Desmond Swayne Portrait

Desmond Swayne

Conservative - New Forest West

First elected: 1st May 1997


Desmond Swayne is not a member of any APPGs
9 Former APPG memberships
Covid-19 Vaccine Damage, Dying Well, Fire Safety and Rescue, Mindfulness, Psychology, St Helena, Street Children, Taiwan, Thalidomide
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
8th Apr 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
31st Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
International Trade Committee
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Minister of State (Department for International Development)
15th Jul 2014 - 17th Jul 2016
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
7th Oct 2013 - 15th Jul 2014
Administration Committee
22nd Oct 2012 - 28th Oct 2013
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
6th Sep 2012 - 7th Oct 2013
Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee)
6th Jul 2005 - 8th Apr 2010
Defence Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 6th Feb 2006
Procedure Committee
4th Mar 2002 - 12th Jul 2005
Opposition Whip (Commons)
1st Jun 2002 - 1st Jun 2003
Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)
1st Jun 2001 - 1st Jun 2002
Shadow Spokesperson (Health)
1st Feb 2001 - 1st Jun 2001
Social Security
26th Jul 1999 - 11th May 2001
Scottish Affairs Committee
14th Jul 1997 - 11th May 2001


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Desmond Swayne has voted in 887 divisions, and 33 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 305 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
10 Feb 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 526 Noes - 24
6 Jan 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 322 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 524 Noes - 16
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
4 Nov 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 308 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 516 Noes - 38
21 Oct 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 330 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 4
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
6 Oct 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 285 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 287 Noes - 17
30 Sep 2020 - Coronavirus Act 2020 (Review of Temporary Provisions) - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Conservative No votes vs 330 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 330 Noes - 24
23 Sep 2020 - PUBLIC HEALTH - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 337 Noes - 6
23 Sep 2020 - Deferred Division - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 326 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 335 Noes - 6
23 Sep 2020 - Deferred Division - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 326 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 334 Noes - 6
23 Sep 2020 - Deferred Division - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 5
2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
17 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 23 Conservative Aye votes vs 283 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 31 Noes - 400
8 Jun 2020 - Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 207 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 231 Noes - 16
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 259 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 36
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 271 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 41
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
20 Jun 2022 - High Speed Rail (Crewe - Manchester) Bill - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative No votes vs 201 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 205 Noes - 6
22 Jun 2022 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 61 Conservative No votes vs 106 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 70
18 Oct 2022 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 113 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 110
31 Oct 2022 - Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 264 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 268 Noes - 132
22 Mar 2023 - CRIMINAL LAW - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 282 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 290 Noes - 14
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
28 Jun 2023 - Holocaust Memorial Bill: Committal - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 238 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 11 Noes - 379
28 Jun 2023 - Education - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 20 Conservative No votes vs 237 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 373 Noes - 28
5 Sep 2023 - Energy Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative No votes vs 275 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 280 Noes - 19
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 529
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Desmond Swayne voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Desmond Swayne 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
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(42 debate interactions)
Andrew Selous (Conservative)
Second Church Estates Commissioner
(34 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(29 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(68 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(51 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Desmond Swayne's debates

New Forest West 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

As Parliament considers the Bill of Rights, the Government must reconsider including abortion rights in this Bill. Rights to abortion must be specifically protected in this legislation, especially as the Government has refused to rule out leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Government should bring forward legislation to allow assisted dying for adults who are terminally ill and have mental capacity. It should be permitted subject to strict upfront safeguards, assessed by two doctors independently, and self-administered by the dying person.


Latest EDMs signed by Desmond Swayne

21st March 2024
Desmond Swayne signed this EDM on Monday 15th April 2024

Town and Country Planning

Tabled by: Edward Leigh (Conservative - Gainsborough)
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Town and Country Planning (Former RAF Scampton) (Accommodation for Asylum-Seekers etc.) Special Development Order 2024 (S.I., 2024, No. 412), dated 20 March 2024, a copy of which was laid before this House on 21 March 2024, be annulled.
22 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 22
12th September 2023
Desmond Swayne signed this EDM on Tuesday 17th October 2023

Calling for a free and democratic Iran

Tabled by: Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
That this House is deeply concerned by the ongoing crackdown on peaceful protesters by the regime of Iran, which continues to execute dissidents with total impunity and which is also trying to export its reign of terror abroad, including by targeting dissidents living in Europe with terrorist attacks; condemns illegal …
32 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Oct 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 17
Liberal Democrat: 5
Conservative: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Alba Party: 1
Independent: 1
View All Desmond Swayne's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Desmond Swayne, 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.


