10 years without a review by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State, which is in line with the relevant legislation. Exploitation is not currently permitted to be conducted, and the International Seabed Authority is still working towards exploitation regulations that would need to be in place. A full Environmental Impact Assessment – subject to public consultation – would be required before any mining could be conducted by UK Seabed Resources or any other operator.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will update the UK’s licences with UK Seabed Resources for deep sea mining exploration in order to extend the conditions for sponsoring a future exploitation contract to cover the precautionary principle.

The UK is playing a crucial role in ensuring that strong environmental standards are upheld in the growing deep sea mining industry.

We have agreed not to sponsor or support the issuing of any exploitation licences for deep sea mining projects until there is sufficient scientific evidence about the potential impact on deep sea ecosystems, and strong and enforceable environmental standards have been developed and put in place by the International Seabed Authority.

The licences issued to UK Seabed Resources Ltd (UKSR) already include significant conditions in relation to environmental considerations, including sections on protection of the environment and environmental monitoring & reporting. In addition, the licences are issued in line with prevailing legislation which provides further environmental safeguards. The licences (which are published on UKSR’s website) also include explicit reference to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The conditions for the UK acting as a sponsor state for an exploitation contract include that “the Licensee has completed exploration activities pursuant to the plan of work…” and that “the Licensee makes an application for, and satisfies the requirements for, an exploitation licence…”. These conditions would not be met without detailed evidence, including in relation to environmental assessments, and an exploitation licence would not be granted by the International Seabed Authority until strong and enforceable environmental standards have been developed and are in place.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of the night time economy on the possible introduction of covid-19 passports for access to night time venues; what assessment he has made of the potential effect of such passports on the number of people attending night time venues; if he will make it his policy to provide that sector with (a) clear guidance, (b) adequate notice and (c) a time table setting out Government plans to introduce such passports as a requirement to enter a night time venue; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has previously set out that it believes that COVID-status Certification could play an important role domestically and as a temporary measure. We have not taken any final decisions but have committed to set out the conclusions of the Review ahead of Step 4 of the Roadmap.

Ministers have engaged regularly with businesses throughout the pandemic including nightclub representatives.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of global facilitation of knowledge and technology transfers from pharmaceutical companies that have developed vaccines on the ability of vaccine manufacturers around the world to (a) begin production and (b) increase production of covid-19 vaccines; and if he will make a statement.

The UK has been and will continue to be a global leader exploring every opportunity to achieve the goal of getting vaccines to everyone across the world as quickly as possible. The UK provided funding for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being produced at cost to low- and middle- income countries. AstraZeneca has also announced a licencing agreement for the Serum Institute India (SII) to produce 1 billion doses of the vaccine candidate for low- and middle-income countries. The UK is also working to encourage partnerships between the manufacturing sector and other multinational pharmaceutical companies to transfer their technology where required, this enables an increase in overall production, to date 280 such partnerships.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to support global non-exclusive licensing facilitated by the World Health Organisation's Covid-19 Technology Access Pool in order to increase production of and access to covid-19 vaccines; and if he will make a statement.

Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) provided initial details on the COVID-19 technology access pool (C-TAP) in October 2020, the UK has, and will continue to engage extensively with all interested parties. We are in ongoing, constructive discussions with the WHO as it refines both governance structures and the operating model for C-TAP.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the effects of the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station on (a) coastal processes affecting the Minsmere-Walberswick designated wildlife sites, (b) water quality and water movement affecting the Minsmere-Walberswick designated wildlife sites and the Sizewell Marshes SSSI, (c) noise and visual disturbance affecting marsh harriers and waterbirds of the Minsmere-Walberswick designated wildlife sites, (d) loss of designated wildlife sites in the area and (e) thermal and chemical discharges and disturbance from shipping affecting red-throated divers and terns from the Outer Thames Estuary SPA; and if he will make a statement.

The Planning Inspectorate is currently examining the application for development consent for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station. The Planning Inspectorate will thoroughly assess all relevant issues before providing its recommendations to the Secretary of State.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State must undertake a Habitats Regulations Assessment of potential impacts on designated sites as required under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and consider a robust Environmental Impact Assessment under the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 before making his consenting decision.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of intellectual property rights on the ability of vaccine manufacturers around the world to increase production of covid-19 vaccines; and if he will make a statement.

We have seen little evidence that intellectual property rights are hindering the ability of vaccine manufacturers to increase vaccine production. However, we recognise that vaccine production and distribution need to be scaled up. That is why the UK is proud to be playing a leading role in the global effort to develop and distribute vaccines. Our contribution to the development of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is well known. The UK has also been one of the most generous nations and has provided £548m to COVAX. Using £250m of matched funding the UK mobilised $1bn that will supply 1.3 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to up to 92 lower- and middle-income countries by the end of 2021. The UK is also the single largest country donor to Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance (£1.65bn) and the single largest country donor to the Centre for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).We will continue to explore every opportunity to get vaccines to everyone across the world as quickly as possible.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to support the recent decision of the United States Administration to support a temporary suspension of intellectual property rights for covid-19 vaccines; and if he will make a statement.

We are engaging constructively with the US and other WTO members on the TRIPS waiver issue. Any negotiations in the WTO on a waiver will require unanimous support, which could take a significant amount of time. Whilst we engage in the IP discussions, we must continue to push ahead with action such as voluntary licensing agreements for vaccines and support for COVAX.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government’s acceptance of the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation on the Sixth Carbon Budget to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to include international aviation and shipping in that target under the Climate Change Act 2008.

The Government has laid legislation for the UK’s sixth carbon budget and this marks a decisive step towards net zero by 2050. It builds on the series of ambitious plans we have announced since committing to net zero emissions in law, including through my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our new UN climate target to reduce emissions in 2030 by at least 68% compared to 1990 levels – the highest reduction target made by a major economy to date. We have committed to include international aviation and shipping emissions in the Sixth Carbon Budget and will bring forward legislative proposals in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what cost benefit assessment his Department has made on the potential merits of increasing support to community energy projects to (a) engage the public in the net zero transition and (b) deliver social and community benefits.

The Government recognises the valuable role that community and locally owned renewable energy projects can play in reaching our net zero targets. Community energy groups can act as catalysts for raising awareness and promoting behaviour change, both of which are vital if we are to achieve our 2050 goals.

BEIS is funding the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) a £10 million programme, delivered through the 5 Local Energy Hubs in England in the North East (Yorkshire & Humber), the North West, the Midlands, Greater South East, and the South West.

This scheme supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects, explicitly to provide economic and social benefits back to the community. Over 90 communities have received support so far.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with Ofgem on the potential effect on electricity bills of voltage optimisation.

Voltage limits are set by law to protect, and help ensure the efficient operation of, the electricity system. Any change to voltage levels requires careful consideration of all the potential impacts including on consumer appliances, the wider electricity system, and consumer electricity bills. The Department commissioned an independent review of electrical engineering standards, which included recommendations concerning voltage limits when it reported in December 2020[1]. We are engaging with Ofgem as we consider the recommendations and will provide a response in due course.

Ofgem has also provided funding to distribution network operators for voltage optimisation innovation trials and the Energy Networks Association is examining the case for extending statutory voltage limits. These activities are providing evidence of the impacts of voltage optimisation.

[1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943700/electricity-engineering-standards-review-technical-analysis-topic-areas.pdf

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Carbon Budget Order 2021 laid on 21 April 2021, what plans he has publish a statement to fulfil legislative requirements; and what his timescale is for publishing that statement.

On 21 April we laid legislation for the UK’s sixth carbon budget, proposing a world-leading target which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. This is in line with the latest science as the level recommended by our expert advisers at the Climate Change Committee.

The statutory instrument can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2021/9780348222616/introduction,

alongside a full impact assessment here:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2021/9780348222616/impacts.

We will publish our policies and proposals to meet the sixth carbon budget, and existing carbon budgets, in due course, as required by the Climate Change Act.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March to Question 161735 on fossil fuels, what estimate he has made of the additional greenhouse gases emitted from the 10 to 20 billion barrels or more of oil equivalent that are (a) discovered and (b) undiscovered; what his policy is on how much of those oil and gas reserves can be extracted while adhering to the UK’s commitments under the Paris climate agreement; and if he will make a statement.

In 2018, upstream oil and gas activities in the UK generated 19 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e): around four per cent of total UK greenhouse gas emissions.

Through the North Sea Transition Deal, the oil and gas sector has committed to ambitious emissions reductions targets, including halving emissions by 2030, on a trajectory to becoming a net zero basin by 2050. This means an absolute reduction in greenhouse gases to 0.5MtCO2e in that timeframe. In order to help meet this objective, government, the sector and regulators will work together over the next decade and beyond to deliver the investment, innovation and infrastructure required to decarbonise North Sea production.

Emissions from end-use depend on whether petroleum products are combusted or used for other purposes. Emissions generated in the UK are factored into our 2050 net zero target.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March to Question 161735 on fossil fuels, what proportion of the 10 to 20 billion barrels or more of oil equivalent is classed in the category of (a) 2C contingent reserves and (b) 2P proven and probable reserves; if the Government will make all data on North Sea oil and gas reserves available in the public domain on a field-level basis to support the development of a Global Registry of Fossil Fuels; and if he will make a statement.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) estimate for proven and probable (2P) UK reserves as at end 2019 is 5.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, and the estimate for the UK’s contingent (2C) resources as at end 2019 is 7.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The OGA does not publish individual field reserves as they are commercially sensitive.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) jobs and (b) businesses of the decision to cancel the Green Homes Grant; and if he will place a copy of that assessment in the Library.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of the voucher scheme, including a comprehensive analysis of scheme outcomes and evidence collected from scheme applicants and other stakeholders is being undertaken. Ipsos MORI, an independent research organisation, was contracted in December 2020 to undertake the evaluation.

The review will include an assessment of the effect of the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme on jobs, with initial findings delivered later this year.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department has provided to local authorities to enable them to undertake the new requirements for pre-application checks for Restart Grants so that local authorities can make timely payments to eligible businesses to fulfil the aims of the scheme; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is committed to carrying out a full New Burdens assessment and to provide funding to local authorities that is commensurate with the additional tasks they are being asked to carry out in order to deliver Restart Grants.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support demonstration trials of hydrogen-based steelmaking as part of the commitment to near-zero steelmaking by 2035.

The Government recognises the importance of research and development in helping to transform the steel sector so that it can play a vital role in developing a cleaner, greener economy in the UK.

The Government has announced the £250m Clean Steel Fund to help the sector transition to lower carbon iron and steel production, and this could potentially include supporting hydrogen-based steelmaking. It is also providing up to £66m as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, to help key foundation industries, such as steel, develop innovative technology to reduce energy and resource use.

The Government also plans to establish a Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (previously Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund): with £240m of capital co-investment out to 2024/25. This will support at-scale hydrogen production projects, allowing steel producers the potential to access to secure supplies of lower cost hydrogen.

More broadly the £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio provides funding for low carbon technologies and systems to support decarbonising our power, homes and industry as set out in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of restricting wedding ceremonies to places of places of worship and some public buildings during the covid-19 outbreak from 12 April 2021 on (a) cancellation and postponement rates and (b) jobs throughout the supply chain.

Wedding or civil partnership ceremonies can take place in licensed venues that are not expressly required to close under the COVID-19 Regulations. From Step 2, which will be no earlier than 12 April, ceremonies may also take place in venues which are permitted to open for the purposes of providing unrestricted services. This includes any purpose-built wedding venue where that is its sole purpose, and it is not also a hospitality venue or visitor attraction.

Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships.

I meet regularly with the industry-led Weddings Taskforce, established to represent a wide range of interests in the weddings sector in England, to understand the impact of the pandemic on jobs and businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Budget 2021 statement on 3 March 2021, what his funding plans are for the Green Homes Grant for the financial years (a) 2021-2022, (b) 2022-2023 and (c) 2023-2024.

In his Spending Review in November 2020, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £320 million for the scheme in the next financial year 2021-2022, as part of funding to make homes and public buildings more energy efficient.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government has taken to encourage Directors to have regard to the (a) workers, (b) customers, (c) communities and the (d) environment when making decisions.

The Government introduced new obligations under the Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 effective from 1 January 2020. These included new reporting requirements designed to give shareholders and stakeholders more information with which to hold boards of directors to account and more visibility for good boardroom practice.

The UK Corporate Governance Code was also revised to include methods of engagement that boards should use to engage with their workforce. These include a director appointed from the workforce, a formal workforce advisory panel and/or a designated non-executive director. Companies are also able to explain what alternative arrangements they use and demonstrate that these are effective. Some information as to how companies have responded so far can be found in the Financial Reporting Council’s November 2020 report on the Corporate Governance Code. The FRC has also commissioned research on this aspect of the Code which will be published shortly. We will continue to monitor progress and consider any further changes needed.

Climate change is one of the biggest risks to both our society and our economy, and the Government is working both for a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic and to achieve the target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Government, as part of its approach, plans to introduce mandatory disclosure requirements for large businesses of financially relevant information related to climate change. This will allow investors and businesses to better understand the material financial impacts of their exposure to climate change, price climate-related risks more accurately, and support the greening of the UK economy. The UK will become the first country in the world to make Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) aligned disclosures fully mandatory across the economy by 2025, with many of these requirements coming into force over the next three years.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Section 172(1) Statements in encouraging directors to discharge their duties with regard to their broader stakeholder community.

The Government introduced new obligations under the Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 effective from 1 January 2020. These included new reporting requirements which give shareholders and stakeholders more information with which to hold boards of directors to account and more visibility for good boardroom practice. Alongside the regulations, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) amended the UK Corporate Governance Code (the Code) to ensure coherence with the Section 172 statement. The Department also worked with the GC100, which issued guidance on the practical application of Section 172 to help companies, available on the GC100 website.

Whilst it is still relatively early days for these changes, the Department and the FRC continue to monitor their effectiveness. Early indications are that provision of this information is helping shareholders and stakeholders but more can and should be done. The FRC continues to report annually on the Code.

The Regulations provide for a review after five years. This will include an assessment of the impact of increased transparency on the quality of engagement between companies, shareholders and wider stakeholders and the extent to which large private companies have adopted good corporate governance principles.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 in providing incentives for directors to act in a way that considers seriously the interests of stakeholders other than shareholders.

The Government introduced new obligations under the Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 effective from 1 January 2020. These included new reporting requirements which give shareholders and stakeholders more information with which to hold boards of directors to account and more visibility for good boardroom practice. Alongside the regulations, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) amended the UK Corporate Governance Code (the Code) to ensure coherence with the Section 172 statement. The Department also worked with the GC100, which issued guidance on the practical application of Section 172 to help companies, available on the GC100 website.

Whilst it is still relatively early days for these changes, the Department and the FRC continue to monitor their effectiveness. Early indications are that provision of this information is helping shareholders and stakeholders but more can and should be done. The FRC continues to report annually on the Code.

The Regulations provide for a review after five years. This will include an assessment of the impact of increased transparency on the quality of engagement between companies, shareholders and wider stakeholders and the extent to which large private companies have adopted good corporate governance principles.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of broadening the scope of companies that those regulations apply to.

As reporting under the requirement only started from 1 January 2020, and covers all companies required to produce a strategic report, we do not consider it would be proportionate to expand the scope at this time. We will continue to review whether this needs to change in the future.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018, what assessment he has made of the number of in-scope companies that failed to comply with provisions mandating reporting on matters in section 172(1) of the Companies Act 2006.

As reporting under the requirement was required for accounting years beginning on or after 1 January 2020, we are only now seeing the results of the first year of reporting. Many companies within scope of these requirements benefited from an extension to filing requirements as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. We will consider the results of ongoing monitoring to identify any shortfalls in compliance and will consider what action is needed on the basis of the findings.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the proposals for a Global Registry of Fossil Fuels; published by the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty campaign and being developed by Carbon Tracker and Global Energy Monitor; and if he will make a statement.

We are aware of this proposal and have engaged with the relevant Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on the concept.

For the UK, as of June 2020, the Coal Authority estimates that overall, there are 3,906 million tonnes of coal resources, including prospects.

The Oil and Gas Authority estimate remaining UK Continental Shelf recoverable petroleum resources are in the range of 10 to 20 billion barrels or more of oil equivalent. This includes discovered and undiscovered petroleum resources and takes into account the wide range of possibilities for prospective resources which are not yet discovered. Proposals for a Global Registry will need to address this, given the high degree of uncertainty about recoverable resources.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many COVAX covid-19 vaccination doses the Government has (a) purchased to date and (b) plans to purchase in the next 12 months.

The Government is a strong champion of COVAX – the international initiative to procure and distribute Covid vaccines equitably, including to both higher and lower income countries.

The UK has invested £71 million in the Self-Financing Facility of COVAX, which enables high and upper-middle income countries to pool investments in potential vaccine candidates. This gives us the option to buy vaccines for up to 20% of the UK population - approximately 27 million doses.

We are committed to purchasing approximately 0.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine through COVAX.

The Government has separately committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which will distribute 1.3 billion doses of vaccines to developing countries this year as part of COVAX’s overall objective of procuring and delivering 2 billion doses globally.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to establish a right to local energy supply.

The right to local energy supply already exists under the Electricity Act 1989. One of Ofgem’s key strategic priorities is increasing flexibility across the electricity system to support the delivery of net zero and ensuring that consumers benefit from these innovative changes.

