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Written Question
Holiday Play Schemes: Free School Meals
27 Jan 2021

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2020 to Question 114167, how much funding is planned to be allocated to each local authority in the North East from the Holiday Activities and Food programme in 2021.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

On 16 December, we wrote to all local authorities to inform them of their individual indicative allocation of funding for the Holiday Activities and Food programme 2021. We are working closely with colleagues from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to finalise grant determination documentation, which will be published on the GOV.UK website in due course.


Written Question
Schools: Census
7 Dec 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to publish the data from the October 2020 school census.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

There are no plans to publish a comprehensive dataset from the October 2020 (Autumn) school census.

Data collected in the autumn census on exclusions relates to the 2019/20 academic year and is expected to be published in July 2021. No data was collected on pupil absence in the autumn census 2020.

The Department release annual National Statistics in the Schools, pupils and their characteristics publication, based on the Spring Census, collected in January. This includes data on pupil numbers by characteristics including gender, age, free school meals eligibility, language, and ethnicity, alongside data on class sizes and school numbers. The latest release is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics.

Further information on Special Educational Needs is also produced from the Spring Census and released in the ‘Special educational needs in England’ publication, available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/special-educational-needs-in-england.


Written Question
Respite Care: Children
11 Nov 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the economic benefits of short breaks for respite for children who need palliative care.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

Palliative care can help children with life limiting or life ending conditions to have a good quality of life where they get treatment, care and support. Regular palliative care can enable parents to work and also can prevent escalation of needs later on.

While the government has not done any recent assessment of the economic benefits of short breaks for respite for children who need palliative care, local authorities have a statutory duty to assess the social care needs of disabled children and young people, and to provide respite care where necessary. Where it is appropriate, local authorities can fund respite care provided by hospices, either as a short-term stay or as a service provided to the child or young person in the family home by the hospice team. Local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups regularly liaise to plan and commission the most appropriate package of respite care for the children and young people with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition in their area.


Written Question
National Tutoring Programme: North East
9 Nov 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the National Tutoring Programme’s Tuition Partners pillar, for what reason the Opportunity North East area has not been allocated additional provision under that pillar alongside his Department's other 12 Opportunity Areas.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) has been set up as part of the Government’s £1 billion response to support disadvantaged pupils to catch up from disruption to their education. The tuition partners pillar, delivered by the Education Endowment Fund (EEF), has 32 approved tuition partners, selected against a robust set of criteria, to provide high-quality subsidised tuition to schools.

The NTP tuition partners will support schools in all regions of England through a good blend of national and regional providers. Additional places have been allocated to regions with the largest numbers of disadvantaged pupils and in regions where access to tutoring has historically been lower. Regional allocations were determined by taking as a baseline the proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium within a region and then adjusting to recognise the disparities in current levels of tutoring provision. This also reflected the allocations made to Opportunity Areas and the North East of England. The programme opened to schools on 2 November and, working with EEF, we will continue to monitor tuition take-up throughout the course of this academic year to ensure that the NTP is taken up by schools with pupils who need the most support.

Further information on how schools can access tuition partner support can be found here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/faqs.


Written Question
National Tutoring Programme
9 Nov 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the National Tutoring Programme’s Tuition Partners pillar, if he will publish the methodology used to allocate the additional provision under that pillar as stated to provide regional support to regions with the largest numbers of disadvantaged pupils and in regions where access to tutoring has historically been lower.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) has been set up as part of the Government’s £1 billion response to support disadvantaged pupils to catch up from disruption to their education. The tuition partners pillar, delivered by the Education Endowment Fund (EEF), has 32 approved tuition partners, selected against a robust set of criteria, to provide high-quality subsidised tuition to schools.

The NTP tuition partners will support schools in all regions of England through a good blend of national and regional providers. Additional places have been allocated to regions with the largest numbers of disadvantaged pupils and in regions where access to tutoring has historically been lower. Regional allocations were determined by taking as a baseline the proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium within a region and then adjusting to recognise the disparities in current levels of tutoring provision. This also reflected the allocations made to Opportunity Areas and the North East of England. The programme opened to schools on 2 November and, working with EEF, we will continue to monitor tuition take-up throughout the course of this academic year to ensure that the NTP is taken up by schools with pupils who need the most support.

Further information on how schools can access tuition partner support can be found here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/faqs.


Written Question
National Tutoring Programme
9 Nov 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the National Tutoring Programme’s Tuition Partners pillar, if he will publish the methodology his Department plans to use to allocate additional provision to the Opportunity Areas.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) has been set up as part of the Government’s £1 billion response to support disadvantaged pupils to catch up from disruption to their education. The tuition partners pillar, delivered by the Education Endowment Fund (EEF), has 32 approved tuition partners, selected against a robust set of criteria, to provide high-quality subsidised tuition to schools.