Desmond Swayne has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Desmond Swayne has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Desmond Swayne has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


Latest 50 Written Questions

(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
1 Other Department Questions
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the Commission has made of the impact on revenue of the decision to temporarily close banqueting and other facilities due to covid-19 transmission on the estate.

On Monday 1 November the House of Commons Commission agreed that all events on the estate that do not relate to parliamentary business will be cancelled for the next two weeks, including banqueting events (Member-sponsored and third party), tours and other meetings.

It is not possible to calculate the impact that these short-term closures will have on income because while some bookings may be cancelled completely, others will be rescheduled for future dates. In the latter case, this means that income has simply been deferred rather than lost completely. A short parliamentary recess is scheduled for 10–12 November which will also serve to reduce numbers on the estate and therefore footfall in catering outlets. Any estimates made at this point in time would therefore inevitably be speculative.

Income and expenditure in these areas continue to be closely monitored, as with all House of Commons budgets.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to ensure that EU member states do not charge duty on classic vehicles which are exempt under the terms of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

UK officials are working with their EU counterparts to ensure the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is implemented in full, including that duties are not applied to goods that meet the rules of origin requirements in the Agreement. We recognise that this can be a particular issue with classic cars. Both the UK and EU have issued extensive guidance on how businesses can evidence origin in line with the terms of the Agreement. The Agreement also establishes a Specialised Committee on customs and rules of origin, which is due to meet before the end of the year, through which we can consider implementation issues.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to reply to the letter of 16 April 2021, addressed to the Secretary of State for International Trade but transferred to his Department, from the Rt hon. Member for New Forest West on his constituent and the import and export of historic vehicles.

I apologise for the delay in responding to the important points raised by the Rt Hon Member on behalf of his constituent. Lord Agnew responded to this letter on 6 July 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the costs of operation Transition to mitigate the reasonable worst case scenario of congestion at the port of Portsmouth at the end of the transition period.

Further to the statement by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 23 September, the Government has announced a £705 million package of investment for border infrastructure, staff and technology to ensure our border systems are fully operational after the end of the Transition Period.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether visa-free travel for UK owners of second homes in the EU is an objective in negotiations on the future relationship with the EU.

The Government is not seeking to agree specific mobility arrangements for owners of a second home.

After the end of the transition period, UK nationals will require permission from the relevant Member State to stay longer than 90 days in a rolling 180-day period.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
11th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, when he plans to launch a consultation on the growth of community-run renewable energy schemes.

We have been codesigning the consultation on the community energy sector via the Community Energy Contact Group (CECG). We intend to publish the consultation as soon as possible.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what discussions she has had with BT on the duration of the pause in its rollout of the digital switchover for elderly and vulnerable customers.

When the UK’s major Communication Providers signed the Charter of Commitments in December 2023, they committed to pausing non-voluntary migrations of all customers until they had full confidence that they are taking all possible steps to protect vulnerable people through the migration process. As a result, BT have currently paused all non-voluntary migrations.

BT has not yet indicated when they will resume the practice of non-voluntary migrations. This is a commercial decision for BT to make, and we expect them to notify us when they intend to resume non-voluntary migrations. DSIT Ministers and officials are meeting with BT regularly to discuss the progress of the migration.

Government and Ofcom are engaging with all signatories of the Charter of Commitments to monitor their approach to the PSTN migration. This includes asking them whether they conduct non-voluntary migration programmes and what protections they have in place for vulnerable customers.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, if she will provide financial assistance to vulnerable customers reliant on (a) monitoring and (b) emergency call services where their equipment has to be upgraded as a result of BT's digital switchover.

The analogue landline network, also known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is a privately owned network and the decision to replace it with digital landlines has been made by the telecoms industry. Government has no formal role in the switchover process. While BT owns the largest amount of PSTN lines, this upgrade is not just confined to that company. This migration is due to necessity, as the PSTN is old and increasingly prone to failure. Retaining customers on the PSTN would mean a significant long-term risk to individuals.

The switchover process means that certain devices and services which rely on analogue landlines, such as some telecare alarms, will need to be replaced. Upgrading these devices will ensure that they are compatible with a more secure underlying infrastructure.