Ofgem’s Innovation Link helps innovators navigate the sector’s arrangements and the Energy Regulation Sandbox enables trials and rollout of new products, services, business models and methodologies. There are a range of options available that Ofgem has developed to support alternative and local supply arrangements. This includes awarding supply licences that are restricted to a geographical area. Ofgem’s Licence Lite regime is another arrangement that removes many of the burdens from a prospective supplier, reducing the cost and complexity of entering and operating in the market. Small scale generators can also apply for a license exemption in some cases to reduce the regulatory burdens of operating at a community level.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 25 November 2020 to Question 116678 on Astra Zeneca: Oxford University, and the Answer of 3 August 2020 to Question 73084 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, if the Government will publish the terms of the agreement between the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca; and if he will make a statement.

We are unable to disclose the terms of the agreement between the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca as this would be for the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to comment on.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the CCC’s assessment that the UK’s fifth carbon budget is not aligned with its recommendation for (a) the sixth carbon budget or (b) the UK’s NDC submitted to the UNFCCC process, what plans his Department has to bring forward legislation to align the fifth carbon budget with emissions reductions necessary to achieve (i) net zero by 2050 and (ii) the UK’s 2030 NDC.

The Government will consider carefully the Climate Change Committee’s advice in their report “The Sixth Carbon Budget: The UK’s path to Net Zero”. Through the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our Energy White Paper, we have set out concrete steps we will take to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Over the coming months, we will bring forward further bold proposals, including a Net Zero Strategy, to continue to reduce our emissions in line with our climate obligations. These will be critical steps towards ensuring the UK meets its 5th Carbon Budget.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2021 to Question 135888 on Contact Tracing: Computer Software, if he will make it his policy to update the safer working guidance section on supporting NHS Test and Trace, to include guidance that employers should not instruct employees to turn off the NHS track and trace app when in work, unless there are health and safety grounds for doing so; and if he will make a statement.

Whilst the NHS track and trace app is not mandatory, employers should not discourage their employees from using it in the workplace. There are, however, some scenarios where the contact tracing feature should be turned off. These are when:

  • someone is working behind a Perspex (or equivalent) screen;
  • a phone is in storage, such as in a work locker;
  • working in a clinical setting practising infection prevention and control.

As set out in the Safer Working Guidance, in order to ensure workplaces are Covid-19 secure, employers must have an alternative system in place for people who either do not have a smartphone or do who not want to use the NHS Covid-19 app.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he will publish the Government's response to the consultation on ethnicity pay reporting, which closed on 11 January 2019; and if he will make a statement.

In 2018/19 the Government consulted on options for employer-level ethnicity pay reporting. Following the consultation, the Government met with businesses and representative organisations to understand the barriers to reporting and explore what information could be published to allow for meaningful action to be taken. We also ran a voluntary methodology testing exercise with a broad range of businesses to better understand the complexities outlined in the consultation using real payroll data. The Government is continuing to analyse this data and will respond to the consultation as soon as we can.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish guidance for employers on employees' use of the NHS Test and Trace app at work; and if he will make a statement.

The safer working guidance includes a section about supporting the NHS Test and Trace. Workplaces must display an official NHS QR code poster and have an alternative system in place for people who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS Covid-19 app.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what insurance cover the UK holds in respect of nuclear accidents involving nuclear-powered civilian or military vessels passing through or close to the UK exclusive economic zone, territorial waters or coastal waters.

The public purse is uniquely able to finance restitution of damaged assets or deal with other risks. The Ministry of Defence maintains arrangements to respond to any defence-related nuclear incidents, no matter how unlikely. The UK does not operate any nuclear-powered civilian vessels.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what duties a coastal local authority has in the event that a nuclear-powered vessel is granted safe haven on its coast.

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and Radiation (emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 place duties on Local Authorities in relation to radiation emergencies. In the event that a nuclear-powered vessel is granted safe haven on its coast, a Local Authority would be responsible for assessing the risk and putting in place plans to respond to a radiation emergency involving the nuclear-powered vessel.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will issue guidance on the response of coastal local authorities in relation to (a) public health, (b) marine, shoreline and coastal zone pollution and (c) other matters in the event of a nuclear accident involving a nuclear-powered vessel off their coastlines; and if he will make a statement.

Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) 2004 defines the roles and responsibilities for those organisations (including Local Authorities) that would be involved in emergency preparation and response at the local level. It is the responsibility of Local Authorities to put in place emergency preparedness and response plans for different emergency types within its jurisdiction. These plans should be proportionate and commensurate to the consequences and to the likelihood of the risk occurring. In addition, Regulation 22 of the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 (REPPIR19) places a duty on all Local Authorities to have arrangements to provide information about any kind of emergency involving ionising radiation and is not limited to emergencies occurring on nuclear or radiological premises. As part of their emergency arrangements, Local Authorities would convene a Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) which would take overall responsibility for the multi-agency management of the emergency.

BEIS is available to support Local Authorities in the development of emergency plans through participation in local resilience fora such as the Local Authority Nuclear Working Group (LANWG).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his ministerial statement on the Energy White Paper, on 14 December 2020, if he will publish the modelling for the statement that regulated asset base funding model for new nuclear power could drive down costs for consumers in the long run.

The RAB model shares the cost with consumers from the start of construction, reducing the amount of interest owed on loans and return owed on equity, which could cut the cost for consumers over the lifetime of the plant. The House will be kept informed as we progress the options for funding and financing new nuclear projects in the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will place in the Library the Terms of Reference of the COP26 Youth and Civil Society Advisory Council.

The Department is working closely with the Cabinet Office Central COP26 Unit. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and COP President Designate set up a Civil Society and Youth Advisory council to support the UK’s efforts as the incoming COP26 presidency to achieve greater climate action and deliver an inclusive summit.

We have already committed to depositing the minutes from each of these meetings in the Libraries of the House as part of our wider commitment to ensure transparent engagement. The second meeting took place on 16 December and we will place these minutes, along with the Terms of Reference for the group, in the Libraries in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to (a) ensure gender equality in the COP26 leadership team and (b) facilitate women’s equal participation at COP26.

The UK has committed to championing diversity and inclusion throughout our COP26 Presidency and all civil servants in the Cabinet Office COP26 unit have been appointed in line with civil service guidance and rules. In the COP Unit, 45% of the senior management team in the COP26 unit are women. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister recently appointed my Hon. Friend the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed (Anne-Marie Treveylan MP) as the COP26 Adaptation and Resilience Champion. Working alongside the COP26 leadership team is a wider global network of around 120 climate and energy Attaches. All ambassadors have a COP26 objective, ensuring that a diverse group of leading diplomats are engaging internationally around COP26.

Visible and diverse leadership is just one part of the picture however. Championing women’s roles as decision-makers, educators and climate leaders is essential if we are to deliver effective, long-term solutions to climate change and ensure that women and girls are empowered as agents of change, including at COP26. This means working closely with civil society, amplifying the voices of those most affected by climate changes and facilitating the meaningful contribution of female negotiators. We see women’s rights organisations, amongst others, as essential partners in effectively tackling climate change and are also supporting a ‘Women Negotiator Mentoring Initiative’ through the European Capacity-building Initiative and our Climate Ambition Support Alliance. This initiative will level the playing field not only in terms of developed and developing countries but also between men and women, ultimately strengthening capacity and professional development of both current and future climate leaders.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Minister for Business and Industry’s appointment as Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment on 28 November 2020, what the updated ministerial responsibilities in his Department are; and if he will make a statement.

The responsibilities of the Minister for Business and Industry can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/people/nadhim-zahawi.

The Minister’s previous responsibilities will now be held by other Ministers in the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, for the duration of his new role as Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment. All ministers’ portfolios can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of facilitating biodiversity net gain for energy projects progressed through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime, as part of his Department’s plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

The Government was clear in its 25 Year Environment Plan that its commitment to seek to embed a principle of environmental net gain for development applies to energy infrastructure as well as housing. However, it is important that any strengthening of biodiversity net gain requirements for the nationally significant infrastructure regime is done at the right time and in the right way.

There are a number of ways in which this could be implemented and it is important that time is taken to work with stakeholders to develop an appropriate approach. The Government will be consulting on further details in due course.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to help ensure workers receive paid time off for covid-19 vaccination appointments; and if he will make a statement.

The roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations is very positive news for the country.

We would strongly encourage employers to ensure their staff are able to take time away from work to receive a vaccination. Employers and employees already manage the need to accommodate work and medical and other appointments pragmatically between themselves, and we would expect that to continue to be the case for people seeking time away from work to receive Covid-19 vaccinations.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure funds available via the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme are adequate to meet local demand; if he will make it his policy to (a) amend the terms of the that grant scheme to cover 5 November to 2 December 2020 and (b) allocate new funding through business support grants during local covid-19 lockdown restrictions; and if he will make a statement.

We have been clear that the Additional Restrictions Grant is a one-off payment to local authorities, providing them with funding to provide discretionary support to businesses.

Local authorities have the discretion to use their Additional Restrictions Grant allocation as they see fit, at any point up to the end of financial year 2021/22. We will continue to monitor the support needs of businesses and the local economy.

During the recent period of national lockdown in England, local authorities have also been provided with funding to support closed businesses, with grants of up to £3000 via the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed).

This support for closed businesses will continue when the local restrictions start on 2nd December. Local authorities in Tiers 2 and 3 will be provided funding to allow them to continue their support to closed businesses.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) will provide further discretionary funding to local authorities in Tiers 2 and 3 after the period of national restrictions to allow them to support businesses that are not required to close, but which will have their trade affected by the restrictions.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle the risks that may arise from the concurrence of covid-19 and cold homes.

Improving energy efficiency is the best long-term solution to tackle fuel poverty. The Energy Company Obligation, worth £640m per year, is focused on low-income and vulnerable households and the Green Homes Grant, launched in September 2020, is a £2 billion programme which will help improve the energy efficiency of homes in England. Of this, £1 billion is specifically for low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households.

In addition to the available funding to support low-income households with improving the energy efficiency of their homes, we recognise that some households may need more immediate support and so also assist with energy bills for low income and vulnerable consumers through the Warm Homes Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

We have also successfully negotiated an agreement with energy suppliers to support customers impacted by COVID-19. Based on the circumstances, this could include reassessing, reducing, or pausing debt repayments for households in financial distress and support for prepayment meter customers to stay on supply.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy for the Government to end the public financing of fossil fuels projects overseas by COP26.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January we announced an end to Government support for thermal coal mining and coal power plants overseas, and we continue to keep our approach to other fossil fuel investments and financing overseas under review.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Department’s latest Transparency Data release on ministerial meetings, April to June 2020, if he will (a) set out the criteria for deciding whether to meet with interested energy production companies or organisations and (b) publish copies of minutes and any other documents from each of the meetings listed.

Ministers meet with many different organisations, as set out in the transparency data release. There are a range of factors which influence whether a Minister meets with an organisation, including relevance to Government policy and ministerial availability. Minutes of ministerial meetings are not routinely published.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will (a) publish the full list of names of members of the COP26 Presidency’s Youth and Civil Society Advisory Council and (b) place a copy of the minutes from the first meeting of that Council in the Library.

The first meeting of the COP26 Civil Society and Youth Advisory Council took place on 16 October and a copy of the minutes, which contain details of the members, will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward legislative proposals in the forthcoming Employment Bill to establish bereavement leave as a universal statutory employment right for workers who have experienced the death of a close relative; and if he will make a statement.

We recognise that the death of a close family member, friend, or colleague can be deeply upsetting. The Government believes that individuals are best placed to understand their own specific needs and we encourage their employers to respond in an appropriate and sensitive way.

In April this year we introduced a new statutory entitlement to Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay for parents who lose a child under the age of 18. Whilst this entitlement is not available to employees who suffer a bereavement in other circumstances, all employees have a ‘day 1’ right to take unpaid time off work for an emergency involving a dependant.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the closure of IT repair shops under November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions on the ability of people to work from home in line with Government guidelines; if he will make the safe re-opening of those businesses a priority; and if he will make a statement.

Some retail shops are required to close, but all are able to provide Click and Collect services if they operate in a COVID-secure manner. The Cabinet Office guidance states that businesses that provide services (rather than goods) are not required to close, unless listed in section 2 of the guide: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england.

As my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has said, the regulations will expire on 2 December and we plan to move back to a tiered approach. The safe reopening of all workplaces has been a priority since the initial phase of the pandemic.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his review of National Policy Statements for energy, which Statements will be reviewed; whether the Statements under review will be active during the review; what his timescale is for that review; and if he will make a statement.

My Rt Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will confirm his intention and the timeframe for any review as part of the forthcoming energy white paper.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much Government funding has been spent on subsidising (a) offshore wind, (b) onshore wind and (c) solar for electricity generation in each of the last three years; and what volume of electricity was generated by each of those modes of generation as a result of those subsidies.

Subsidies for generating electricity from wind and solar PV are paid under three low carbon electricity schemes: the Renewables Obligation (RO), the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT), and Contracts for Difference (CfD) schemes. The Renewables Obligation does not pay a direct subsidy but instead support is provided through tradeable certificates.

The table below provides a breakdown of payments made to wind and solar PV electricity generators under the RO and CfD schemes in the last three financial years where figures are available[1].

The figures in the tables below refer to Great Britain only. CfD and FIT are not available in Northern Ireland.

Table 1: Breakdown of payments made to offshore wind, onshore wind and solar PV electricity generators by low carbon electricity support scheme:

Scheme

2017-18 (£m)

2018-19 (£m)

2019-20[2] (£m)

Offshore wind

RO2 [3]

2,009

2,221

2,212

CfD[4]

295.8

587.6

1,275.9

Onshore wind

RO2

1,256

1,335

1,271

CfD4

0.0

11.3

88.7

Solar PV

RO2

471

549

460

CfD4

0.8

0.8

1.4

In addition, the following amounts have been spent in total on FITs. The breakdown for wind and solar PV is not available but solar PV accounts for around 79% of total FIT capacity and onshore wind accounts for around 14%[5].

Table 2: Total spending on FITs:

2017-18 (£m)

2018-19 (£m)

2019-20 (£m)

Total FIT spending – all technologies

1,375.1

1,409.0

1,414.7

The amount of electricity generated by these schemes is given in the table below.

Table 3: Generation supported by RO, CfD and FIT for offshore wind, onshore wind and solar PV in Great Britain:

Generation (GWh)

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

Offshore wind

RO2

20,661

21,381

24,150

CfD4

2,621

5,359

9,952

FIT[6]

-

-

-

Total

23,281

26,739

34,101

Onshore wind

RO2

25,409

25,379

27,599

CfD4

-

279

1,539

FIT6

1,851

1,720

1,920

Total

27,260

27,377

31,058

Solar PV

RO2

6,409

7,003

6,710

CfD4

20

28

28

FIT6

4,407

4,983

4,952

Total

10,836

12,015

11,689

Total generation for all renewable technologies is published by BEIS in Energy Trends in 6.1 at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-section-6-renewables

[1] Figures are not available broken down by technology for the FITs scheme.

[2] RO figures for 2019/20 are provisional as not all the certificates have been issued yet and the full notional value of each certificate is not yet known.

[3] RO figures are based on Ofgem’s certificate report as at 4 August 2020 from their Renewables and CHP Register.

[4] CfD figures are taken from the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) CfD dashboard, which is available on LCCC’s website.

[5] Taken from OFGEM’s annual report: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/fit/contacts-guidance-and-resources/public-reports-and-data-fit/annual-reports

[6] Estimated

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many staff in his Department are working primarily on (a) fossil fuels, (b) renewables, (c) energy efficiency and (d) nuclear energy.

The Department currently employs the following numbers of staff working primarily in these areas:

Upstream oil and gas policy

26 FTE

Downstream oil resilience

15 FTE

Gas policy

23 FTE

Coal policy (including staff working on the domestic & international transition away from coal)

6 FTE

Liabilities from the former nationalised coal industry

7.4 FTE

The Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning, based in Aberdeen

90.5 FTE

Renewable energy

104.6 FTE

Renewable heat

79 FTE

Energy efficiency

237 FTE

Nuclear energy

201.1 FTE

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the decisions in Symrise AG, 18 August 2020, by the Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency on requiring animal testing under REACH of ingredients solely and already used in cosmetics, and the incorporation of Article 18 of Regulation (EC) No. 2009/1223 via the Product Safety and Metrology (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, whether (a) all animal testing for ingredients used predominantly in cosmetics will be prohibited in the UK after 31 December 2020 and (b) there will be a prohibition on the sale in the UK of cosmetics ingredients tested on animals after March 2013 irrespective of where the testing was carried out or under which regulatory regime.

Following the end of the Transition Period, under the EU Withdrawal Act, existing EU legislation will be carried over into UK law. This includes both the REACH Regulation and the Cosmetics Regulation.

The use of animal testing to demonstrate the compliance of the final formulation of cosmetic products or their ingredients with the Cosmetics Regulation will remain prohibited in the UK after 31 December 2020. No animal testing of finished cosmetic products or their ingredients or combinations of ingredients in order to meet the requirements of the Cosmetics Regulation is allowed to take place in the UK.