The NTP tuition partners will support schools in all regions of England through a good blend of national and regional providers. Additional places have been allocated to regions with the largest numbers of disadvantaged pupils and in regions where access to tutoring has historically been lower. Regional allocations were determined by taking as a baseline the proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium within a region and then adjusting to recognise the disparities in current levels of tutoring provision. This also reflected the allocations made to Opportunity Areas and the North East of England. The programme opened to schools on 2 November and, working with EEF, we will continue to monitor tuition take-up throughout the course of this academic year to ensure that the NTP is taken up by schools with pupils who need the most support.

Further information on how schools can access tuition partner support can be found here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/faqs.


Written Question
Schools: Discrimination
3 Sep 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to tackle racism and Islamophobia in (a) schools and (b) among young people.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department wants to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe, and equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. That is why we have made Relationships Education compulsory for primary school age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education compulsory for secondary school age pupils and Health Education compulsory for pupils in all state funded schools.

The statutory duty to implement the new subjects has now come into force. However, considering the circumstances faced by our schools, the Department is reassuring schools that they have flexibility over when they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching.

The statutory guidance sets out that as part of Relationships Education, all primary aged pupils will be taught the importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them, or make different choices or have different preferences or beliefs. Pupils will also be taught what a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative or destructive.

Schools can also teach about racism and religion in personal, social, health and economic education and citizenship education where pupils can develop their understanding of the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the UK and the need for mutual respect and understanding. All state funded schools are required by legislation or by their funding agreements to teach religious education to all registered pupils aged 5 to 18 years. Teaching religious education is also part of schools’ activity to meet their legal duty to promote young people’s spiritual, moral and cultural development.

Schools are required to actively promote fundamental British values, including democracy as well as the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faith and beliefs.


Written Question
Adoption Support Fund
1 Sep 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Adoption Support Fund, how many claims have been received on behalf of previously looked after children on special guardianship orders (a) in financial year 2019-20 and (b) since 1 April 2020; how many of those claims have been successful (i) in total and (ii) by local authority area; and what the average amount awarded for those claims was (A) in total and (B) by local authority area.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

The information requested is set out in the attached table.


Written Question
Adoption Support Fund
1 Sep 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Adoption Support Fund, how many claims have been received on behalf of adopted children (a) in financial year 2019-20 and (b) since 1 April 2020; how many of those claims have been successful (i) in total and (ii) by local authority area; and what the average amount awarded for those claims was (A) in total and (B) by local authority area.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

The information requested is set out in the attached table.


Written Question
Children in Care: Foster Care
1 Sep 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many of the looked-after children who were cared for in a friends and family foster placement were placed there as part of a voluntary agreement under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 in (a) 31 March 2019, (b) 31 March 2018, (c) 31 March 2017 and (d) 31 March 2016.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

The figures requested are provided in the attached table.

The numbers of looked-after children as at 31 March in a foster placement with a relative or friend, under all legal statuses, are published annually in table A2 of the statistical release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.


Written Question
Children in Care
1 Sep 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to amend the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 to allow contact between a looked-after child and a sibling that is not looked after.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

As set out in my response of PQ 18831 (https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-02-21/18831/) on 23 February 2020, under section 34 of the Children Act 1989, children who are subject to a care order can apply to the court to make an order for contact with any named person, including their siblings. The child’s social worker or the Independent Reviewing Officer can assist the child in obtaining legal advice or in establishing whether an appropriate adult is able and willing to provide such assistance or bring the proceedings on his/her behalf.

Contact can be very important in helping children and young people develop their sense of identity and understand their lives and their sense of self. The government believes that contact between a looked after child and their siblings is very important and should be encouraged.

Ultimately, contact arrangements should be focused on, and shaped around, the child’s needs. The child’s welfare is the paramount consideration at all times and each child’s wishes and needs for contact should be individually considered and regularly assessed.


Written Question
Pupil Premium: Care Leavers
1 Sep 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many previously looked after children on a (a) special guardianship order, (b) child arrangements order, (c) residence order and (d) adoption order in each local authority area received a pupil premium plus grant in 2020-21.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

The number of children previously looked after counted for Pupil Premium Plus in each local authority in 2020-21 are shown in the attached table, including the number of those on (a) special guardianship order, (b) child arrangements order, (c) residence order and (d) adoption order.


Written Question
GCE A-level: Coronavirus
6 May 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the cancellation by the Government of A-levels in 2020 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak, if he will make it his policy to enable schools to consider pupils' raw GCSE scores when determining their centre assessment grades and rankings at A-level.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

This is a matter for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. I have asked its Chief Regulator, Sally Collier, to write the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


Written Question
GCE A-level and GCSE: Coronavirus
6 May 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether (a) GCSE and (b) A-level exams sat by pupils in the Autumn term 2020 will be modified to reflect the break in teaching during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department is discussing arrangement for the autumn GCSE and A level examination series with Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator. Ofqual will set out further proposals for consultation as soon as possible.


Written Question
GCE A-level and GCSE: Coronavirus
6 May 2020

Questioner: Catherine McKinnell

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether schools may request (a) non-exam assessments and (b) coursework not yet submitted by pupils to help determine (i) GCSE and (ii) A-level grades and rankings for the 2020 cohorts.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

This is a matter for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. I have asked its Chief Regulator, Sally Collier, to write the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.