Since the switchover is not led by Government, there is no designated funding available from DSIT. Where telecare devices are provided by local authorities or the NHS, these organisations will need to ensure that telecare users have compatible devices. Telecare users should contact the organisation providing their devices, to discuss what support is available to them. We also encourage concerned customers to contact their Communication Provider (such as BT or VMO2) to understand their approach to the switchover and what support is available.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
11th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to include public sector swimming pools within the scope of the energy and trade intensive industries which will receive additional government support with energy bills through the Energy Relief Discount Scheme.

There are currently no plans to review the list of Energy and Trade Intensive Industries eligible for support under the Energy Bill Discount Scheme. The Government has taken a consistent approach to identifying the most energy and trade intensive sectors, with all sectors that meet agreed thresholds for energy and trade intensity eligible for Energy and Trade Intensive Industries support. These thresholds have been set at sectors falling above the 80th percentile for energy intensity and 60th percentile for trade intensity, plus any sectors eligible for the existing energy compensation and exemption schemes.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to prevent the customers of energy suppliers being moved to prepayment arrangements without being consulted.

The energy regulator Ofgem has rules in place that restrict the force-fitting of a prepayment meter on customers who are in debt, except as a last resort.

Suppliers must provide notice of seven days before installing a prepayment meter or changing a smart meter to prepay mode.

Ofgem further rules require energy suppliers to assess whether installing a prepayment meter, including the remote switching of a smart meter, is safe and reasonably practicable for the customer. This assessment should include identifying any vulnerability.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish a timetable for announcing successful bids in respect of the Second Cluster Sequencing development for the carbon capture, utilisation and storage sector; and if he will make it his policy to allow all credible bids to proceed.

The Government remains committed to supporting four CCUS clusters to deployment by 2030. Track-2 of the Cluster Sequencing Programme will add further clusters to fulfil this commitment and deliver an additional capture and storage capacity of at least 10Mtpa.

The Government will continue to engage with industry to develop a Track-2 process for future CCUS deployment, building on our experience of sequencing the Track-1 clusters. Details of this process will be brought forward in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to ensure that park home residents receive the full benefit of the support available to households to help meet the rise in the cost of energy.

The Government is aware that not all households have electricity provided through a domestic electricity supply contract, such as mobile home residents. The Government raised this in its technical consultation on the Energy Bills Support Scheme. Households without a domestic electricity supply contract are not eligible for the scheme and the Government is exploring options for other ways in which they might receive similar support. The responses to this consultation are being analysed and a response will be published later in the summer.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to further develop the Green Homes Grant scheme.

The Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme was designed to provide a short-term economic stimulus while tackling our contribution to climate change.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £320 million for the scheme in the next financial year, as part of funding to make homes and public buildings more energy efficient.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to enable local authorities to extend the discretion to distribute surplus Business Grant funds to businesses that are (a) not covered by existing discretions and (b) are above rateable value thresholds.

The Government has announced a package of support for business to help with their ongoing costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This includes £12.33 billion to local authorities in England to support businesses under the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. As at 14 June, £10.36 billion has been paid out to over 844,000 business properties across the two schemes.

On 1 May, the Government announced a further £617 million available, in the form of the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, for local authorities to support small businesses that are not eligible for business rates or rates relief and are therefore not in scope of the existing grant schemes. Local authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for this scheme, and have discretion to pay grants to businesses based on local economic need – within the national guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding

Local authorities will need to manage their schemes effectively to stay within their Discretionary Grants Fund allocation.

As with other business support measures, Ministers continue to keep the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund under review, monitoring roll-out and level of demand to assess how to ensure businesses and local economies are best supported.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to extend Statutory Adoption Pay to self-employed people.

As part of the Spring Budget 2020, the Government committed to consider how to provide appropriate support to self-employed parents, including adopters, so that they can continue to run their businesses, as part of the Government’s wider review of Parental Pay and Leave.

Currently, adopters may be eligible for adoption allowance from their local authority to help them cope with the extra costs adoption brings about.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to prohibit the sale of single use barbecues.

All consumer products, including single use barbecues must be safe in normal or reasonably foreseeable use in line with the requirements of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.? There are no plans to ban their sale.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether local authorities have discretion to make grants to a business under the Small Business Grant Scheme if the business is not registered with the Valuation Office Agency; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has announced a package of support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This package of support includes the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF). Businesses with a property that on the 11 March 2020 were eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) Scheme or those businesses which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the Rural Rate Relief Scheme, will be eligible for the SBGF.

The SBGF, alongside the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund, have helped supported many thousands of small businesses.