The sale of cosmetics where the safety of ingredients is demonstrated through animal tests after March 2013 will remain prohibited in the UK after 31 December 2020

The safety of chemicals is regulated by DEFRA. In the case referred to, these tests were required under REACH in order to assess the risks to workers involved in the formulation of the substances.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his plans are for the future of the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is prepared to support new nuclear projects in the years ahead, if these projects can be delivered at a competitive price that represents value for money for the taxpayer. If we were to take a new nuclear project forward, we would look at appropriate methods to scrutinise proposals for the Funded Decommissioning Programme submitted by the prospective operator.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the incident reported at Sellafield on 14 August 2020, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the Sellafield Limited Board of Inquiry report into an incident involving inappropriately managed toxic chemicals discovered on 3 October 2017 at the Sellafield Analytical Services Laboratory (ASL), which was reported in February 2018.

Following the incident in 2017, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) issued an enforcement letter to Sellafield Ltd. The letter required the organisation to review and improve their arrangements for managing waste chemicals across the site, including implementing a plan for their disposal or safe storage. Given the large quantity and variety of chemicals held on the site, this has been a significant and complex undertaking.

The Board of Inquiry into the events of October 2017 made several recommendations, which Sellafield Ltd undertook to implement. The ONR have maintained oversight of Sellafield Ltd’s progress against the identified actions and improvement plan, through ongoing regulatory activity. The ONR are content with the progress that is continuing to be made on this matter and will maintain their activities and oversight to ensure that Sellafield Ltd’s improvements in chemical management on the site are fully realised.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the incident reported at Sellafield on 14 August 2020, what reports his Department has received of the effectiveness of the implementation of the safety changes proposed in the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Assessment of the Sellafield Ltd Analytical Services Second Cycle Long Term Periodic Review, Project Assessment Report ONR-SDFW-PAR-2017-007, dated June 2017; and what matters remain outstanding.

Following the incident in 2017, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) issued an enforcement letter to Sellafield Ltd. The letter required the regulator to review and improve their arrangements for managing waste chemicals across the site, including implementing a plan for their disposal or safe storage. Given the large quantity and variety of chemicals held on the site, this has been a significant and complex undertaking.

The ONR have maintained oversight of Sellafield Ltd’s progress against the identified actions and its improvement plan through a Regulatory Issue. They are currently content with the progress being made on this matter and will continue with their work to ensure that Sellafield Ltd’s improvements in chemical management on the site are realised fully.

As a result of the increased focus on chemicals by Sellafield Ltd, during a routine inspection a potentially unstable chemical was identified. Action was taken to make the site safe and ultimately remove the chemical from the site. The potential exists for further such chemicals to be identified while Sellafield Ltd implements its improvement plan.

The ONR are satisfied that Sellafield Ltd’s response to this event was appropriate. The ONR’s inspectors are following up on this incident to determine if any further regulatory action is needed, in accordance with their established arrangements.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) reported this incident and the subsequent regulatory activity to the Department as part of its regular monthly and quarterly reporting requirements pertaining to regulatory activity and safety at Sellafield. This reporting is regularly reviewed by officials and is further enhanced by regular engagement between the Department, the ONR and the NDA.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the incident reported at Sellafield on 14 August 2020 that involved Sellafield Ltd management calling in experts from Explosive Ordinance Disposal to stabilise toxic chemicals discovered inappropriately stored near the Magnox reprocessing line; what danger was posed to the (a) licensed nuclear site workforce and (b) community near to Sellafield outside the security fence; and what steps he is taking to ensure that Sellafield Ltd improves the safety of the on-site management of toxic and potentially explosive chemicals as a consequence of that incident.

As part of routine inspection of chemicals being stored inside a dedicated store (within the Magnox Reprocessing Facility) at Sellafield, a chemical was found to have changed in appearance. The UK’s independent regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), were in regular contact with the site as they managed this incident and safely disposed of the materials, in accordance with their established procedures.

At no point were workers at the site, or the community near to Sellafield, at any risk as a result of this material or the manner in which it was disposed of. The Magnox Reprocessing Facility was evacuated as a precaution during disposal.

The ONR were content with Sellafield Ltd’s actions in response and will continue to monitor progress with arrangements for managing waste chemicals across the site, including inspecting the operator’s plans for their disposal or safe storage.

The ONR’s inspectors are following up on this incident and will determine if further regulatory action is required.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 1 October 2019 to Question 291441 on Carbon Emissions: British Overseas Territories and with reference to the UK's hosting of the UN Climate Summit in 2021, which UK Overseas Territories have now requested to participate in the Paris Agreement; and what procedures will be used for carbon emissions accounting and reporting for those territories.

The Department continues to consult with UK Overseas Territories on whether they would like to have UK ratification of the Paris Agreement extended to them. For any that so choose, the extension process would ensure that UK Overseas Territories are able to contribute to UK Paris Agreement reporting to the UNFCCC as set out by the guidelines contained in the Enhanced Transparency Framework of the Paris Rulebook, agreed at COP24, Katowice.

UK Overseas Territories that have previously had UK ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) extended to them, including those who have had UK ratification of the Kyoto Protocol extended to them, are already included in the UK’s annual GHG inventory submission to the UNFCCC, National Inventory Report and Common Reporting Format tables. These publications are made available on the UNFCCC website and the National Atmospheric and Emissions Inventory website.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to publish the advice his Department is receiving from the Committee on Climate Change on the Government’s planned Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

We expect the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to include advice on the Nationally Determined Contribution when they publish advice on the Sixth Carbon Budget in December. The CCC will make this publicly available.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the Internal Review prepared for the EDF Board in 2015 conducted by Yannick d’Escatha on the economic viability of the European Pressurised Reactor being built at Hinkley; and when he first became aware of that report.

The Internal Review was a matter for EDF and was widely known about at the time; for example, it was referred to in a press release issued by EDF on 12 March 2016.

The Government conducted due diligence on the project before entering into the contractual agreements. EDF, as the lead investor in Hinkley Point C, is responsible for the project’s funding and construction schedule. Any additional costs incurred are the responsibility of EDF, and its fellow shareholders in the project, and will not fall on taxpayers or consumers.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the recently released report on European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs) by the French Court of Audit (Cours des Comptes); what assessment he has made of the implications for the financial underwriting provided by the Government to EDF for the Hinkley C EPR project of the Court of Audit finding that the project represents a high financial risk; and what discussions he has held with EDF officials on the future costing of the Hinkley C project.

The Government is aware of the report on European Pressurised Reactors, which was published on the Cour des Comptes webpage on 9 July 2020. EDF, as the lead investor in Hinkley Point C, is responsible for the project’s funding and construction schedule. Any additional costs incurred are the responsibility of EDF and its fellow shareholders in the project, and will not fall on taxpayers or consumers.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish additional conditions that will need to be met by spas, nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons, massage therapists, tattoo and piercing parlours before such business are allowed to reopen during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will publish the scientific evidence that such businesses pose a greater public health risk than pubs, bars and restaurants if personal protection equipment is worn and social distancing rules are applied.

There is clearly a risk of greater transmission in close proximity services. That is why we have had to phase their introduction. We had to make difficult choices to keep the R rate below 1. We appreciate that this is difficult for some businesses. Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, and every step is weighed against the evidence, remembering that the more we open up the more vigilant we will need to be.

SAGE has already confirmed that they will publish all past minutes and supporting documents. SAGE information is shared on its website: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representation his recovery roundtables include from (a) trade unions and (b) civil society organisations; and if he will publish the membership of those roundtables.

The Economic Recovery roundtables have brought together businesses, business representative groups and leading academics to consider the measures needed to support the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19. They also explore key domestic and global challenges, including how to support a green and resilient recovery, and ensure the UK is at the forefront of new and emerging industries.

The Department is engaging with a range of stakeholders to ensure we elicit a broad range of views on the UK’s economic recovery and continues to engage extensively with Trades Unions on its response to Covid-19.

Civil society was represented on all of the Economic Recovery roundtables, including from NGOs and academics who had published notable research relevant to the questions discussed.

We have published a list of the roundtable attendees on GOV.UK. The attendees come from across business sectors, regions and devolved nations, business representative groups, research bodies, partner organisations, and academia. The business attendees represent over a third of the UK economy. This list does not encompass the full range of stakeholders that BEIS Ministers and officials are engaging with. We have been welcoming comments from anyone that wishes to share their views by 17th June. We also continue to hold extensive engagement that will feed into this important work with stakeholders from across the economy, including small business networks and trades unions

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure the advice of the recovery roundtables on the themes of (a) the future of industry, (b) backing new businesses, (c) increasing opportunity and (d) the UK open for business, is compatible with the UK's role in delivering the Paris Agreement.

The insight gathered through these roundtables will help identify ways in which government can work together with business and other stakeholders to support a clean and resilient recovery and ensure the UK is at the forefront of new and emerging industries.

In order to seize the opportunities of growing low carbon markets around the world, deliver our commitments under the Paris Agreement, and put ourselves on course for our legally binding carbon budgets and net zero target, we need to accelerate the rate of emission reduction and ensure UK businesses are well placed to maximise the growth opportunities of net zero. Many of the actions we need to take to reach our UK climate targets - net zero - can also support our economy to recover from Covid-19.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with lenders accredited under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; and what recent assessment he has made of the timeliness of those lenders in (a) approving and (b) releasing funds to small businesses that meet the eligibility criteria for that scheme.

The Government continues to hold a regular dialogue with the largest Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) lenders to monitor its implementation.

There are now over 80 accredited lenders of the CBILS and individual lending decisions remain at the discretion of these lenders. There has been significant demand for the Scheme and lenders are fully aware of the current urgency, so we expect them to respond appropriately to their customers’ needs.

Since the CBILS was introduced, Government has made several improvements to speed up the application process and ensure businesses are getting the support they need. These include:

  • Clarifying that all lenders should use automated, rather than manual, credit checks when assessing the viability of a business;
  • Removing the forward-looking viability test;
  • Removing the per lender portfolio cap; and
  • Removing any requirement for the main lenders to interact with the British Business Bank systems before issuing loans.

As of 14 June, facilities have been issued to 49,247 businesses, with a value of £10.11 billion.

We have also introduced the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). This scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. To apply, businesses need to complete a simple online form which can be processed by their lender in a matter of days. As of 14 June, 863,584 loans have been issued, worth £26.34 billion.

We continue to receive feedback on all our support for businesses and will seek to identify any areas for improvement.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of publican tenants in tied pubs on the support those tenants require during the covid-19 outbreak; whether he is in touch with the #nopubnorent campaign; and if he will make it his policy to include a representative of The Forum of British Pubs on the Pubs and Restaurant taskforce to develop new covid-19 secure guidelines.

The Department has had discussions with a broad range of stakeholders from across the pubs sector on the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, including support to pub tenants.

The Pubs and Restaurants Taskforce has already convened to develop guidance that will allow restaurants, bars and cafes to reopen at the earliest point it is considered safe to do so. The taskforce comprised stakeholders from a cross-section of the sector, with representation from trade bodies to small and medium sized operators, unions, as well as the supply chain. We consulted these stakeholders due to their expertise and real-life knowledge and experience of the challenges faced by the industry during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that UK banks and financial institutions are not involved in the financing of companies whose operations contribute to deforestation or habitat destruction in (a) Brazil and (b) other countries; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is committed to better understanding and addressing this issue. We are working with financiers and partners to take action in a number of ways.

In 2018 BEIS, DFID and DEFRA ministers commissioned the UK’s Global Resource Initiative (GRI), an independent taskforce through which over 200 leading UK companies, NGOs and financiers, on 30th March, published recommendations for how the UK can mitigate the environmental footprint of its deforestation-risk supply chains and investments. The Government is now considering these recommendations as a matter of priority

The Government’s Green Finance Strategy also included an expectation that listed companies and large asset owners should, by 2022, disclose information on the climate impact of their activities in line with recommendations from the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). The government has established a process with the relevant regulators to explore the most effective way to approach climate-related financial disclosure in the UK, and this includes considering whether it would be appropriate to make reporting mandatory

In order to help financiers and supply chains actors better understand their role in global deforestation and habitat loss, the UK directly funds and supports technological solutions to bring greater transparency to deforestation-risk investments such as the Global Canopy’s Forest 500 Report and TRASE tools. We also support efforts to find new ways of accounting for the risks and value of natural capital, which is a key focus for the Treasury’s Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity

We recognise that this is a global problem which requires strong partnership with other countries. The UK has committed over £200m in climate finance to Brazil to date (2016-2021), including to support community, business and local-government-led initiatives to tackle deforestation and prevent habitat destruction. These initiatives help strengthen forest governance, increase the value of Brazil’s standing forest, incubate forest friendly business models, and harness sustainable forms of private sector investment. On Friday 5th June, we announced a further £64m of support to protect tropical rainforests in Colombia against deforestation

As COP26 President we are also working with our international partners to green local and international supply chains for foodstuffs and key commodities and increase the alignment of financial flows with net-zero and the Paris Agreement objectives.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which (a) Departmental and (b) cross-Departmental initiatives are ensuring that the Government’s economic response to the covid-19 outbreak contributes to the achievement of the UK's climate and environmental goals; and if he will make a statement.

As we recover from COVID-19, the Government intends to deliver a UK economy which is stronger, greener, more sustainable and more resilient.

The UK was the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions by 2050 while showing that growing our economy and cutting emissions can be achieved in parallel - growing our economy by 75% while cutting emissions by 43% over the past three decades. The UK has over 460,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains, and many of the actions we need to take to reach our net zero target will support the future growth of our economy.

Already we have announced that onshore wind and solar projects can bid for contracts in the next Contracts for Difference allocation round and a £2 billion package for cycling and walking. On 8 June, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced a Green Recovery working group, one of five new ‘recovery roundtables’ bringing together businesses, business representative groups and leading academics, to unleash Britain’s growth potential and help the economy recover from the pandemic. This group will explore how to capture the economic growth opportunities from the shift to net zero emissions.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the GMB Union April 2020 statistics citing that 3 million key workers do not earn the Real Living Wage; and if he will take steps to ensure that all key workers earn the Real Living Wage as determined by the Living Wage Foundation.

This Government is committed to building an economy that works for everyone. Through the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the National Living Wage (NLW) the Government protects the lowest paid workers and ensures they are fairly rewarded for their contribution to the economy.

The NMW and NLW rates are legal minimum thresholds. These are different from the Living Wage, which is a voluntary minimum rate of pay. The Government commends the work of the Living Wage Foundation and those employers who commit to paying the voluntary Living Wage when they can afford to do so.

A substantial number of key workers are paid at or just above the National Minimum Wage. It is right that we support these workers as they are supporting the country during this crisis. This is why the Government 2020 increased the National Living Wage on 1 April.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 May to Question 39769, which paragraph of the Government guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme specifies that pregnant employees can be furloughed under that Scheme (a) if they and their employer agree and (b) they meet the normal eligibility requirements.

The Job Retention Scheme has been designed to help employers retain staff during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance explains that anyone who meets the eligibility requirements can be considered for the Scheme - where the employee and employer agree. That includes pregnant women. The limited number of exclusions are explicitly set out in the guidance.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has held discussions with his EU counterparts on the Government’s decision to prevent companies in CVA from benefitting from the coronavirus small business grants schemes; and for what reasons that decision was made in relation state aid rules.

There are a number of Coronavirus small business grant schemes available, including Small Business grants and Retail and Hospitality and Leisure grants. These grant schemes are intended to support companies struggling as a consequence of Coronavirus, to allow them to re-open on the other side of the lockdown. The guidance on these grants therefore excludes from eligibility businesses which were in liquidation or dissolved as of 11 March.

Although the UK has left the EU, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, the EU State aid rules continue to apply in the UK until the end of the Transition Period. A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is a type of insolvency procedure. Small Business grants are paid under the existing State aid de minimis rules and can be given notwithstanding a CVA.

Retail Hospitality and Leisure grants are provided under the UK Covid-19 Temporary Framework. Businesses receiving this grant must confirm they were not an Undertaking in Difficulty on 31 December 2019. Under the Temporary Framework, if the business became an undertaking in difficulty after 31 December 2019 it can still receive aid under the Temporary Framework.

As companies in CVA are not prevented from receiving Small Business grants, the Government has not discussed this issue with the European Commission.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th May 2020
If he will seek representations from self-employed workers on the effectiveness of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

We have prioritised helping the greatest number of people as quickly as possible and it is difficult to come up with reliable criteria that apply to all the relevant sectors of the economy. We are aware some people will not be eligible for the scheme, but they may still benefit from a number of other support schemes available.

The Department is engaging a wide range of stakeholders in relation to Covid-19, and in addition to the Business Secretary’s regular meeting with business representative organisations, I recently hosted a call with stakeholders on support for the self-employed and will continue to engage on the issue.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his UN speech of 6 March 2020, whether his statement that green growth is absolutely possible is based on evidence (a) that absolute decoupling of gross domestic product growth from greenhouse gas emissions has occurred in relation to (a) consumption-based emissions incorporating the overseas impacts of UK economic activity and (b) the UK’s equitable contribution to the 1.5 degree temperature goal of the Paris climate agreement; and if he will make a statement.

Green Growth is absolutely possible. Between 1990 and 2018, the UK reduced emissions by 43% while growing our economy by 75% – decarbonising our economy faster than any other G20 country since 2000. The latest statistics show that UK emissions on a consumption basis (including emissions embedded in imports) also fell by 21 per cent between 2007 and 2017. Last year, the UK became the first major economy to legislate to achieve net zero emissions. This will continue to enable us to meet our climate change obligations, including those made under the Paris Agreement, and – as stated by the Committee on Climate Change – goes beyond the reduction needed globally to hold the expected rise in global average temperature to well below 2°C.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the guidance on Making staff redundant on gov.uk, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the requirement for a 90 day consultation where more than 20 staff are being made redundant on the ability of businesses to operate during the covid-19 outbreak; whether he has any plans to (a) amend that guidance and (b) provide financial support to businesses to meet the costs of temporary redundancy during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. In order to help firms to continue to keep people in employment, the Government has introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Businesses can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, providing they keep the worker employed. They will receive the grant from HMRC, and all UK-wide employers with a PAYE scheme can self-certify that it has furloughed employees. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st.

The scheme will help businesses to retain staff and reduce the need for full redundancies. The Government is continually reviewing what further support can be offered to business and whether amended guidance is appropriate

Businesses and employees can get advice on individual employment issues by visiting the Acas website. Businesses can also ring the BEIS Business Support Line for further advice on support for business.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the level of need of solo self-employed people without access to human resources support during the covid-19 outbreak; what steps he is taking to support people in that position; and if he will make a statement.

Government is clear that we must support people in work to do the right thing during a Covid-19 outbreak. The Government has already made it easier for those who are sick or self-isolating to access support through Universal Credit and contributory Employment and Support Allowance. We want to make sure our welfare system works quickly and effectively to provide security for people. We are also supporting the self-employed through the tax system, with the next self-assessment payments deferred until the end of the year.

The Government recognises that those who are self-employed might not have HR support, but they can get advice on individual employment issues by calling Acas. They can also ring the BEIS Business Support Line for further advice on support for business.

HMRC have also set up a dedicated helpline for self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time?To?Pay service.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to include aviation and shipping emissions in the UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution in advance of COP26 in November 2020; if he will advocate for other countries to do the same; and if he will make a statement.

As part of our incoming COP Presidency, we are urging all countries to come forward with ambitious new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which represent their highest possible ambition. The UK will play a key part and come forward with an enhanced NDC well ahead of COP26.

The UK continues to lead international efforts on cost-effective emissions reduction in the international aviation and shipping sectors, working through the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ?Emissions from domestic flights and shipping are already covered by our domestic legislation and the CCC account for international flights and shipping in their advice on setting our carbon budgets.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 6620 on Copyright: EU Law, whether the Government plans to make changes to the UK copyright framework as part of the usual domestic policy process.

The Government takes decisions on whether or not to legislate after consideration of the evidence. In areas where the evidence demonstrates that the current copyright framework is not effective, the Government may propose changes to it. Any future changes to the copyright framework would be subject to a full public consultation and impact assessment.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been made by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in establishing Nucleus, the national nuclear archive, at Wick; what proportion of the known documentation destined for Nucleus has been shipped to the site to date; what plans there are to digitise the archive contents to facilitate remote searching and access; and what use has been made of Nucleus by outside interested parties since it was opened.

The Nucleus nuclear archive building in Wick opened in February 2017. Since, an estimated 20% of the relevant records held at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA) sites have been transferred there, while transfer of off-site records is approximately 40% complete. Dounreay’s records were the first to be transferred, including over 300,000 photographs and 200 tonnes of documents. Material from 16 other sites will be moved gradually over the next five years.

In the longer term, a searchable Archive Management System will provide online access to the material; security restrictions will apply to certain records. A digitisation programme to prepare a specification and scope of work began last year.

The facility has been primarily used by the local community and international nuclear community. It has hosted events for various international organisations, such as the Nuclear Energy Agency and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Most local visitors access the Caithness Archives, which is located at Wick alongside the nuclear collection.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the written statement of 3 February 2020, HCWS86 on UK-EU relations, and the EU draft negotiating directives published on 3 February 2020, whether she plans to make tackling climate change a priority for a future trade agreement between the EU and the UK.

We want a relationship with the EU which is based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals, and centred on free trade. We will have a relationship with our European friends inspired by our shared history and values.

The UK is committed to delivering our world-leading commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and end the UK’s contribution to global warming by 2050. As my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister set out in his speech in Greenwich on the 3 February: “Britain was the first major economy in the world – let alone the EU – to place upon our own shoulders a legal obligation to be carbon neutral by 2050.”

As we prepare to host the crucial 2020 UN climate negotiations, COP26, in Glasgow in November, we will push for ambitious action from all countries to deliver the 2015 Paris Agreement, and showcase the UK’s climate leadership.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2020 to Question 3164 on Employment Tribunals Service: Fines, how many individual, previously unpaid awards are represented by (a) the total sum of £1,343,941.96 recovered as a result of only issuing a warning letter, and (b) the total sum of £1,222,472.23 recovered as a result of issuing both a warning letter and a penalty notice; and how many of the 2,067 warning letters and 1,302 penalty notices were issued in (i) 2016-17 (ii) 2017-18 (iii) 2018-19 and (iv) 2019-20 to date.

Under this government a total of £2,566,414.19 in previously unpaid awards has been secured for workers since April 2016. A total of £1,343,941.96 was recovered for 231 workers after only issuing a warning notice. A total of £1,222,472.23 was recovered for 225 workers after issuing a penalty notice.

Of the 2,067 warning letters and 1,302 penalty notices issued:

(i) 244 warning notices and 124 penalty notices were issued in 2016-17;

(ii) 390 warning notices and 277 penalty notices were issued in 2017-18;

(iii) 736 warning notices and 471 penalty notices were issued in 2018-19 and

(iv) 697 warning notices and 430 penalty notices have been issued in 2019-20 to date.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department has taken to support self-employed (a) EU, (b) EEA, (c) Swiss and (d) Turkish citizens to (i) understand and (ii) comply with the Freedom of Establishment and Free Movement of Services (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 ahead of the 31 December 2020.

Self-employed EU, EEA EFTA, Swiss and Turkish nationals will not be required to take any actions to comply with the Freedom of Establishment and Free Movement of Services (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. UK law currently imposes no restrictions on the ability of these nationals to establish or run a business, or to provide services in the UK. The Regulations, which come into force at the end of the Implementation Period, will not change this.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to inform (a) EU, (b) EEA, (c) Swiss and (d) Turkish citizens of changes to the law on self-employment after the passing of the Freedom of Establishment and Free Movement of Services (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

Self-employed EU, EEA EFTA, Swiss and Turkish nationals will not be required to take any actions to comply with the Freedom of Establishment and Free Movement of Services (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. UK law currently imposes no restrictions on the ability of these nationals to establish or run a business, or to provide services in the UK. The Regulations, which come into force at the end of the Implementation Period, will not change this.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of 21 October 2019 of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at the third delegated legislation committee on the draft Freedom of Establishment and Free Movement of Services (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, whether self-employed (a) EU, (b) EEA, (c) Swiss and (d) Turkish citizens need to take steps prior to 31 December 2020 to comply with those regulations.

Self-employed EU, EEA EFTA, Swiss and Turkish nationals will not be required to take any actions to comply with the Freedom of Establishment and Free Movement of Services (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. UK law currently imposes no restrictions on the ability of these nationals to establish or run a business, or to provide services in the UK. The Regulations, which come into force at the end of the Implementation Period, will not change this.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what her timetable is for publishing the UK’s increased Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as required by the Paris Agreement; where she plans to publish the NDCs; and how she plans to consult (a) hon. Members and (b) the public in advance of publishing that information.

At the UN Climate Action Summit in September, my rt. hon. Friend the Prime Minister called on all countries to raise the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The UK will play its part and come forward with an increased NDC this year, in good time ahead of COP26. The UK’s NDC will be communicated to the UNFCCC and published on the UNFCCC NDC registry, in line with our commitments under the Paris Agreement. The Government will keep Parliament informed.

The Government consults on its policies and proposals to reduce emissions through the process of setting carbon budgets and in preparing published plans for meeting them, most recently the Clean Growth Strategy. As the policies and proposals in the Clean Growth Strategy are developed and implemented over time, they too will be subject to public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny as part of the normal regulatory process.

We will use the opportunity of hosting the COP26 negotiations to shine a spotlight on ambitious action by governments, businesses and people around the world, and to continue to drive greater global climate ambition. This follows the UK becoming the first major economy to set a date for ending our contribution to global warming, enshrining in legislation in June 2019 a commitment to meet net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 11 January 2017 to Question 58968 on Employment Tribunals Service: Fines, how many (a) warning notices and (b) financial penalty notices have been issued to respondent employers to date under section 150 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 for failure to pay an employment tribunal award; how many of those financial penalties (i) have been paid and (ii) remain unpaid; how many previously unpaid awards have been recovered by his Department following (A) the issuing of a warning notice only and (B) the issuing of both a warning notice and a financial penalty notice; and how much money was recovered in each category.

Under this government a total of £2,566,414.19 in previously unpaid awards has been secured for workers since April 2016. £1,343,941.96 has been recovered as a result of only issuing a warning letter. A further £1,222,472.23 has been recovered as a result of issuing both a warning letter and a penalty notice. The Employment Tribunals penalty regime promotes and secures prompt payment of unpaid employment tribunal awards and Acas settlements.

The penalty regime for failure to pay employment tribunal awards started in April 2016. Since then 2,067 warning letters and 1,302 penalty notices have been issued.

Of the 2,067 warning letters that have been issued:

  • 157 are being pursued through a debt collection agency;
  • 459 have been pursued through a debt collection agency but the penalty has not been recovered;
  • 509 were withdrawn because the employment tribunal award was paid;
  • 647 are not enforceable due to liquidation and/or insolvency;
  • 258 are currently within the payment period; and
  • 37 financial penalties have been paid.
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish the dates and details of any (a) social gatherings for Departmental staff and (b) work gatherings where alcohol and food were consumed that took place at her Department from 23 March 2020 to date.

This information is not collected. For the majority of the period in question, staff were expected to work from home and undertake meetings remotely, wherever possible. Where this was not the case, staff were permitted to be in the office in accordance with the relevant cross-Government Health and Safety guidance at the time.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the announcement of 23 December 2021 on £1.5million of additional funding for arts freelancers in England, what estimate the Government has made of the proportion of the arts freelance workforce that will benefit from that fund.

We recognise the significant challenge the pandemic poses to our arts and creative sectors and to the many individuals and freelancers working across these industries.

Government funding via Arts Council England will provide an immediate £1.5 million emergency support to support freelancers affected by the pandemic, alongside a further £1.35 million contribution from the theatre sector. This will provide grants of £650,000 each directly to the Theatre Artists Fund, Help Musicians, and £200,000 to a-n, the Artists Information Company, a charity for visual artists which will distribute cash to freelancers over the coming weeks. We are keeping the situation under review, and will consider further interventions as needed.

Freelancers are also supported through the unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund support package of almost £ 2 billion, which has helped ensure the venues and organisations which support and employ freelancers have survived the pandemic.

We will continue to work closely with freelancers and organisations across the sectors to see how we can best provide support to those affected.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 16064, Holiday Accommodation, when the Government plans to publish the consultation on the introduction of a Tourist Accommodation Registration Scheme in England; and if he will make a statement.

Prior to Covid-19, we had been planning to explore the merits and feasibility of introducing a Tourist Accomodation Registration Scheme.

The Government intends to publish a call for evidence on matters associated with short term holiday lettings in early 2022.

This will assist in developing proportionate, evidence-based policy options for a subsequent consultation.

The Government is committed to hearing the views of all interested parties as part of this call for evidence.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make it her policy to increase funding for the Public Lending Right.

Public Lending Right (PLR) is a legal right to authors for payment from a central fund for eligible book contributors when their books are borrowed from public libraries. It applies to physical books, e-books, and e-audiobooks. Illustrators, photographers, translators and editors are also compensated for the loan of their books from public libraries.

The British Library administers the PLR Scheme and recommends annually to the department the revised PLR rate per loan. The recommended PLR rate per loan is determined by the annual registered loans figure for the relevant year and the available PLR central fund.

The PLR rate per loan has increased annually from 6.20 pence per loan for the PLR Scheme year 2012/13 to 9.55 pence per loan for the PLR Scheme year 2019/20. The department will shortly consult on a revised PLR rate per loan for the PLR Scheme year 2020/21, to be introduced in January 2022.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on what date he plans to publish updated covid-19 guidance on the (a) number of people allowed to attend memorial services and (b) rules for singing indoors; and if he will make a statement.

The government’s Roadmap set out four steps out of lockdown in England. From Step 4, there will be no limits on the number of people who can sing indoors or outdoors. This includes choirs and congregational singing. The government will remove outstanding legal restrictions on social contact and life events, and open the remaining closed settings. The government will instead enable people to use personal judgement to manage the risk to themselves and others.


We will assess the four tests again on 12 July to decide whether to proceed to step 4 on 19 July. Once that decision has been made, all government guidance will be amended in light of the decision taken.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Live Comedy Association on (a) the level of funding required to protect the 77 per cent of live comedy venues that are reported to be at risk of closure in the next 12 months and (b) ensuring the needs of live comedy performances are reflected in plans the Government is developing to support the arts sector reopen after the covid-19 lockdown.

a) The Live Comedy Association attends the regular ministerially-chaired roundtables that ensure we are assisting all our Creative Industries sectors as effectively as possible. In addition, officials are in regular contact with the Live Comedy Association, ensuring that the needs of the comedy industry are fully understood. We will continue to work with the Live Comedy Association to understand the difficulties the comedy industry faces and help it access support through these challenging times and through recovery.

On Sunday 5 July 2020, the Secretary of State announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. Live comedy is a much loved part of the British cultural landscape. Comedy venues and organisations will be eligible to apply for support through the package, just like other performing art forms. Detailed eligibility criteria will be set out as soon as possible in July.

b) The Live Comedy Association is a member of the ministerially-chaired Events and Entertainment Working Group, that is focused on developing covid-19 secure guidance to enable the safe reopening of the entertainment sector.

We have worked closely with the industry on a clear roadmap for the return of the performing arts and live entertainment sectors providing detailed guidance. We are pleased that, subject to the success of pilots, which include a number of comedy events, from August indoor performances with socially distanced audiences will be able to take place.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the scientific evidence he has received in support of the Government’s decision not to allow the reopening of outdoor and open air theatres yet; and whether he has made an assessment of the risks of covid-19 transmission at outdoor and open air theatres enforcing 2m social distancing compared with those at theme parks, open air gyms and outdoor markets.

We are committed to getting the performing arts sector fully back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so. It is a priority of my department to work with the arts and cultural sectors to address the challenges of reopening.

The Secretary of State recently revealed a five stage roadmap that the government will work through to get the performing arts sectors back up and running as soon as possible:

  • Stage One - Rehearsal and training (no audiences)

  • Stage Two - Performances for broadcast and recording purposes

  • Stage Three - Performances outdoors with an audience and pilots for indoor performances with a limited socially-distanced audience

  • Stage Four - Performances allowed indoors and outdoors (but with a limited socially-distanced audience indoors)

  • Stage Five - Performances allowed indoors / outdoors (with a fuller audience indoors)

On the 11th July, we moved to Stage Three. This means that performances outdoors can take place in line with this guidance. DCMS will work with sector representative bodies to select a number of pilots for indoor performances with a socially distanced audience, as we look to move into Stage Four.

Capacity will be based on a risk management approach, and decided on by event organisations in consultation with local authorities. It will be limited to ensure social distancing guidelines can be adhered to. Venues should ensure that the government guidance on social distancing is followed at outdoor performances, including the limits on social mixing.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many meetings (a) he and (b) his officials have had with representatives from (i) the News Media Association, (ii) the Independent Community News Network and (iii) the Public Interest News Foundation since 23 March 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Ministers at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have held a number of roundtables and bilateral meetings with representatives from across the Press sector, including the News Media Association (NMA), the Independent Community News Network (ICNN) and the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.

Officials at the DCMS have also been in regular contact with representatives from all three organisations, as well as with stakeholders from the wider sector, as part of the government’s increased engagement to best understand the impacts of Covid-19 on the sector, and ensure interventions are as effective as possible.

The Minister for Media and Data met with the Independent Community News Network and the Public Interest News Foundation on 6 May to discuss government support to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 for the independent news publishing sector in particular. This meeting included a discussion about the Government's national campaign to provide information and reassurance to the public about Covid-19 and how the independent sector may be used to reach underserved audiences.

Since the week commencing 23 March, the Minister for Media and Data has also held fortnightly roundtable meetings with representatives from across the sector, including the NMA and the ICNN.

21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether (a) officials in his Department and (b) representatives of the Charity Commission have had discussions with (i) funding organisations and (ii) institutional donors regarding the use of restricted project funds by (A) charities and (B) civil society organisations to cover core running costs during the covid-19 outbreak.

DCMS and the Charity Commission are proactively engaging across the sector, to maintain a complete picture of the impact of coronavirus, and working to identify the additional support charities require through this time of financial instability. As such, the Commission is publishing regular updates to its COVID-19 guidance for the charity sector on its website.

As the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, the Charity Commission’s approach to regulation during this period is to be as flexible and pragmatic as possible, while helping trustees to be aware of and think about the wider or longer impact of their decisions on their charity.