In order to ensure that Local Authorities can help these businesses, on 1 May 2020 the Business Secretary announced that a further up to £617 million is being made available to Local Authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants. This additional Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs but not liable for business rates or rates reliefs. It is our intention that the following businesses should be considered as a priority for these funds:

  • Businesses in a range of shared workspaces;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need and subject to those businesses meeting the specific eligibility criteria.

10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the feasibility of BP's plans to become net zero by 2050; and if he will make it his policy to encourage other oil companies to set net zero targets.

The Government welcomes BP’s new 2050 Net Zero goals for its worldwide business. These should allow the company to make a significant contribution to climate action. It would not, however, be appropriate for the Government to assess the feasibility of BP’s plans given the international and commercial context in which they will be delivered.

More generally, while welcoming the action already being taken to reduce emissions, the Government would encourage the oil and gas sector to build ambitiously on what they are doing. Major and rapid cuts in unabated emissions are essential to meeting global climate goals.

The Government has put the UK at the forefront of global action on climate change and we are determined to build on the leadership we have shown to date, notably through our world-leading net zero target set in UK legislation in June last year. We are determined to use our Presidency of this year’s crucial COP26 climate negotiations to promote ambitious action to deliver the transformational change required by the Paris Agreement.

28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to ensure that Government grants for start-up companies are not fraudulently obtained.

Government has robust checks in place and carries out due diligence through its Delivery Partners when issuing grants to both start-ups and established businesses. Where recipients have been found to act fraudulently serious action will be taken.

Through Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) competitive funding is provided to businesses, including start-ups. UKRI have a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and there are stringent controls and checks in place to stop fraud from happening throughout the lifetime of a project. These include:

  • A rigorous assessment of the project costs a company submits as part of its application. If an applicant’s bid is successful, further due diligence checks on the viability of a company and the eligibility of the costs it has submitted are carried out, before the project is allowed to start and the company is able to start claiming any grant.

  • Quarterly meetings between the project team and a dedicated Monitoring Officer, who helps ensure the project complies with the terms and conditions of the grant and is delivering it to plan.

  • Participants providing evidence to support each claim made. This will include the mandatory submission of a report produced by an independent accountant alongside specific claims certifying that the costs incurred on the project are legitimate and directly attributable to the project. Grants will only be paid once audits and reports are completed, and UKRI are satisfied of their validity. Claims may be subject to an independent audit.

In addition, UKRI have a dedicated investigations team tasked with identifying individuals and companies who submit false information in order to obtain funding. Relevant information and intelligence is shared with Action Fraud and CIFAS, and where appropriate UKRI will apply as many sanctions as possible, including criminal prosecution and civil recovery. UKRI take all reasonable steps to prevent any organisation found to have acted fraudulently from accessing future funding, on behalf of the whole of Government.

15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Answer of 23 October 2023 to Question 203179 on People's Postcode Lottery, if she will publish a consultation on removing the charity lottery annual sales limits.

As set out in the response to WPQ 203179, the annual sales limits for society lotteries were reviewed 12 months after the reforms were implemented in 2020. The review concluded it was too soon to reach any firm view on the impact of the reforms, and that more data on the growth of the sector was needed before considering any further changes. I therefore have no current plans for a consultation.

My officials and I will continue working with the Gambling Commission, as part of its regulatory role, to keep the sector under review.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what information her Department holds on the number charities that are funded through the charity lotteries managed by People’s Postcode Lottery that reached their annual sales limit in the last 12 months; and if her Department will bring forward legislative proposals to raise those limits.

The Government recognises the importance of society lotteries as a fundraising tool for charities and other organisations. Society lotteries are a vital source of funds for these organisations, raising over £400 million a year.

In 2020, we legislated to raise the annual sales limit for large society lotteries from £10 million to £50 million. Each organisation with a society lottery licence is therefore able to sell up to £50 million of tickets per year. Most society lottery operators have sales well within this annual limit, meaning there is plenty of scope for them to continue to grow.

The People’s Postcode Lottery (PPL) has indicated that 4 trusts are at the £50m limit and 10 trusts are expected to reach it by 2025. We have shared advice with PPL on mechanisms under the current framework that could help alleviate the pressure on their higher selling trusts.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jun 2023
What representations she has received on increasing fundraising limits for charity lotteries.