This guidance provides advice to charities on the use of reserves and restricted funds: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector#using-reserves-and-restricted-funds.

25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Independent Community News Network on (a) the viability of and (b) Government support for independent local media during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The need for independent, verifiable news and information is more important than ever, given the current crisis caused by the outbreak of Covid-19. The news publishing sector’s sustainability and the continued provision of reliable, high-quality information is therefore a priority for the Government. Ministers in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are actively engaging with stakeholders across the media industry, including local and independent news publishing outlets, to understand the challenges posed by the current crisis and to establish the most effective means of supporting the whole of the industry.


Several measures have already been put in place as part of an unprecedented package of support. The Business Interruption Loan, designed for small and medium enterprises, could be helpful to local news publishers. Additionally, the Government is supporting business through the Job Retention Scheme, VAT and tax deferrals, and through covering the cost of statutory sick pay. We are committed to ensuring that firms whose business models were viable before this crisis remain viable once it is over.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to add to the criteria by which local authorities can make changes to Published Admission Numbers proposals for maintained schools to include consideration of (a) fairness for disadvantaged communities and (b) decisions to re-distribute pupil places based on the number of children living near their local school; and if he will make a statement.

A school’s admission authority is responsible for setting the published admission number (PAN) for each year in which children normally enter the school. This is usually the reception year in primary school and year 7 in secondary school. They must do so in line with the requirements of the school admissions code.

The local authority is the admission authority for community and voluntary controlled schools. For voluntary aided and foundation schools, the school’s governing body is the admission authority and is therefore responsible for setting the PAN.

Once they have determined their PAN, an admission authority may admit above that number but must notify the local authority of this in time to allow it to deliver its co-ordination responsibilities effectively. They may also admit above their PAN at any time through in-year admissions.

Where an admission authority proposes to decrease their PAN, they must first consult locally in accordance with the requirements set out in the school admissions code. This includes consulting with parents and all other admission authorities within the relevant area.

Community and voluntary controlled schools have the right to object to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator if the PAN set for them by the local authority is lower than they would wish. The decision of the Adjudicator is binding and enforceable.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the open letter to the Government by the Disabled Children’s Partnership, dated 26 November 2021, seeking clarification on how spending review funding will meet the health and social care needs of disabled children and their families, how his Department’s spending review settlement will (a) help every family with disabled children get the short breaks social care support to which they are entitled and (b) allow disabled children to recover lost progress in managing their conditions; and if he will make a statement.

The department believes it is right for local authorities, who know their areas’ needs best, to determine what services are required locally, including short breaks.

This year, councils have access to £51.3 billion to deliver their core services, including a £1.7 billion grant for social care. The government has also given over £6 billion in funding directly to councils to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 spending pressures. This includes children’s services.

The department will continue to work with other government departments, including the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to ensure the needs of children’s services are met. The autumn 2021 Spending Review delivers an additional £4.7 billion for the core schools' budget by the financial year 2024-25. This settlement includes an additional £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in 2022-23, on top of the funding we previously announced. We will confirm in due course how this additional funding for 2022-23, and for the two subsequent years, will be allocated for schools and high needs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to require local authorities to record and publish the number of families they support through Section 17 of the Children Act (1989), including reasons for the support; and if he will make a statement.

There are no plans to require local authorities to publish this information.

All local authorities in England are required to record and submit detailed data through the annual children in need census. This is published by the department at both national and local authority level. It includes data on both primary needs for assessment and on prevalent factors at the end of the assessment and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need-2020-to-2021.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential contribution of the arts and creative development subjects to secondary school pupils' education recovery following disruption caused by the covid-19 outbreak; and, with reference to page 4 of the costings document for the Conservative and Unionist Party manifesto 2019, if he will make it his policy to deliver an arts premium to secondary schools in (a) 2021-22, (b) 2022-23 and (c) 2023-24; and if he will make a statement.

The government is committed to high-quality education for all pupils, and the arts and music are integral to this. With the significant impact of COVID-19 on children’s learning, the department’s priorities have inevitably had to focus on education recovery in the recent Spending Review. The government remains committed to the ambitions in the Plan for Cultural Education published in 2013, and will give consideration for a future arts premium in due course.

In recognition of the merit of these subjects and how they contribute to a broad and balanced education in and out of school settings, the department will continue to invest around £115 million per annum in cultural education over the next three years, though our music, arts and heritage programmes.

With the real terms per pupil increases to core school funding and the additional £1 billion new funding announced specifically for recovery, schools will continue to have the flexibility to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum and enrichment activities.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria his Department is using to determine whether proposals for a Sharia-compliant alternative student finance system will be included in the conclusion of the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding; if he will publish the (a) timetable for considering the recommendations made by the independent panel that reported to that review and (b) estimated date of conclusion of that review; and if he will make a statement.

The government has been carefully considering an alternative student finance product, alongside wider reforms to the higher education system, and an update will be provided alongside the conclusion to the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding. The interim conclusion of the review was published on 21 January 2021, and we will conclude the review in full at a future date.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2021 to Question 58363, Schools: Mental Health Services, if he will provide additional Government funding to enable every place of education to (a) fulfill the Government's expectation in guidance that all schools should make counselling services available to their pupils and (b) ensure that every child in full-time education has access through their place of education to an appropriately-qualified and professionally registered counsellor with experience of working with young people.

The government is taking action to help schools in a number of ways to build their capability to promote children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as making sure those who need help with their mental health receive appropriate support. In May, we announced more than £17 million to build on existing mental health support available in education settings, including £7 million for Wellbeing for Education Recovery and £9.5 million to funding training for senior mental health leads in around a third of all state schools and colleges this financial year, as part of plans to offer training to all schools and colleges by 2025.

This is on top of the £79 million to boost mental health support for children and young people announced in March. This includes increasing the number of Mental Health Support Teams working with schools and colleges – from 59 to 400 by April 2023 – supporting nearly 3 million children, as well as expanding community mental health services. 22,500 more children and young people will have access to such services next year, and an additional 345,000 by 2024. This also includes expanding access to eating disorder services, helping 2,000 more children, and continuing to provide 24/7 crisis lines for young people facing a mental health crisis, with additional funding for follow up treatments at home if necessary.

In addition to this, we are investing up to £5 billion to support recovery for children and young people who need it most. This includes an additional £1 billion of new recovery premium funding for disadvantaged pupils – and our guidance is clear that schools can use this funding, as well as other funding such as pupil premium, to support their pupils’ mental health and wellbeing - including for counselling or other therapeutic services, alongside supporting their academic attainment.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to help ensure that every child in full time education has access through their place of education to an appropriately-qualified and professionally registered counsellor with experience of working with young people; and if he will make a statement.

Schools and colleges have an important role to play in supporting the resilience and mental health of their pupils and students. The department recognises that counselling, by well-qualified practitioners, can play a particularly effective role as part of a whole school or college approach to supporting mental health and wellbeing, guidance for which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/promoting-children-and-young-peoples-emotional-health-and-wellbeing.

Many schools and colleges already provide their pupils access to counselling support, and we have set out a strong expectation in guidance that, over time, all schools should make counselling services available to their pupils. However, the provision of access to counselling in schools and colleges is not mandatory. It is up to schools and colleges to decide what level of counselling to provide, working with other organisations including local authorities and the NHS who may fund counselling locally. It is also important there is freedom for each school or college to decide what support to offer to children and young people and staff based on their particular needs and drawing on an evidence base of effective practice. This support can come from a number of sources, including counselling.

The department has published a blueprint for school counselling services, focusing on supporting the provision of counselling in schools with practical, evidence-based advice, informed by schools and counselling experts, on how to deliver high-quality school-based counselling. It sets out that counselling works best within a whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing, which considers issues such as promoting wellbeing, raising awareness of, and reducing stigma around, mental health issues and providing an effective pastoral system. It also offers information on how to ensure that vulnerable children, including those with special educational needs and disabilites, looked after children, and those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, who have a higher prevalence of mental illness, can access counselling provision, details of which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/counselling-in-schools.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to raise the rate of funding for sixth form education to at least £4,760 per student in the upcoming Spending Review; and if he will make a statement.

We have invested an extra £291 million in 16-19 education in the 2021-22 financial year. This is in addition to the £400 million awarded in the 2019 Spending Review, which was the biggest injection of new money into 16-19 education in a single year since 2010. This has allowed us to raise the base rate of funding for all providers of 16-19 education, including school sixth forms and sixth-form colleges, from £4,000 in the 2019/20 academic year to £4,188 in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 academic years, as well as to make further funding increases targeted on high value and high cost programmes.

As a result, the average total programme funding per 16-19 student has increased by nearly 10% from £4,516 in 2019/20 published allocations, to £4,958 in 2020/21 published allocations[1]. We will need to consider the outcome of the 2021 spending review and what this will mean for funding rates beyond the 2021/22 academic year.

[1] This calculation only includes institutions that have students receiving total programme funding. Some institutions receive only high needs funding, their students are not included in this calculation. In addition, the Condition of Funding adjustment for English and maths and the Advanced Maths Premium have been incorporated in total programme funding in 2019/20 to make this consistent with the definition in 2020/21.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide additional funding to support trainee and newly-qualified science teachers; what discussions he has had with the Royal Society of Chemistry on that matter; and if he will make a statement.

The Early Career Framework (ECF) reforms will create a step change in support for all early career teachers, including early career science teachers, providing a funded entitlement to a structured two year package of high quality professional development. The Royal Society of Chemistry was consulted as the ECF reforms were developed.

All state-funded schools offering statutory induction will receive additional funding to deliver the ECF reforms. The funding will cover 5% off timetable in the second year of induction for all early career teachers to undertake induction activities including training and mentoring. The funding will also cover 20 hours of mentoring across the academic year to allow mentors to support early career teachers in the second year of induction.

It is expected that most schools will use a Department for Education (DfE) funded training provider who will design and deliver a comprehensive programme of face to face and online training to support their early career teachers. Schools using a DfE funded, provider-led programme will also receive additional funding for mentor backfill for time off timetable for training.

In recognition of the challenging initial teacher training and induction that newly qualified teachers (NQTs) have experienced due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all state-funded schools that currently have an NQT who is due to complete induction this summer will be eligible for a one-off payment of funding. This will be the equivalent of an additional 5% off timetable for the next academic year so these teachers have additional time to invest in their development.

The Department offers a £24,000 tax-free bursary to teacher trainees training in the highest priority subjects, including chemistry and physics, along with prestigious tax-free scholarships worth £26,000. The Initial Teacher Training (ITT) scholarship programme provides selected ITT trainees with a range of support during their ITT year and beyond to enhance teaching ability and increase their subject knowledge.

A £7,000 tax-free bursary is also available for biology trainees. All science trainee teachers on tuition fee-funded ITT routes can apply for a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to support their living costs. Additional student finance is also available depending on individual circumstances, such as the Childcare Grant.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses are available in Chemistry, Physics or Biology for ITT candidates who have a conditional offer to gain the depth of knowledge needed to teach their chosen subject.

The Department is also piloting two retention payment schemes for science teachers. The Teachers’ Student Loan Reimbursement Pilot scheme aims to increase recruitment and retention of teachers in physics, chemistry and biology. It allows these teachers in 25 local authorities to claim back student loan repayments for up to 11 years after qualifying. Physics and chemistry teachers who completed ITT in the 2020/21 academic year will also be able to claim Early Career Payments (ECPs) of £2,000 each in the second, third and fourth years of teaching, or uplifted £3,000 ECPs if teaching in one of 39 local authorities.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will issue guidance on covid-19 safety measures for recent 18 year olds who are (a) due to go to University in autumn 2021 and (b) all other recent 18 year olds; what discussions he has had with (i) Directors of Public Health and (ii) relevant higher education and health stakeholders on provision of covid-19 vaccinations at universities; and if he will make a statement.

On 14 July 2021, we updated the higher education (HE) operational guidance for the sector on how HE settings can manage the risks of transmission and outbreaks as students return to campus. This is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

This includes advice on testing prior to arrival at university and measures on ventilation and outbreak management.

We routinely engage stakeholders in our plans including via the HE Task Force, involving representatives from across government and the HE sector, which meets to explore the challenges currently facing the sector as it continues to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

We also regularly engage with the Department of Health and Social Care, and we are working with them to ensure students have easy access to vaccinations at university if needed. We expect universities to work closely with their directors of health, especially for the development of outbreak management plans.

The COVID-19 vaccination is now being offered to everyone aged 18 and over, and we strongly encourage all students to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible, to protect themselves and those around them.

Students should register with a GP to be actively invited for a vaccination, though they can easily request to book a COVID-19 vaccine as an unregistered patient. More information on accessing vaccines can be found on the NHS published student frequently asked questions. HE providers should encourage students to consult with this advice, which are available here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/06/C1317-COVID-19-vaccination-FAQs-students-in-Higher-Education-Institutions-.pdf.

Students and staff should continue to test twice a week, either using home test kits or at an on-site facility throughout the summer break where settings remain open. Testing will pause in settings that are closed.

Students should expect to test before they travel back to university, by ordering a free test online or collection from their local pharmacy. On arrival at university, students should take two lateral flow device tests – either using home test kits or at an on-site testing facility – 3 to 4 days apart. This is to reduce the risk of transmission following the movement of students across the country. Final decisions about testing on return and ongoing regular asymptomatic testing in the autumn term will take into account public health advice. The position will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2021 to Question 8570 on primary education: assessments, when the Information Commissioner's Office approved the Government's proposals; and if he place in the Library the Information Commissioner's Office correspondence on that matter.

The Department consulted the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) when developing the data processing and data protection aspects of the Reception Baseline Assessment. Documents relating to the consultation with the ICO, including paperwork relating to the Data Protection Impact Assessment, will be available in due course.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to review his decision not to update the Schools Foods Standards during the covid-19 outbreak when covid-19 restrictions in England are lifted; and if he will make a statement.

We are aware of the Climate Change Committee recommendation of January 2020. The issue of balancing meat and plant-based meals was discussed by the expert advisory group in place for the school food standards update. Due to the priority of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and the pressures on schools this presents, and considering the robustness of the existing standards, the government will not be taking further action during the course of the COVID-19 outbreak on updating the school food standards. We do however keep this position under review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 27 April 2021 to Question 186003 and to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 914739, whether he took into account the Climate Change Committee recommendation of January 2020 for a reduction in beef, lamb and dairy consumption to tackle the climate crisis, following the advisory group discussions in 2019 of key stakeholders in the school food, nutrition and health sectors on updates to the School Food Standards; if he will make it his policy to publish a clarification in the existing School Food Standards for lunches in schools to highlight that the Standards allow schools the flexibility to provide plant-based food and drink options to pupils, in place of meat and dairy options, if there is a demand for them; and if he will make a statement.

We are aware of the Climate Change Committee recommendation of January 2020. The issue of balancing meat and plant-based meals was discussed by the expert advisory group in place for the school food standards update. Due to the priority of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and the pressures on schools this presents, and considering the robustness of the existing standards, the government will not be taking further action during the course of the COVID-19 outbreak on updating the school food standards. We do however keep this position under review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to (a) collect information on whether incoming international students starting at university in the UK in September 2020 have (i) been vaccinated against covid-19 before arrival and (ii) require a second dose and (b) ensure those students have effective and timely access to vaccination appointments as required.

Students can book vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service and will have the option to book their second vaccination appointment at a different location to that of their first. This includes students who receive their first vaccination via their GP practice. The National Booking Service allows individuals to view, cancel and rebook their appointments. This is also the case for students who receive their first dose through a GP in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, but who reside in England at the time of their second dose.

Information about the National Booking Service can be found here: https://digital.nhs.uk/coronavirus/vaccinations/national-booking-service.

Vaccination is not currently a requirement for entry into the UK. However, we encourage all international students to receive a vaccine, either in a different country before arriving for term, or in the UK once they arrive.

International students in the UK are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. International students in England can receive the COVID-19 vaccine when they become eligible.

While students are encouraged to register with a GP to access the vaccine, they can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

When students have entered the UK having had their first vaccination they should receive the same vaccine for their second dose, if this is available and provided that they are eligible. If the vaccine they received for their first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure that higher education students who have moved between home and university since receiving their first dose of the covid-19 vaccination will be able to access their second dose.

Students can book vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service and will have the option to book their second vaccination appointment at a different location to that of their first. This includes students who receive their first vaccination via their GP practice. The National Booking Service allows individuals to view, cancel and rebook their appointments. This is also the case for students who receive their first dose through a GP in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, but who reside in England at the time of their second dose.

Information about the National Booking Service can be found here: https://digital.nhs.uk/coronavirus/vaccinations/national-booking-service.

Vaccination is not currently a requirement for entry into the UK. However, we encourage all international students to receive a vaccine, either in a different country before arriving for term, or in the UK once they arrive.

International students in the UK are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. International students in England can receive the COVID-19 vaccine when they become eligible.

While students are encouraged to register with a GP to access the vaccine, they can request to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments as an unregistered patient through a local GP practice.

When students have entered the UK having had their first vaccination they should receive the same vaccine for their second dose, if this is available and provided that they are eligible. If the vaccine they received for their first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Information Commissioner's Office has approved the Government's proposals for the collection and management of pupil data gathered through the Reception Baseline Assessment; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has regularly consulted with the Information Commissioner’s Office when developing the data processing aspects of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA). We are confident that we are taking the right approach with the RBA data.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with (a) university leaders and (b) other relevant stakeholders following the announcement by some universities that they plan to continue with lectures online in the Autumn term 2021; and if he will make a statement.

As autonomous institutions, it is for universities to determine their own provision, including their learning approach, taking account of any government guidance. We understand that a number of universities have announced plans on teaching in the next academic year: some will retain an element of blended learning. We know that the COVID-19 outbreak has enabled many providers to identify new and innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and students will continue to benefit from these alongside in person provision. We expect all universities to act in the interest of students and provide them with a full experience and in accordance with Office for Students guidance, which can be found here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/guidance-for-providers-about-student-and-consumer-protection-during-the-pandemic/. Higher Education (HE) providers should communicate clearly to their students what they can expect from planned teaching and learning so that they are able to make informed choices.

We are working with universities to identify a number of scenarios we should consider in planning for the autumn term, taking account of the latest public health advice. We intend to update the HE guidance in due course to support the return of students for the new academic year.

As outlined in guidance, we expect providers to continue to organise provision in a way that minimises the risk of outbreaks at the start of the new term.

The government’s clear and stated expectation is that universities should maintain the quality and quantity of tuition and seek to ensure that all students regardless of their background have the resources to study remotely. The Office for Students (OfS), as regulator for English HE providers, has made it clear that HE providers must continue to comply with registration conditions relating to quality and academic standards, which set out requirements to ensure that courses are high-quality, that students are supported and achieve good outcomes and that standards are protected.

I am confident that universities will continue to deliver high-quality provision, as they have done throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and continue to ensure risks are managed appropriately. Students will still be able to expect a rich, rounded experience from their HE provider.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the SAGE Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, Operational sub-group SPI-M-O: Consensus Statement on COVID-19, 21 April 2021, and the statement in para.19 highlighting the importance of maintaining mask wearing in schools in the coming months, for what reason he changed the Government guidance on 10 May to state that face coverings would be no longer required in schools and colleges from 17 May; if he will make it his policy to revise that guidance in line with the advice from the SAGE SPIMO subgroup; and if he will make a statement.

From 17 May, in line with Step 3 of the roadmap, face coverings are no longer recommended for pupils in classrooms or communal areas in schools. Face coverings are also no longer recommended for staff in classrooms. This is supported by Public Health England (PHE).

In all schools the Department continues to recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible.

When the policy was introduced, it was an appropriate additional safety measure while rates of infection were high in the community. Since then, the epidemiological position improved, and vaccine rates have increased, shifting the balance of risks. As the four tests for easing restrictions in Step 3 of the roadmap were met, it was an appropriate time to remove the recommendation for pupils to wear face coverings and staff in communal areas.

Our policy on face coverings and the system of controls is kept under review and is informed by the latest scientific and medical advice from PHE. Further information on the use and effectiveness of face coverings can be found at: https://phe.koha-ptfs.co.uk/cgi-bin/koha/opac-retrieve-file.pl?id=9adedb17d5622f9cd7e42febcadb19ad and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963639/DfE_Evidence_summary_COVID-19_-_children__young_people_and_education_settings.pdf.

19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the impact of the covid-19 pandemic restrictions on families with children and young people who have SEND; what information he holds on the number and proportion of (a) children and young people with (i) SEND (ii) EHCPs who were not able to: (A)attend school, (B) access the internet and online learning opportunities, (C) access therapies and health treatments, D) access social care services and (b) families who have not able to access respite provision and support since the start of the pandemic; what plans he has to set out and implement a covid-19 recovery plan for disabled children and their families; and if he will make a statement.

Supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families is a priority for this government, and their educational, physical and mental wellbeing remains central to our cross-government response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That is why we kept schools open for vulnerable children, including those with an education, health and care plan (EHCP), during periods of national lockdown and why we continued to allow families to access respite services and other social care support throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. We have encouraged local authorities to consider flexible and pragmatic options to deliver social care support including using direct payments and carrying out activities virtually.

The department collects daily data on the attendance of pupils with EHCPs and publishes this on a weekly basis 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 data shows that 87% of pupils with EHCPs in state-funded schools were in attendance on 20 May.

We are clear that education settings should continue to work collaboratively with families so that pupils and students with SEND can successfully access remote education when necessary. The department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy, including specialist content for pupils with SEND. Since the start of the spring term 2021, over 94 million Oak National Academy lessons have been viewed, including over 21,000 specialist lessons.

We know how important access to therapy services are for disabled children which is why we make it clear in our guidance that specialists, therapists, clinicians and other support staff for pupils and students with SEND should provide interventions as usual. The guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings.

We do not collect data at a national level on the number or proportion of children and young people with SEND or EHCPs who can access the internet and online learning, therapies and health treatments or social care services.

The department will continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and is committed to helping all pupils, including those with SEND, make up for lost learning. We have already committed £1.7 billion to education recovery and Sir Kevan Collins in his role as the Education Recovery Commissioner is further considering how schools and the system can more effectively target resources and support at pupils in greatest need. This includes prioritising the needs of those with SEND and EHCPs within our response.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the prioritisation for covid-19 vaccination of university students ahead of the 2021-22 academic year; and if he will make a statement.

The department regularly reviews advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and Public Health England to ensure that our policies are guided by the most up-to-date scientific evidence.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the government on which vaccines the UK should use. The JCVI also provide advice on who should be offered the vaccines.

The JCVI have advised that the second phase of vaccine prioritisation should continue to be based on age. They advise that an age-based approach remains the most effective way of reducing death and hospitalisation from COVID-19 and of ensuring that more people are protected quickly.

Everyone in the top 9 priority cohorts (those aged 50 and over, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and frontline health and social care workers) has now been offered a first dose of the vaccine. Our target remains to offer a vaccine to all adults aged 18 and over by 31 July.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 140273, on Postgraduate Education: Coronavirus, whether the Minister of State for Universities plans to make a financial support package of similar value available to PhD students who are not funded through UK Research and Innovation; and if he will make a statement.

Providers have flexibility in how they distribute hardship funding to students, in a way that best prioritises those in greatest need. Support can include help for students facing additional costs arising from having to maintain accommodation in more than one location, assistance to help students access teaching remotely or help for students that have already applied for hardship funding previously but need additional support. The funding can be distributed to a wide population of students, including postgraduates (whether taught or research-based) and international students. In addition, we have provided £11 million of quality-related funding provided for universities to support their PhD community, including those not funded via UK Research and Innovation.

English students are also eligible for the doctoral degree loan and can access one loan up to the maximum amount that was available when they started their course.

There are no plans to create a financial support package specifically for PhD students who are not funded through UK Research and Innovation, other than the available funding mentioned above.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish details of the review that took place over the Easter holidays to assess the evidence on whether the covid-19 advice on the wearing of face coverings in secondary schools can be eased.

It is vital that all pupils can attend school to minimise the long-term impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on their education, wellbeing, and wider development, which is why enabling face-to-face education for all pupils remains a national priority.

To support the return to full attendance on 8 March, the Department published updated guidance for schools, which included updated advice on face coverings. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

As the guidance outlines, where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

Since 8 March and following an ongoing review of the available evidence and in line with public health advice, we also continue to recommend that face coverings should be worn in classrooms by staff and those in Year 7 and above unless social distancing can be maintained.

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of COVID-19 droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.

We have worked closely with Public Health England to consider a range of evidence, balancing both the health and educational considerations. This includes the latest public health advice, the most recent scientific evidence, as well as stakeholder intelligence gathered by the Department on the experiences of face covering use in classrooms.

The latest data on testing, outbreaks in schools and Office for National Statistics data on COVID-19 infections and population prevalence that was considered is information that is publicly available and can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/973176/Weekly_COVID-19_and_Influenza_Surveillance_Graphs_W12.pdf https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/covid19schoolsinfectionsurveyround2england/december2020

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/26march2021#age-analysis-of-the-number-of-people-who-had-covid-19

The decision to continue with this additional measure is a cautious approach that will help limit the risk of transmission. The Department will seek to remove face coverings at the first safe opportunity given the negative impact they may have on communication in the classroom.

It is expected that face coverings will no longer be required to be worn in classrooms, or by pupils in other communal areas, at step 3 of the roadmap, which will be no earlier than 17 May. At this point, the next stage of easements, including increased social contact indoors, will be confirmed following a review of the latest data on infection and vaccination rates.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 8 March 2021 to Question 158900, how data that is collected via Reception Baseline Assessments for four year olds will be used to measure whether children have caught up on expected learning during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The reception baseline assessment (RBA) will assess all children on entry to primary school to enable a new progress measure to be created at the end of Key Stage 2 that takes into account the progress made by pupils throughout their time in primary school.

Data from the RBA is intended to be used solely for analysis concerned with the primary accountability progress measure and will not be used to measure whether children have caught up on education lost during the COVID-19 outbreak. The new progress measure will, however, recognise more clearly schools doing well with a challenging intake, including those who have been more affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following the RBA, teachers will receive a series of short, narrative statements on how each child performed, which will assist them in understanding where pupils are starting from and can be used to inform teaching alongside other in-school assessments.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, from which date all university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching; what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the provision of home covid-19 testing for university students using the type of testing system that is used by secondary school pupils; and if he will make a statement.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Disabled Children's Partnership’s report, The Longest Lockdown, published in February 2021, if she will make it her policy to work with Cabinet colleagues to implement a cross-departmental covid-19 catch-up plan for disabled children and their families to implement the recommendations from that report to deliver (a) a therapies catch-up plan to address where children have regressed or plateaued in their development, (b) respite for families of disabled children suffering from exhaustion, (c) flexibility to extend or allow repeat funding for disabled young people in further education and (d) additional support for disabled children and young people at key transition points; and if she will make a statement.

Supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families is a priority for this government, and their educational, physical and mental wellbeing remains central to our cross-government response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That is why education settings have remained open for those children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan throughout.

Regarding therapies, our guidance is clear that where children and young people with an EHC plan are in receipt of health provision, settings should be working collaboratively with their local authority, clinical commissioning group and health providers to agree appropriate support in view of the latest and current local public health guidance. Therapists and other professionals may continue to visit education settings to provide therapies and support, where this is reasonably necessary. However, we recognise that the COVID-19 outbreak has been particularly challenging for these families and children and young people with SEND will need targeted support as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Regarding wider education recovery, Sir Kevan Collins has been appointed as the Education Recovery Commissioner. He is considering how schools and the system can more effectively target resources and support at pupils in greatest need.

Already, the government has announced specific targeted support for children and young people with SEND, which includes a new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the £650 million catch-up premium for the 2020/21 academic year, which will be provided to schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged students. This can include, for example, speech and language therapies or pastoral support for mental wellbeing. This funding can also be used to lay on additional clubs or activities or for other evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils, including those with SEND. The Recovery Premium will be allocated to schools based on the same methodology as the pupil premium, including an additional weighting to specialist settings, recognising the significantly higher per pupil costs they face.

The National Tutoring Programme has been expanded, which will increase access to high-quality tuition for disadvantaged pupils, helping to accelerate their progress and tackling the attainment gap between them and their peers. In addition, 16-19 tuition fund providers are asked to have regard to the needs of students with SEND when prioritising students that would benefit most from small group tuition.

Furthermore, the proposals to support early language and literacy catch up will benefit all children including those with SEND. The Reception Year Nuffield Early Language Intervention catch-up programme is suitable for many children with SEND. It is not designed as specialist provision to replace Speech and Language Therapy interventions, but can supplement these.

£200 million will also be available to all secondary schools, including specialist settings, to deliver face-to-face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs, such as those at key transition points. The size and shape of the summer schools will be decided by school leaders who know best what a most effective summer school will look like for their pupils, allowing them to tailor support for pupils with SEND.

Regarding respite support, we also recognise the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on families raising disabled children. We continue to encourage local authorities to prioritise respite support for disabled children, and to consider flexible and pragmatic options to deliver that support including using Direct Payments. The government provided £4.6 billion of funding to support councils through the COVID-19 outbreak, including to deliver services to support vulnerable children.

In addition, we have expanded the Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children since 2018. From 2021, the programme will cover the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays at a cost of up to £220 million. It will be available to children in every local authority in England, building on previous programmes and we are working to ensure that the programme is fully inclusive and accessible for children with SEND.

Regarding flexibility around transition support and additional funding for those in Further Education, arrangements under an EHC plan can continue up to age 25 for those young people who need to take longer to complete their education or training. Local authorities will need to make a judgement, in consultation with parents and the young person, about whether or not agreed outcomes have been met, and the young person has been prepared and enabled to make a successful transition to adulthood. However, in every case the local authority needs to consider whether it is in the best interests of an individual to stay in education.

We have recently agreed that those young people with an EHC plan on a supported internship (a work-focused study programme for those with complex needs) who were not able to meet the core aim of their internship in the 2020-21 academic year may continue their internship into the 2021-22 academic year. It is not envisaged that all supported interns will need to extend their internship for a full year. Providers should determine the length of time that a learner will require based on the needs of the individual, and in agreement with the local authority, noting that the legislative and funding arrangements for EHC plans do not allow for a plan to be extended beyond the age of 25.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the minimum skills and knowledge pupils should have by the end of the 2020-21 school year on Relationships and sex education and health education taking into account lost teaching time for lessons as a result of covid-19 restrictions; and if he will make a statement.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe and to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society.

Given the circumstances faced by schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department clarified that the statutory requirement for relationships, sex and health education allows schools flexibility over when to discharge their duty in teaching the new curriculum within the first year of compulsory teaching.

Schools are required to provide some relationships, sex and health education to all secondary age pupils in the academic year 2020-21, and to provide some relationships and health education to all primary age pupils. We expect schools to adjust the curriculum to prioritise topics which support pupils to re-engage with their peers in school. These might include mental wellbeing, physical health and fitness, respectful relationships and being safe.

The Department invested up to £2 million in the financial year 2019-20 and is investing up to £2.4 million in the current financial year to fund a support programme of work to help schools in their preparations. The support programme includes online training modules to train non-specialist teachers, an implementation guide published in September 2020, and grant funding to 21 lead Teaching Schools covering all eight regions to deliver a train the trainer and peer support programme to primary and secondary schools in their region. This programme has supported over 2,000 schools since May 2020, and we expect around a further 1500 schools to be helped by spring 2021. Additionally, we have made lessons available on the Oak National Academy for pupils to access at online.

Given that some schools may have only just begun teaching the new statutory curriculum, we do not believe now is the right time to ask Ofsted to undertake a review of relationships, sex and health education. The subjects are covered in the Ofsted framework and when routine inspections resume, Ofsted will monitor the quality of education, including the quality of teaching and how assessment is used to embed knowledge. Specific content on consent and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender+ (LGBT+) rights and relationships are embedded in the curriculum and the teacher training modules available on GOV.UK.

The Department is monitoring the confidence of teachers to deliver the new curriculum through school surveys.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support his Department is providing schools to compensate for lost teaching time for Relationships and sex education and health education lessons as a result of covid-19 restrictions; and if he will make a statement.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe and to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society.

Given the circumstances faced by schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department clarified that the statutory requirement for relationships, sex and health education allows schools flexibility over when to discharge their duty in teaching the new curriculum within the first year of compulsory teaching.

Schools are required to provide some relationships, sex and health education to all secondary age pupils in the academic year 2020-21, and to provide some relationships and health education to all primary age pupils. We expect schools to adjust the curriculum to prioritise topics which support pupils to re-engage with their peers in school. These might include mental wellbeing, physical health and fitness, respectful relationships and being safe.

The Department invested up to £2 million in the financial year 2019-20 and is investing up to £2.4 million in the current financial year to fund a support programme of work to help schools in their preparations. The support programme includes online training modules to train non-specialist teachers, an implementation guide published in September 2020, and grant funding to 21 lead Teaching Schools covering all eight regions to deliver a train the trainer and peer support programme to primary and secondary schools in their region. This programme has supported over 2,000 schools since May 2020, and we expect around a further 1500 schools to be helped by spring 2021. Additionally, we have made lessons available on the Oak National Academy for pupils to access at online.

Given that some schools may have only just begun teaching the new statutory curriculum, we do not believe now is the right time to ask Ofsted to undertake a review of relationships, sex and health education. The subjects are covered in the Ofsted framework and when routine inspections resume, Ofsted will monitor the quality of education, including the quality of teaching and how assessment is used to embed knowledge. Specific content on consent and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender+ (LGBT+) rights and relationships are embedded in the curriculum and the teacher training modules available on GOV.UK.

The Department is monitoring the confidence of teachers to deliver the new curriculum through school surveys.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to monitor the (a) quality of the teaching of (i) consent and (ii) LGBT+ rights and relationships in schools and (b) the skills and knowledge gained by pupils; and if he will make a statement.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe and to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society.

Given the circumstances faced by schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department clarified that the statutory requirement for relationships, sex and health education allows schools flexibility over when to discharge their duty in teaching the new curriculum within the first year of compulsory teaching.

Schools are required to provide some relationships, sex and health education to all secondary age pupils in the academic year 2020-21, and to provide some relationships and health education to all primary age pupils. We expect schools to adjust the curriculum to prioritise topics which support pupils to re-engage with their peers in school. These might include mental wellbeing, physical health and fitness, respectful relationships and being safe.