I have received representations about society lottery limits from a range of stakeholders, including society lottery operators, charities and national lottery stakeholders.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to covid-19 lockdown restrictions, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of including mobile network outlets, which provide guidance to many customers unfamiliar with technology, on the list of essential retail outlets.

The Government recognises the ongoing importance of telecommunications at this critical time.

Whilst the industry has continued to offer consumers support online and over the phone, we also appreciate the role that mobile phone retail outlets play in ensuring that everyone in society remains connected. Tougher national restrictions are necessary to help get the virus under control and to protect the NHS. The current set of restrictions strike the right balance between containing the virus and protecting society whilst allowing limited parts of essential retail to remain open. We are keeping this under constant review. The Government will continue to work closely with the sector to ensure consumers and businesses continue to receive the support they need.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether (a) outdoor Remembrance Sunday and (b) other outdoor remembrance services will be exempt from the rule of six covid-19 regulations; and if he will make statement.

DCMS is only responsible for organising and delivering the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on Whitehall on 8 November.

We have taken advice from Public Health England on the appropriate controls and mitigations to ensure safe social distancing and we will continually review the situation seeking advice from health experts and making necessary changes where and when required.


Those organising local Remembrance Sunday events across the UK should follow the guidance on outdoor events prepared and issued by the Events Industry Forum, with input from DCMS and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. This guidance can be found here. The Local Government Association has also issued guidance for local authorities about outdoor events here.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he make an assessment of the potential merits of including (a) water parks operating on lakes over a designated acreage, (b) water-skiing and (c) other water activities in the businesses that are permitted to open from 4 July 2020.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. The Government has made it clear that it will adopt a phased approach based on scientific and medical advice, and that the primary goal is to protect public health. The Government is in discussions with representatives from the sport and physical activity sector about the steps required to restart grassroots sport and will update the public when it is deemed safe to open up facilities such as water parks as soon as it is safe to do so.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish guidance on when (a) hotel and (b) resort spas will be permitted to re-open during the covid-19 outbreak.

My Department has been working closely with the sector, including UKHospitality, through the Visitor Economy Working Group to produce guidance on the reopening of the tourism sector. This will include guidance on hotels and other forms of accommodation. This guidance will be published shortly.

We will look at opening forms of holiday accommodation in Step 3 of the Government’s recovery strategy, currently planned for 4 July at the earliest. This will be subject to the further scientific advice and the latest risk assessment at the time.

We remain in regular contact with hotel stakeholders through the Visitor Economy Working Group and the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group.

The Government is committed to reopening sports and physical activity facilities as soon as it is safe to do so. We are holding regular discussions with representatives from the leisure sector and national sports organisations to develop guidance that will support them to open their facilities in a timely and safe manner once lockdown measures are eased.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Digital Media and Sport, into which step of the Government's covid-19 recovery strategy does the re-opening of public libraries fall.

Although physical library locations are closed, library services have continued to provide and deliver services to their users throughout the lockdown period. Digital services have been sustained, as well as other elements of library services, such as no- or low-contact home library services.

The restoration of public libraries in England will be considered through the Recreation and Leisure taskforce, primarily as part of Step 3 of the government roadmap. The current planning assumption is that general reopening of library buildings will be no earlier than 4 July.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential effect on opportunities for swimming for (a) club members and (b) the general public of the Royal Parks' plans for the Serpentine Lido.

The Secretary of State has made no such assessment. This is an operational matter for the Chief Executive of The Royal Parks, who I have asked to write to you directly regarding this matter. We will place a copy in the House Library.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her planned timetable is for informing schools of the arrangements for reimbursement of the increased contributions they are required to make for teachers pensions.

On 11 March 2024, the department announced an additional £1.1 billion in the 2024/25 financial year to support schools with the increased Teachers’ Pension Scheme employer contribution rate.

The £1.1 billion will mean over £920 million for mainstream schools and over £135 million for high needs settings. Additional funding will also be provided to local authorities in respect of centrally employed teachers.

This additional funding will be distributed via the new teachers’ pension employer contribution grant (TPECG) 2024. Further details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teachers-pension-employer-contribution-grant-2024-for-schools-high-needs-settings-and-local-authorities-2024-to-2025. To help with planning, the department has published a ready reckoner for mainstream schools and academies to estimate what their TPECG 24 allocation for 2024/25 will be. The ready reckoner can be found here: https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fmedia%2F65f2cf0eff117048966159fc%2FTPECG_2024-25_Calculator.ods&wdOrigin=BROWSELINK.