The Department invested up to £2 million in the financial year 2019-20 and is investing up to £2.4 million in the current financial year to fund a support programme of work to help schools in their preparations. The support programme includes online training modules to train non-specialist teachers, an implementation guide published in September 2020, and grant funding to 21 lead Teaching Schools covering all eight regions to deliver a train the trainer and peer support programme to primary and secondary schools in their region. This programme has supported over 2,000 schools since May 2020, and we expect around a further 1500 schools to be helped by spring 2021. Additionally, we have made lessons available on the Oak National Academy for pupils to access at online.

Given that some schools may have only just begun teaching the new statutory curriculum, we do not believe now is the right time to ask Ofsted to undertake a review of relationships, sex and health education. The subjects are covered in the Ofsted framework and when routine inspections resume, Ofsted will monitor the quality of education, including the quality of teaching and how assessment is used to embed knowledge. Specific content on consent and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender+ (LGBT+) rights and relationships are embedded in the curriculum and the teacher training modules available on GOV.UK.

The Department is monitoring the confidence of teachers to deliver the new curriculum through school surveys.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will commission Ofsted to undertake a subject review of Relationship Education, Health Education, Sex and Relationship Education; and if he will make a statement.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe and to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society.

Given the circumstances faced by schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department clarified that the statutory requirement for relationships, sex and health education allows schools flexibility over when to discharge their duty in teaching the new curriculum within the first year of compulsory teaching.

Schools are required to provide some relationships, sex and health education to all secondary age pupils in the academic year 2020-21, and to provide some relationships and health education to all primary age pupils. We expect schools to adjust the curriculum to prioritise topics which support pupils to re-engage with their peers in school. These might include mental wellbeing, physical health and fitness, respectful relationships and being safe.

The Department invested up to £2 million in the financial year 2019-20 and is investing up to £2.4 million in the current financial year to fund a support programme of work to help schools in their preparations. The support programme includes online training modules to train non-specialist teachers, an implementation guide published in September 2020, and grant funding to 21 lead Teaching Schools covering all eight regions to deliver a train the trainer and peer support programme to primary and secondary schools in their region. This programme has supported over 2,000 schools since May 2020, and we expect around a further 1500 schools to be helped by spring 2021. Additionally, we have made lessons available on the Oak National Academy for pupils to access at online.

Given that some schools may have only just begun teaching the new statutory curriculum, we do not believe now is the right time to ask Ofsted to undertake a review of relationships, sex and health education. The subjects are covered in the Ofsted framework and when routine inspections resume, Ofsted will monitor the quality of education, including the quality of teaching and how assessment is used to embed knowledge. Specific content on consent and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender+ (LGBT+) rights and relationships are embedded in the curriculum and the teacher training modules available on GOV.UK.

The Department is monitoring the confidence of teachers to deliver the new curriculum through school surveys.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will introduce a minimum statutory requirement for Relationships and Sex Education provision to young people aged 16-19 including in college and university settings; and if he will make a statement.

Further Education and Higher Education Institutions are autonomous bodies, and as such it is for them to determine the type of course content and provision for students.

Sixth form colleges, 16-19 academies, and further education providers do not follow the national or basic curriculum, which goes up to age 16 only. Instead, all 16-19 year olds in school and further education follow study programmes which combine qualifications with other activities to help prepare students for adult life.

The statutory guidance on Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) encourages post 16 settings to support students by offering RSHE subjects where appropriate. These settings may find the principles helpful, especially in supporting students in the transition to further education.

There is already a strong emphasis within the new inspection arrangements that Further Education, Skills providers and schools ensure that students and pupils access a broad and balanced curriculum. This includes requirements around the new RSHE subjects, and a new judgement on individual personal development. This is set out in Ofsted’s Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook.

As part of the judgement on personal development, Ofsted will look at how providers support learners in “developing an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationship and sex education".

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make Relationships Education, Sex and Relationships Education and Health Education available as a free teacher subject specialism training course; and if he will make a statement.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality relationships education in primary schools, relationships and sex education in secondary schools, and health education in all state-funded schools. To support schools in their preparations, the Department is investing in a central support package to help all schools to build their subject knowledge, increase their confidence and the quality of their teaching practice .

The Department has published advice for teachers on how to implement the relationships, sex and health education curriculum, alongside teacher training modules to help all teachers increase their confidence and quality of teaching. Thirteen training modules and one further module to support pupils with special educational needs and disability are now published on GOV.UK. These can be accessed via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. These materials are freely available to all teachers.

The Department is grant funding 20 Teaching Schools, covering all eight Regional School Commissioner regions, to deliver a Train the Trainer / Peer Support cascade training programme to schools in their regions. All Teaching Schools have plans in place to deliver training until March 2021. The training support can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health#training-support-for-schools.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the reopening of the Home Office consultation on Violence Against Women and Girls call for evidence, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the effect of good quality Relationship and Sex Education and Relationship Education on tackling some of the underlying causes of male violence against women; whether any new joint work between his Department and the Home Office is planned as part of the development of the Government’s next Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, meets regularly with Cabinet colleagues to discuss the Department's agenda.

Tackling violence against women is a top priority for this Government and we are determined to step-up our response to prevent these crimes and improve support and outcomes for victims.

The Department welcomes the reopening of the Home Office’s consultation on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and would encourage everyone to take part, if they have not already done so. Officials will continue to work closely with the Home Office on the development of the Government’s forthcoming Tackling VAWG Strategy, which will be informed by the responses received to the call for evidence. The new VAWG Strategy will focus on prevention, drive forward improvements in the effort to target perpetrators, respond to the changing nature of crimes against women and girls and, most importantly, will continue to put victims at the heart of our approach.

The Department is supporting teachers to deliver the statutory relationships, sex and health education curriculum through a support programme which consists of an implementation guide, online teacher training modules and virtual training led by teaching schools. The newly published ‘Being Safe’ module covers issues such as rape, harassment and abuse.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding his Department will allocate to support schools to deliver Relationships and sex education and health education in the financial year 2021-22; and if he will make a statement.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education. We anticipate spending up to £2.4 million in this financial year to develop a programme of support for schools. Further funding beyond this financial year is to be confirmed.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many teachers have accessed training as part of the £6 million in funding allocated to implementation support for Relationships and sex education and health education in financial year 2019-20; and how many hours of training in that subject those teachers have received.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education. We anticipate spending up to £2.4 million in this financial year to develop a programme of support for schools. Further funding beyond this financial year is to be confirmed.

The Department has published training materials to help teachers to build their subject knowledge, increase their confidence and the quality of their teaching practice. Thirteen training modules and one further module to support pupils with special educational needs and disability are now published on GOV.UK. These can be freely accessed and downloaded via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health. The Department is also grant funding 20 Teaching Schools, covering all eight Regional School Commissioner regions, to deliver a Train the Trainer / Peer Support cascade training programme to schools in their regions. The training support can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health#training-support-for-schools.

The Department’s training materials and programme of training and support are designed to support schools to train other teachers within their own settings. We are unable to confirm the total number of teachers that have accessed the training or how many hours of training have been received. As a broad indication of the take-up so far, our modules have been downloaded 35,536 times in the past 12 months and we anticipate that by the end of March 2021, around 3,500 schools will have accessed the Train the Trainer / Peer Support training, which they are then expected to cascade within their own schools.

9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether funding for the Wellbeing in Education Return Programme is planned to continue after March 2021.

Our £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return project funded until the end of March has provided support, advice and resources for schools and colleges. Programme estimates suggest that training and support has already reached up to 15,000 schools giving schools across the country information and strategies to help them to respond to the mental wellbeing issues that children and young people are facing. Webinar content covering wellbeing and resilience, bereavement and loss, trauma, anxiety, stress and low mood will remain freely available on the MindEd platform for all education settings to use and adapt to their particular setting: https://www.minded.org.uk/Component/Details/662137.

We are considering how we can build on this to provide further support for children, young people, and staff as they return to education. The department’s Mental Health in Education Action Group has identified 5 areas where we can look to make use of health provision and expertise to support education settings further in the short term, including:

  • clear advice and sources of support for the issues that education staff find the most difficult to deal with
  • good information and materials on specific issues that children and young people are seeking help with to inform pastoral support
  • bringing together sources of online/text/app support and setting out how this can complement school and college pastoral support and face-to-face provision
  • clear advice to schools on how to use catch-up and recovery premium most effectively pastoral support, linking them to evidence-based local and national provision
  • providing wellbeing support for students who are making the transition into secondary school and post-16 education, especially those who have been out of education for a significant time to support them to stay in learning.

The department will bring together specific groups of partners and stakeholders, including education representatives, to take action on each making the best use of existing support in the immediate term and identifying opportunities to strengthen support further. The department will also continue to engage with education stakeholders, including staff and leadership unions, to further understand the issues and put other action in place.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the proposals relating to education in Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity commissioned by HM Treasury, what plans his Department has to introduce nature studies in the education system at primary, secondary and tertiary level; if he will make an assessment of whether the teaching of economics adequately integrates nature and biodiversity; and if he will make a statement.

The Government will examine the Review’s findings and respond formally in due course.

Topics related to the environment are included within the science and geography National Curriculum. At primary level (Key Stages 1 and 2), pupils are taught how environments can change, including positive and negative impacts of human action, weather, and climate zones.

In secondary science (Key Stage 3 and 4), pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect that this has on the climate. At GCSE, pupils consider the evidence, and uncertainties in evidence, for anthropogenic causes of climate change. They also study the impact of increased levels of carbon dioxide and methane and how this can be mitigated.

In secondary geography (Key Stage 3), pupils are taught about the climate through topics such as change in climate from the Ice Age to the present. Pupils are also taught about how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments, and the climate. At GCSE, teaching covers changing weather and climate, including the causes, consequences of, and responses to, extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards.

In 2017, the Department introduced a new environmental science A level. This enables pupils to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled.

We are exploring the option of introducing a new GCSE in Natural History after receiving a proposal from exam board OCR, but have made no commitment at this stage. It will need to meet our robust criteria for new GCSEs.

Economics A level also requires the study of the allocation of scarce resources, which could include the effects of economic decisions and activity on the environment. The details of this are for schools and colleges to determine.

26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish a timetable for the resumption of (a) domestic and (b) overseas educational visits by schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

Schools are advised against all educational visits at this time. The Department will issue advice to schools and colleges on the planning and booking of residential trips when it is safe to do so and in line with the Government’s roadmap to recovery, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to ensure that data collected from the Reception Baseline Assessment will be adjusted to allow for children’s differing learning experiences in pre-school settings as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, as well as for the individual rates at which they may catch up; and if he will make a statement.

The purpose of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is to act as the starting point to enable the Department to measure the progress schools make with their pupils. The assessment will assess all children on-entry, accounting for any impact on their education up to this point. This is important so that we can acknowledge and give credit to schools that have successfully helped their pupils to catch up, and it would therefore be inappropriate to adjust these scores.

The Department believes that it is important to have an accountability system that is fair, inclusive, and properly reflects the work done by teachers to ensure all pupils fulfil their potential, including those with additional needs. The new progress measure ensures schools are recognised for the work they do with their pupils, in particular for those with a challenging intake and those who have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department is planning for a full programme of primary assessments to take place in the 2021/22 academic year, including the introduction of the statutory RBA as previously announced. We will confirm full details for 2021/22 primary assessments in due course.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of nursery school attendance rates since September 2020 on plans to introduce Reception Baseline Assessment in September 2021; and if he will make it his policy to delay formal testing of four year olds in English and maths.

The purpose of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is to act as the starting point to enable the Department to measure the progress schools make with their pupils. Whilst nurseries remained largely open during the COVID-19 outbreak, the attendance rates of nursery pupils do not impact on the RBA as an assessment. The assessment will assess all children on-entry, accounting for any impact on their learning up to this point. It is important for us to understand where children are starting from so that we can acknowledge and give credit to those schools that have successfully helped their pupils to catch up.

The Department is planning for a full programme of primary assessments to take place in the 2021/22 academic year. This will include the introduction of the statutory RBA as previously announced. We will confirm full details for 2021/22 primary assessments in due course.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his policy is on how data collected from the Reception Baseline Assessment will be used by the Government; whether that data is planned to be sold to third party organisations; and whether he plans that parents will have the right to object to the collection and retention of their children’s data.

The data from the reception baseline assessment (RBA) will be used at the end of Key Stage 2 to create a baseline for a school level progress measure for the Year 6 cohorts. Data collected and produced from the assessment will be stored in the National Pupil Database (NPD). The NPD can be used to provide evidence on educational performance to inform independent research, as well as to support studies commissioned by the Department. The Department has no plans, however, to make the data from the RBA available externally or internally for research purposes. It is intended to be used solely for analysis concerned with the primary accountability progress measure. The data, including numerical scores, will not be shared with external bodies, including schools, teachers, pupils, or parents/carers. Teachers will receive a series of short, narrative statements on how each child did at that time, which can be used to inform teaching.

The Department and the National Foundation for Educational Research, who are contracted by the Department to deliver the RBA, will handle personal data in accordance with the rights given to individuals under data protection legislation, including parents/carers. The privacy notice related to the statutory RBA will be published in due course.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his policy that data collected from the Reception Baseline Assessment will (a) be black-boxed for seven years for the purposes of demonstrating whole-school progress from Reception to the end of year 6 and (b) be used as a diagnostic tool to assess the effects of covid-19 on young children.

The purpose of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is to measure the progress schools make with their pupils. The data from the assessment is intended to be used solely for analysis concerned with the primary accountability progress measure. The data, including numerical scores, will not be made available to external bodies, including schools, teachers, pupils or parents/carers. Teachers will receive a series of short, narrative statements on how each child did at that time, which can be used to inform teaching.

The Department has always been clear that the RBA is not a diagnostic assessment and should not be used to track or group individual children or hold early years settings to account, including in the context of COVID-19.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the logistics required to facilitate testing of older pupils for covid-19 before they attend their first on-site lesson on Monday 8 March 2021; whether schools will have to cancel lessons to administer those tests; what logistical support will be provided to enable head teachers to recruit volunteers and staff to provide adequate testing capacity; whether he has taken steps to provide schools with staffing to provide mental health support for children and young people who experience stress or anxiety about testing for covid-19 in mass testing conditions; and if he will make a statement.

Schools and colleges will have received all test kit deliveries before opening on 8 March 2021. Schools and Colleges have been running on site tests for staff and students since they returned from the Christmas holidays. Additionally, the Department has issued three guidance documents clearly setting out the instructions required to set up Asymptomatic Test Sites and deliver three tests to each student on site. The Department encourages Headteachers to review all updated material prior to schools opening on 8 March 2021.

From 8 March, all pupils should attend school. During the week commencing 8 March, pupils and students will be offered asymptomatic testing on site in secondary schools and colleges. Pupils and students who consent to testing should return to face-to-face education following their first negative test result. Pupils and students not undergoing testing should attend school and college in line with the institution’s phased return arrangements. Schools/colleges may start testing students/pupils before 8 March if they would like to do so to help manage the return. This is voluntary and at the discretion of each school. Asymptomatic testing is an important tool for helping to stem the transmission of the virus and so students/pupils may go to school/college specifically for a test before 8 March if their school/college offers to test them.

The Department will provide funding for schools, colleges and specialist settings, for reasonable workforce costs incurred in on-site testing.

We recognise that undertaking COVID-19 testing may cause concerns for some pupils. We encourage parents and staff to discuss such concerns with pupils, agree strategies to help reduce anxiety, and put in place any reasonable adjustments. We ask that positive test results are communicated to pupils in private wherever possible to avoid any stigma.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has worked with Ministers for Education in the devolved Administrations to co-ordinate the teaching of climate education across the UK.

It is vital that young people are taught about climate change. For this reason, climate change and related topics such as sustainability are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and GCSEs. In primary science and geography, pupils are given a firm foundation for the further study of the environment in secondary school. For example, in primary science pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. They will learn about animals’ habitats, including that changes to the environment may pose dangers to living things. In geography at primary, pupils will be taught about seasonal and daily weather patterns, climate zones and human geography, including land use, economic activity and the distribution of natural resources.

In secondary science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils will consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. In secondary geography pupils will look at how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments, and the climate. As part of GCSE geography pupils will look at the causes, consequences of and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. In 2017, the Department also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable students to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled. Schools and teachers can go beyond the topics set out in the national curriculum, or do more in-depth teaching of these topic areas, if they so wish.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking through the education system to deliver target 13.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals to Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning ahead of COP26.

It is vital that young people are taught about climate change. For this reason, climate change and related topics such as sustainability are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and GCSEs. In primary science and geography, pupils are given a firm foundation for the further study of the environment in secondary school. For example, in primary science pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. They will learn about animals’ habitats, including that changes to the environment may pose dangers to living things. In geography at primary, pupils will be taught about seasonal and daily weather patterns, climate zones and human geography, including land use, economic activity and the distribution of natural resources.

In secondary science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils will consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. In secondary geography pupils will look at how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments, and the climate. As part of GCSE geography pupils will look at the causes, consequences of and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. In 2017, the Department also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable students to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled. Schools and teachers can go beyond the topics set out in the national curriculum, or do more in-depth teaching of these topic areas, if they so wish.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to engage with global partners to improve climate education internationally ahead of COP26.

It is vital that young people are taught about climate change. For this reason, climate change and related topics such as sustainability are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and GCSEs. In primary science and geography, pupils are given a firm foundation for the further study of the environment in secondary school. For example, in primary science pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. They will learn about animals’ habitats, including that changes to the environment may pose dangers to living things. In geography at primary, pupils will be taught about seasonal and daily weather patterns, climate zones and human geography, including land use, economic activity and the distribution of natural resources.

In secondary science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils will consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. In secondary geography pupils will look at how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments, and the climate. As part of GCSE geography pupils will look at the causes, consequences of and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. In 2017, the Department also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable students to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled. Schools and teachers can go beyond the topics set out in the national curriculum, or do more in-depth teaching of these topic areas, if they so wish.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2020 to Question 51682, on Schools: Food, if he will set out a timetable for the (a) delivery of the planned update of the School Food Standards and (b) publication of linked guidance to school caterers; and if he will make a statement.

Due to the priority of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and the pressures on schools that this presents, and considering the robustness of the existing school food standards, the government will not be taking further action during the course of the COVID-19 outbreak on updating the school food standards.

We have robust school food standards set in legislation. These standards require school caterers to serve healthy and nutritious food and drinks which make sure that school pupils get the energy and nutrition they need across the school day.

I wrote to schools in October 2020 to thank them for the hard work on getting their meals services up and running in the autumn term, supporting all children with healthy food as well as to remind them of the importance of the school food standards. The guidance in relation to free school meals during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of covid-19 infection rates at schools for children with special educational needs and disabilities; what discussions he has had with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on the prioritisation of teaching staff working with children with special educational needs and disabilities for vaccination against covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

The current national restrictions limiting attendance are about reducing the number of contacts that people have with other households, given the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country and the intense pressure on the NHS. For those pupils and staff still attending school, the system of protective measures that we have asked schools to implement continues to mean that any risks are well managed and controlled. We are not seeing significant pressure from COVID-19 in paediatrics across the UK.

Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) endorsed system of controls sets out the measures that school leaders and all staff should follow. Where schools implement the system of controls, in line with their own workplace risk assessment, PHE and DHSC confirm that these measures create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced.

The department collects daily data from schools and colleges via the educational setting status form, which was set-up to help the government monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on schools and colleges. This data is as reported directly by schools via the department’s daily education settings survey. It is not the primary source of data on infection, incidence and COVID-19 cases overall.

The department has published the number and proportion of pupils absent due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, a suspected case of COVID-19 or self-isolation in state-funded schools in England on each Thursday between 15 October and 17 December 2020, excluding the October half term period. The department has published the number and proportion of i) teachers and school leaders and ii) teaching assistants and other staff absent due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, a suspected case of COVID-19 or self-isolation in state-funded schools in England on each day between 12 October and 17 December 2020, excluding the October half term period.

The department has also published this data for all local authorities in England, broken down by school type. This is available in Table 1C of the ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ statistical publication, which can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2021-week-4.

On prioritisation of vaccines, frontline social care workers directly working with people clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 who need care and support, irrespective of where they work and whether they care for adults or children, will be prioritised as part of Phase 1 of vaccine rollout. This includes some staff who work in special schools.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the government, including the Department for Education, are considering essential workers, such as the education, childcare and the wider children’s social care workforce in the next phase of vaccine rollout.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the evidential basis for requiring early years private, voluntary and independent providers that have restricted opening to children who are vulnerable or are cared for by critical workers to meet their statutory requirement to ensure safe early education and childcare during covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021 to not count (a) a child where the staff member who would be required to deliver the child’s place has been furloughed and (b) children who are temporarily not receiving their funded entitlements, when submitting their Early Years Census 2021 return; if he will make it his policy for funding entitlement to be adjusted to allow for those reporting exclusions; what steps he is taking to ensure that children are not disadvantaged by reduced local authority funding for early years provision in future as a result of the Early Years Census 2021 taking place during a pandemic; and if he will make a statement.

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 has gone 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 will fund local authorities in the 2021 spring term based on their January 2021 census. If attendance rises after the census is taken, we will top-up councils to up to 85% of their January 2020 census level, where a local authority can provide evidence for increased attendance during the spring term. This will give local authorities additional financial confidence to pay providers for increasing attendance later in the spring term.

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.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with internet providers on provision of free internet data to children without internet access for online learning during the covid-19 outbreak.

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 for their collaboration. 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, and continue to provide 4G wireless routers where children need to access remote education.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on the prioritisation of providers of nursery and early years care for vaccination against covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

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 programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age.

Regarding the next phase of vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other Government departments. The Department for Education will input into this cross governmental exercise, and I hope that educational staff, including in early years settings, will be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will set out guidance on what schools should do in the event that they have more vulnerable and critical worker children than their covid-19-secure risk assessments allow for; and if he will make a statement.

During this period of national lockdown, schools should only allow vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to attend face-to-face education. Limiting attendance does not suggest that schools and colleges have become less safe; limiting attendance is about supporting the reduction of the overall number of social contacts in our communities. In the face of the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country and intense pressure on the NHS, we now need to use every lever to reduce all our social contacts wherever possible.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors. Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school if required. Schools should speak to parents and carers to identify who needs to go to school, and parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can. Schools are expected to allow and strongly encourage vulnerable children and young people to attend during this period. Parents and carers of vulnerable children and young people are strongly encouraged to take up the place.

We know that every school will have a different number of children of critical workers who need to attend. It is important that on-site provision is provided for these pupils. Schools should not limit attendance of these groups. This is because we are reducing overall social contact across areas and the country rather than individually by each institution.

For those who continue to go into schools, our priority is the safety and wellbeing of staff and pupils.

On 7 January we published further guidance, ‘Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: schools’, which sets out what all schools will need to do during the COVID-19 outbreak from January 2021. This guidance is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950510/School_national_restrictions_guidance.pdf.

Schools will be familiar with much of this guidance, including the system of controls, which they have been implementing since the start of the autumn term.

The Department will continue to keep its plans under review and ensure our position is informed by the latest evidence.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide funding to enable private early years nurseries to close to all but vulnerable children and those of key workers during the national lockdown.

On 4 January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced all early years settings will remain open to all children despite the national lockdown and will continue to allow all children to attend full time or their usual timetable hours. This includes early years registered nurseries and childminders, maintained nursery schools and nursery classes in schools and other pre-reception provision on school sites. Only vulnerable children and children of critical workers should attend on-site reception classes.

Early years settings have been open to all children since 1 June 2020 and current evidence suggests that pre-school children (0 to 5 years of age) are less susceptible to infection and are unlikely to be playing a driving role in transmission.

Early years settings were one of the first sectors to have restrictions lifted last summer, in recognition of the key role they play in society. Childminders and nursery staff across the country have worked hard to keep settings open through the COVID-19 outbreak so that young children can be educated, and parents can work. The earliest years are the most crucial point of child development and attending early education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and supports children’s social and emotional development. We continue to prioritise keeping early years settings open in full because of the clear benefits to children’s education and wellbeing and to support working parents. Caring for the youngest age group is not something that can be done remotely.

The national lockdown announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021 means the number of children attending childcare will be lower even though early years settings may welcome all children.

Under these arrangements local authorities should ensure that providers are not penalised for short-term absences of children (for example sickness, arriving late or leaving early, or a family emergency) through withdrawing funding but use their discretion where absence is recurring or for extended periods, taking into account the reason for the absence and the impact on the provider.

We stay in regular contact with the early years sector and have heard from them already on this subject. We publish regular official statistics on attendance in early years settings here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. This will next be updated on 19 January 2021. We will be closely monitoring both parental take-up of places and the capacity and responses of providers and will keep the need for further action under constant review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to (a) enable and (b) encourage university students who go home for the Christmas 2020 holiday to get a covid-19 test before they return to university for the following term; and if he will make a statement.

Following the end of term break, our top priority for January will be the welfare of students, staff and the communities around higher education providers. We are looking to utilise mass testing to make the return to higher education as safe as possible, and will provide further guidance in due course, considering future developments and the relevant scientific advice.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on the prioritisation of teachers and university staff for vaccination against covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

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.

The JCVI’s current advice is that, once available, the vaccine for COVID-19 should be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80, and health and social workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and risk.

The JCVI have not, as of yet, made any further recommendations on what professions should be prioritised in vaccine roll out.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to (a) consult with (i) representatives of universities and (ii) local Directors of Public Health before the 2020 Christmas holidays on what basic principles should be applied for the covid-safe return of students to universities in January 2020 and (b) ensure that plans for that return of students includes the time required for those bodies to put the relevant measures in place to reflect those principles; and if he will make a statement.

Following the end of term break, the department’s priority for January will be the welfare of students as well as staff and the communities around higher education (HE) providers. We are looking to utilise mass testing to make the return to HE as safe as possible, and will provide further guidance in due course as we recognise the importance of clarity for students, staff and parents.

The department regularly engages with representatives from the HE sector – at both official and ministerial level – including on matters relating to the COVID-19 response. We also liaise with health experts such as local Directors of Public Health and will continue to do so on future planning.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children are currently being schooled at home on a permanent basis because they are not permitted to attend school for medical or other reasons; if he will make it his policy to provide Free School Meal vouchers to families of children who would qualify for FSM support if their children were permitted to attend school.

The department does not hold information on the number of children who are currently being schooled at home on a permanent basis because they are not permitted to attend school for medical or other reasons.

If a child is attending alternative provision in the form of home tuition and is currently a registered pupil at a school maintained by a local authority, the local authority has an obligation to provide free school meals to any child who is eligible for and has submitted a claim for free school meals.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Chief Inspector for Ofsted on ensuring that assessments of the financial performance of state (a) schools, (b) nurseries and (c) colleges are not detrimentally affected by spending on additional (i) cleaning required by covid-19 risk assessments and (ii) classroom based staff to facilitate flexible deployment for clinically vulnerable staff, (iii) technical equipment and assistance for digitally excluded children without a centrally funded laptop and (iv) other demonstrable costs incurred as a result of following covid-19 guidance; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I, have regular discussions with Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector about the issues which are facing education and areas of concerns within Ofsted’s remit. The Secretary of State’s latest meeting took place on 30 September 2020.

Ofsted’s routine inspections of early years, schools and further education colleges are currently suspended to enable them to focus on the challenge of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and welcoming all children back to education. Routine Ofsted inspections will remain suspended for the autumn term, although inspectors will visit a sample of schools and colleges to discuss how they are managing the return to education of all their students. It is intended that routine Ofsted inspections will restart from January 2021, with the exact timing being kept under review.

Routine Ofsted inspections, under the Education Inspection Framework, consider whether resources are managed well, as part of the Leadership and Management judgement. They do not include an assessment of the financial performance of the nursery, school or college.

All nurseries and childminders (including maintained nursery schools) have benefitted from the continuation of early years entitlement funding during the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools and colleges have also continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout.

Schools have been able to claim additional funding for exceptional costs incurred due to COVID-19, between March and July 2020, such as additional cleaning required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases and increased premises costs to keep schools open for priority groups during the Easter and summer half term holidays. Following last year’s Spending Round, pre-16 school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20, while funding for 16-19 year olds in colleges and school sixth forms is rising by £400 million in 2020-21.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2020 to Question 70379 on Schools and Nurseries: Coronavirus, if he will make it his policy to provide further additional funding for state (a) schools, (b) nurseries and (c) other education institutions to fund (i) monies spent and (ii) planned spending on additional (A) cleaning required by covid-19 risk assessments and (B) classroom based staff to facilitate flexible deployment for clinically vulnerable staff and (C) other demonstrable costs incurred as a result of following covid-19 guidance.

The Department is providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March to July due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources.

Schools have been eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who are not in school, where schools are not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements. The Department has published detailed guidance on the fund at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.

The first claims window for the fund closed on 21 July. All claims for funding within the specified cost categories and maximum limit have already been paid. The Department is assessing all other claims, which will be paid later in the autumn if approved.

There will also be a further opportunity in autumn for schools to claim for exceptional costs they faced between March to July. This second claims window will be available for schools who were unable to claim in the summer and will be for the same eligible cost categories.

As set out in the Department’s reopening guidance, schools should use their existing resources when planning to welcome all children back for the autumn. The guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures#funding.

Schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year, as usual, regardless of partial or complete closure. That will ensure that they are able to continue to pay their staff and meet their other regular financial commitments.

All nurseries and childminders (including maintained nursery schools) have benefitted from the continuation of early years entitlement funding during the COVID-19 outbreak, and as they typically rely on private income for a significant proportion of their income, they have also been able to access support to furlough their staff via the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme.

Nurseries and childminders cannot claim for specific costs incurred due to increased premises costs needed to keep schools open during school holidays, or over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements as a result of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. The Department continues to look at the costs associated with COVID-19 to secure the best and most appropriate support for nurseries and childminders.

The Department also expects colleges and universities to prioritise the health and safety of their staff and students and put in place measures that apply to their individual circumstances. The Department has provided £256 million of additional funding for academic year 2020-21 starting from August for student hardship funds and mental health support. In addition, further education providers have been able to use their 16-19 Bursary Fund to purchase devices for students to support remote education.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide an update on (a) the uptake of free period products in schools and (b) that uptake for each region of England; and if he will make a statement.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England.

Our delivery partner, phs Group, reported that since the scheme launched, almost 40% of eligible organisations have placed orders for period products and we are continuing to monitor the scheme closely. We have not released information on uptake at a regional level, but we continue to monitor this closely.

The scheme remained in operation during partial school and college closures, and these organisations are still able to order a range of period products and distribute them to learners.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish a strategy for schools setting out his plan for pupils in the event of (a) local and (b) national lockdown to prevent the transmission of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has been clear that our intention is for all children to return to school from September. On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this, including advice for contingency planning in the event of a lockdown.

If a local area sees a spike in infection rates that is resulting in localised community spread, appropriate authorities will decide which measures to implement to help contain the spread. The Department will be involved in decisions at a local and national level affecting a geographical area and will support appropriate authorities and individual settings to follow the health advice. In the event of a local outbreak, the Public Health England health protection team or local authority may advise a school or number of schools to close temporarily to help control transmission.

Schools are expected to have a contingency plan in place for this eventuality. This may involve a return to remaining open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers and providing remote education for all other pupils. The Department has issued guidance and best practice on remote education and is working with Oak National Academy and others to provide further support. This guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

A 'COVID-19 contain framework: a guide for local decision-makers' has been published which sets out how national and local partners will work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks. This can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is the Government's policy that state-funded schools and nurseries should plan to pay for the additional (a) cleaning required by covid-19 risk assessments and (b) classroom based staff required in schools to allow school leaders to be flexible in how clinically vulnerable members of staff are deployed from (i) existing budgets and (ii) new Government money; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has been clear that our plan is for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term and on 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this. The measures set out in this guidance provide a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, including information on cleaning and workforce.

Individuals who were clinically extremely vulnerable and received a letter advising them to shield are now advised that they can return to work from 1 August as long as they maintain social distancing.

Schools and local authorities have continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20. We are planning to spend over £3.6 billion on early years education entitlements in 2020-21.

As stated in our guidance, schools should use their existing resources when planning to welcome all children back for the autumn. Early years settings should do the same.

The guidance can be viewed at the links bellow:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures#funding.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of the £6 million in funding allocated to implementation support for compulsory Relationship, Sex and Health Education in financial year 2019-20 has been spent on SEND accessibility.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education to all pupils.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching. For further information, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 June to Question 55660.

The Department does not collect data on the numbers of pupils who are withdrawn from sex education. Schools will be required to have in place a written policy for Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education, which should provide an explanation of the right to withdraw from sex education. Before granting a request for a pupil to be withdrawn, headteachers will be expected to discuss the request with parents and to document the decision-making process.

Schools must ensure the subject content of RSHE is an age and developmentally appropriate and the subjects must be taught sensitively and inclusively to meet the needs and backgrounds of their pupils. The statutory guidance states that all pupils should receive teaching on LGBT relationships during their school years and when LGBT content is taught, the guidance recommends it is integrated fully into a school’s programme of study for this area of the curriculum.

RSHE must be accessible for all pupils. This is particularly important when planning teaching for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. As with all curriculum subjects, lessons should be planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to pupil achievement, enabling pupils with SEND to engage with the RSHE curriculum.

The Department’s central programme of support will help all schools in their preparation to deliver these subjects. It will cover all the teaching requirements in the statutory guidance and is inclusive of all pupils.

The Department is working with SEND experts to support the development of teacher training materials. Consideration of the needs of pupils with SEND is integrated into the RSHE implementation programme and it is therefore not possible to specify the amount spent in financial year 2019-20 on SEND accessibility.

Regarding the monitoring of the implementation of RSHE, Ofsted will consider the provision for these subjects and how a school is meeting its obligations when judging the effectiveness of the school’s support for pupils’ personal development.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he will take to monitor (a) the number of parents who withdraw children from sex education at (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools, (b) the extent to which schools implement an LGBT+ integrated and inclusive approach to RSHE and (c) whether schools fulfil their legal obligation to make RSHE curriculum SEND accessible.

The Department is committed to supporting schools to deliver high quality teaching of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education to all pupils.

In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compul