With the extra funding for pension contributions, overall school funding is rising by £2.9 billion in 2024/25 compared to 2023/24, which takes the total to £60.7 billion and the highest ever level in real terms per pupil.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
26th Mar 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will review the School Admissions Code.

The School Admissions Code (the Code) exists to ensure that places in all state-funded schools are allocated in a fair and transparent manner. Admission authorities for all state-funded schools are required to comply with the requirements of the Code and related admissions law.

The latest version of the Code came into force on 1 September 2021. The department keeps the provisions of the Code under review to ensure they continue to remain fit for purpose, however there are currently no plans to change the Code.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
7th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the Independent Review of Children's Social Care published in May 2022.

The department has established a National Practice group to begin work on the National Children’s Social Care Framework, a Ministerial Child Protection Group, and a National Implementation Board. The National Implementation Board will meet on November 16 2022, following an interim meeting in July, and is made up of people with lived experience of the care system and those with experience of leading transformational change.

We have also been working closely with other departments across government to rapidly agree on an ambitious and detailed implementation strategy that will respond fully to all three reviews. Ministers from across government are engaged on emerging policies and will agree on the final implementation strategy in due course.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to change guidance so that child-minding professionals are able to use their judgment and chose to work if a member of their household tests positive for covid-19.

Keeping children and staff safe is the department’s utmost priority. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have listened carefully to the latest scientific and medical advice when developing departmental guidance.

On 24 February 2022, the government removed the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. Public health guidance continues to advise adults and children who test positive to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least five full days. They should then continue to follow the guidance until they have received two negative test results on consecutive days. The guidance also advises that people with symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test result should not have social visitors at home. The guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-people-with-covid-19-and-their-contacts/covid-19-people-with-covid-19-and-their-contacts.

This means that the guidance on managing positive cases for childminders has not changed. Childminders should not childmind in their home if someone in their household has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19. This is because there is a higher risk of transmission to those attending the provision for childcare as they are close to the case for extended periods of time.

Considering the changes to the legal requirement to self-isolate, the department has reviewed and updated the guidance with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). In the guidance, the department has outlined options for childminders to continue childminding if someone has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19 in their home. This can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/additional-actions-for-childminders-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/additional-actions-for-childminders-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic.

The department continues to work with the UKHSA to keep guidance under review and ensure that the right control measures are in place for childminders.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to extend sixth-form education for pupils who have suffered from long covid.

Whilst all students in sixth form education have seen disruption and changes in the way they have received their education during the COVID-19 outbreak, we expect all institutions providing education for students aged 16 to 19 to support their student cohort to progress to a suitable destination in education, training or the workplace.

As part of the government’s commitment to long-term education recovery we have made available £102 million to extend the 16 to 19 tuition fund in this academic year. This fund allows students in 16 to 19 education to access one-to-one and small group catch up tuition to help them catch up in subjects that will benefit them the most, including maths, English, and vocational courses. We are extending the fund further by £222 million for an additional two academic years from 2022/23.

The department is also investing £828 million across the Spending Review period to fund an average of 40 additional learning hours for students in 16 to 19 education. This funding will start from the 2022/23 academic year and provide students aged 16 to 19 with further opportunities to catch up on the vital teaching and learning they need to progress.

For students who were in the final year of their 16 to 19 study programme in academic year 2020/21 and whose education was impacted significantly more than their peers by COVID-19, we are funding institutions to enable these students to repeat up to a year of their studies within academic year 2021/22. This repeat year offer supports students whose chances of progression had been limited during academic year 2020/21, for example students whose practical skills development, work experience or assessments had been adversely impacted and with the least time left in their education.

We will continue to assess the need to develop existing or further interventions in response to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will issue guidance to those universities that have not permitted their students to return to campus as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased to now encourage those universities to permit their students to return to campus.

On 13 April, the government announced that remaining students should return to in-person teaching alongside Step 3 of the roadmap, which is not earlier than 17 May.

Students and providers will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap. We have also updated our guidance on the return of students during the spring and summer terms: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will update guidance for schools and colleges on the use of face coverings when teaching deaf students.

The Department continues to work closely with other government departments throughout its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector. We continue to work to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, to continue to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the impact and effectiveness of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The Department has recently published updated guidance to support the full opening to education from 8 March, which includes updated advice on face coverings. The guidance can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/964351/Schools_coronavirus_operational_guidance.pdf.

As the guidance outlines, where pupils and students in Year 7 and above are educated, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by adults, pupils and students when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

In addition, from 8 March, we now also recommend that in schools and colleges where pupils and students in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn in classrooms unless social distancing can be maintained.

In primary schools, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and adult visitors in situations where social distancing between adults is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas). Children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This includes people who cannot put on, wear, or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate. The same legal exemptions that apply to the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport also apply in education settings.

Transparent face coverings, which may assist communication with someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate, can also be worn. There is currently very limited evidence regarding the effectiveness or safety of transparent face coverings, but they may be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The Department is recommending these precautionary measures for a limited time during this period of high COVID-19 prevalence in the community. These measures will be in place until Easter, and as with all measures, we will keep this under close review.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to extend lateral flow covid-19 testing to privately run nurseries.

The Department is continuing to work closely with colleagues across government and local authorities to secure the most effective approach to asymptomatic testing for the whole of the early years sector.

We are rolling out our asymptomatic testing programme to primary schools with deliveries of test kits starting from week commencing 18 January 2021.

The asymptomatic testing programme will offer all primary school, schools based nursery and maintained nursery school staff home Lateral Flow Device test kits for twice weekly testing. This will help to break the chains of transmission of COVID-19 in primary schools and nurseries by identifying asymptomatic positive cases. Those who test positive will then self-isolate, helping to reduce transmission of the virus.

Community Testing programmes are currently being rolled out across the country. Local authorities will be encouraged to target testing to people who cannot work from home during lockdown. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-testing-explainer/community-testing-a-guide-for-local-delivery.

Early years staff, as critical workers, continue to have priority access to DHSC-led symptomatic PCR testing via the online portal: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to issue guidance to colleges and schools which have cancelled BTEC exams on how they are to assess candidate's grades.

On 5 January we announced that schools and colleges can continue with the vocational and technical exams that are scheduled to take place in January, where they judge it right to do so.

In the event that this is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure they are not disadvantaged. The department will continue to work with Ofqual, awarding organisations and relevant stakeholders to discuss the next steps and provide more detail on the way forward, including ensuring other students have a way to progress with as little disruption as possible.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to help schools to continue making arrangements for pupil exchanges with EU Member States after 1 January 2021: and if he will make a statement.

School exchanges provide pupils with the chance to experience different cultures, improve their language skills and to build their independence. It is for individual schools to choose where and how they might wish to run a school exchange, including whether they use the support of third-party companies and organisations such as the British Council.

The Department funds the British Council-delivered International School Exchange programme, which provides opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to take part in an international exchange and visit partner schools around the world, including in EU Member States. It is hoped to restart the programme in the latter part of 2021.

The newly announced Turing scheme, which replaces the UK’s participation in Erasmus+, will allow thousands of students to study and take part in work placements in the EU and beyond. The Turing scheme will be backed by over £100 million, providing funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, starting in September 2021.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the future provision of funding for Music Education Hubs.

The Department funds a national network of 120 Music Education Hubs who work with the majority of schools to deliver four core roles, one of which is to enable children from all backgrounds and every part of England to have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. This includes children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Discussions between my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury concerning the current spending review have taken place with regards to all departmental policies which includes Music Education Hubs.

The Spending Review is expected to conclude by 25 November.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to arrange for UK students studying at universities in France to be tested for covid-19 to enable them to return home for Christmas without the need for quarantine; and if he will make a statement.

All international arrivals and passengers travelling from a country not on the travel corridor list will need to self-isolate on their return for 14 days, and that includes UK nationals studying abroad: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors#countries-territories-and-regions-on-the-travel-corridor-list.

On arrival, students should adhere to Public Health England advice. Students are not exempt from wider restrictions in place when in the UK and are required to complete a passenger locator form as all other international arrivals would. The government will review these measures regularly to ensure that they are in line with the latest scientific evidence and that they remain effective and necessary.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will implement an appeals system to enable A-level students whose grades were adversely affected by schools' and colleges' interpretation of Ofqual guidance to have their centre-assessed grades reviewed by examination boards: and if he will make a statement.

This year, appeals against A and AS Level and GCSE grades can be submitted by schools or colleges where they think the exam board did not apply its procedures properly and fairly or where the data used by the exam board to calculate results contained an error.

Guidance to schools and colleges from the independent qualifications regulator in England, Ofqual, provided advice on objectivity in deciding on their centre assessment grades. All centre assessment grades were signed off by head teachers and or college principals who confirmed that they honestly and fairly represented the grades that these students would have been most likely to achieve if they had sat their exams as planned.

Any students who have evidence of bias or discrimination will be able to go through the normal complaints procedure at their school or college or complain to the exam board, which could investigate potential malpractice.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether additional funding will be made available to schools to acquire additional space in which to teach appropriately distanced classes during the covid-19 outbreak.

From 1 June, primary schools have been able to welcome back children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside children of critical workers and vulnerable children. Each school’s circumstances will be slightly different. Any school that cannot achieve the small group sizes set out in the protective measures guidance for the current phase of wider opening should discuss options with their local authority or academy trust. If necessary, schools have the flexibility to focus first on continuing to provide places for priority groups and then, to support children’s early learning, schools should prioritise groups of children as follows:

  • infant schools - nursery (where applicable) and reception
  • primary schools - nursery (where applicable), reception and year 1.

We know that in some schools, there will be capacity to welcome more children back, in group sizes of no more than 15, before the summer holidays. Primary schools have the flexibility to do this, but should only welcome back additional children where provision for eligible groups has already been made, and where they do not require additional funding, staff or classrooms to do so.

We have published guidance on the additional funding we are providing to schools to cover unavoidable costs incurred due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources. The fund is targeted towards the costs we have identified as the biggest barrier to schools operating as they need to at this challenging time.

The cost categories covered by the fund are clearly set out in the guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools/school-funding-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19-for-the-period-march-to-july-2020. These are: the increased premises-related costs of opening over school 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 relating to cases or suspected cases of coronavirus, above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will issue guidance to (a) schools, (b) parents, and (c) insurance companies prohibiting school residential trips until after the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department currently advises against any overseas, domestic or residential visits for children under 18 organised by schools. This advice will remain under review and will be updated in line with guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for Transport (DfT) and Public Health England (PHE).

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timeframe is for the ending of the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to duties on local authorities under Section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, has issued a notice to modify temporarily the duty on local authorities and health commissioning bodies to secure or arrange the provision specified in education, health and care (EHC) plans, so that they can discharge this by using their ‘reasonable endeavours’. The modified duty applies to all local authorities and health commissioning bodies in England.

The maximum period for which a notice can be issued is a month, although the Secretary of State can issue a further notice if necessary. The current notice is in force from 1 to 30 June 2020 (inclusive), following a notice that was issued for the month of May.

We are committed to ceasing this temporary change to the duty on local authorities and health commissioning bodies to secure or arrange the provision specified in EHC plans at the earliest opportunity. We will continue to work with a range of stakeholders, including representative bodies for local authorities and parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and a number of specialist SEND organisations, to keep this measure under close review and to inform decisions as to whether or not further notices should be issued.

18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the covid-19 lockdown, if he will give discretion to independent schools to prioritise the return of Year 8 pupils due to undertake Common Entrance examinations.

As of 1 June 2020, the Government has asked primary schools to welcome back children in Nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups.

We want to get all children and young people back into education as soon as the scientific advice allows because it is the best place for them to learn, and because we know how important it is for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers, carers and teachers. The safety of children and staff is our utmost priority.

Guidance for schools and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020.

We expect all mainstream schools and colleges, including independent schools, to follow the same approach, to ensure national parity for children in this year group.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that home educated pupils can secure public examination grades in 2019-20.

As my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced to the House on 18 March, the Government has taken the difficult decision to cancel all examinations due to take place in schools and colleges in England this summer, as part of the fight to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Department’s priority is to ensure that students can move on as planned to the next stage of their lives, including starting university, college or sixth form courses or apprenticeships, in the autumn. For GCSE, AS and A-level students, we will make sure they are awarded a grade which reflects their work. Our intention is that a grade will be awarded this summer based on the best available evidence, including any non-examination assessment that students have already completed. Students will also have the option to sit an examination, as soon as is reasonably possible after the beginning of the academic year, if they wish to do so.

The independent regulator of qualifications, Ofqual, is working urgently with examination boards to set out proposals for how this process will work and to look at the options available in relation to external candidates, including home educated students.

Further information will be published as soon as possible.

15th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the deer management strategy.

Native wild deer are an important component of our landscape but if left unchecked, they can cause serious problems to agricultural crops, tree planting schemes, conservation and biodiversity.

In the England Trees Action Plan and Environmental Improvement Plan, we committed to addressing these pressures through developing a National Deer Management Strategy. This strategy will be published in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)